Qi Global is a company born out of the idea of human progress, very much a lofty and vague ambition for a start-up that many would likely dismiss. However, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Qi, Mette Kristine Oustrup, has successfully proven that money can really be made on the basis of bettering the world.
Qi gathers speakers from around the world to share ideas about social progress with companies at a conference - the result of Kristine’s global contacts amassed through her extensive travelling, as well as the fact that she loved being around people who had ideas to share.
“I had, for many years, created a career in fashion and trend forecasting, and at night I used to be involved in fund raising for charity in Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy and France. So I wanted to create something that was perhaps more meaningful, using my skills, which are mainly innovation,” she said.
After reaching out to her global contacts, and getting to know Singapore contacts through her network, Qi was launched in 2009, attracting more than 200 guests who came to listen to six speakers. “It started as a passion, but as it grows into a network of innovators, it becomes more a business that’s created around the strength I personally have and that of my team,” the native Danish added.
And due to the innovative ideas gleaned at every conference, Qi has moved on to
develop a tool that measures the innovation culture within an organization. After two years, the company’s revenue model is now corporate membership, in which companies pay to be advised by Qi.
In 2009, the focus was on green issues, while in 2010 the Qi Global conference was to do with social issues. This year, Qi’s theme is ‘Designing Asia 2.0” – which zooms in on creating solutions, better than the ones we have today. “The 2.0 vision is a society with economic growth, but economic growth that also has human progress, by combining innovation with design and creativity to create solutions that are better than the ones we have today,” Kristine said.
As a local start-up on the global stage, Qi used to raise eyebrows as people questioned Kristine’s decision to launch something in Singapore, a country many thought lacked innovation. Kristine is highly optimistic though, that as Singapore settles into its successful economic growth, it is about to embark on “the next upgrade,” which is very much in green living as it is in helping the less fortunate.
“Now it’s a very exciting time because innovation culture, in quite a few scenarios, seems to be the way forward, that’s what they want to drive these businesses,” she said.
This article is written by Kaylene Hong.
Kaylene Hong is a fresh journalism graduate from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information. She has written stories for a wide span of genres, from food and travel to crime and politics. Her passion for journalism has even taken her to Hong Kong where she interned at a newspaper. She is working at a finance-related news company now, and is keen to explore her interests further in this related field. Contact Kaylene at firstname.lastname@example.org