Creating Synergy Between the Arts and Business


Video by this.


Photo courtesy: this.


This dates




this team

Foto: Gorm Branderup




this. poster

Poster by this.




CultureWorks, M2 Group, Filmby Aarhus and AARSON have established an ambitious cross-breed of corporate conferences and creative festivals. It’s a new Nordic platform, where artists and businesspeople can come to be inspired – They call it this.

this. has been under development for more than a year and very soon – the 13–14th of September to be specific – it will open its doors for the very first time as an innovative hybrid between an arts festival and a business conference.

The event is arranged by four of the most significant players on the creative and cultural scene in Aarhus: CultureWorks, M2 Group, Filmby Aarhus and Martin Thim with his company, AARSON.

Designing a Sustainable Future

The this. conference and festival are based upon three categories, namely Sustainability, Democracy and Diversity. These are the central headlines for every speech and performance the team has chosen to be exhibited. The Partnerships Responsible and one of the founders of this., Adrian Fey explains why they’ve decided on this course for the event:

“From the very beginning, we had a strong desire to intertwine the strengths from independent creatives and larger corporate organizations. Today, it is no longer sufficient for businesses to focus solely on economic numbers: you need to be conscious about exactly how and where you gain inspiration and new technologies from. Therefore, we believe that these three headlines are fundamental for building a viable and sustainable business future”, says Fey.

One of the many influential key note speakers during the two-day line-up is the director of Future Living Lab, SPACE10, Carla Cammilla Hjort. SPACE10 were invited to share their experiences for the audience at this. as they tap seamlessly into the categories above.

“What we do at SPACE10 is essentially to work with the IKEA vision of ‘Creating a better everyday life for the many people’; however, we explore this vision far beyond just furniture design. We ask ourselves what could and would IKEA potentially be doing 10 years from now if they were to rethink their business model, while living up to their aspirational vision. The SPACE10 model is based on a collaborative approach”, says Carla Camilla Hjort.


Carla Cammilla Hjort – Photo courtesy: this.

Hjort continues, “We work with a global network of talents: architects, scientists, designers, specialists and ‘troublemakers’ from all over the world who help us shape new concepts and visions for a more sustainable and meaningful future. At the moment, we work within the areas considering the future of food, communal living, digital fabrication, mobility and many other exciting paths”.

SPACE10 was set up as an external innovation lab for Inter-IKEA Systems – the Global Owner of the Concept, Brand and Franchise IKEA. Hjort, who is also the CEO and Founding Partner of the creative studio, ArtRebels, met Torbjörn Lööf, the current CEO of Inter-IKEA Systems back in 2014, when ArtRebels designed the limited collection BRÅKIG for IKEA.

Fast forward to 2015, Lööf called Hjort to discuss a vision he had: to secure and design a better IKEA for the future.

“I thought this was the ultimate exciting challenge to explore. So, we went on to think really long and hard for the perfect solution to support this ambitious mission and eventually we came up with the idea of setting up an external future living lab, based on a long-term commitment. SPACE10 was thus set up as a non-profit, but everything we do is supported and funded by IKEA and everything we do connects to IKEAs vision of ‘Creating a better everyday life for the many people’”, says Hjort.


This Steering Committee

this. Steering Committee – Photo courtesy: this.

Inspire, Interact and Harvest Creative Ideas

While this. is built upon the subjects of sustainability, democracy and diversity, the content of the conference aims to do three things: Inspire, Interact and Harvest. The inspiration comes through keynote talks and breakout sessions, which will offer interacting workshops oriented towards the most recent keynote subject, along with a summit platform that will set the scene for harvesting new business ideas.

“The summits are mainly created for the participants who want to mingle with potential new business partners. Here, we have no specific agenda for what people ought to talk about – it’s completely up to the individuals to inspire each other and to play with possible new business concepts”, says Adrian Fey.

Carla Cammilla Hjort tells about her expectations for this part of the debuting conference:

“My anticipation is, that this event will enable people to reflect on newfound insights and expand their own horizon by potentially starting a new collaboration with somebody they’ve met at the conference. I think it’s important for businesspeople to meet creative personalities with common interests. That way, everyone will get a unique opportunity to share perspectives with others and to learn from diverse working structures”, says Hjort.

– You can buy tickets and read more by clicking on this.

The goal of DANISH™ is to promote Danish architecture and design in a broad perspective, and demonstrate all the potentials in these fields.

Read our story