Who are you, and how did you become interested in innovation and technology?
I am originally from New Zealand. I took a tennis scholarship to the US to study Communications and Marketing at American University in Washington, DC. After graduating. Then I started working at big international advertising agencies, Grey Worldwide and McCann Erickson, in New York and then London. In 2007, my Norwegian husband and I moved to Oslo, where I started working with Norwegian start-up/scale-up tech companies with global ambitions.
What is the most important thing you do at work?
It is motivating and orchestrating Norway's best international marketing team!
What do you focus on in technology/ innovation?
These days I am spending much time learning about how tech and innovation can play a role in transitioning to a more sustainable world. Airthings is all about air quality. We spend a lot of time educating people on how the air impacts us (our health and well-being) as well as how we impact the air when it comes to carbon emissions. Using tech like Airthings sensors, you can not only ensure that you are breathing healthy air at home, school or work, but you can also automate smart-building solutions to ensure that systems like ventilation and heating don't waste energy.
Why is this important?
Because we only have one Earth and we know we have to make some changes to ensure that our kids and grandkids will still be able to breathe fresh and fabulous Norwegian mountain air in the decades to come! I believe that Norwegian tech should be part of the solution.
Why is it exciting?
It's exciting because Norway has every opportunity to be at the forefront of technology helping to solve sustainability issues. We at Airthings have really lofty ambitions - we want to make air quality monitors as common as smoke detectors worldwide. We want people in every home, school, commercial or public building to know they are breathing safe and healthy air and to know that their building is energy efficient. It's a massive global opportunity and I think Airthings is really well positioned to be the industry leader.
Your relevant projects in the last year?
One interesting project relating to the last year: We are rolling out Airthings air quality sensors in schools around the world these days. When monitoring CO2 levels inside, you basically see how much air you are breathing in that someone else has just breathed out.
What do you think is relevant knowledge for the future?
The link between smart, healthy and sustainable buildings. These things all hang together. We spend 90% of our time indoors, where air quality is typically 2-5 times worse than outside....and we are in buildings that use around 40% of the world's energy....so understanding how it all works together is relevant knowledge for the future.
What do we do uniquely well in Norway from this?
Digitization, particularly of the public sector, is very strong in Norway. It is an advantage in many areas - banking, healthcare etc. At Airthings, we work with many municipalities looking for healthy and sustainable solutions.
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How can Airthings and their contribution to air quality, further push the development of a more sustainable society?