Xynteo Exchange: Collaboration is what heroes do!

10 Oct 2019

Four inspiring leaders challenged us to join forces for real life impact at the Xynteo Exchange

We’re at our most powerful when we work together across industries, sectors and borders. In the final session at this year’s Xynteo Exchange, we heard from Game of Thrones actor Kristofer Hivju and his wife, producer and director Gry Molvær Hivju.

The Hivjus, exemplifying a powerful collaboration, explored the strength of working together to see the change we want to see in the world.

The duo shed light on how we can start to address global challenges at the local level. Even in a well-functioning society like Norway, we experience negative externalities from the system, they told the 500+ leaders in the room.

Kristofer, best known as “Tormund Giantsbane” from Game of Thrones, and Gry, compared real life problems to the survival of heroes in the HBO hit series. 

Gry asked: “How did the heroes of Game of Thrones solve the problem? Let’s take an everyday challenge from our world: we throw away a third of the food that’s produced worldwide”.

Kristofer noted that Norway throws away 45 million kilos of food every day. “So what we have, instead of an army of the dead, is an army of waste,'' he said. Continuing the Game of Thrones analogy, the Hivjus pointed out that to tackle a tangible problem like this, we must understand, think and combine forces.

“The heroes of the world - are all of us working towards a greater cause. Because that is what heroes do!”, concluded Gry. 

Collaboration hacks

In the last part of the session, two leaders, both with a track records of successful combining forces to drive action, investigated the art of truly collaborating across systems. Xynteo Exchange

Jesper Brodin, CEO of Ingka Group (formerly known as IKEA Group), and Ingrid Røynesdal, CEO of Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, provided the audience with practical advice to strengthen their ability to collaborate between typical and atypical actors.

Brodin, who is driving IKEA’s ambition to become people and planet positive by 2030 while growing its business, used his time on stage to emphasise the importance of pushing for sustainable business practises. 

“We work at a certain pace at IKEA, and it's not easy to achieve change. But we’re all working together on a shared vision, “ Brodin said. 

He continued: “there are misconceptions that sustainability will come at a premium! That’s a mistake - it’s the low cost solution of tomorrow”.  

The key word is trust

Røynesdal set the focus on sustainable consumption. “How can we build a more sustainable future with quality of life, with less focus on buying?” she asked. She compared solving such challenges with being in a concert hall or a theatre, actively listening. 

“It’s not only about finding technological solutions - it’s about how we fill ourselves. We have to listen,” she said. “To protect the world, we have to see the bigger picture - arts/education/business have all to come together to succeed at achieving these goals,'' she emphasised. 

How can we orchestrate these unusual partnerships to achieve better solutions? “The key word is trust, and how we talk about each other and the whole picture - being a leader today and for the future!”

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