Mayor lectured at Aarhus University

Thursday, 22 November was a special day for a number of students at Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences as the Mayor of Aarhus, Jacob Bundsgaard, dropped by give a lecture on innovation and entrepreneurship in the city.

2012.11.29 | Mia Balle Laursen

How does Aarhus work with innovation and entrepreneurship? That was the main topic of the one hour-long lecture that Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard gave to the Business Administration students as a part of their course in “Innovation and Entrepreneurship”. It was Associate Professor Peter Kesting who had made an agreement with the mayor to visit the School of Business and Social Sciences.

- The mayor’s lecture focused on how relevant innovation and entrepreneurship are to society and to a city such as Aarhus. He made it clear that both entrepreneur and city stand to benefit from working together, says Peter Kesting. 

Aarhus needs entrepreneurs
The mayor opened his lecture by explaining to the students why innovation is so important to a city such as Aarhus. 

- Aarhus is growing because companies, students and other citizens are moving here. So we need to create jobs – and many of these jobs can be generated through innovation and entrepreneurship, said Jacob Bundsgaard.

The mayor went on to explain that precisely because Aarhus needs entrepreneurship and innovation, the city is working hard and tirelessly to provide the best possible conditions to support these two driving forces. That is why, for example, Aarhus has become involved as a partner in a variety of innovation processes and is actively backing projects such as student hothouses, which work to provide support for young entrepreneurs. 

Input from the students
However, the mayor was not only interested in talking about what Aarhus has done for entrepreneurs and to establish frameworks for innovation. He was also keen to hear the students’ own ideas about what Aarhus can do to improve conditions for innovation and entrepreneurship in the future.

Among the ideas from the students was the suggestion that Aarhus should become even more international so as to attract more international talents, and that the city should become better at communicating the wide range of offers it has for entrepreneurs. The mayor listened attentively to these ideas.

- Internationalisation is high on our agenda. One of our stated aims is actually to have 10,000 international students in Aarhus by 2020. Moreover, Aarhus has been named European Capital of Culture in 2017, and this is sure to help transform Aarhus from a city in Europe into a European City,” says Jacob Bundsgaard and continues:

- One of the students thought that it should be easier for entrepreneurs to find out about all the offers the city has for them. This is a suggestion we will take into consideration when prioritising initiatives for making Aarhus an even more attractive city for entrepreneurs. 

FACTS
One of Aarhus’ ambitions is to become a modern European knowledge hub, and the city is therefore constantly working with projects intended to help Aarhus continue its positive growth. Among these projects are initiatives centred on the new University Hospital and Navitas – the coming education and innovation environment in the Aarhus Docklands – which is focusing on energy, cleantech and construction. In addition, Aarhus is working hard on the ICT city Katrinebjerg innovation environment, which features an entire section of the city devoted to innovation and information technology.  

For additional information, please contact:

Associate Professor Peter Kesting
Department of Business Administration
Aarhus University, School of Business and Social Sciences
Tel. +45 8716 4965
Email: petk@asb.dk

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