Copen­hagen com­bines busi­ness and plea­sure with aplomb

The Dan­ish cap­i­tal com­bines busi­ness and plea­sure with aplomb. Is Copen­hagen’s pro­gres­sive at­ti­tude at the heart of its suc­cess?

Business Traveller - - CONTENTS -

Ahigh-heeled cy­clist in a crisp suit passes me on the street, mak­ing a hands-free call as she ped­als. It’s just af­ter 3pm on a Fri­day, and the con­crete prom­e­nades lin­ing Copen­hagen’s three rec­tan­gu­lar lakes – com­monly mis­taken for a sin­gle river – are bak­ing in the un­ex­pected spring heat. At the nearby har­bour, a power­boat car­ry­ing busi­ness­peo­ple guns down the satiny stretch of wa­ter to­wards Swe­den. On days like this, “bridg­ing” is also a thing in the Dan­ish cap­i­tal, where a denim-clad crowd perches along the walls of Dron­ning Louises Bridge, sip­ping cans of pil­sner and so­cial­is­ing un­til sun­rise.

You can’t pos­si­bly have made it through 2016 with­out hear­ing the word hygge (pro­nounced hue-gah). Just in case, it’s the Dan­ish ideal of ap­pre­ci­at­ing life’s sim­ple plea­sures: fam­ily, friends, na­ture, sooth­ing en­vi­ron­ments, a feel­ing of “a cosy to­geth­er­ness”. As a na­tion, Danes make time in their daily lives to ap­pre­ci­ate the small but im­por­tant things. It seems the rest of the world needs a man­ual to im­ple­ment this – The Lit­tle Book of Hygge: the Dan­ish Way to Live Well was a best­selling book in 2016. And, con­sis­tently steal­ing the top spots of “most live­able” and “hap­pi­est” in city rank­ings, Copen­hagen is cer­tainly get­ting some­thing right.

The en­vi­able Dan­ish lifestyle could be a trump card when it comes to at­tract­ing over­seas tal­ent. “I don’t think this fac­tor should be un­der­es­ti­mated,” says Claus Lon­borg, CEO of Copen­hagen Ca­pac­ity, which sup­ports for­eign com­pa­nies, in­vestors and tal­ent seek­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in Greater Copen­hagen.

“If you want to at­tract young tal­ent, you need to of­fer a cool place to live, with the right frame­work for de­vel­op­ing a busi­ness. To­day, young peo­ple want to know: ‘What’s it like liv­ing in Copen­hagen? Where can I hang out?’ They spend [more]time com­mu­ni­cat­ing about these things [than] about the ac­tual job and com­pany they’d be work­ing for.”

“If you want to at­tract young tal­ent, you need to of­fer a cool place to live, with the right frame­work for de­vel­op­ing a busi­ness”

The pro­to­type “float­ing island” in Copen­hagen’s har­bour by Aus­tralian ar­chi­tect Mar­shall Blecher and Mag­nus Maar­b­jerg of Dan­ish de­sign stu­dio Fok­strot

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