Special day with special personality – Kjell Nordstrom

Photo: Kjell Nordstrom

Today the 9th of July KA Group company has organized the Premium business event with Kjell Nordstrom in the heart of Kiev. And we had the good fortune to talk with Kjell a little bit about what to expect in the future.

— Kjell, hello! We are very glad to meet you in Kiev. It’s the second time you show Ukrainians what’s mean thinking big. Can you share with us your thoughts  about TOP-5 changes in the future which we will be able to observe in the next 20, 30 years?

Of course, I can say and I will now say 5 things in a moment that will change the world in the next 10 to 20 years! However, you cannot do the research on the future for the simple reason that the future does not exist. You can just take phenomenas that we see today and have an idea on how they will continue to develop. So,

Number 1: URBANIZATION. We will transform this planet into cities. And countries will be struggling to be relevant. So, what we see is a movement towards 550 -680 cities. And that will be 80% of the world economy by 2050-2060. And we will have 80% of the world population in about 600 cities. And that will be the world economy. Not countries. And this development is worldwide and it’s a huge change with impact of some politics and economy and the way we form families and live.

Number 2: DIGITIZATION. The use of mobile devices will, of course, continue. And, basically, everything that can be digitized will be digitized: knowledge, hospital information, education,  everything. And the capacity of the mobile phone doubles every second year. Which means that today it is smartest a rat.  If you compare to intelligence your phone is like a rat. By 2023 one of this is smartest you in terms of a raw capacity (no life, it’s jut memory, processing capacity, etc). But 2030 if you will continue to double one mobile device will be as smart as all human beings on planet EARTH. ALL IN YOUR HAND.

We will do, of course, the things in different way and we will reorganize a life. Because our life, the human history is a history of a lack of knowledge, lack of information, few data. The usual answer is «We don’t know».

And now we enter a new stage where that is not the answer. It’s the opposite – «I have too much». So, we go from the scarcity of information to an abundance of information. We’ll do completely different set of problems to solve. Which means that education is no so much about lack of information, it’s about navigating the massive of information that we have.

Companies will have to sort the information that they have, not try to get it, they have it. It’s a completely different ball game.

So, digitization will continue. It will effect everything. And we will also set things free in the sense that internet is a copying machine. You can think of it as a copying machine. So we copy everything and we copy each other, which will make the world more competitive place, of course.

Number 3: DEGLOBALIZATION. We will probably experience the little bit of deglobalization. Which is opposite of globalization. We have globalized for 30 years. Basically when the Soviet Union collapsed, it had started before. But the collapse of the Soviet Union opened the world in a very remarkable way, not only for Ukraine, the rest of the world too. What we see now is a little bit backlash for globalization. And we can probably envision for see a more regionalized world where we trade with our neighbours, we do business with our neighbours, we travel in the vicinity of our home countries. Globalization in the way that Ukrainian company set up a company in Taiwan, probably not.

Number 4: WE HAVE TO REALIZE AND UNDERSTAND THAT I DO THE JOBS COME TO PEOPLE OR PEOPLE WILL COME TO THE JOBS. I will help Africa or Africa will come here. Because they have no jobs and they will double their population from 1 to 2 billion people. Is very simple. We will see these movements. People have the information and they will start to move in accordance with this. Which is no good new, no bad new. It’s just the way it is. So we have to help each other.

Number 5: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL CREATE JOBS. I think, the AI will not destroy the labor market. Machines will not do everything. It will create new jobs, of course. And a lot of new jobs. Overtime when the new technology has been introduced it has destroyed all jobs but it has created new jobs at the same time. So, it will be no change in this one. Maybe the change is that the time it will be a little bit faster. And furthermore, there is no limit to human beings ideas. It will creates a whole new industry for entertainments, for traveling because the people will have a life quality in many cases up to 72-75 years old. They will be healthy, they will not die. So that will drive and  create a lot of employment to machines cannot do.

Number 6: MARKET ECONOMY WILL RULE THIS PLANET. We will control the market economy, it will be regulated. We will control companies like Amazon, Facebook and others which are uncontrolled today in many cases. But there is no competition in market economy and there is no alternative in market economy as we can see today.

I wanna say something about China. Competing with China is ok, but what is not ok is that we are not competing on fair terms. Because they are communist. Which means that we don’t know if their companies are real companies or not. The state is save them overtime and that’s like doping  in sports. No meaning to compete with someone who eats hormones. It’s not a competition. And, I think, we will require a more fair play from China. You have to compete on the same terms. Same rules for everybody. Today is not. If you buy something from Ali Express, you don’t know if it could be a private company or a state company.

— Continuing talking about the cities, which cities will survive? And what are the criterias to survive?

— You know, the cities need to be great missionaries. Move to the city will solve our economic problems.

The criterias for well-functioning city is they are the usual criterias:

  1. Non corrupted governments
  2. Rule of law and system works. Move to usual democratic principles that are applied in norman environment. So there is no change on that one.

Today we know that corruption is the most bad idea. There is nothing that is so bad for an economy, for university, for a company as corruption. It destroys everything. And it is the ultimate guarantee that the university, government or company never will become a world class player. Never. As long as it’s corrupted.

I come from Scandinavia and they are the least corrupted countries in the world. If you will ask to professor for special treatments you will be expelled from the university immediately.

— How you did it? 

  1. By slowly building up trust. Because it’s about trusting people.
  2. Growing education of the society, because general education is extremely important in this case.
  3. A fare core system, rule of law.
  4. And truly free press.

So step by step moving in this direction. And it is a continuous struggle. It’s not that you are ready one day, it’s not a job that everything is finished. You need keeping this process all time.

— And let’s talk about Ukraine. What processes you predict will take place in Ukraine in the context of World Globalization?

You have generally good education in the natural sciences, mathematics. That is a long tradition from the Union Soviet. Which is reflected on your programmers and startup companies active in this modern and cool sector. We will see more of that, because countries and people don’t change in a month or a year. The advantage that Ukraine have can and will be exploited. You can see a little bit today and it will be more.

And Ukraine will be not an exporter of cars or something like that. You would, probably, be active in those industries where you already today have some advantages.

Ukraine could be financially important as London. You have the infrastructure for this. You can be a hot spot for information technologies. Because it’s new fast-growing industry where you can still do things.

Author: Kristina Shehaitli