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    interview with sissel hansen

    photos: Peter Bjerke / Daimler

change yourself to change the world – the inspiring founder of startup guide shares her insight on the era of the entrepreneur

Sissel Hansen is the Danish founder of Startup Guide, a publishing company releasing city guides with insider knowledge on entire entrepreneurial ecosystems, for people wanting to break into their local startup scene. Dividing her time between the innovation hubs of Berlin and Lisbon, she has already covered over 20 cities, and is an expert on the entrepreneurial era. Sissel will launch her Stockholm Startup Guide during me Convention 2018!

think like an entrepreneur

Why are entrepreneurs a major part of the new workforce? What does that mean for individuals and companies?


I think to succeed at work today, thinking like an entrepreneur – critical thinking and being way more socially intelligent within your role and job – is very important. Why is entrepreneurship so popular and why does everyone want to work for a startup today? It’s because startups have a tendency to work on things that are more meaningful than when it’s a corporation that has been around the block for centuries. In the sense of being an entrepreneur within a company, you can be very successful and it’s very important that you try to think as an entrepreneur. How can I be a great team player? How can I really use my skills? How can I work with something that I find valuable?

why stockholm is a great place for startups

Stockholm is an up-and-coming startup hub. What makes it a special place?


Sweden is a very livable country and one of the things that it’s known for is gender equality. A lot of the leadership roles are actually held by women, which I think is amazing. You combine that with a place that’s easily adaptable to new technologies and a high quality of living – this includes whole Nordic region – it becomes a place where you, as an entrepreneur, can have work-life balance.

And at the same time, there is an opportunity to create a strong company culture that can attract future talent. Sweden is the spot in the Nordic region where there have been the most unicorns like Spotify, and Klarna. Placing me Convention there is a great way to showcase a unique part of the world where you can have a very successful private and professional life.

a conference linking local and global together

What makes me Convention stand out from other conferences and why did you decide to launch your guide with us?


me Convention is a very new and interesting concept that has a highly curated lineup in the sense of looking at the future in specific areas. I was part of the me Convention in Frankfurt where everything from urbanism to leadership and creativity was discussed, but in a sense of, “How can we as human beings interact with all these things at the same time?” When we decided to launch the Stockholm book at me Convention it was also to see how we could integrate the city itself, Stockholm, to a traveling concept conference such as me Convention that really encourages linking local and global together. I’m very excited to see how that’s going to play out.

learn by asking questions

What do you do for a top-up dose of inspiration?


I’d like to look as far as what humankind has already achieved and keep in mind the challenges of tomorrow and then examine what the challenges are of tomorrow. Personally, I want to inspire the next generation of leaders because I think that if you want to change something in the world, you really have to change the individuals – how they lead, how they act, and how they are as human beings.

I stay inspired by travelling as much as I can – and have as many weird conversations as possible in random bars, on buses, and so on. Ubers are great for that as well! You know, you learn something every time you ask a question. You can ask a question traveling but you can also ask a question in your hometown. Be very curious is my kind of go-to when I want to find the next big thing.

Stay tuned for me Convention and sign up to the newsletter. The lineup is growing every week with industry defining speakers that are going to explore all the latest developments in urbanism and AI, leadership, biotechnology, and more. Take part in this inspirational look into the future.

Disclaimer: The views of me Convention speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW and Mercedes-Benz.