Prof. Paul Louis Iske

Co-Founder, President Netherlands

Paul Iske is professor at the School of Business and Economics, University Maastricht, Netherlands, focusing on Open Innovation and Business Venturing. Special topic: Combinatoric Innovation (Innovation by Combination). He is member of the Management Team of the Service Science Factory (www.servicesciencefactory.nl) and he is on the Board of the Network of Social Innovation (www.networksocialinnovation.nl).
Furthermore, Paul Iske is Chief Dialogues Officer and Director of the Dialogues Incubator at ABN AMRO Bank (www.dialoguesincubator.nl). In these roles he is responsible for open, radical, social and sustainable innovation. He is initiator and Director of the Dialogues House, ABN AMRO’s center for outside-in and future-proof thinking and behaviour (www.dialogueshouse.nl).
Paul founded the ‘Institute of Brilliant Failures'
(www.brilliantfailures.com), with the mission to highlight the importance of experimentation to achieve paradigm shifts and breakthrough innovation. On a free-lance basis, Paul acts as an independent consultant on Knowledge-conscious Management and supports organisations in the development and implementation of programs focusing on leveraging knowledge as a strategic production factor.

Furthermore, he acts as a board-room consultant on issues related to innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. As ‘Consulting Challenger’ he invites his clients to make the extra step and to look beyond the obvious. He is a frequent speaker on international conferences and workshops
focusing on Innovation, Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Knowledge Management.

Paul is married and has three children. He enjoys this learning organization as well as walking in the (Norwegian) mountains, playing tennis and listening to classical music.

+31 6 54 62 61 60

Tom Åge Myhren

Co-Founder, President Norway

Tom was born 1965 and raised along Præstvægen Ringsaker. He has lived a life at the intersection of practical craftsmanship, sound engineering, cultural work - and work with and for people. His strength is that he very easily gets ideas and thoughts that are obviously there for us all , but in a strange way he gets them out fairly smoothly.


His job has become his lifestyle - or is it the opposite? Tom believes that the individual’s drive is built on the Life and Job Satisfaction. It is a delight to work together on something that matters , that creates meaning , direction and which additionally triggers Creative Power .


The first time Tom got to be part of something like that was when he became Deputy Minister of Imagination in the previous government in Lucky Næroset . He also was Encouragement Minister.


Tom founded the ‘Oppmuntring Politi’ (Opitmism Police), aiming to make people and organisations aware of practices that violate the fundamental rights of Positive Energy

Are Koppang

Team Member

Whenever really confronted with the who are you-question, Are tends to reply “A misplaced musician”. But in his younger days he also showed some technical talent and interest. He was given positive feedback an encouragement and set out the course to become an electronics engineer.


He did, but felt the urge to add another dimension and added business and administration studies to his CV before joining Alcatel Telecom (then ITT, now Alcatel Lucent) to work with international sales of public telecoms systems in 1986. 12 years went by and Are was married and with his wife adopted the first of two girls along the way.


Career-wise a restructuring at Alcatel, in 1991, placed him in charge of the people that hired him 4 ½ years earlier. This and much of Ares quick climb on the career ladder, he thinks comes from a long row of successful dealings in China for Alcatel and later Park Air Systems (now Indra Navia). A seasoned manager he moved to Park Air Systems in 1998. “The 6 ½ years I got there told me a lot of what I know about making an impact on a global market despite size and political or financial muscle. And it told me a lot about the difference between failure and success, i.e. what drives it”. 20 years into his career he felt the need to slow down and participate in the upbringing of his daughters.


The family moved to a village (now town!) called Moelv. Are got the position as managing director of Elsikkerhet Norge AS just as the company was being established (2004/2005). He has built this (initially local/regional) provider of electrical safety services to become Norway’s most innovative and successful company of its type. And along the way he met a local mastermind called Tom Åge Myhren. Some of the outcome is IISO …

Ivar Haugstad

Team Member

Ivar graduated from the University of Oslo in 2011,and in his MA theses he examined the factors and processes that prevail in a tourist destinations ability to attract visitors.

Besides being a creative and inspiring source for the founding of the institute, he has initiated an ongoing anthropological research of oppmuntring (Norwegian for encouragement / creating optimism), where he seek a deep anthropological understanding of oppmuntring  as a social phenomenon. In his research he examines practices and social aspects related to encouragement as a factor in the creation of positive and energizing environment.

Ivar is curious and inquisitive by nature. Therefore it is not surprising that he ended up as a social anthropologist. This probably also explains why he, during his 35 years of life, has acquired a very broad background of experience from various businesses, and lived in north, west, south and east of Norway.  New people, new communities, new experiences and new impressions is the driving force in Ivars life.


Ivar Karlstad

Team Member

Text Ivar

Katarina Lerkendal

Team Member

Text Katarina

Lucas den Boer

Team Member

Lucas den Boer is General Manager of DNBN. In addition to this, Lucas den Boer is Program Manager/Principal Consultant at Atos. His main focus as Principal Consultant is the Airline Business. Lucas den Boer is also Entrepreneur: Founder and CEO of 1Portal4You International, a 100% online company, and Social Entrepeneur, sponsoring and supporting non-profit organizations, like Child & Youth Financial International, Plan International and other NGO’s.

+31 (0)6 22 241 508