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DIGITALIZE IN STHLM 2021 – record high participation!

650 participants from over 45 countries across all continents – from India, Brazil, Germany, Norway, Canada, Uganda, Norway just to mention a few – gathered for this year’s hybrid version of Digitalize in Stockholm. The outline was on painting the digital futures – a vision of 2040 – how we through digital transformation, have the opportunity to impact our future positively.

Recorded keynote talks, panels, and breakouts are available on Youtube – see PROGRAM for links to videos OR go directly to Digitalize in Stockholm on Youtube – Click here to view Day 1 and Day 2

Questions on how will we live, work and play in 2040 and what research, development, innovation, and collaboration will lead the way were discussed. The audience was brilliantly guided through the two days by the moderator Paulina Modlitba, Founder of We Should Be Friends, board member, speaker, and  Alum of the Year KTH 2018.

The two chairs of the event Karl H Johansson, Director Digital Futures, and Magnus Frodigh, VP, Head of Ericsson Research. Johansson welcomed participants:

– This is the third time we run Digitalize in Stockholm – in 2019 it was held in Stockholm as a physical event, in 2020 it became fully digital due to the pandemic and now in 2021, Digital Futures is proud and happy to host a hybrid event. Digital Futures is a cross-disciplinary research centre that explores and develops digital technologies of great societal importance, explained Karl H Johansson. It was jointly established in 2020 by KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, based on significant long-term support by the Swedish Government with the vision is to shape an economically, environmental and socially sustainable society through digital transformation. For this we need collaboration and interactions between academia, industry and society.

– Digitalization have accelerated during the pandemic and we have discovered the importance of digital infrastructure in our daily lifes, continued Magnus Frodigh. At the same time we are rolling out 5G networks across the globe offering a very capable ICT infrastructure and we can expect a lot of innovation across many sectors in industry and society. Still this is only the beginning of our journey and there are many challenges that needs to be addressed. Painting the long term future we see a full digital representation of the physical world, all objects represented by their digital twin, updated in real-time making it possible to make route cause analysis, predict future events and to control the physical world form the programmable digital world.

Irene Svenonius, County Mayor Region Stockholm, pointed out in her Introductory note:

– To have a long term vision and idea for the digital future of tomorrow is both important and a little thrilling. What can we accomplish together? Innovators, researchers, business sector and public sector. As the regional county mayor, I know the importance of using new technology to solve old problems and to make people’s lives better, and easier.

The two-day hybrid event provided a mix of international speakers from prominent institutes, universities, organizations, and companies from the public and private sectors.

DIGITALIZE IN STOCKHOLM Day 1 and Day 2 main stage recordings are available on Digital Futures Youtube channel


  • Moderator Paulina Modlitba, Founder of We Should Be Friends, board member, speaker, Alum of the Year KTH 2018 (00.00)
  • Welcome by chairs – Karl H Johansson, Director Digital Futures & Magnus Frodigh, VP, Head of Ericsson Research (03:15)
  • Introductory note – Irene Svenonius, County Mayor Region Stockholm (12:27)
  • Anthony Finkelstein, President of City, University of London talked – Digital Technology, National Security & Geopolitics (12:39)
  • John Quackenbush, Professor of Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Harvard TH Chan School – AI in Medicine and Biomedical Research (2:50:15)
  • Deborah Estrin, Professor of Computer Science and Associate Dean for Impact, Cornell Tech – Immersive care: technology for caregiving (4:00:30)
  • Jaron Lanier, Scientist, Musician, Visual Artist & Author of Who Owns the Future? – There Are Two Possible Human Futures And One of Them Is Better (recording is not available)


  • Urban Air Mobility – Autonomous airport infrastructure hosted by Saab (50:50)
  • Software and hardware cybersecurity in the future automotive ecosystem hosted by Scania (1:19:53)
  • Connect To Society: How technology can help transform public housing hosted by Telia (2:22:44)
  • Precision medicine – tomorrow’s healthcare today hosted by Karolinska Institutet (3:28:27)
  • Towards the future of Healthcare 2040 hosted by Region Stockholm (4:28:20)

Day 1 – BREAKOUT – main stage

  • Digital Futures for later lifehow can we better involve citizens in development? (1:51:45)



  • George Malliaras, Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge – Technology for Bioelectronic Medicine (19:15)
  • Nuria Oliver, Co-founder, and VP of ELLIS (The European Laboratory for Learning and Intelligent Systems) – Towards a Socially Sustainable Artificial Intelligence (1:23:19)
  • Mung Chiang, Executive Vice President, Purdue University – Roadmap to 6G (3:00:10)
  • Elizabeth Churchill, Director of User Experience, Google – Supporting designers and developers is the way to a better future: Some reflections and case studies (4:35:35)


  • Digitalization for Sustainability hosted by ABB (49:00)
  • Industry perspectives for the 2030 evolution, Industry 4.0 to 5.0 hosted by Ericsson (1:55:36)
  • Digital shift – Data-driven decision making hosted by Sandvik/Seco Tools (2:30:08)
  • Stockholm towards a Smart city hosted by City of Stockholm (3:36:48)
  • Learnings from Crossways Växjö hosted by Skanska (4:08:09)

RESEARCH BREAK-OUT SESSIONS – some of the recordings are available on Youtube.

Also check out the recommended podcast: Link to Wireless Future

Johanna Gavefalk, Chief Communication Officer of Digital Futures gives a special thanks to all involved in the event.

 It’s been both exciting and challenging putting together this hybrid event. The content became rich and diverse. Everyone involved deserves a big thank you – first of all our excellent keynote speakers, moderators, panelists in the industrial and societal panels, and the research breakout presenters. But also the people behind the scene – programme committee, steering committee, Digital Futures executive committee and operations team and our event agency. All dedicated to make this year’s event outstanding and relevant to the times we live in. Also big thanks to the participants for engaging in chats by asking questions,  says Johanna Gavefalk.

Digital Futures has more in the pipeline – seminars, distinguished lectures, workshops…

Sign up for Digital Futures Newsletter & Invitations on the website to stay updated!