Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Námskeið: CRD 09

Kennari: Arnar Sigurðsson and Nils Widberg

Námskeiðslýsing í kennsluskrá

Um námskeiðið

As innovation and technology disrupt traditional ways of life and policy all over the world, they pose both a threat and an opportunity for remote and rural communities. Concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship will be explored and applied in a hands-on way to the challenges confronting coastal communities. Students gain insights into the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship for regional planning.

  • Should innovation be confined to urban areas, or can coastal communities participate in the knowledge economy?
  • What are innovative communities and how can communities be innovated?
  • Can policy be modeled to create circumstances for innovation? 
  • Can a region’s path dependence be disrupted with storytelling?

For a part of the course, the class will be joined by design students from the Icelandic University of Arts. Forming cross disciplinary teams, the class will develop innovative solutions to regional development issues that the students have identified. In the process the students will acquire tools for ideation and creative thinking.

The course proposes ways to practice innovation centered regional development by exploring emerging fields such as narrative territorialisation and RegionTech.


Arnar Sigurdsson is an entrepreneur and social innovator. He holds a BA degree in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing, from the University of Iceland and a MA degree in Film Production from Goldsmith, University of London. Recently Arnar headed the Blue Bank, an innovation incubator and social development hub in Þingeyri, a coastal community in the Westfjords. Arnar's background is in startups, technology and other creative fields. He co-founded Karolina Fund, a crowdfunding and sourcing technology provider. Arnar has worked on introducing experimental culture within public administration, grass roots creative movements and is a public speaker on the relationship between community and innovation. His current experiments and ventures are channeled through his company East of Moon.

Nils Wiberg is an interactive artist and interaction designer from Sweden based in Iceland. Master of human computer interaction and Cognitive Sciences inclined towards the hard problems of consciousness as well as softer problems of an extro-science fiction nature. His design work focuses on bringing Tangible Computing to the realm of exhibition design at Gagarin in Iceland in the last decade via creating new technologies further adapted to the nature of man. As an interaction designer, he specializes in the creation of immersive experiences where he strives to poeticize the distance between man and technology. His art is likewise focused on generating insights and questions on complex matters, ideas, theories or prospects. In tangible design fictions through a range of media; be it a dress that adapts to the Dow Jones index, a government institute that collects the echoes of abandoned buildings or letting dancers explore the fidelity of interactive space. His work has recently been focused on the generation of empathy between agents be they human or indeed non-human. Infrastructure fiction and localism as conduits of design informing urban as well as non urban space has been recent topics of speculative design exploration in these fields.