TON at the Danish Foreign Ministry: Globalisation is a two-way street

November 14, 2017

Thanks again to a great network! Our program at the Danish Foreign Ministry on November 9, 2017 was a terrific success!


Our theme for the day was: Globalisation is a two-way street–Leveraging outsourcing and offshoring to enable growth and open up markets.


We kicked off the day’s program with Susanne Hyldelund, State Secretary for the Trade Council, who talked about the Danish Foreign Ministry’s work supporting the growth of Danish business. Susanne pointed out key initiatives and activities such as export promotion, advocacy on areas of regulation, foreign policy and security policy. Increasing Danish companies’ competitiveness means operating globally/internationally as well as directing relevant foreign investment in Denmark.


Bent Petersen, Professor International Business–Department of Strategic Management and Globalisation, CBS, posited the ways in which globalisation is a two-way street for Denmark. Bent identified three main categories: a) market seeking and sourcing; b) net job effects of both outward (offshoring and outsourcing) and inward (inshoring); and c) strategic alliances.


Lasse Grøn Christensen, Team Leader ICT-Invest in Denmark, lead a session on his agency’s work to bring valuable foreign investments to Denmark. Invest in Denmark has 60 employees, 50% of whom are working outside of Denmark’s borders and bring in 60-70 successful foreign investments in Denmark each year, resulting in roughly 1600 new jobs.


We then got a chance to look at value creation supporting Danish businesses expanding internationally, that is how companies can leverage the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to open up markets and enable growth. Nabil Ali Jaloud, Global Industry Team Leader-Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave us insight into specific services the Foreign Ministry is offering, for example market analysis, benchmarking, vendor vetting, location assessments, outsourced team audits and the like.


The Danish Foreign Ministry’s support of Danish corporate innovation is lead by Søren Juul Jørgensen, CEO Innovation Centre Denmark–Silicon Valley. Innovation Centre Denmark sponsors seven innovation centres across the globe, the purpose of which are to leverage insight and developments in academia, the start-up segment, and innovative clusters to enable more growth in Danish business.


In a short video, the world’s first tech ambassador, Casper Klynge, Tech Ambassador Denmark, had a chance to raise the flag for his work in which he has a global mandate for tech scouting and dialog.


Freya Katrine Petersen, Head of Key Accounts-Trade Council, offered insight to the Trade Council’s work enabling international growth through strategic alliances. The concept for this work is that there should be a single point of contact for key accounts to better leverage the Foreign Ministry’s products and services.


To that point, Jørgen Christian Iversen, Project Director, Kruger A/S (many of you know him from his time at FLSmidth) presented a short case of Kruger using the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for market exploration. Through Danida’s Business Explorer Program, Kruger was able to conduct a feasibility study and explore the market in Lebanon.


Jørgen’s experience provided our network with direct input for out challenge session: Developing relevant and accessible market entry and growth services for the Danish businesses engaged in outsourcing and offshoring. Nabil Ali Jaloud, Global Industry Team Leader-Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented the challenge.  Via small group discussions, we were able to come with input to the Foreign Ministry on which specific kinds of services would be most relevant for Danish businesses engaged in outsourcing and/or offshoring while also giving input as to how best to reach this segment of the Danish workplace.


Thomas Tøth, Ph.D., SourceWise & External Lecturer CBS, dove into the role of boundary spanners in a global organisation. Thomas was preaching to the choir when he noted that cooperating globally, e.g. outsourcing and offshoring, can be really challenging. It’s all too easy to fall into the trap of thinking in terms of us vs. them. Boundary spanners are change agents. They are flexible, mobile and multi-skilled. They can be transactive in that they act as intermediaries to get things done or they can be transformative in that they enable others to connect and collaborate, effectively moving out of the way.


It was a great day of sharing and learning. I’d like to take a moment to underscore a point that Søren Juul Jørgensen made about the concept of networking that he has found in Silicon Valley, that is “paying it forward.” By this, it is meant that one does a good deed or shows kindness (or in this case, shares insight and sparring) without expecting anything in return and that by acting this way, many people benefit. I am so glad that TON’s philosophy of sharing and sparring has echos in the cradle of modern innovation.


We would like to see you at our next TON program. It is being held at Novo Nordisk on January 25. The theme for the day is the rise of global service centres (GSC).  Contact Katie Gove at for more details.