‘…action rather than words’- Q&A with Lars Sønderskov

A quick Q&A with Lars Sønderskov, Head of Secretariat at Byggesocietetet.

What is your most surprising prediction about cities and sustainability?

Lars Sønderskov

It’s not really surprising but I feel certain that technology will play a huge part in our efforts to reach a sustainable world and sustainable communities. Bigger than we expect. Solutions will be found in the crosshairs between traditional sustainable solutions and innovative solutions. Our ability to connect these dots will determine our success.

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think about cities and technology?

It’s probably an easy answer but Jan Gehl. See below.

What 2-3 books / podcasts would you recommend?

I read “Cities for People” by Jan Gehl and it made a huge impact on me.

I will also mention “Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. It has absolutely nothing to do with cities or technology but it gives you a sense of perspective. An important perspective when working with cities, sustainability, technology and so on.

Where’s the best place for new ideas?

I am not sure actually. But I think we need to focus on involving all elements of the value chain. We need to put the “traditional” businesses in a room with startups working with innovative solutions. Furthermore we need to focus on diversity. We try all of this in Byggesocietetet but we are not there yet. Bloxhub is also trying and doing a very good job of it.

Who inspires you?

Everyone who draws outside the lines. I am very inspired by people who take a different direction than most of us. I am also inspired by good, old fashioned craftsmen who work with good materials to create products to last generations. Professionals!

What is your call to action?

Just do it. Sometimes we have a tendency to think too much and process too much. Project planning etc. The global challenges we face at the moment need action rather than words. Look out the window every morning and ask yourself, what you push today.

What [career] advice would you give to your younger self?

Hmmm… follow your instincts and make sure you smile every morning you go to work. Accept that there are times where the smile is less broad. But keep those times short.

What are the skills we’ll need in 10 years?

I genuinely have no idea. Everything is developing at a very fast pace, so nobody can foresee where we are in 10 years. So – taking that into consideration – we humans need to be able to absorb information quickly, analyse and adapt to an ever changing world. We need to be able to understand the changes and possibilities new technologies provides for our personal and professional lives.


Connect with Lars on LinkedIn