Darja Isaksson

Darja Isaksson grew up in a lab. Soldering electronics and programming was how she spent time with her father, and in 1993-1995 they had many long discussions on how the internet would change society. Darja would grow up to become a trained engineer, working primarily at the intersection of user experience and business, a field in which she went on to found two of Sweden’s leading digital innovation agencies: inUse and Ziggy Creative Colony.

Since stepping down as CEO of inUse in 2012, Darja has worked exclusively as a strategist, managing innovation processes to help companies and organizations identify and validate what their new value proposition could be if they make use of new technologies such as IoT, data analytics and crypto currencies.

Darja is currently employed as an executive advisor for a sustainable digitalized future. Leading Swedish business magazine Veckans Affärer ranked her as one of 2018’s most powerful women in tech, as she is currently holding the following positions of trust:

  • Member of The Swedish Prime Minister’s National Innovation Council
  • Member of the Swedish Governments’ Digital Advisory Board
  • Member of the Swedish Innovation Partnership Program for Life Science
  • Chairman of the board, Mistra SAMS, a transdisciplinary research program hosted and managed by KTH Royal Institute of Technology
  • Member of the board, SICS Swedish ICT at RISE
  • Member of the board, Interactive Institute, RISE
  • Member of the board, Spendrups AB

In 2009, based on experiences in working with energy, finance and consumer electronics, Darja gave a public speech titled “Internet of things is needed to save the world”. Since then she has been an avid advocate of the governance processes needed to ensure that government helps shape and create the circumstances needed to make digitalization a transformation for good. This requires an understanding of how to build soft infrastructure that enables wide use of data and creates new markets, but also of how to design policy and governance processes that are more inclusive, transparent and agile than ever before.

Darja is convinced digitalization should be used to create sustainable societies, cities and value chains. However, she is equally convinced that the pace of this change puts a strain on all existing actors and institutions, from higher education and the parties on the work market to government, and that this is a real threat to social sustainability. In her own words:

»This fact brings us to the most important challenge to address here: differences are now growing, between the individuals, organizations and nations that are capable of harnessing these opportunities into skills, productivity and increased quality, and those who are not. Bridging that gap is our most important task in the years ahead.«

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Photography by: Theresia Jatta-Kölin
Photography by: Theresia Jatta-Kölin
Photography by: Theresia Jatta-Kölin
Photography by: Carlos Zaya
Photography by: Joel Nilsson