Bergen Design Festival 2017: Dare to experiment

Friday 22 September

8:30–10: Bergen Design Mornings: Staying Ahead of the Race
Presented in collaboration with Statsraad Lehmkuhl, Sykkel-VM and Visindi.
Where: Statsraad Lehmkuhl
In English

Monica Santini (IT), CEO, Santini SMS
For close to 30 years, the acclaimed Italian cycling wear brand, Santini SMS, has produced iconic shirts for some of the world’s largest cycling events. Santini will be talking about how, through rapid technological advancement, the family business has remained its position in the top of the market, about cutting-edge materials, production in Italy, and strategic choices made along the way.

Olav Kjellevold Olsen (NO), professor from the Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen
«Are good leaders moral leaders?» asks Olav Kjellevold Olsen in his research on the relationship between leadership and moral in the military. This morning, Olsen shares some of the findings from his research: what qualities characterise good leaders, and what is the impact of sleep deprivation when it comes to making the right choices?

Øystein Hagen (NO), managing director of Æra
Æra is a strategic innovation studio that combines business with design thinking to build user-driven concepts and initiatives. The challenges we face as a society are too complex to be handled by one agent alone – so how can businesses, governments and NGOs work together to tackle them? This morning, managing director Øystein Hagen talks about Æra’s initiative Floke which gathers bright minds across industries to untangle one challenge at a time, from ideation to experimentation. 

Sign up (free entry) →

15 – 17: Grand Opening
In collaboration with Ole Bull Scene and Storm Kjøkken og Bar.
Where: Lille Ole Bull Scene/Storm Bar
In English

Deputy chair Dag-Inge Ulstein of Bergen kommune and director Trude G. Ugelstad of DOGA (Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture) will open the festival, followed by a surprise act of entertainment on-stage before we are headed up to Storm Bar’s heated terrace for refreshments and good conversations.

This evening also presents the nominees and winner of the Design Graduate Award from SpareBank 1 SR-Bank. 

Monday 25 September


8:30–10: Bergen Design Mornings: Brilliant Failures
In collaboration with Etablerersenteret, SANDS and Ole Bull Scene
Where: Lille Ole Bull
In English

Paul Iske, founder of Institute of Brilliant Failures, International Institute of Serious Optimism; professor from the School of Business and Economics, University Maastricht
«No progress without failures», is the mantra of Dutch professor Paul Iske. We all know that we learn from our mistakes, so why are we still encouraged to swoop them under the carpet and pretend they never happened, or even better – avoid making them in the first place. Iske challanges our urge to reduce risk to a minimum and only show off our stories of success by promoting transparency and invaluable lessons learnt from mistakes. If we can manage to embrace failure, Iske believes, innovation will reach new levels.

Silje Vallestad (NO), serial-entrepreneur and innovator, founder of Bipper and bSafe
Quoting Reid Hoffman, award winning serial entrepreneur Silje Vallestad says that «entrepreneurship is throwing yourself off a cliff and building a plane on the way down». Having founded Bipper in 2006 and bSafe in 2011 and awarded Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum, Vallestad knows what is means to give it your all. On stage, she shares the ups and downs of her career so far, and the valuable lessons they have taught her.

Ketil Sellæg Ramberg (Lawyer, SANDS)
What legal precautions should you make to allow room for creative experimentation? Lawyer Ketil Sellæg Ramberg gives an introduction to the juridical system so that you can experiment as much as you need with minimal risk of ending up in the court room.

Sign up (free entry) →

Tuesday 26 September

14–19: Bergen Design Conference: Dare to Experiment
Universitetsaulaen in Bergen
In English

It is a well-known fact that experimentation and involving users as early as possible is vital for success – so why are so many companies afraid of doing it? Join us for this year's conference as we explore the theme Dare to experiment.

You will meet:

Read more here  →
Get tickets  →

Wednesday 27 September

8:30–10: Bergen Design Mornings: Når staten eksperimenterer 
I samarbeid med DOGA, Colonialen og Litteraturhuset i Bergen
Hvor: Litteraturhuset
In Norwegian

Denne morgenen lærer vi mer om Stimuleringsordningen for innovasjon og tjenestedesign, og hvordan DOGA og Difi arbeider sammen for å øke bruken av innovative metoder og tjenestedesign i norsk statlig sektor. 

Vi må jobbe på nye måter. Erfaring fra samarbeidet om Stimuleringsordningen
- Sissel Kristin Hoel, senior rådgiver og ansvarlig for innovasjon og tjenestedesign samt Stimuleringsordningen i Difi
- Benedicte Wildhagen, seniorrådgiver design og ansvarlig for Stimuleringsordningen i DOGA

Hvem har rett til førerkort?
- Synnøve Vebostad, Seksjonsleder for førerkortkontoret i Vegdirektoratet og ansvarlig for direktoratssamarbeidet i prosjektet Førerett
- Heidi Dolven, designer i Halogen.

Åtte prosjekter som tar tak i ulike problemstillinger er igangsatt så langt i Stimuleringsordningen. Vilkår for førerett er et av disse og er et samarbeidsprosjekt mellom Vegdirektoratet, Helsedirektoratet, Direktoratet for e-helse og Politiet.

Flokete utfordringer satt i system
Adrian Paulsen, systemdesigner i Halogen

Design i skjæringspunktet privat / offentlig sektor. Erfaringer fra prøving og eksperimentering.
Paneldeltakere er Synnøve Vebostad (Vegdirektoratet), Benedicte Wildhagen (DOGA), Heidi Dolven (Halogen), Monica Hannestad (Design Region Bergen) mfl. Fasilitator er Sissel Kristin Hoel (Difi).

Gratis påmelding →

Thursday 28 September

7–8:30: Netwalking
In collaboration with FløibanenNetlife Research and Innovasjonsuken OPP
Where: Fløyen (Starting from Nedre Fløybanestasjon)

A walk-and-talk for the early birds! From Fløibanen’s first stop at Vetrlidsallmenningen to sun rise, coffee and hot buns at the top of Fløyen, led by Hanne Wetland (Netlife Research).

Sign up (free) →

17–19 (21): Bergen Design Evenings: Serious Play
In collaboration with BTO/Nyskapingsparken, Bergen Makers and Innovasjonsuken OPP 
Where: Marineholmen Makerspace

«Be playful with what you are making, and you will be surprised, excited, and proud of what you discover», Mark Hatch, The Maker Movement Manifesto. Join us this evening for the pre-opening of Bergen’s newest makerspace at Marineholmen.


  • Space manager Trygve Trohaug shares his ambitions for the space and gives a tour of the facilities,
  • Protomore InnovationLab opened in Molde eighteen months ago – this evening they share their experiences so far and the magic that happens when people come together across industries,
  • Design director Jérôme Emmanuel Picard from 3RW talks about the role of experimentation, prototyping and play in his work,
  • Get your hands dirty and build something!
  • 19:15 Film screening by BIFF: Free Lunch Society (Christian Tod, 2017) – What would you do if your income was taken care of? (1h 32 min)

Sign up (free) →

Friday 29 September

11–17:30: Bergen Design Festival x OPPlev Marineholmen
In collaboration with Innovasjonsuken OPP, BTO/Nyskapingsparken, Marineholmen and Vill Vill Vest
Where: Marineholmen

Start-ups, makerspace, coffee brewery, theatre, ocean industries, business school, attractions – Marineholmen is a diverse area of the city where traditional industries meet the new creatives. Join the innovation tour to explore the buzzing start-up scene, get creative in the just launched Marineholmen makerspace, and attend inspiring workshops and talks on urban development and ocean industries.


  • Mini-conference: Service innovation in the ocean industries
  • Innovation tour
  • Reprogramming the city with DOGA and KMD Bergen. With urban strategist Scott Burnham – «Unlocking the full potential of our cities» – and students from KMD Bergen – «Reprogramming Laksevåg: co-creating a better neighbourhood»
  • Concerts by Vill Vill Vest

All day: Food trucks, demonstrations, open studios and makerspace.

Saturday 30 September

18–21(03): Den Hemmelige Festen
In collaboration with Made Management, EDDA Music, Standing Ovation and Innovasjonsuken Opp
Where: USF Verftet

Join us for pre-drinks and tapas in Sjøsiden bar ahead of Den hemmelige festen – a unique concept: You don’t know who will be playing, but you do know it will be an unforgettable night

Get tickets  →

A big thank you to our great partners and collaborators