IMD just ran its TransformTECH program for the first time. In the program participants learn to harness new technology to transform their business. IMD had the pleasure of welcoming Niels Lunde, Editor in Chief at Dagbladet Børsen, the leading Danish business media group, as a participant during the program. After an intense week of TransformTECH IMD caught up with Mr Lunde to discuss his experience. Here are extracts from the conversation below:

IMD: What sparked your interest to come to IMD?

Niels Lunde: I have been working on business issues as a journalist for many years and I have always had an interest in IMD. I have written books on business and when I do that I often use IMD professors as sources. I have a great amount of respect for the school and I have always wanted to come to its campus. It has been a great experience! Not only because of the program but also to meet IMD faculty members in person. I am very happy to be here and the program TransformTECH was very good.

IMD: What was your general impression of TransformTECH?

Niels Lunde: I’m leaving with a lot of ideas and inspiration that will take me some time to digest! It is an excellent idea to meld business and technology in the way this program does. IMD is really trying to break new ground. I was exposed to new insights on new technology, which I didn’t know much about before. Technology and human beings are coming ever closer together and that is opening new possibilities for business. My experience confirmed my opinion that IMD is a school with a practical approach. IMD doesn’t just impart participants with knowledge but it makes sure that they leave knowing they can implement what they learned in their company when they go back. IMD has a competitive advantage in this area. I was inspired and I will be able to use what I learned.

IMD: There were three major technologies the program focused on: robotics, artificial intelligence and internet of things? Which one was the most relevant for you and the media industry?

Niels Lunde:
To me all three were interesting but I think artificial intelligence, and to some extent internet of things, are the most relevant for my sector. For example at my newspaper we are partnering with Google to develop a robot which can prepare some basic stories by itself and after journalists have several stories to get inspired from and to work on further.

IMD: So the program was very relevant to your sector?

Niels Lunde: Very much so. The media industry has been challenged for the last 15 years. But we still have readers. There is still a demand for news. We still have customers and a market. The problem is people do not want to pay for news anymore. We have to invent a new business model. In the media industry in Scandinavia for many many years things were very easy. The media industry still struggles to think like a business that needs to serve customers. We have to be interested in our readers, what they really want and what we can provide them that they will actually pay for. That is still a new and different way of thinking for the media industry. Therefore, the TransformTECH program was interesting from a business and technical point of view.

IMD: How did the partnership with EPFL contribute to the program?

Niels Lunde:
The EPFL Professors helped us learn to be more experimental and creative in our day-to-day lives. We spent a lot of time pretotyping. It involves coming up with ideas and testing them at a very fast pace. Today there are a lot of ways to test ideas early and fail fast in order to get on the right track sooner. So this creative and experimental way of looking at things, shows that the business world definitely can learn from the ways in which scientists and tech experts work. There was a great chemistry between the experts from IMD and EPFL. It was the first edition of the program so there was an experimental nature about it. But it was a successful experiment. I was impressed.

Find out more about TransformTECH.