Mikael is an accomplished public speaker and renowned for his passionate keynotes, as you might expect from one of the leading voices in urbanism. He can inspire an audience regardless of size. He may also provoke but he will definitely force them to look differently at the cities in which they live. He has given his trademark keynotes in over 100 cities around the world and is dynamic, energetic and entertaining on stage. As an international urban thinker, his onstage presence confirms his love of cities and his many ideas about how to make them better.
His keynotes are best at between 45-60 minutes, although shorter keynotes are, of course, doable. See him speak on the TED Talks & Videos page. Scroll to the bottom of this page to fill out of form to request a booking.
Bicycle Urbanism by Design
One of his primary keynotes is Bicycle Urbanism by Design which draws upon his philosophies about urbanism and his practical experience working with cities. He appeals to our rationality in saying that we should choose to design our cities and streets instead of relying solely on traffic engineering as we have done for so many decades. This is about design as a human-to-human process and how we should use design to create better urban environments. In addition, Mikael lays out out the data and the business model that makes it a must for cities to start work putting back bicycles as transport. Others may speak about the same topic - even using Mikael’s phrases and philosophies - but no one does it quite like he does.
Mikael can, of course, speak about a wide variety of other topics.
Cargo Bike Logistics
The rise of the cargo bike continues unabated. Over 70 cities in Europe now have last-mile delivery of packages from cargo bikes. From a baseline in Copenhagen, where there are 40,000 cargo bikes in daily use, Mikael explains how using the cargo bike as an integral part of logistics is both a no-brainer and a natural evolution. Cargo bikes were a normal transport form for decades in most cities in the world and now they are returning. Mikael explains the history of the cargo bike in cities and the modern benefits, such as the ease of implementation and details about how cargo bikes are the way forward for moving stuff around our cities. For families, small businesses and heavy logistics.
The Life-Sized City
Mikael harvests enormous experience in shooting his documentary TV series about global urbanism The Life-Sized City. He can curate a wide range of topics about citizens and politicians all over the planet thinking differently about their cities for the first time in a century and realising that they have the power to change the urban landscape for the better. Mikael shows examples from cities as diverse as Medellin, Tokyo, Toronto, Mexico, Copenhagen, Cape Town - to name but a few - and calls the audience to action to follow the lead of urban citizens everywhere. Tactical urbanism, architecture, urban design, policy-making, citizen engagement, activism - it’s all happening. Right now. It is exciting, important and relevant for citizens and city dwellers to hear about it. Inspiration should be shared.
The Deep-rooted Design Culture of the Danes
It’s no secret that Denmark is a design nation. For decades exhibitions around the world have featured chairs, tables, lamps and other interior furniture crafted by our designers. But what many people don’t realise is how deep-rooted this design culture is. Children are introduced to Danish Design in the third grade, learning the three principles: functional, practical & elegant and creating designs based on them. Outside our carefully crafted homes, however, there is an entire urban landscape that has been designed back on the same principles. The cycle track network, parks, playgrounds, social programs, wayfinding… you name it. This keynote explains the design culture of the Danes and focuses on how we design the spaces that we all share through design thinking and design for change.
The Modern Verbosity of Urbanism
In this keynote, Mikael explores the modern verbosity of urbanism. So many words and phrases are being coined - most of them describing things we already know and have already invented. Are we selling new wine in old bottles? Mikael explains the massive vocabulary that we’re developing and talks about the reasons for it. He also talks about how too many words and phrases dazzle and confuse the public and risk stunting the development of effective urban change and policy.
Effective Urban Leadership
Many cities are eager to change and modernise but most struggle with the paradigm shift. Through his global experience, Mikael has identified the factors that need to be in place for effective, modern leadership, whether it is politics or citizen movements. He meets mayors and politicians wherever he goes with his work and he is equipped to analyse and philosophise about how and why a century of car-culture has stunted effective policy-making and how the Age of Urbanism is changing the rules.
We have an amazing product to sell, whether it is reestablishing sustainable transport in our cities or changing opinions about urbanism. Mikael has studied communication techniques - both effective and ineffective - and speaks about how to develop effective communication tools and strategies that spur change. We need to change the conversation and employ mainstream marketing techniques in order to normalise cycling and urbanism in cities. The tired, old environmentalist angle is flawed and urban citizens are used to a more modern approach. Mikael will provide the best recipe for selling the future.
Banking on Bikes
The economic benefits of building bicycle infrastructure are massive and they have been meticulously documented. Mikael talks about the hard numbers and he does the math. Banking on bikes in a city is not a green agenda - it is merely an excellent business model - the best in the history of transport. The health benefits for the citizens, the Return on Investment for the City, the massive wins for shopkeepers… Mikael spells it all out in detail.
Mikael has a broad repertoire of knowledge and experience and can craft a keynote to fit your needs and audience expectations. He has spoken about urbanism in winter cities, why shopkeepers and business associations should embrace bicycle infrastructure and pedestrian streets in order to make a higher profit, terror urbanism, child-friendly cities, etc.
Whatever you need, Mikael can provide a keynote that inspires and entertains.
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