Natasha Friis Saxberg: relating to the future
Natasha Friis Saxberg is an entrepreneur, speaker and author and has been working within technology since 1996. Natasha is the founder of Gignal – a Social Media Billboard (follow Blogopen on Gignal), Co-founder of NordicMeetup – connecting the Nordic startup scene and a mentor at the successful incubator programs – Startupbootcamp and Seedcamp.
BO: You are coming to talk about why people behave in a certain way in online world. What do you think is the clear difference between online and offline behavior?
Natasha: Online tools support our basic needs. Our behavior changes in the digital sphere because the opportunities for individuals, groups, societies and businesses are amplified in a digital connected world. The major difference is the multiplicity, the scale and the massive ocean of knowledge we can access, share and create. We evolve to cultivate the digital potential, in the way we obtain data through real-time streams, in the way we connect with strangers around the world because we share an interest, in the numbers of people we are connected to and therefore must overview and maintain.
BO: We all talk a lot about putting our life on display; there are different opinions about this. With evangelists and active users (cyber optimists) things are very clear. Which arguments can we use to persuade cyber skeptics?
Natasha: We are all very different, if you are an extrovert in an offline world, sharing your life and feelings with a lot of people, you are probably more lightly to do the same online – and vice versa. But to enlighten the skeptics that either don’t find value in our arguments, or are from a different time where sharing private information was an intimate act, to them we have to present the hidden values by going deeper. It is proved that your network is bigger if you are online and on a social network, than if you connect only offline. In that lies a opportunity for people who are either lonely, that doesn’t fit into their present circles and for the introverts that can skip the distraction of body language and focus on the online message. But the two worlds must be connected to have an ideal effect on humans.
BO: What about Nordic online scene? Is it different from rest of Europe?
Natasha: We are all small nations with narrow languages, so we are used to being open to the outside world, to avoid isolation. Most Northern Europeans master English very well, which makes it easy for us to connect globally. Every Nordic country is very different culturally, so there isn’t a generic answer, but many.
BO: Do you see some new trends, as start up mentor?
Natasha: Europe is becoming much more vibrant and connected in the various start-up communities, and we are increasing our collaboration though different incubator – thus local programs. This will make us even more productive in the future – especially if the money follows from the investor ecosystem, which is the weakest link in the chain at this point. There is still a big opportunity in connecting corporate money to the web start-up environment, to solve a part of the problem.
In regards to digital trends, there are many different directions hereunder, streams, interface integration, the cloud, audio, mobile services, and augmented reality as a layer connecting our physical and online world.
BO: You are affiliated at the Danish institute for Futures Studies.
Natasha: The Danish Institute for Futures Studies works on future scenarios based on research within sociology, anthropology, finance and business. I represent the digital area as a practitioner, connecting our real-time present to the future scenarios. If we don’t relate to the future in the present, opportunities will be missed hereunder demographic, financial and global changes.