The Norwegian technology company myOnvent has developed the AI for Good Neural Network, a key element of the world’s largest Artificial Intelligence event.
The AI for Good initiative aims to create increased discussions on how Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to accelerate the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The project is hosted by the International Telecommunications Union, one of the UN agencies, and will last all for the whole of 2022. Throughout the year, 70,000 people are expected to gather on the Neural Network, developed on the myOnvent event platform.
myOnvent founder and CEO Bjørn Christian Nørbech is proud to be working with such a massive project:
“We have been guided by the UN SDGs when building our company and our platform. We are committed to making the world a better place. This is a dream client for us,” said Nørbech.
The AI for Good initiative was created in 2007 by the ITU and the 40 other UN sister organizations as partners. When the ITU approached myOnvent in the spring of 2020, they were looking for a partner capable of building a global network to bolster the impact of the project, and the AI for Good team and the startup from Norway quickly hit it off. myOnvent was brought in as an Official Technology Partner to develop the AI for Good Neural Network – a network in which participants from all over the world can come together, experience lectures, seminar, talks, and connect 24/7/365.
“We quickly realized that we’d hit the nail on the head when we first demoed the myOnvent platform for the AI for Good team. Still, our developer team has done an amazing job customizing the platform to where it is today” said Bjørn Christian Nørbech.
Frederic Werner, Head of Strategic Engagement for the ITU, is equally enthusiastic about the outcome of the collaboration:
“We are excited to launch the AI for Good Neural Network to build a global community around AI to accelerate the SDGs. Through this technology platform, we hope to stimulate even more opportunities for AI for Good projects and collaborations. We’re pleased to have myOnvent as the official technology partner, and are eager to leverage the Neural Network to further scale our mission and connect more people than ever before.”
UN Secretary General António Guterres commented on AI for Good, stating that “this Summit can help ensure that Artificial Intelligence charts the course that benefits humanity and bolsters our shared values. The United Nations stands ready to be a universal platform for discussion. Together let us make sure we use AI to enhance human dignity and serve the global goods.”
The aim of AI for Good is to accelerate work on reaching the Sustainable Development Goals by matching problem-solvers with problem-owners. myOnvent has developed a ‘Smart Matching’ feature to connect participants with other event attendees based on interests and activity. This increases the chances that those connections are made.
“We work closely with our clients, and are developing the platform to best fit their needs. No two events are the same, and we always aim to go the extra mile to create unique experiences both for the organizer and event participants on our platform” says Nørbech.
myOnvent launched the current iteration of its platform in 2019. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the company has experienced significant interest from companies that were forced to move their events and community-building efforts online. The company now lists NHO, Nordic Circular Hotspot, and USBL as clients, along with several renowned international organizations. In the fall of 2021, myOnvent was valued at approximately 60 million USD.
Nørbech still manages the company from his home office in Åsmarka in Ringsaker, a municipality of about 11,000 people in the heart of Norway. The organization has grown to more than 40 people in 10 countries.
“We have a small developer team with an office in Romania, but we’re a completely remote company except for that. People work from wherever in the world they like, I currently have colleagues in six different time zone. It’s in line with our mission of letting people come together irrespective of barriers like language, borders or cultures” says Bjørn Christian Nørbech.
Though its ambitions are global, myOnvent remains true to its Norwegian roots:
“Norway is based on ideals of equality and respect. That’s what we want myOnvent to be like. We will always respect our users and clients, which is why we will never have an ad-based model where we sell user data or violate the trust people have in us,” Nørbech said.
Managing a growing company from the home office has its challenges, but Nørbech is optimistic:
“The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital services and shown people all over the world what can be possible if we leverage online tools and platforms to work together. We are confident that by building the sustainable and engaging future of online communities and events, we will see great success. Our goal is to make the digital even better than the physical.”
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