‘If we know anything from history about cities, it’s that they are resilient’ – Q&A with Mille Munksgaard

A quick Q&A with Mille Munksgaard, a sustainability professional with experience in international business development and strategic partnerships within the cleantech sector. Mille joined Dansk Industri‘s office in New York City in August 2019 where she serves as Senior Advisor. She advises Danish companies on strategy and business development on the North American market and oversees large international projects, which aim to strengthen the sustainable urban development in the pursuit of game-changing solutions. She specializes in public-private partnership models related to cleantech collaboration between Denmark and New York and provide expert assistance on Danish experiences, solutions and know-how to American partners. 

What is your most surprising prediction about cities?

Mille Munksgaard

I am not sure I have a surprising prediction, but the pandemic has certainly changed and transformed urban life. If we know anything from history about cities, it’s that they are resilient – they often bounce back quickly from devastating blows, ranging from pandemics to recessions. Cities are innovative and cities worldwide have been using the pandemic to recover in more inclusive ways, with public benefit at the forefront. The pandemic is exposing the quality of governance and scale of inequalities in our global cities but most importantly it is also providing an opportunity for all to build back better.

In that way the pandemic has been the stepping stone for many to start exploring ways to upgrade cities and citizen’s well-being, to promote smart density, and greener investments. Multiple city mayors are already revisiting urban plans to prevent the next pandemic while developing plans that prioritize circular economics, climate resilience, and a radical intolerance of inequality. Consequently, my prediction for the future is that more cities will follow and use this opportunity to reset and reenergize their green transition.

What 2-3 books/podcasts would you recommend?

Where’s the best place for new ideas?

You do not have to be a deep thinker to come up with new ideas, and quite often new ideas come to me while visiting new places, meeting new people and engaging in new partnerships. I always look for ways to keep myself and my colleagues moving forward and seeking inspiration from other people and organizations is a huge motivation.

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

Creativity, flexibility and complex problem-solving.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust yourself and do important work with people who inspire you.

What is your call to action?

Connecting New York with Danish cleantech solutions.

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