LØRN Case #C0998
The Future of Digital Assurance
In this episode of #LORN Silvija talks to Kenneth Vareide, the CEO of digital solutions and Luca Crisciotti, CEO of supply chain and product assurance at DNV, about the challenges they face in innovating clean solutions for the future. They also touch upon why DNV’s strategy may become the sexy business model of the future, and how digital assurance relates to sustainability and the benefits of Norwegian business culture. It also details why, if we are always keeping the next generation in mind, it is essential for us to have data we can trust.

Luca Crisciotti

CEO, Supply Chain & Product Assurance

DNV

Kenneth Vareide

CEO of digital solutions

DNV

"We will never take humans out of the loop, it is in the interaction between people, technology and business where the magic happens."

Varighet: 49 min

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What is your education, and do you have any hobbies?

Luca: I have an M.Sc Naval architect from NTNU – 1996, a Master in Technology Management from NTNU and NHH, in cooperation with MIT Sloan – 2006. My hobbies include cooking (the dream is to open a restaurant!), tennis/padel, diving/snorkeling/fishing, and photography.

Kenneth: Food and drinks, create and make it yourself. In particular bread making and beer brewing!

What is your professional dream?

Luca: My dream is to be impactful, fair, and inclusive (and to have fun too)!

Kenneth: We are a purpose-driven company (“safeguard life, property, and the environment”), and to see that our vision (“a trusted voice to tackle global transformations”) comes through feels very meaningful to me, particularly as we are entering a decade of transformation(s). Can I be part of some things that makes a lasting difference?

What is your project at work, and why it is important?

Luca: My project is to shape the future of assurance, to build trust in products, assets, and transactions.

Kenneth: I used to say that technology is all about people. As far as I’m concerned, we will never take the humans out of the loop, it is in the interaction between people/technology/business where the magic is happening, and what makes this all come to life through value creation is leadership.

What are the interesting dilemmas?

Luca: How to energize your core people/business while building disruptive products and services.

Kenneth: Growth vs. profitability – what is “value creation” and how to measure it through the stages.

How does it relate to digitalization, in simplest terms?

Luca: Transactions and the new business models linked to that.

Kenneth: New ways of generating, distributing, and capturing value by for example a new business model.

How does it relate to sustainability, in simplest terms?

Luca: TTT (telling the truth) and ESG (Environmental Social Governance).

Kenneth: It’s all about our children

What are your views on skills for the future?

Luca: Cognitive flexibility, emotional and social intelligence, and problem-solving.

Kenneth: Creativity and curiosity, the urge to do lifelong learning because it’s more a mindset, than skills. Teamwork and collaboration in order to solve complex problems.

What is your education, and do you have any hobbies?

Luca: I have an M.Sc Naval architect from NTNU – 1996, a Master in Technology Management from NTNU and NHH, in cooperation with MIT Sloan – 2006. My hobbies include cooking (the dream is to open a restaurant!), tennis/padel, diving/snorkeling/fishing, and photography.

Kenneth: Food and drinks, create and make it yourself. In particular bread making and beer brewing!

What is your professional dream?

Luca: My dream is to be impactful, fair, and inclusive (and to have fun too)!

Kenneth: We are a purpose-driven company (“safeguard life, property, and the environment”), and to see that our vision (“a trusted voice to tackle global transformations”) comes through feels very meaningful to me, particularly as we are entering a decade of transformation(s). Can I be part of some things that makes a lasting difference?

What is your project at work, and why it is important?

Luca: My project is to shape the future of assurance, to build trust in products, assets, and transactions.

Kenneth: I used to say that technology is all about people. As far as I’m concerned, we will never take the humans out of the loop, it is in the interaction between people/technology/business where the magic is happening, and what makes this all come to life through value creation is leadership.

What are the interesting dilemmas?

Luca: How to energize your core people/business while building disruptive products and services.

Kenneth: Growth vs. profitability – what is “value creation” and how to measure it through the stages.

How does it relate to digitalization, in simplest terms?

Luca: Transactions and the new business models linked to that.

Kenneth: New ways of generating, distributing, and capturing value by for example a new business model.

How does it relate to sustainability, in simplest terms?

Luca: TTT (telling the truth) and ESG (Environmental Social Governance).

Kenneth: It’s all about our children

What are your views on skills for the future?

Luca: Cognitive flexibility, emotional and social intelligence, and problem-solving.

Kenneth: Creativity and curiosity, the urge to do lifelong learning because it’s more a mindset, than skills. Teamwork and collaboration in order to solve complex problems.

Vis mer
Tema: Bærekraft og sirkularitet
Organisasjon: DNV
Perspektiv: Storbedrift
Dato: 210610
Sted: INTL, OSLO
Vert: Silvija Seres

Dette er hva du vil lære:


Traceability Digital twins
Floating wind farms
Future of transactions

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En LØRN CASE er en kort og praktisk, lett og morsom, innovasjonshistorie. Den er fortalt på 30 minutter, er samtalebasert, og virker like bra som podkast, video eller tekst. Lytt og lær der det passer deg best! Vi dekker 15 tematiske områder om teknologi, innovasjon og ledelse, og 10 perspektiver som gründer, forsker etc. På denne siden kan du lytte, se eller lese gratis, men vi anbefaler deg å registrere deg, slik at vi kan lage personaliserte læringsstier for nettopp deg. Vi vil gjerne hjelpe deg komme i gang og fortsette å drive med livslang læring.

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Utskrift av samtalen: The Future of Digital Assurance

Velkommen til Lørn.Tech - en læringsdugnad om teknologi og samfunn. Med Silvija Seres og venner.

 

Silvija Seres: Hello and welcome to a LØRN conversation. My name is Silvija Seres and my guests today are Luca Crisciotti and Kenneth Vareide, both from DMV. Welcome.

 

Kenneth Vareide: Hello, Silvija.

 

Silvija: Very good to have you both here. I have to admit to the audience that I know you from before. I'm on the board of DNV and you two are leading the two groups or projects that are among my very, very favourites, not just in DNV, but probably worldwide. And I'm really excited to tell the story about these to the world. So, I'll just say a few words about the conversation we are about to have so people know what series they are listening to and then we'll get started. This is one of six conversations that Lørn is having with different digital and sustainable projects at a company in Norway called DNV. It is a company that works with very advanced assurance solutions for many industries, including oil and gas, energy, shipping and business in general, but also is going into many new areas such as health and food. And these conversations are a part of background reading material for a course on digitalization and sustainability that the Norwegian Business School and NHH is running during the autumn of 2021. So, with that said, I would very much like to invite first Luca and then Kenneth to answer my usual first question, which is: Who are you and what has made you so?

 

Luca Crisciotti: So, first of all, my name is Luca, the supply chain and product assurance CEO at DNV. I'm proudly Italian and for this reason I like to cook a lot. And my dream one day will be to open a restaurant, maybe when I'm a little bit older. It's my passion. And I have to say that during the pandemic, unfortunately, we have to stay at home. But on the other side, the positive effect is that I had a little bit more time to do experiments in the kitchen. But also in the last five years, I invested a lot of my personal time exploring different ways to take advantage of all the digital technologies, and I hope today to give you a really hands on explanation of what I've done in the last years at DNV.

 

Silvija: I think I will dive into the topic of digital assurance as a business model and why it is probably the sexiest and socially necessary business model for the future. So, we'll get back to that. I see you also do photography and diving and tennis and all these things I didn't know about you. Very cool.

 

Luca: Yeah.

 

Silvija:Yes. And Kenneth, who are you?

 

Kenneth: I'm Kenneth. Norwegian. I can't hide that from my name and from my background. I grew up in the northern part of Norway, but I've been fortunate to join this company. I'm now serving as the CEO for Digital Solutions, but I've been in the company throughout my entire adult life, since I graduated from NTNU as a naval architect back in 96. But it's given me the great opportunity to travel the world, get to know other people, get to know all the cultures and get to know businesses around the world, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I had the opportunity to work in different industries as well. So that kind of shaped a lot of who I am, but of course where I'm from and my research also shaped me and being a father of two children. It's shaped me. Similar to Luca, I'm very passionate about food, so we don't have the same ingredients, the fresh ingredients that they have in Italy, but we make the best out of the potatoes we can grow here in Norway. So what do I do then? I'm all into bread and I'm also into this new wave of homebrewing beer. So don't ask me any question about it because I'm going to go very lengthy on it, if you have any questions.

 

Silvija: I'll avoid the topic of bread and fruit. But Kenneth, I have to add a little secret we two have. And that's basically you were my mentor in baseball.

 

Kenneth: That's true. We went to a baseball camp game together in Houston.

 

Silvija: And you were trying to explain to me why there is so little happening on the field? I just still don't get the game. Let's not go there. So, you are a naval architect as well. So you started with loving ships and you've kind of ventured from shipping to oil. And then now you're into digital platforms, so can you say a little bit about your very kind of wavy career.

 

Kenneth: Yeah, that's why you stick around for 25 plus years in a company, because it gives you so many opportunities to travel the world to get to know different businesses. And I quickly when I started in the company, I was in the maritime part, but I found the offshore part even more interesting because this was all about taking engineering to the extreme. So, I really enjoyed that. But I also saw that there were other risks that were coming into the business. I also worked on these software embedded systems that are so crucial for both shipping and the offshore industry. So, we did something very early on in DNV to try to tackle that type of risk. And then I also had the opportunity to work in oil and gas on digitalization. And even before digitalization became a theme. And I'm on the hype. We had our first collaboration with the University of California, Berkeley, and we sent out the first pioneers out there in 2007. I remember them coming back with a report saying this new thing is coming. It's big data, it's digitalization. The train is leaving the station. You guys need to be on it. That was the first message from the pioneer who went out there. And that was 2007 or 2008. So, we've been on it for quite some time. And when these things started to really roll back in 2014 or 2015, when the oil prices started to take a dip in the oil and gas industry, we were already prepared and ready to reap some of the benefits that that digitalization has to offer.

 

Silvija: I also want to ask Luca, our dear Italian, working for a very Norwegian company, but at the same time one of the most international companies, not just in Norway, but in the world. Can you give us some perspective on how you see DNV both in Norway and International?

 

Luca: I have spent 20 years in DNV and I've been travelling the world, living abroad for a long time, like in China and Japan. And I was impressed from the very first day that I joined this company about the way DNV has been able to build this Norwegian culture around the world. And this is something that has been, and still is, a strength for this company. Concerning myself, I think that I found it's very easy to adjust to this kind of culture, based on the possibility to speak up, talk to anyone in the company about whatever you think, something positive or something negative, but you have easy access to everyone. And I found this quite different compared to what I was used to at that time. It’s different to the Italian business culture and sometimes I miss the emotion in some dialogue. But I have to say that it's really been a pleasure to work for a Norwegian company. And that's something that I share all the time with friends explaining how good it is to have the possibility of conversation in a very safe environment. This is the thing I love the most.

 

Silvija: I am very impressed at how DNV, with its post offices and markets in the US and around the world, including China, manages to bring some of the best parts of Norwegian corporate culture, which is exactly this lack of hierarchy and openness. And then as a South European fellow, almost neighbour of you, I will give you a comment after my 30 years in Norway. I think Norwegians get just as angry as we do, but it takes them a very long time. When they get to that point, they are more angry than anyone else in the world. So don't make the Norwegians really angry. I think we have a valve in the south of Europe where we let it out and we're done with it. And I think here they think about it for a long time, but then you really have to clean up. So, both of you have very interesting areas of leadership in DNV. I would like to invite you to help us understand what they are. And maybe we start with Kenneth this time. 

 

Kenneth: Okay. I will start with digital solutions, which is probably one of the biggest and one of the oldest software houses in Norway. So we have roots back to 1969 where we issued our first software product called Season. It's still alive. It's still thriving. It's now finding its new market in the renewable sector, but in particular offshore wind. I think that is quite amazing how we've been able to adopt things. I think that says something about us as a company. When we do things, we do things over a longer period of time. We do it thoroughly and we do it with a long perspective and for the next generation in mind. We have seven different product lines ranging from pipeline to renewables to structures to ship, etc.. So we've got quite a diverse portfolio and we're having operations from sales and delivery capacity in Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, Australia to the US and Canada. We are very global as an organisation. We are also working on performance and assurance solutions and more towards the future. We are talking about assurance of digital assets, assuring about data and making data more available and more trusted so the company can actually reap the benefit of what digitisation has to offer. I guess we're going to come back to that a little bit later. We have since 2017, 2018, launched Veracity as a data platform for our customers to generate additional value on top of the data and information that they possess. And that's a marketplace also where you both have consumers and you have providers, and we facilitate this through a trusted and a secure platform.

 

Silvija: I think we need to translate some of these words, and we won't even go into the assurance of digital assets to begin with. What I want you to do is give us a couple of examples of these software products but make it simple so that I could explain it to my kids. What is a software product that we are selling to Japan and what is a software product that we are selling to the US?

 

Kenneth: Okay, so here's supply. So typically, these days, there are strong incentives for engineering companies to find out the best solution to create scalable offshore wind farms like and now they are going even further offshore. So, you want to have them floating. That's a very complex engineering problem to solve.

 

Silvija: Sorry, we have to translate again. You already used the word offshore once before and for most people outside of Norway, it can easily mean just something far out in the sea. But what we are referring to is something else.

 

Kenneth: You're correct. I'll try to explain it and not jump too quickly in deepwater here. So today, we know in Norway it's quite controversial to develop wind farms onshore. We do them on land. We are destroying nature. The local communities are sort of against it. It's not straightforward and it has an impact on nature with all the infrastructure that needs to be built. But there is the opportunity to develop these wind farms out at sea. And if you can put it on the seabed, if the water is shallow enough, you can put it on the seabed. That's an easier development. It will be fixed to the sea floor and more accessible to do maintenance on it. But now if you really want to develop on a large scale, we need to go further out on deeper water and then you can't fix things to the sea floor. It has to float. 

 

Silvija: It’s an engineering nightmare because these things are 100 metres across at the propeller blades and the wind and the waves are big enough to move them from the start. And now you have even this drag from these propellers. So, the problem is to make this thing not just float but stay in one place.

 

Kenneth: Imagine you're going to take the entire Eiffel Tower. You want to put it out on water? It’s that big and that tall and you're going to put it out on water and you're going to make it float and you're going to not make one Eiffel Tower. You're going to make hundreds of Eiffel Towers, and you're going to do that in a cost-efficient way that can compete with other solutions like wind farms on land, solar farms, and other sources of energy. But as you said it's a nightmare. It's an engineer's dream. That's what engineers really dream about is to solve those complex issues. So, what we are doing from our side is to provide them with the tools that enable them to design the blades, the rotor, the structure and hold the floating and the end and the mooring lines that you need to keep these things in place. This is a very complex engineering solution that our engineers and our customers love to solve, but we have to be able to do that on a large scale. And that's really where the industry is now trying to figure out how to go about it.

 

Silvija: I can understand the hardware problems here. Building these Eiffel Towers from something that doesn't rust and doesn't blow over and maybe doesn't make a domino effect on all the others next to it. And I know that you've even been doing something very fancy related to the drag that these things create for each other. But where is the software? And what's the software that you're creating?

 

Kenneth: We need to make this to actually be able to withstand these enormous forces you will have when you are so far out on open waters with waves, wind and current. You have to make sure that you have designed it in a way that it will withstand the extreme forces that will extend all the dynamic forces and it will be able to maintain it. So, it doesn't just last for a couple of years. It's something that should be designed for a much longer period of time. Normally, 20 years or 30 years, you even see these types of assets being built for longer. That's one thing you need to do. And then you need to configure the whole entire wind farm in such a way that you get the maximum effect out of the wind resources that are available. And that's where you have to do a lot of measurements. That's where engineers get their heads together to understand how you should configure the whole entire wind farm. That's why we have software products to do that. It's called Wind Farmer and it's addressing exactly this. And there's much more complex things we can talk about in creating this product, but that's basically what our software solutions are solving.

 

Silvija: If I now simplify this one example and say you're making software that is helping people who engineer these things or architect these things, design both one of these, but also the whole farm. Make a plan that will be optimal. And then you have software that helps them watch out for these farms, maybe even predict production that then can be used to predict pricing. So, in a way, you're working with a digital twin. If we're not getting very technical in the definition of this very complex thing called the wind farm.

 

Kenneth: Yes, that's correct. It's all the way from the initial design phase through its operation and through its maintenance, through its upgrades and making the right choices during the operational phase. And this will become super complex as you move further away from land, because you don't have that infrastructure in place. You just can send a guy out with a pickup truck in a wrench neck and then you fix it. You need to plan much more thoroughly so that it's a different mode of operation that we would have if you were onshore.

 

Silvija: So, you monitor and have the health of the digital twin that you can observe and you can use that to also change things on the real thing. And you do this for wind farms, but you do this for ships of different classes. You do this for energy markets, you do this for solar, etc..

 

Kenneth: We do it for pipelines. Yeah, we do it for oil assets. So, we do it. We do it for pipelines and we have done it for quite some time. We just haven't called it Digital Twin. But of course, with the connectivity that we've had in the past few years, that's the game changer. And I love what Jeff Bezos does, maybe I'm going out there on it, but there's a video of him back in 98/99 before the big bubble crashed back then. And he sees the Internet as the infrastructure that was built when we had electricity in the US. So, we see that it's a fantastic infrastructure, it's been built, but all we're using it for is to put a light bulb at the end of that. Imagine what you can use this infrastructure for. And I think this is the type of infrastructure that allows different industries to become connected, but companies are still trying to figure out what that actually means to them. I think that's the big game changer. And there's a few other things in terms of capacity of computers, etc., but that's the big thing.

 

Silvija: I believe that it's the data, the computing capacity and the networks together. And it amazes me how the DNV combines industrial heritage and experience with this data richness that we have now. My last question to you before we go to Luca is about Veracity.  It's about timing because the way that I see what we are doing in this movie is that this is the perfect storm, where finally we can apply these software dreams that we've had since 1967 to very real assets, very critical infrastructure in very many basic industries. And it has to do with this access to data, access to sensors, access to networks. And that's where we need a data platform. So, a data platform is something people have heard. But again, it's hard to have a picture in their head. What is a data platform?

 

Kenneth: Yeah, and of course it could come in many shapes and forms, but the real essence of it is that you need to be able to access data that you can have trust in. Because what has to happen now with the connectivity that you described, with the sensors, with the connectivity you now have, and assets are emitting more data than ever before in large quantities. You need to be able to figure out what data you actually need and what data you need to have the best quality of, so you get the right quality of it. And we early on, if I go back to the days when we came back from Berkeley and we said, Hey, there's something called Big Data. So, back in 2007, 2008, we had a group in the research that started to work on this topic. We quickly figured out that you need to really think thoroughly about it as a company and any company needs to think about how to get the best use of this. And then you need to think about the data, the data quality and which of the data you can get. Maybe you've done a project on gas turbines and you can have thousands of sensors.

 

Kenneth: But in order to really find what is important to drive whatever business performance you like; you may be down to a few handfuls of sensors that you need. And that's where the engineers and the subject expertise comes in. So, you have all this data and the sensors available, but you still need to understand the physics and the mechanics of what you're doing. And you need to connect it with what matters for the business in terms of operability and maintainability of your assets. And that's where it all comes together. So you need a data platform for services, but because there are no infrastructures there today to facilitate exactly that, Veracity was born. It actually came from the research program that we started way back then and then we said, You know what, we need it, but the industry needs it as well and if we need it, we can also help the industry with the infrastructure that we are also developing for our own purpose.

 

Silvija: We have to go to our Italian, who has been waiting so incredibly patiently for his time. So to me, digitalization is very much about data, and we keep saying data is the new oil, so I think that digitalization is about building the next oil platform. What's the engine that's going to be using this data and how are you going to collect it? How are you going to refine it? How are you going to distribute it? And when you're building a data platform, you're not just building that pipe for data or that lake for data. You are building an understanding with all the companies of what they want to do with the data. And that's what you've been trying to explain. We also come to the point of verifying the quality of data, which is something that maybe it's nice to have a little bit outside of the few mega monopolies, digital mega monopolies on the to opposite parts of the world and a nice role for perhaps a company like DNV and a very independent nation as well. But before we go there, we are onto Luca now. So Luca, I'd like you to try to explain digital assurance, and I'd like you to try to explain it through examples and relate it to sustainability. How would you do that?

 

Luca: So with DNV, I used to say that we provide trust and confidence to the market. That's what we do every day. And I would like to use a food product as an example to explain what to do. So think about yourself or your parents buying products like 20 years ago. And going to the supermarket. And at that time, the choice was made based on price, but mainly based on the brand and the way that the brand was able to communicate a few simple messages to the consumers. There was a lot of attention on packaging. For example, let’s say there was a lot of effort in bringing local products onto a more global scale. There was nothing about, for example, environmental footprints or sharing policies about the way that that product was produced, the attention to the employees and so on. Think about the challenge for the companies at that time. And it was to build up a kind of one single marketing campaign targeting one single customer. That was the challenge at that time. Now let's go to these days and let's think about yourself at the supermarket trying to buy the same product. And your choice today will not be based only on the price and less and less on the loyalty to that single brand that most of the people.

 

Luca: And there's a lot of, let's say, differences among the ages. For example, I'm looking at so many different things you would like to know, for example, the CO2 emission for that specific product, the water that has been used to produce that single product, or if the company is using renewable energy to produce that product. So there are so many things that you as a consumer today would like to know before making your choice. Now, think about the challenge for the companies today. They don't have to think of just one single marketing strategy and one single customer, but they want to maximise the sales to ten, 20 different customers, all of them looking at so many different things. And this is one of the main challenges today for this food company I’m using as an example. It's also for many other products. But let's stay true to the food companies. And we are in between as a company trying to build this trust between consumers and producers. And we have adjusted the way we do it compared to 20 years ago. 20 years ago, a simple certificate saying that that product was safe was enough. Today, this is not enough. And we have to develop tools to allow consumers to access that important information in a very easy way.

 

Luca: So today, when you go to the supermarket, you can scan with your phone a QR code that is on the packaging, and you can get access to verified information about that product. Again, the environmental footprint, the water consumption, the real energy, social policies, how the company is treating the employees and so on. And we do it thanks to digital technologies. So, connecting basically all the dots within all the possible technologies like data sensors. We use all of the blockchain. I would like to add something to your discussion about data. From my perspective, there is an element which is of course related to data, but it's extremely important for a company like us, and it's about transactions at the moment that you create a digital asset, the digital twin, the moment that you generate data, then these data are moved from A to B to C and so on. And every time that you move these data from A to B to C, you create that need of assurance. And that's where a company like us is going to have. It's a huge opportunity going forward to create trust between all these transactions. 

 

Silvija: When you talk about digital assurance, you are both talking about things like traceability. So I buy a bottle of wine or I buy a shirt that I want to know that it's been produced in an ecological or in a child friendly way. And you can create documentation for that for me as a customer. But also, as you say now, there is a certification in a way of a model of an algorithm, of a computation. For example, when an autonomous car is driving, I might want to eventually ask, Well, are you sure that this car has an algorithm that it uses that follows the Norwegian traffic laws, but also the Norwegian traffic ethics? You know, and this question will be very important when we allow more and more of this digitization and digital twins that can it was also talking about in the social and critical parts of our life. So, for example, what does digital assurance mean in health?

 

Luca: There's a lot of questions and things that you have touched before to go to health. If I'm allowed, I would also like to share with you an example since you mentioned cars and this is a project that we have with David Boyd, a Chinese car producer, one of the largest in the world. And some time ago they came to us saying we would like to make sure that whoever is buying this car is not only doing something by the car in order to reduce the CO2 emissions, but also we would like to incentivize the driver to use the throttle less which means they need to recharge the battery less. We would like to educate our customers in driving electric cars in a good way. And then what we have done for them. When you get into the car, you input your ID and password and then there is a small, let's say, machine which is recording your driving style. So basically, how much you push the throttle through an algorithm. This is translated into a score and at the end of the day, when you get out of the car based on that score, you get some tokens, some cryptocurrency. And then you can use this cryptocurrency to buy, let's say, a litre of milk from a food shop which has been produced by a different company, which is sharing the same high level goal to reduce CO2 emissions.

 

Luca: So, this company is using only renewable energy, for example, to produce that litre of milk. And then we have created basically an ecosystem of companies that would like to achieve this goal to reduce CO2 emission. And all together are offering the possibility to the same customer to behave in a certain way. And they would like to recognize this behaviour done by whoever is driving the car or is buying the milk, by giving some small tokens so that he can feel happy about what he did. The cost is not more than any loyalty program. So of course, you don't get Millionaire in doing that, but it's a way for you to be recognized also on what you are doing. That's why I mentioned transactions because all these behaviours, all these driving styles or buying behaviours, have to be recorded and you have to give them trust to the entire ecosystem that whoever is behaving within that ecosystem is following the rules of the game. So that's one example. So moving to healthcare, this is an interesting idea. We have several projects there from medical devices to hospitals for what concerns the medical devices. There's a huge need to make sure that you are able to track and trace all these devices and then that you basically also take records about any potential failures or any kind of incidents.

 

Luca: And you produce data that then is analysed and made available to all the others so that you can improve that device. This is something that is coming from the new European regulations, etc.. It's an area which is completely new, not in the way that you have to take track of this incident, but using digital tools to track them. Other projects in hospitals are related, for example, about making sure that some information is available in the right place at the right time. So think about when you are admitted, hopefully never to an emergency room and then when you are admitted to an emergency room, the doctors and nurses have to rely on a so-called crash cart. The crash cart is where all the magazines and tools have to be stored. And think about a hospital which is working on, say, 24 hours, three shifts where there's a lot of patients that need to be thought about. A doctor or nurses that have just ended their shift and then think about a patient being admitted immediately to a new medical team. They don't know if the crash cart has been refurbished with all the needed tools that have been used in the previous 8 hours, how to make this possible without relying only on a human being.

 

Luca: So, we have to develop a project where there are now sensors in the crash cart that are making available the information to the doctors and to the nurses or to the people that have to refurbish this crash cart in real time. And all this information is uploaded into a blockchain so that they cannot be changed. And these can be seen as a huge benefit for the hospital. They have saved tons of money by doing that. And at the same time, they have the possibility also to take advantage of all the data coming out from this activity, to improve all the procedures on how to treat patients and so on. We have another project where there are sensors now that are placed in the bathroom where doctors have to wash their hands. Washing hands for a doctor in a hospital is a key activity. And but this is something very difficult to be recorded. And up to yesterday, it was just the doctor or himself or herself that had to maybe fill in a template. So, all these activities now are digitalised. We are providing assurance on top of all of these. And the benefit for everyone is really the amount of data that has been produced that now is available to be analysed. And this is something that I see as a big revolution going forward.

 

Silvija: So two ways to think about digital assurance that you talked about. One is now we have all the sensors and all the data and we can use them to verify, to prove that, to check that people are doing the things they should be doing like washing their hands. If we are encouraging good behaviour by driving more energy and CO2 efficiently, etc.. And then there is the other way of using digital assurance where you could look at an algorithm that is running like the car or the hospital and somehow test it and say yes I'm pretty sure that this algorithm is going to be behaving the right way.

 

Luca: Yeah. That's the most important thing. This is where let's say we're also spending a lot of time and effort. I think that it will be extremely important to let me use an old term, which is certified. But you need to certify sensors that are producing data. You need to certify algorithms that are then taking decisions on behalf of you. You need to certify smart contracts, for example, which is another extremely important thing today. There are sensors that are producing data. And based on these algorithms, there are consequences depending on what kind of data is produced. And you need to make sure that these smart contracts are certified. Let me give you an example. Another project with an insurance company. You can go on holiday and you can insure yourself against the bad weather. You book on holiday in a sunny place and you don't want heavy rain ruining your holidays. So you go to an insurance company and say if there are two days of rain, I would like to get some compensation. And what is happening is that now everything is automated. Basically, there is the insurance company which is relying on local weather sensors. These sensors are producing, let's say, the data about the rain on that specific day. And if this is happening or is above what you have agreed with, insurance, a smart contract is immediately giving you money. There's no human interaction. So everything depends on a sensor and a smart contract. And if you don't certify, you don't make sure that the sensor and the smart contract or the algorithms are behaving according to the expectation. You know, potentially these may be something, you know, extremely negative for you as an individual or for the insurance company as well. So that's where I think we are spending a lot of time.

 

Silvija: And the beauty of automation and digitisation is that they can scale things up incredibly, but of course they can also if there are errors in the data or errors in the algorithm, then they can scale that affect up. We are so out of time, but I can't stop. I'd like to spend the last 5 minutes basically trying to relate this to sustainability but a different one from the one we've talked about so far. So, we talked about wind farms and clean energy and the stability of oil platforms and safe ships and all of that is sustainability, right? Related to nature. I talk about three colours of sustainability, green which is ecological, red that is social, and blue that is economical. So, for all of those we've seen how the projects of both Kenneth and Luca support. But I would like to ask you, what is the most important side of sustainability for you? I think of sustainability as basically our healthy long-term strategy. And why do you care about sustainability and how do you work with digitalization to support that? And maybe we can start with Kenneth.

 

Kenneth: So what I think about sustainability and I think I have to be honest with you, I have a very sort of personal wake up moment and I was in the middle of my career in oil and gas within the company when this happened. So I didn't realise and maybe that's who shaped me. Being a father is a thing that shaped me. And I do realise that sustainability is all about. The children and what we leave behind for them. So what I am doing in my career that will help them to be on a planet that is more sustainable. So that is that space I have. So when I bring that back into the everyday that I do, we saw what happened. And I don't think people really realise that with Evergreen, the ship that got stuck in the Suez Canal, how dependent we are on shipping as a supply chain to get products to the markets. There's a lack of bicycles in Norway these days because of that single event. Can you imagine it? And the sustainability in that supply chain, if that was a country in itself, that would be number six on the list of emitters in the world.

 

Kenneth: So if I can go about and do something meaningful with digitalization, we have to look at alternative fuels. We have to do it a different way. But in a short term, medium and long term, what we can do as a company and how I can contribute with digitalization to help companies making smarter and better-informed decisions when it comes to that, that's kind of my real take on it right now in terms of what we can what we can do. And that entails the whole entire value chain from the end consumer, that Luca has been talking about, to the engineers that make the vessels, to those who make the selection in which vessels to put their cargo and all that needs to be worked on to make these things happen. There are so many different pieces in this clockwork to really get to the goals that we have. I hope that answers your question.

 

Silvija: Yeah, I like it. And I like it because I've heard too many big companies use sustainability now almost as a marketing tool. It sounds good. And of course, we are doing it and why not? But to me, it sounds like what you're saying is it's necessary, and if not me, then who? And so I think that's the way to move fast enough forward with those strengths that we have as individuals and as companies. What do you think, Luca?

 

Luca: I think I very much agree with what Kenneth said, if I may add just a couple of things. Sustainability has been used as a word for many, many years, as a kind of greenwashing thing. A lot of companies were just using these as a kind of marketing tool or communication tool, but then it was very little behind the actions that were marketed. The good thing is the young generation today, I think that they can teach the old generation a lot. And if you look at the way that they are looking at things compared to us, for example, it is much more natural for them to look at things in a very different way. And this is, from my point of view, really a sign of hope that things are going to improve. The other positive thing is that, and this is also connected to what Kenneth said today, it's thanks to all these tools and apps that are available to everyone that it is much easier for everyone to understand if a company is using sustainability as a greenwashing tool or if it's real what they are doing. And again, the young generation, being more familiar with these tools. So the combination of sustainability and digitalization, I think that could really be a big boost and really big hope for the future.

 

Silvija: I love your “in simplest terms”, telling the truth about the ESG. Prove it and be concrete about what you are doing. And so I think this was very educational to me and I wish we could have more time to talk about the human machine aspect of sustainability and where DNV is moving the bar on that one as well. But I think we'll have to save that for the next conversation. Luca and Kenneth, thank you so much for joining us here in an inspirational and educational LØRN conversation.

 

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