The last year 2017 was used as a boost and lead into a future that shall be beneficial for all involved and promote value to the next generation. Therefore, the team with its supporters constituted a program for a fieldtrip to Denmark in September 2017 to not only visit exciting companies or organisations like Carlsberg or UNICEF but to enhance and push the international cooperation.

Why traveling to the Kingdom of Denmark?

As there are voted to be the world’s happiest country having the most liveable city and having the European Capital of Culture 2017 (Aarhus), there should be reasons taking the chance to experience what is beyond this exciting façade, correct? Beside that Denmark is known for its strong and mixed economy while being one of the outstanding in the global Environmental Performance Index (EPI) which are more reasons to see how companies are organised and operate in its day-to-day business.

We expected from the visits to not only to get familiar with the successful implementation of innovative but also with sustainable Danish industrial solutions. It was interesting to learn in a more concrete way on how the Danes plan and act also because the innovative and sustainable factor plays a key role for us the so called “digital natives”. We wanted to get aware with the triple helix cooperation and which factors are responsible for the big success of Danish companies and organisations.

The Young Professionals Logistics and Supply Chain Luxembourg (YPL²) in collaboration with the German Logistics association “Bundesvereinigung für Logistik” (BVL) and the Dutch network Jong Logistiek Nederland (JLN) were brought together over four days in mutual purpose of an educational field trip to not only deepen the cooperation that were freshly entered but also to improve them further. The associations share core values and aim to attract career starters and logistics passionates while offering knowledge and possibilities to network and build a successful career within the logistics sector. It is in mutual interest to jointly develop the collaborations to extend the networks with fellow practitioners from all over the countries.

Johannes Hesse and Mathias Weinmann, speakers of the YPL² from Luxembourg explained: “This is just the first step on a long way to strengthen the cross-border collaborations between Young Professionals. We want cooperate with friends of logistics on an international scale to raise even more the awareness of the importance and complexity of Logistics & Supply Chain Management in the cultural diverse environment where we – the so called “digital natives” – grew up in. Borders in such manner should no longer exist and for everybody involved there is surely a win-win situation ahead. Networks should strongly profit from each other while open events for each other’s members. “

The destination of the excursion was the Kingdom of Denmark, which in 2016 was not only being honoured as the happiest country in the world but also being known for living “hyke”, the Danish expression for having very comfortable feeling in life. The organisers got therefore curious and wanted to get to know the country and its companies which in turn reflect a high degree of sustainability and relate to the common good of the Danish. Here you can find the full agenda of the trip.

The first visit scheduled started on Thursday at the “State of Green” in Copenhagen, a unique organisation that stands for the Danish self-awareness of environmental-specific issues. It serves as a parent organisation for all companies and institutions involved and supports them in their commitment to sustainability.

After getting in intensive touch of the Danish weather and eating the Smorrebrod in various variations in Nyhavn, one of the symbolic images of the capital of Denmark, the group visited Leapcraft. The start-up’s flagship product is a sensor that is installed on lamppost masts, for example, and which measures air pollution and noise emissions in cities.

On Friday, the participants attended Ramboll, a global consulting and engineering company that play a key role in the construction of the Oeresund bridge, which connects Copenhagen with Malmo, Sweden. Within two presentations the participants learned how the concept of the “Smart and Livable Cities” was implemented and how energy aspects are crucial as well.

It turned out that not only the Dutch prefer the ride the bike but the Danish as well. This is primarily because it is the fastest means of transport – which sounds logical, but also because it saves money and keeps fit. Towards this pronounced environmental awareness, it took a decade of education to start in the middle of the 70s! The Danish infrastructure is focused on pedestrians and cyclists rather than on vehicles (sarcasm on: luckily the groups before going decision was to take mainly the van as a mean of transport….). Which other capital can claim this already?

It was great for the group to get through company visits as well as daily contact with people a certain insight into the perspective of a country and the mindset of its people. However, there is hardly any better insight about the behavior of people but by an ambassador himself. Thus, on the sideline of a lunch, the group together with the Dutch Ambassador and representatives of the Luxembourg Embassy shared the won impressions.

Subsequently, the group visited the so-called UN – City as well as the container giant MAERSK, where the visit focused as well on the topic of sustainability. As Malmo is only a few kilometers from Copenhagen, the group decided to go on a short trip over the impressive Oeresund and enjoy a dinner in Sweden.

The penultimate day was dominated by a visit of the European cultural capital 2017 Aarhus. After a trip along the coast the road kilometers could be skipped by a fast ferry ride. Arrived in Aarhus, a representative of ID-advice was met with focus on the implementation of RFID technology in bicycles. A very exciting project which takes the potential of such technology within urban logistics. The next day gave time to the participants to decide on their own how to spend the morning before the group went back to Copenhagen, where the journey found its end.

In summary, our overall expectations to not only to get familiar with the successful implementation of innovative but also with sustainable Danish industrial solutions were met. It was interesting to learn in a more concrete way on how the Danes plan and act towards the innovative and sustainable sector and how it plays a key role for us the so called “digital natives”.

Further, to see the blithe and happy life of the Danish was particularly impressive and that although the sun is not shining as and although the participants knew each other only sporadically, the group grew together strongly over the total period.

Of course, there are always things to do better and but for the fact that it was the first ever held field trip of this kind in which several organizations had been involved and in the beginning many things were open, a very positive conclusion can be drawn.

Because of that loudly discussions about the follow destination for 2018 got started – stay tuned.