Category Archives: News from ADBC

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ADBC Annual Meeting

Ambassador Lars Gert Lose welcomed the members to the annual meeting at the Residence on December 14th. The Ambassador also welcomed the guest speaker, Stephen Brugger of AmCham. As already outlined in his greeting, he then turned to his priorities and how ADBC fits within those priorities. It is important to grow the organization and bring more value in terms of networking opportunities and engagement with US stakeholders and decision makers as well as visiting Danish VIPs.

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With the transition to the new Secretariat headed by the Head of Trade and the sector experts within her team, ADBC will be more integrated into the work of the Embassy and the Trade Council. Also, the Deputy Chief of Mission, Lars Bo Møller, and the head of Economic Diplomacy, Niels Heltberg, will be more involved and integrated into the work of ADBC. Morten Cass Skrøjer will remain responsible for outreach to Congress/Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus and members of the Administration.

 

Niels Heltberg briefed the members on the organization around the Economic Growth Council. The graph below gives a simple explanation of the structure.

Lina Gandløse Hansen then explained how the Secretariat would operate as of January 1st. She presented an event calendar for 2016 and introduced her team members.

She also presented a three tiered event sponsorship package.

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Stephen Brugger then took the podium to present AmCham and the Transatlantic Company of the Year award. AmCham was founded in 1999 and has grown from 50 members in the early years to 250 members today. He described the different phases of growth from the initial phase centered on more social events, like Thanksgiving, to now a more ambitious focus – that is, the thought leader of choice and the voice of international business in Denmark.

One major effort, the White Paper on multinational investments in Denmark, demonstrated that while investment is stagnant, foreign owned companies are responsible for some 20 percent of jobs. This was a major wake-up call to the Danish government in terms of realizing the importance and the impact of foreign investment.

More information is available in this newsletter on the Transatlantic Company of the Year award. Furthermore the presentation for this years Annual meeting can be viewed at the end of the article.

The meeting concluded with all being invited to stay for the DC Sustainability reception and the concert by SMUK.

ADBC presentation Annual Meeting

annual meeting

Deputy Chief of Mission, Lars Bo Møller, Steve Williams of Lockhead Martin, Ambassador Lars Lose and Steve Williams of AmCham

CREATIVE CHRISTMAS 2015

Another fun and successful annual Christmas event was enjoyed by some 600 guests on December 9th and 10th. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Creative Christmas at the Danish Embassy in the US. The atmosphere was festive and displayed Danish culture at its best.

This year the theme was Healthy Living: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

The Danish lifestyle is famous for being healthy and balanced. The famous biking culture gives exercise while reducing carbon emissions. Biking combined with the Danish model of increasing use of renewable energy ensures clean air – important in reducing and lessening the impact of certain illnesses: like asthma, other respiratory illnesses and cancer. In terms of food, Danes are highly focused on organic farming and a farm-to-table culture. Denmark’s largest food and agricultural companies are owned by farmers and based on the cooperative movement that has made Danish farming so successful. Moreover, over the last two decades, Denmark has been part of the development of the Nordic Kitchen and the rise of several chefs that are not only very talented but also world renowned.

Regarding renowned chefs, Claus Meyer and his team set the menu this year, prepared delicacies and arranged a baking station for the evening. Claus Meyer is the co-owner/founder of Noma (formally the number one restaurant in the world) and founded the New Nordic Cuisine movement. He has written numerous cookbooks and hosted a television cooking program shown in fifty countries.

Meyer is also a philanthropist – founding and supporting the Melting Pot Foundation which runs food schools in Danish prisons. Two years ago he opened a gourmet Restaurant Gustu, in the poorest capital of South America, La Paz Bolivia, and soon will be running 13 canteens in the slums of the El Alto district. Gustu and the canteens function as an educational institution overseen by the foundation.

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Claus Meyer speaking on healthy living

Claus Meyer has recently relocated to New York City with his wife, his three daughters and two dogs in order to establish a food hall and restaurant rooted in the new Nordic culinary philosophy to be located in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal.

For Creative Christmas, the Embassy’s new chef, Jens Fisker, worked with three chefs from the Meyer team to produce an innovative and scrumptious offering. The menu was created by Claus Meyer for the event. It included: Deer tartare and lingon berries; Salmon; Cold smoked salmon with beetroot tartar and smoked creamed cheese; warm Roast Pork Sandwiches with crackling skin, pickled red cabbage and raw apple;  Brisket Sandwich with red onion relish and winter salads. There was a cheese station with Arla cheeses and Rhonda’s special cheese bread. Dessert was a special twist on the traditional Danish Christmas rice pudding: Pearl Barley Ris a la Mande style with cherry sauce and a Meyer Lemon sauce.

 

 

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Shelton Brothers again supplied special Danish beers: including, Amager Hr. Frederiksen, Amager Rye Porter, Mikkeller Santa Little, Mikkeller Drink’ in the Snow, Mikkeller Arh Hvad? Mikkeller Not Just another Wit, Mikkeller Better Half IPA, To Øl Snow Ball Saison, To Øl Nordic By Nature, and To Øl Sur Yule.

 

 

The residence was decorated by the Danish fiber artist Grethe Wittrock. Wittrock displayed pieces made of recycled material with a series of bird-like fiber objects and wall hangings.

Wittrock’s work has been exhibited throughout the world in cities such as Copenhagen, London, Munich, Hong-Kong, Paris, Sao Paolo, and Kyoto. She has won numerous international awards, including multiple grants from the Danish Art Foundation.

Music was provided by Langkilde /Matza Duo. Johannes Langkilde, Danish correspondent in Danish-American foreign affairs and musician, played piano. His partner Louis Matza was on guitar. The duo played a variety of smooth jazz music to set the ambience for a festive and relaxed evening.

This year’s Charity partner was SOME:IMG_7479

SOME (So Others Might Eat) is a well-established soup kitchen serving the most vulnerable residents of Washington. Guests were encouraged to bring gift cards and information was included in the gift bags given to guests. The embassy has also donated six tickets to attend Creative Christmas for SOMEs annual fundraising Gala Silent Auction held at the National Building Museum. www.some.org

As always our Sponsors made another Creative Christmas possible and should be thanked accordingly. A huge thank you to:

Lockheed Martin, Mærsk, Haldor Topsoe, GE, Harris, Systematic, Novo Nordisk, Terma, Boeing and

Arla and Danish Crown for in kind donations.DSC_4944

Pictures of ADBC members at CC 2015

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Google
Lina
Novozymes
Terma

What comes after COP21?

American-Danish Business Council and the UN Foundation discussion on

What comes after COP 21

On November 10th ADBC in collaboration with the UN Foundation hosted a very successful roundtable discussion themed ‘What happens after COP21?’. The event had the #growrenewables and was streamed live with follow-up Twitter questions included.

The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11, will be held in Paris, from November 30th to December 11th. The main objective of the conference is the ambitious goal of achieving a united, binding agreement on climate to be signed by all nations in the world.

Vice President for Energy and Climate Strategy at the United Nations Foundation Reid Detchon and celebrated, Danish renewable energy and environmental specialist Søren Hermansen were the key speakers at the event, which was moderated by Chris Bender of Novozymes.

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The discussion was opened with Reid Detchon summing up all the progress and successful initiatives towards climate change this year. Among these initiatives he named: prominent technological advances, cheaper solutions to prevent climate change and, maybe most important, the Pope becoming involved in the climate debate—demonstrating that climate change is now also becoming a moral as well as a state issue.

COP21 is important – as agreement and successful implementation will, not only help the environment, but create jobs and strengthen the economies involved. The prospect of energy independency combined with a healthier economy has sparked an excitement on all levels, something clearly more beneficial than ‘doomsday prophesies’ on climate.

Although the speakers were in agreement on the overall goals of COP21, they had very different opinions on the strategy of getting there.

Reid Detchon argued that ratification of a binding climate agreement on state levels will produce better conditions for implementing lasting solutions for national climate friendly infrastructure. Søren Hermansen, on the other hand, advocated climate change action on a smaller, even municipal level—like on the island of Samso. Hermansen’s argument was that the smaller changes inspire gradual, natural inspiration for societies to adapt climate friendly solutions, both on a large and small scale – ‘A billion localities doing the right thing will lead to change’ says Hermansen. Reid Detchon compared progress on climate change to a very large and heavy rock being pushed up a hill. He now sees that rock reaching the top and starting to roll quickly down the hill. In other words, nations are ready to act together.

Aiding this initiative, an increase in tourism focussing on energy has increased both in Denmark and certain key places in the US. Overall, the prospect for action after COP21 is positive, although it will take a great deal of effort to see measurable results.

In conclusion, although the speakers disagreed on how to act, they did agree that action is both imperative and, at long last, more likely than not.

Hermansen (left) and Detchon (right)

Energy Finance Workshop

The American-Danish Business Council and the American Swedish Chamber of Commerce joined in collaboration on November 17th to present the ENERGY TECHNOLOGY FINANCE WORKSHOP and lunch at the Embassy of Sweden. US speakers included: Andrew Zech of Greenworks Lending; Bradford H. Dockser of Green Generation Solutions; and Joseph Lipscomb of Arborview Capital.

Lydia La Ferla and Andreas Reshammar
Lydia La Ferla and Andreas Reshammar

The speakers gave an overview of the financial instruments that are available in the US for Energy Efficiency solutions. They also emphasized that the drivers are very different than Europe. The US drivers tend to be saving money, fulfilling a state or local regulation or their own company goals. It is also important to work with utilities to find rebates that are pertinent to the sector.

The companies (which are new to thinking about marketing in the US) found the day very informative and useful.

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Public Procurement event at the World Bank

Benchmarking Public Procurement

October 19th, 2015

The World Bank Group has embarked on a project to benchmark public procurement in 77 economies around the world. Using internationally accepted principles, the benchmarking project seeks to provide comparable data comparing practices in varying economies to facilitate evidenced based decisions.

Public procurement constitutes one-fifth of world domestic product. Public procurement drives competitiveness and growth but also can set priorities, like sustainability and green procurement. The benchmarking project promotes good procurement practices and aims to make it easier for medium and small private companies to do business in these economies.

The project uses a standard questionnaire and covers the four phases of procurement – i.e., preparing, submitting, obtaining and managing a bid. The project will be ramped up now to cover 189 economies and will give a clearer picture of the practices across the world.

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Energy and Economic Development Forum

ADBC teams with South Carolina organizations to hold the

Energy and Economic Development Forum, Charleston, South Carolina

 On November 19th, Honorary Consul Bradish Waring welcomed the participants to the forum by pointing out that the US is Denmark’s most important trading partner outside the EU. He also emphasized that Danish companies are creating thousands of jobs in the United States. Moreover, there are many similarities between South Carolina and Denmark – population, islands, coastal cities, etc. Mr. Waring continued to laud the transition Denmark has made to a renewable energy and sustainable society.

Elizabeth Colbert-Busch updated the gathering on the strides that South Carolina has made since the one-day seminar was held in 2012. The planned follow-up to that meeting (a large one-day Energy & Economic Development Summit) had to be postponed to 2016 because of the severe flooding that devastated South Carolina this fall.

Then Mette Sos Lassessen of Ramboll addressed the water management issues Denmark has experienced with extreme downpours and consequent flooding. The participants immediately saw the similarities with events in South Carolina and were excited about adapting the Danish solutions to South Carolina conditions. Ramboll’s work with Copenhagen was of great interest – and the work Charleston has done under former Mayor Riley (who served as mayor for forty plus years) is a good start and similar to some of the steps Copenhagen has taken.

Soren Hermansen then explained how Samsoe had taken the Auken challenge and transformed the island from being almost totally reliant on the mainland for energy to being independent and exporting to the mainland. The island produced a master plan, financed the renewable solutions themselves and created jobs at the same time. Today the island is carbon negative and moving toward taking back services that had been outsourced – like the ferry service connecting the island to the island of Zealand and the peninsula of Jutland. The municipality is now buying the ferries – the newest is an LNG ferry that will soon run on methane from a biogas facility on Samsoe. Thus, the island is keeping the proceeds within the community in a kind of “circular economy”. Mr. Hermansen emphasized that using the method of including the community in all decisions created what he calls Commonity = Common+ community.

Søren Hermansen

Søren Hermansen

The Commonity concept can be used to facilitate any kind of project from renewable energy to social and economic problems within the community.

The workshop ended with the participants interested in planning a study tour to Denmark as well as holding the big event next year. As Bradish Waring said, Denmark punches above its weight – and the participants who are leaders in the community saw the benefits of the Danish solutions.

ADBC Board Meeting

Board Meeting, October 15th

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The Board of the ADBC

The American-Danish Business Council held its first Board Meeting with Ambassador Lars Gert Lose at the helm on October 15th with breakfast in the Residence. Present were: Ambassador Lars Lose, Chair; Steve Williams, co-chair, Lockheed-Martin; Joseph McAndrew, Boeing; Nils Grier, Terma; Jay Bonnit, Maersk; Leslie McLaren, Roxul; Lauren Semeniuk, Novo Nordisk; Jeffery Telep, King & Spalding; Thomas Faerch Brøstrom, DONG Energy US. Officers: Mary Paul Smith Jespersen, Executive Secretary; Ben Walker, Treasurer, Lina Gandløse Hansen, Head of TC USA and Lars Bo Møller, Deputy Chief of Mission were also in attendance.

After the Secretary’s report, Treasurer’s report and the status of the Young Professional’s Network, the Ambassador outlined the strategic changes within the Embassy and the Trade Council that will also impact and benefit the American-Danish Business Council.

ADBC will be a large part of the new emphasis on Economic Diplomacy which highlights the importance of commerce and the economy within foreign affairs/diplomacy. The Council will also be part of the Danish Government’s Growth Council. Members of the Growth Council will be Danish authorities, Danish companies, Confederation of Danish Industries and a couple of Danish Honorary Consuls. The “Growth Council” will be utilized to consider and discuss priorities, the Embassy’s efforts, engaging US authorities on collaboration within specific sectors. The Council will also work on preparation for high-level visits etc.

Events and outreach to new members was also part of the agenda. The meeting ended with the following action items:

1)         Meeting with Ambassador Fulton and active engagement with Honorary Advisory Board

2)         Develop sponsorship model & establish event committee

3)         Plan event for Young Professionals Network

4)         Engagement with Growth Council/sector basis

5)         Ask members for suggestions for Congressional Friends of Denmark Caucus

6)         Hold reception (with or without speaker?) for potential new members invited by existing members

7)         Letter from the Ambassador as Chair and Steve Williams as co-chair to potential new        members

8)         Develop Social Media Campaign for ADBC

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Board Meeting in the Ambassadors residence

The minutes of the Board Meeting are available on the members only portion of the website. If you have difficulty accessing this part of the site, please contact Anika Donaldson at anidon@um.dk

International Energy Policy and Economic Development Summit

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The Royal Danish Embassy, American Danish Business Council and several South Carolina organizations have partnered to host the International Energy Policy and Economic Development Summit in North Charleston, S.C. on November 19, 2015.

Mr. Søren Hermansen of Samsoe Energy Academy will serve as keynote speaker at the International Energy Policy and Economic Development Summit. Hermansen is the director of the Ballen, Denmark based Samsoe Energy Academy and the leader of the Samsoe Renewable Energy Island Project which became almost completely powered by renewable energy within a decade without government funding, exporting some of the wind power to the Danish mainland.  From its first meeting in 2012, the International Energy Policy and Economic Development Summit is the next sequence in a partnership between South Carolina and the Kingdom of Denmark focusing on the growth of advanced energy industry.

The Royal Danish Embassy and the American Danish Business Council have partnered with the following South Carolina organizations to host the International Energy Policy and Economic Development Summit:Flag

  • Clemson university
  • SCRA
  • Charleston World trade Center
  • Charleston Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
  • South Carolina Clean Energy Business Alliance
  • South Carolina Department of Commerce

The International Energy Policy and Economic Development Summit will meet at Trident Technical College’s Complex for Economic Development in North Charleston on Thursday, November 19, 2015.

 

Register

 

 

ADBC

 

Creative Christmas is here!

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CREATIVE CHRISTMAS 2015

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This year marks the 10th anniversary of Creative Christmas at the Embassy of Denmark, an ideal opportunity to celebrate what is quintessential Danish – our healthy life style!

Denmark is renowned for its cycling culture, strong renewable energy focus, and ambitious climate targets as well as organic farming, a farm-to-table approach to eating, sustainable food production to produce more with less food waste, and investment in healthcare to eliminate lifestyle diseases.

We wish to use the Creative Christmas platform to promote this lifestyle to an American audience. Therefore we invite Danish companies within these sectors to join us in this unique concept called Creative Christmas spanning over two evenings.

Creative Christmas offers an opportunity for companies to increase brand value and product positioning in the US market. Attracting more than 800 high-level guests from the Washington D.C. area, the two evening events give companies access to network with influential stakeholders. Last year more than 60% of the guests were US government officials who were joined by representatives from international organizations, think-tanks, educational institutions and cultural organizations.

The embassy will stage a unique ‘experience-event’ for its guests on December 9 – 10th allowing them to interact with sponsoring companies throughout these two evenings of networking hosted by Denmark’s new Ambassador, Lars Lose. Over the past years, we have been able to strengthen the Creative Christmas brand to such an extent that the event is mentioned in both US national and Danish Media.

We will partner with an established local Washington, DC food bank to give back to our local community, and support local efforts to enlist a healthy lifestyle approach in children and youth.

Members of the American Danish Business Council will have the opportunity to sponsor Creative Christmas – for more information please contact Mary Paul Smith Jespersen at: marjes@um.dk, tel: 202-797-5373