Strategy in the age of AI: What are the lessons for Swedish competitiveness

Strategy in the age of AI: What are the lessons for Swedish competitiveness

with INSEAD Deputy Dean Peter Zemsky, Mats Agervi, CEO Combient and Luka Crnovic-Friis, CEO Peltarion


On October 16, 2019 business leaders and policy makers joined INSEAD Alumni Association Sweden to listen to and interact on the topic of AI in business.

Listen to the interview done by Swedish Radio of Prof Zemsky from the event (in Swedish)

The event was introduced by Eskil Ullberg, Board Member at INSEAD Alumni Network Sweden. PWC Partner Katja Severin Danielsson welcomed the participants as PWC was hosting the popular event.

Professor of Strategy and Deputy Dean of Innovation at INSEAD, Peter Zemsky works on digital transformation and innovation and how Artificial Intelligence (AI) affects strategies on resource allocation by businesses. He co-directs the new INSEAD and Singularity University joint programme The Future of AI: Seizing the Opportunity and has developed a range of award winning online courses including the executive education course Strategy in the Age of Digital Disruption.

INSEAD Prof. Zemsky presented issues of Europe lagging behind US and China on Artificial Intelligence, competing in the global talent race, mastering AI at board levels and policy development.

Prof Zemsky talked about AI strategy, pointing out the early mover advantage, with an interesting reflection on how AlphaGo really tipped Asia towards investing in AI.

See a short video with Prof Zemsky.


Mats Agervi

CEO of Combient Group and Chairman Combient Mix. Combient Group is a unique frontrunner in the global AI race and works with 30 of the largest companies in the Nordics on a joint mission to speed up digital transformation across industries. Today, Combient count 30 companies representing as many industries, a total of €150 billion in revenue and 600 000 employees, including Atlas Copco, Electrolux, Epiroc, Ericsson, Husqvarna, Kone, Investor, Saab, Scania, SKF, Stora Enso, Wärtsilä and more. The network is collaborating under a joint non-disclosure agreement across boards, management and business units. Together with Combient’s team of specialists as well as an ecosystem of top universities and startups, they have created an out-of-the-ordinary space for shared assets and rapid growth. Combient Mix is their data science and analytics company, spun off to deliver best in class automation services to the network while ensuring a responsible approach to AI.

Mats Agervi shared his experience and perspective of AI in Business, he focussed on the importance of addressing AI collaboratively between different companies towards AI Ecosystems  and how Nordic could use its unique competence in collaboration to speed up and create competitiveness for Nordic companies.

See a short video with Mr Agervi.

Mr Agervi also shared insights in how they are working in an academic research project with their companies, exploring how their boards and companies could better take leadership in the AI era. Involved in that academic research project is also INSEAD Alumni Association Sweden Board Member, Liselotte Engstam.

Luka Crnovic-Friis,

Founder and CEO of Peltarion, a leading Swedish AI startup providing an operational AI platform producing real-world cross industry AI applications at scale and speed. Over 300 companies have used Peltarion AI technology including NASA, Tesla, iZettle, General Electric and Deutche Bank. Peltarion was recently listed as one of Europes 100 hottest startups. The Peltarion team is led by top engineers from Spotify, Skype, King, TrueCaller and Google.

See a short video with Mr Crnovic-Friis.

Luka shared his experience and perspective of AI in Business, he made the point of aiming for quickens  by “picking the low hanging fruit-that is real fruit”

In a dialogue with these CEOs of two of the leading Swedish AI actors, Mats Agervi, CEO Combient and Luka Crnovic-Friis, Peltarion, Prof. Zemsky discussed “What strategies for AI could Swedish companies pursue?” and “What are the impacts for Swedish competitiveness?”

The room was packed full with engaged INSEAD Alumnis and guests.

More from INSEAD on the topic of

“Business as a Force for Good”.

An INSEAD blog on Digital collects some of the insights shared on Digital 

The Boardroom Digital Transformation Survey shared in this Governance talk Series by Andrew Shipilov, INSEAD Professor of Strategy

Insead is collaborating with Singularity University.

Prof Zemsky interviewing SU Founder Peter Diamandis on Digital and AI

SU Founder Peter Diamandis SU Global Summit 2019 Key note

INSEAD is starting its fourth global hub and its first hub in US in San Fransisco during 2020.

Including a joint program between INSEAD with Singularity University on AI


INSEAD also held an AI Forum in France, summarized in these 15 videos.





Summerised by

Liselotte Engstam,

Board Member at INSEAD Alumni Association Sweden & INSEAD Directors Network,

NED, Advisor, Affiliated Researcher