Helena Bengtsson imageHelena Bengtsson is Editor of Data Projects at The Guardian newspaper. After honing her craft with 20 years’ experience at Sveriges Television (Sweden’s national broadcasting company) and spending some time at The Centre for Public Integrity in Washington DC, she was awarded the Stora Journalistpriset, Sweden’s Great Journalism Award, for her work on Valpejl.se, a website profiling every candidate in that season’s Swedish elections. In her talk ‘Data Journalism – in Sweden & Elsewhere’, Helena will show examples and describe different methods of extracting and gathering data. She will also cover how the access to open data in Sweden and Scandinavia works – and doesn’t work – for data journalism.

Donnie Berkholz imageDonnie Berkholz, Senior Analyst at RedMonk and open source developer and leader of Gentoo Linux, will present ‘Viking Reprise: Nordic Undercurrents in US Tech Culture’. Having grown up a “Scandinavian” in the most “Scandinavian” state in the US, Donnie has seen a lot of cultural overlaps between modern-day Minnesotans and the Swedes and Norwegians of the 1850s. Attitudes, behaviors, and priorities have carried through generation after generation to influence how we live our lives. It’s no surprise that this pervades into tech culture as well. Donnie will explore the Nordic and Scandinavian impact in the US through a combination of some lovely data viz, stories, and tech pioneers who laid the groundwork. The impacts have been huge, in terms of how we collaborate, how we take risks, how we fund startups, and more.

Per Buer ImagePer Buer is the CTO of Varnish Software and became an avid home-brewer after Monki Gras 2014. In addition to crafting his excellent beer, he’s an expert at starting his own business. In Per’s presentation, ‘Fighting with Polar Bears and Other Challenges You Encounter When Running a Startup In Norway’, he will share his experience with running a commercial company that has an open source product at its core.

Emil Eifrem imageEmil Eifrem is the founder of Neo Technology (Neo4j), the most widely-deployed graph database on the planet, CEO of its commercial sponsor Neo Technology, and co-author of the O’Reilly book Graph Databases. In his presentation ‘Building an American Company with Swedish Soul’, he’ll talk about the differences between running a startup in the Valley vs. Sweden and how Neo Technology is using some aspects of Scandinavian culture as a competitive advantage. He’s also mildly ambitious: he plans to save the world with graphs and own Larry’s yacht by the end of the decade.

Martin Elwin imageMartin Elwin is head of Solutions Architecture, Nordics, for Amazon Web Services, where he helps customers make the most out of what the Cloud has to offer. With a comprehensive development background (including C and Delphi, and large-scale distributed systems built with Java, C#, Ruby and Python), Martin will give his viewpoint on the uniquely Swedish concept of Lagom, ‘not too little and not too much’. In his presentation ‘Lagom Is Best’, he will explore what Lagom really means, its relation to IT and its impact on systems design. If you get just the right amount of Lagom, developers can work faster.

Michael Friis imageMichael Friis is a Product Manager at Heroku. Originally from Denmark, he now resides in San Francisco where he moonlights as a maintainer of a .NET buildpack and assorted .NET Docker images. Michael will use his expertise to present ‘.NET, the New Nordic of Web Stacks.’ As C# and ASP.NET 5 have pragmatically evolved into a modern, open source and cross-platform stack based on proven technology and years of experience developing and operating apps, Michael will take you through the changes that got us here and demo how ASP.NET 5 is a great stack for writing modern web apps.

Niklas Gustavsson imageNiklas Gustavsson is a backend engineer at Spotify, open source hacker, mountain biker and father of 2 awesome kids. At Spotify, he concentrates on the audio pipeline and content delivery. In his talk ‘Spotify Dev Culture’, he’ll explain how a small Swedish startup experienced extensive growth, both in the number of users and employees. He’ll also answer the question, how did the development culture address the inherent growth problems while still maintaining a high product development velocity?

Reeta Heiskanen imageReetta Heiskanen is Communications Lead at Mehackit, a programme for igniting technology education for students and high schoolers in The Nordics. The goal of the programme is to support every kid in getting creative, confident and curious about technology. As a journalist, Reetta has worked for the largest subscription newspaper in The Nordics, covering politics and economics and she’ll explain to us why we should take part and have a say in ‘The Future of Technology Education’.

Janne Heino imageJanne Heino, Solution Designer of Cloud at Nokia, will draw on his 15 years’ experience in software development and an additional 5 years’ experience developing a large private cloud which grew from 3 servers to thousands, to present ‘How to Survive in a Big Organisation and Be Innovative’. He’ll present the key concept of how to succeed in a large business and drive innovations forward. He will also delve deep into the 3 key principles required to keep the focus on execution while allowing people to fail.

Chris Grzegorczyk imageCo-presenting with Janne Heino, Chris Grzegorczyk is a Distinguished Technologist at Hewlett Packard, Chief Architect of Helion Eucalyptus.


Anke Holst imageAnke Holst will be presenting something completely different: a discussion on knitting in general, focussing on continental knitting as being different (and faster) than British style, and Icelandic knitting in particular. She will bring samples of Icelandic wool and a completed Icelandic jumper. There will also be an opportunity to try continental knitting for those who want to give it a go (probably best in a smaller break-out session).


Janne Kalliola ImageJanne Kalliola is the founder and CEO of Exove, a leading company in using open technologies to improve customers’ business in the Nordic countries and Baltic states. Janne will be teaching us the Finnish word ‘talkoot‘ in his presentation ‘Making Meaning By Contributing to Improve the Quality of Your Life,’ as he emphasises the benefits of working together to achieve a common goal by being an active member in the local community.

Viktor Klang ImageViktor Klang is the Chief Architect at Typesafe Inc., and has a passion for designing high-performance, distributed and resilient software. With this focus, Viktor will present ‘The Nordic Reactive Connection,’ explaining its Nordic roots and the impact which Swedish technology culture has had on the development and design of the Akka platform for building reactive systems.

Marietta Le imageMarietta Le is an investigative journalist on the Hungarian website Atlatszo.hu, and continues our theme of data journalism for the conference. She’ll be speaking to us on ‘Obtaining Trade Secrets with the Freedom of Information Law,’ a subject in which she is surely an expert. In fact, the first initiative to have access to information started in the Nordics! Mariette will talk about how businesses can obtain important market research data or take a peek inside competitor’s contracts (public tenders, EU funds, etc.) thanks to the transparency laws in Nordic countries.

Elina Lepomaki ImageElina Lepomäki brings a completely fresh take to Monki Gras. Not only is she a Member of The Finnish Parliament, representing the center-right National Coalition Party, but she is also a programmer and an entrepreneur with real-life experience, having spent 11 years in the financial sector in different the Nordics and in London. She has a Master of Science in technology and economics and is a doctoral student in applied mathematics. She also owns several technology start-ups and is a Member of the Board in the Finnish free-market think tank Libera.

Joonas Lehtinen imageJoonas Lehtinen is the founder and CEO of the Vaadin project, a Java-based framework for easily building great web UI in Java. In his role, he leads a team of 80+ European-based engineers, but it is the Finns who have the strongest can-do attitude. His presentation ‘It Cannot Be That Hard, Perkele’ will attempt to define the essence of the Finnish engineer: a person who does not understand that something cannot be done. It is a wonderful thing that we should all learn.

Neil MurrayNeil S W Murray is the Founder of The Nordic Web, an online publication providing an in-depth look at the one of the World’s most interesting and important startup ecosystems through data-driven insight and analyses. Neil will present ‘An Analysis of The Nordic Startup Ecosystem,’ giving us a data-driven look at the past, present and future of the Nordic Startup Ecosystem.

Andreas Olofsson imageAndreas Olofsson, CEO at Adapteva, will discuss ‘Designing Hardware the Nordic Way.’ How does the Nordic landscape and environment impact its peoples viewpoints on life, structure, design, and even hardware? We all know IKEA furniture – its simplistic, clean lines are instantly recognisable. Is Nordic hardware designed to a similar brief design, and if so, how does this impact its usability and effectivenesss? Andreas will give us an overview of designing the Nordic way.

Patrik Sallner imagePatrik Sallner, CEO of MariaDB (formerly SkySQL), will be presenting ‘Sibelius, Sauna and Sisu – Why The Nordics Trust the Community’. In response to the long dark winters of the northern region, famous Nordics such as Jean Sibelius and Linus Torvalds have spent their lives lighting up the world and some of it in a darkened, steamy room. From mobile communications standards to open source software like Linus and MySQL to gaming companies like Rovio and Supercell to Spotify and Skype, Nordic businesses have led the way in technology and service development. The concept of Community has recently found new meaning in the context of technology but has deep roots in the cold winter climate. Patrik will take you on a journey of how Nordic values have influenced the way they develop software and technology. (Slapping yourself with birch branches is optional for this session.)

Linda Sandvik ImageLinda Sandvik is a creative technologist and Knight-Mozilla Fellow at The Guardian. She describes herself as a wannabe MacGyver and rebel. In her talk, ‘The Norwegian Mountain Code’, Linda will examine Norwegian culture as it is exposed in the code. You can expect comments on everything from slow TV to the Norwegian Quota Law.

Ilja Summala ImageIlja Summala is the CTO at Nordcloud, where he helps customers leverage Amazon Web Services and DevOps. With a background spanning the breadth of infrastructure architecture, including designing private cloud infrastructure and automated systems management at HERE (Nokia’s mapping unit), Ilja is well-placed to discuss ‘Craftsmanship and Cloud’. He will present insights to some challenging questions, such as ‘How is the culture of craftsmanship driving Cloud adoption in the Nordics?,’ ‘Are Docker and Microservices anti-DevOps or craft movements?’ and the million dollar question, ‘How should you change your IT management practises in the Age of Cloud Craft?’.

We’ll experience a triple whammy on the subject of ‘Sweden Sans – An Important Part of Sweden’s Global Brand Identity’ when the creative team behind the new typeface explains their method and process, and how their careful planning and design tie in with the entire look and feel for the country.

Mattias Svensson imageFrom Söderhavet, one of Sweden’s most highly-respected design companies, Creative Director Mattias Svensson will give an introduction to the Swedish brand identity, including hierarchy structures and the project’s background.

Jesper Robinell imageJesper Robinell, Head of Design at Söderhavet, has a long experience of design, branding and typography. He doesn’t believe in a standard approach to design, but develops and uses the most appropriate visual language for the product or service. He produces simple, innovative and strongly typographic work that hopefully makes a difference for clients from fashion brands to airline companies… and of course, the country of Sweden.

Stefan Hattenbach imageStefan Hattenbach, Type Designer and founder of MAC Rhino Fonts, is a globally-recognised Swedish type designer with over 30 years’ experience in type design, graphic design and advertising. He will discuss ‘A Presentation of the Typeface Sweden Sans and How it Evolved’.

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