2016 in a nutshell

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” style=”margin: 0px;padding: 25px 0px 10px;”][cs_row inner_container=”false” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”2/3″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]INNSÆI – THE SEA WITHIN

The documentary film InnSæi – the Sea within was released. Me and Kristín Ólafsdóttir directed it, I wrote the script and Kristín produced it.

InnSæi goes around the world and on Netflix…

innsæi underwaterInnSæi was screened in a private screening in London in January, world premiered in Berlin on 29. June and shown in over 30 cinemas across Germany in 2016. It was US-premiered at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York on 23. September, premiered in Iceland on 6. October, shown in cinemas in Austria and Switzerland, shown in film festivals, screened and shown on TV in Sweden and now available online in Sweden. InnSæi was released online in Spain and on Netflix in Latin America around the new year.

[x_pullquote type=”left”]InnSæi will be available on Netflix U.S. from 1 February 2017[/x_pullquote]At the end of the year, we got the news that InnSæi will be released on Netflix USA from 1. February 2017.


InnSæi in some of the best universities in the world

InnSæi – the Sea within was also screened at Oxford Said Business School in the UK, Stanford University and at Yale University in the USA.

Every week we receive letters and messages from people all over the world, who share with us the impact the film has had on them, invite us to collaborate or co-think about the issues raised in the film.

InnSæi was named second best film of the year by a critique at Morgunbladid

Moggin nr 2InnSæi was selected the second best Icelandic film of the year by Morgunblaðið in Iceland and has received an extensive media coverage in the countries where it has been shown.

The idea behind the film was born in the summer of 2010. In August that year, I presented a concept paper to my colleague Kristin Olafsdottir at Klikk Productions. After I had directed and designed the Prisma-diploma programme 2008-2010, I wanted to explore the ideas behind the programme in an interactive and global context. These ideas revolved around the importance of creativity in a world dominated by logic and analysis, the importance of connecting within and navigate today’s world through the prism of different disciplines, cultures, perspectives and intuition, in order to see things in context. In order to rethink how we think, in a world that is changing very fast.


Yale World Fellows-003_800websiteEarly 2016 I got the great news that I had been selected into the 2016 Yale Greenberg World Fellows cohort. This year, Yale university selected 16 individuals from different parts of the world, from almost 5000 applications.

To give and take

I lived in New Haven and spent my time at Yale University for about 4 months. The Yale Greenberg World Fellows programme is Yale’s flagship leadership programme. We, as fellows mentor Yale students and share with the learning community our experiences, expertise and insights into the world we live in.

Once a week we got a lecture from an outstanding thinker or leader who shared his or her expertise and insights into today’s world. Among them were Timothy Snyder, one of the leading American historians and public intellectuals (I highly recommend you take a look at this), Miroslav Volf, who has been touted as “one of the most celebrated theologians of our day”, Zoë Chance, master of persuasion at Yale School of Management, former Presidential candidate and Vermont Governor Howard Dean, Wendall K. Harrington, called “the godmother of all projectors” in New York Magazine, Emma Sky, OBE, former political advisor to U.S. General Ray Odierno in Iraq, the Governorate Coordinator of Kirkuk for the Coalition Provisional Authority from 2003–2004, author of the highly recommended book The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq (2015) and director of the Yale Greenberg World Fellows programme. I could go on…

We got some serious media training and went through a personal development training programme with Tate-consulting.  We went on field trips to Washington, New York and on a retreat somewhere in Massachusetts. We could choose to audit any of the 5000 courses at Yale and we spent a lot of cherished time discussing one-on-one or in smaller groups with students and faculty.

yale world fellows nightAs part of our mentoring role, each of the fellows were fortunate to be assigned four students as our students liaisons. Mine were awesome and enriched my experience beyond words; Sarah Sax, Sonia Pascale, Analia Cuevas-Ferreras and Grigory Shutko. Their role was to help us organise and prepare roundtables, talks and other events. We built friendship, our student liaisons helped us navigate the life on campus and introduced us to other students and faculty.

Thirteen talks and roundtables

I gave thirteen talks and roundtables and was interviewed by the Connecticut radio station WNPR. It was an amazing time to reflect on the varied things I have worked on over the last 17 years. The topics I talked about covered my broad-based background in diverse areas like post-conflict reconstruction, gender equality, women’s rights, film-making, entrepreneurship, innovation & entrepreneurship, creative writing (play, poems, fiction, films), consulting, education programmes and teaching. It was the perfect time to synthesise the many threads I’ve been studying and working on and bring them together in some sort of a bundle.

A once in a life-time opportunity

Graduation YaleWhat stands out from this experience are the friendships made at Yale. The fellowship was a once in a life-time opportunity to work with, learn from and spend quality time with outstanding individuals from as different parts of the world as Syria, Austria, Mexico, Somalia, Afghanistan, UK, China, Uganda, South Africa, Russia, Canada, Israel, Brazil, Germany and Algeria.


The size of the Technology Development Fund in Iceland, which supports innovation and technological development with public grants, was doubled in size in 2015, to 2,3 billion ISK. A new board was put in place at the same time and I was designated the chair of the board, by the minister of innovation and industry. In the spring of 2016 we issued the largest total amount of funds to date, or over 800 million ISK.

Restructuring the fund

12552990_1112407498770134_8145878353398515159_nThe board and staff members of the Technology Development Fund finished implementing a new policy for the fund, which entails new and changed grants, organisation and higher grants than before. The previous board had drafted these changes by consulting with a broad based group of stakeholders. The current policy format and structure of funds is a dynamic process which we at the Technology Development Fund will strive to adjust and update according to feedback and experience, in order for it to serve its role the best way possible.


[x_blockquote type=”left”]The fund is now 2,3 billion ISK and spring 2016 grants were the biggest sum granted to date, or 800 million ISK.[/x_blockquote]

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