Future by Lund’s project manager Peter Kisch recognizes how a crisis can unleash the innovation potential in many areas. Within the platform’s collaborations, the focus in the near future will be on a variety of mobility solutions, digital infrastructure, a climate neutral city and strengthening international connections. “Lund has the expertise and ability. We need to be even better at organizing ourselves to be able to run large projects that provide opportunities for many stakeholders”, says Peter Kisch in an interview in our recently started series Future by Lund’s new normal.
During spring, the pandemic has meant that much of what we knew previously has changed. What strategies has been successful to cope with the crisis and what is important to consider when society is finally resumed when the crisis is over? Future by Lund has recently started an interview series within our network to look for Future by Lund’s new normal. We highlight the expertise in our close surroundings so that together we can prepare ourselves for the future and ascertain what the crisis has meant from an innovation perspective. Do you know any person who has the knowledge and points of view that can be interesting for us to share? Send your suggestions for people to interview to email@example.com
In recent months there have been many changes to society – what opportunities are there in this situation?
– I see tons of opportunities. The crisis is of course a situation that is unfortunate, but in times of crisis it is also that we roll up our sleeves and can do and identify new things. Looking at history, one can see that extreme famine was the source of many innovations. Now I do not mean that we should suffer in order to move forwards, but it is possible to see opportunities in the situation we have now. I have heard from some of our partners at Future by Lund that people are beginning to wonder how we should organize the workplace of the future and the future of mobility. Can we accelerate digitalization to create new, attractive solutions while at the same time addressing climate change? To date we have not really been able to answer many of these questions, but now much of the innovation potential associated with these issues is being unleashed. The crisis has accelerated the need to develop new solutions.
What type of innovation areas do you see that Future by Lund will work with in the future?
– We will be working with various forms of mobility solutions. In this area we have already worked extensively with electrification, which will continue to drive the development of climate-neutral transport. We will also work with software solutions, IoT-solutions and sensor solutions that help us better understand mobility and traffic systems. We aim to implement these into the city, so then it is important to get a better combination between the public and private – that is, what we should plan as a city and what solutions should be brought to the city. Another area is digital infrastructure in general, which again has combinations of different types of sensor solutions and 5G-solutions. We will see what new services and solutions we can deliver. We will also take a greater focus on climate neutrality in the city and see what solutions can contribute to radically reduced climate impacts. In this area I see lots of interesting links to more energy efficient buildings, once again mobility solutions but perhaps also to work with so called carbon sinks i.e. various solutions that allow us to bind carbon to reduce the climate impact. These are the three areas that we envisage to be working on soon.
At Future by Lund it has been important to work with international connections. How will you continue this work?
– I am completely convinced that international connections and internationalization in general will become even more important from now on. In this way we are glad that we can create the opportunity where ideas we generate can be used in other places but also that ideas from other places can come here. We can achieve this by either working with larger companies or organizations, or by SMEs and start-ups coming here or going from here to other places. We will accelerate this activity from now on and there are enough interesting partners at Future by Lund that are willing to participate. We are a strong group that has the capability to do this. It is our stated goal for the platform to become more internationally renowned.
How has the crisis affected the work towards climate neutrality?
– I think that the crisis has opened up a very interesting window where people are starting to question if we will continue to work, live, consume and manufacture as we did before or if we should go in another direction. In recent times many have tried an alternative that previously was often not possible – namely to work from home. I see that there may be a new combination, where in part it is not always needed to physically get to certain places. Before the crisis there were not many employers that were prepared to agree to this. Of course, there are some jobs where this is impossible, but in the service sector I am completely convinced that we will see new solutions where the climate issue is integrated into the way we work. I think that we will even see other new solutions in the future.
What can we do more of in Lund?
– I think that we have the expertise and the ability. We need to become even better at organizing ourselves to be able to run larger projects that offer possibilities to many stakeholders. We need to be able to work better across organizational boundaries between different actors and be able to move forward faster and more swiftly with different types of resources, such as both private and public capital, but also with the talent pool we have in Lund. It is exactly in this area that the Future by Lund platform is at its best; when we can operate in the space between different stakeholders and create new added value that each of the stakeholders is unable to do individually.
Translation: Ben Dohrmann