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Denmark: A Creative Toolbox

A safe society built on trust and a long tradition of enlightenment for all, is the backbone of the blooming creativity in Denmark.
Creative solutions Denmark

On all the lists and global rankings of all the most creative and innovative countries in the world, little Denmark always finds a way to be amongst most creative.

On the latest list, the ‘Global Innovation Index 2019’ authored by the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) Denmark takes its place in the top 10 on the list of the most innovative countries in the world. But why all this creativity in tiny Denmark?

"The size of the country plays an important role in Denmark being this creative toolbox, where ideas can thrive and come to life. The limited internal market makes the Danish entrepreneurs think global," David Helgason believes. He is the founder of the company ‘Unity Technologies’ that went from being a start-up in a basement in Denmark to being a market-leading global giant.

Technology is bringing Danish storytelling to the world 

The tradition of storytelling in Denmark is grounded in the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Now, new entrepreneurs are bringing this Danish legacy to a new generation. Digital development is fading out the boundaries of storytelling and making it possible not only to experience, but also be part of, the stories.

In the beginning there were folk tales passed on from mouth to mouth. Then came the written word and, in the 19th century, Hans Christian Andersen began telling his fabulous fairy tales. Then came radio dramas, films and successful Danish TV shows like ‘Borgen’ and ‘The Killing’.

On top of that Danish entrepreneurs are now using technology and digital solutions to once again bring innovative Danish storytelling to the rest of the world.
“From Hans Christian Andersen and all the way to modern storytelling is quite a leap. But I think maybe it's a smaller leap than we think,” Aksel Køie says.

He is the CEO and founder of ‘Piboco’, a company that works on changing traditional storytelling by bringing children’s picture books to life through animating the illustrations and making it possible for the child to interact with the story in an application – it’s all about bringing the tradition to the young, all-digital generation.

“I think we're becoming better and better at storytelling, doing narratives and sharing narratives and experiences with each other. I think it's a mixture of understanding the world, of teaching kids and I think that storytelling is our way of being together in many ways,” he believes.

quote ikon
For us new, modern storytellers it's our obligation and responsibility to see, if we can take this huge tradition from even before Hans Christian Andersen and bring it to a new generation
Aksel Køie CEO and founder, Piboco
Chrildrens-book Denmark
Photo: Piboco

Trust is important

According to David Helgason, creativity and innovation thrive in Denmark because it’s a safe and trustworthy country.

”I've often suspected that creativity comes out best when people are not under a lot of pressure, but actually have some sort of free space and a feeling of solid ground to stand on,” he notes. 

His thoughts are that if you live in a country with a developed welfare system you have a fundamental feeling of security and this frees up space for being creative and calm at the same time. 

”I see it in my own company where some of the best creative work has come out when we haven't had lot of time pressure, but can think openly and have long debates,” he states. 

”This calm space and trust in each other and a feeling that your opinion will be heard and people will actually listen to whatever idea you have whoever you are – I imagine that's the best space to be creative.”

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