Connector Spotlight: Mikkel Lunding
June 4, 2020
Q. Tell us a bit about the projects you’re working on.
I recently finished writing Connected’s Smart Home Report 2020 with a cross-disciplinary team of our talented practitioners. But as always in product, a completed task is quickly replaced by a new to-do!
Right now I’m very excited about helping out focusing our unallocated practitioners in what we call “Connected Labs”. As a product consultancy working with many new technologies, I believe we have an exciting opportunity to really understand our clients’ industries from many diverse perspectives. Especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With that in mind, a question we’re really interested in right now is: how we can use technology to ease our way back to a “new” normal? We call this returntech. Our Connected Labs’ efforts are focused around building out proof of concepts, which gives our practitioners unique opportunities to explore novel technologies that we can leverage in our client relationships—not to mention the educational aspect of letting our Connectors experiment with new, exciting technologies.
Q. What’s the most interesting challenge about the project?
Organizing an exploratory R&D unit like Connected Labs has three main challenge statements to solve for;
1. What user pain points is the industry trying to solve for right now?
2. What technologies are available to solve these pain points?
3. Do our unallocated resources have the skill set needed to work with the technologies in question?
It’s the aggregate of the three challenges together that excites me about the work.
Q. Where did you work prior to Connected?
Google, Trivago, and Scotiabank.
Q. What achievement are you most proud of in your career to date?
When I worked for Google I worked in the policy enforcement realm. One of the projects I was involved with led to the permanent advertisement ban for several organizations that were involved in a mulit-million dollar scam that masquraded human trafficking and fraud as a dating service. No matter how scary big tech can seem to a lot of people, I really want to pass a big shout out to Google for being seriously on top of their game when it comes to keeping nasty internet content away from their users!
Q. Do you have a mantra you live by?
“Nothing lasts” (and not in a pessimistic or negative way) and “everything in moderation”.
Q. What do you love to do outside of work?
Cooking, music (playing and listening), gardening, historical fiction books, sports, and long nights discussing everything and nothing with family and friends over a well-made meal.
Q. If you were stuck on a deserted island, what album, movie, and book would you take with you?
Album – Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon (so much musical bliss and emotional variety)
Movie – Richard Linklater’s Waking Life (enough philosophical content for a lifetime)
Book – Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy (the best historical fiction I’ve ever read. I still hold some of the characters near and dear to my heart)
Q. Describe yourself in three words.
Independent, Friendly, Imaginative.
Q. And finally, what’s your favourite product and why?
As a Dane, I’ve got to say my bicycle, it takes me everywhere in a healthy and sustainable manner. My guitar deserves some praise too, as a tool for me to connect with friends and broader musical creativity. Don’t bike and play simultaneous, though.
From a software-related perspective, my favourite product is by far messenger apps. Having friends and family all over the world, it enables me to stay in touch with people across vast distances. WhatsApp is my personal favourite.
Fri May 26
Thoughtworker Spotlight: Jagbir Lehl Singh
Some may know him as Canada’s Head of Delivery, but Jagbir Lehl Singh is also a writer (check out some of his articles!), a foodie and a runner. His team would add aspiring rapper to the many hats he wears – you’ll have to join the team to see why! As a builder of high performance teams, he is laser-focused on driving his teams to deliver impact to clients by achieving their business goals. When it comes to scaling agility in organizations and creating structures where teams thrive, Jagbir uses his 18+ years of experience to support the growth of Thoughtworkers, developing them into leaders through his mentorship. If he’s not exploring Toronto’s latest gems for unique cuisine and beverages, you can find him outdoors, taking long weekend walks with his family. As a continuous learner who enjoys staying on his toes, can you guess what his favourite product is? Hint: It has been a constant companion of his for the last five years.
Fri May 19
Thoughtworker Spotlight: Eisa Keramatinejad
On this week’s Thoughtworker Spotlight, we have Eisa Keramatinejad! He’s a multi-talented individual, who’s as skilled in developing robust code as he is in nurturing creativity. By day, he’s a software engineer, working with clients to continuously improve processes and introduce best practices in product development. Eisa is also a leader in the API (Asian Pacific Islander) ERG at Thoughtworks Canada, building a supportive community for API Thoughtworkers to strengthen ties, raise API voices and visibility. This API Heritage Month, the mighty leaders organized celebrations ranging from a Snack Showdown, movie viewing and discussions, and an in-person API Festival, to name just a few. Beyond the realm of coding, Eisa steps outside of his comfort zone, taking on stand-up comedy at open mics and embracing the wild ride of laughter. When he’s not cat caregiving, you can find him playing the cello, setting his team up for success at volleyball and dedicating time for life drawing. Based on his strengths and skills, can you guess Eisa’s favourite products? Hint: These are great tools for keeping his creative juices flowing.