About the Hydro and OBOS Studio

Leaders from business, start-ups, academia and research institutions are meeting at the Xynteo Exchange/Norway to advance a new growth model fit for the 21st century. At the heart of the Exchange is a series of Studios, where we will bring leaders together to try to develop commercial solutions to human problems.


Every year, we use 70 per cent more resources than the Earth can regenerate in a year. If we want to maintain the tremendous growth in human prosperity of the last century, we must build societies that create more with less and share the value created in a way that provides prosperity and stability for everyone. Businesses and governments must build using goods and materials that do not jeopardise future development, and citizens must all participate to create a system than can viably maintain itself in perpetuity while serving all those who live in it.


In this Studio, hosted by Hydro and OBOS, we will build concepts around four different barriers to building lasting, healthy societies.


On day one, we will interrogate the complex nature of four barriers to sustainable societies and explore how our capabilities could be brought to bear in overcoming them. On day two, we will identify potential interventions within these problem areas, with the aim of developing early-stage concepts for projects that can deliver both human and commercial value. Finally, we will select the most promising concepts to present in the Marketplace.


Location: Ullevål stadium, Colosseum, Sognsveien 77C, 0855 Oslo


During the studio, participants will split into five breakout groups to roll up their sleeves and work together on different challenges related to building a future-fit society. Read more about each of the problems we’ll be tackling together below:



The markets for the industrial products we need to build the world’s rapidly growing cities and economies do not incentivise large-scale adoption of the low-carbon alternatives we will need to meet ambitious climate targets.


The challenge: How might we stimulate material demand for green industrial products?


Read more here.



Lowered social trust and cohesion at the local level are contributing to making societies more isolated and polarised, threatening democracy and stability at national and international levels.


The challenge: How might we address the increasing isolation and fragmentation in today’s communities that threaten social stability and cohesion?


Read more here.



People are increasingly interested in making sustainable choices as consumers, but barriers like inconvenience, distrust and price make it difficult for them to signal this to the businesses that sit on the largest levers of sustainability.


The challenge: How might we make sustainable living the obvious choice?


Read more here.



Increased automation is threatening and changing jobs around the world, and without concerted action from business and government, this will have profound human costs locally, even if economies as a whole end up benefiting.


The challenge: How might employers prepare for the human cost of automation?


Read more here.

Find out more about the next Studio