Inspiring Ideas

Welcome to the official web site of Fredrik Härén

Fredrik Härén is an author and speaker on Business Creativity. He has delivered over 2000 presentations, lectures and workshops in over 60 countries on 6 continents and has inspired hundreds of thousands of business people to become more creative and to look at the world in a new way. He is the author of nine books, including “The Idea Book” that was included in “The 100 Best Business Books of All Time”.

18 November 2013
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All is Gone. Now all we have left is new ideas.

A few years back me and my wife had an idea: What if we would let people stay – for free! – on our private island in the Philippines so they could work on their ideas! It was a beautiful idea, We called it Ideas Island, launched a website (, invested, built and planned and finally started to invite guests. The people who got to stay there just loved it. We loved being able to let people stay there for free and we loved the ideas the guests worked on.

Last week that dream got a punch in the face in the form of super-Typhoon Yolanda.
All that we had been building over the last few years got destroyed. Our house, our two boats, our infrastructure. Everything. Even our tree-house got blown away. As our caretaker wrote in his first SMS to us when his mobile started to work again: “All is gone.” Luckily our staff is safe! But the dream that we made happen is gone. We are back to where we started: with an empty island with nothing on it. Seeing the idea of Ideas Island go from idea to realisation to over-night destruction has made me realise something: To see one of your favourite ideas come to life is one of the purest forms of happiness there is. To see one of your favourite projects be ruined is not sad. It just leaves you with a feeling of emptiness.

And from that I have drawn the conclusion that we should all think about what grand, beautiful, crazy or beautiful ideas we are carrying around with us. What is stopping us from making them happen? Is it fear? Of what? Failure? Of what will happen if it doesn’t become a success? Of what will happen if we invest all that time, money and effort into something that will never take off – or if it all gets blown away in a storm?

Well, take it from me:
The joy of giving birth to ideas is greater than the sorrow of seeing ideas die. Immensely bigger. We have nothing to fear. You have nothing to fear.

Go back and revisit those gorgeous ideas of yours and pick the one that you really would like to make happen. That one idea that the world really needs. Or the one you just think is a fun, little, cool thing that would make people smile – like our idea of Ideas Island. And then make it happen.

If it does become a success you will feel immortal . If it fails you will not die. The sun will rise again, you will move on – but at least you will feel happy that you tried. Ideas inspire us like almost nothing else in life. The word inspiration means “to breathe in” – in other words, to be inspired is “the oxygen of our mind” – it’s what’s keeps us alive.

Believe in your ideas.
Make them happen.
Tell your friends to make their ideas happen.
You will be glad you did.
Even if you one day wake up to the news that your idea was blown away in a storm.
Trust me. I know.

5 November 2013
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News for October

October was a crazy month. In 30 days Fredrik got to see Thailand, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Australia, Taipei, Singapore, Dubai, UK, the Philippines and Malaysia.

He spoke for bankers, students, IT-professionals, Oil & Gas Experts, Accountants, consultants, teachers and many, many more.

He spoke on a beach in Phuket, in a conference place next to a castle and in a casino.

It was an amazing months – full of inspiration from – literally – around the world.

Here are some videos from the month of October:

15 October 2013
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Fredrik Haren featured in Bangladesh media

Fredrik Haren, an author and speaker on business creativity, founder of, shares his theories of creativity with Dhaka Tribune

5 October 2013
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News for September

September was a month of contrasts.

Fredrik got to speak for Kommerskollegium – one of the oldest government institutions in Sweden – it’s been running since 1651!

But he also spoke for branding professionals in Bangladesh.

The contrast could not have been bigger.

He also got to speak to banking managers as well as sales people. Quite a big contrast too.

He spoke in a dark room for designers in Finland and for young students in Singapore. Also that a big difference.

All in the month of September.

The ability to speak for different professionals in different industries and from different parts of the world gives a speaker a unique ability to get a bigger picture of what is going on in the world.

Below is a short video to give a glimpse into the life of Fredrik in September.

12 September 2013
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News for August

Looking Back

In August Fredrik was in Sweden enjoying his time on his island. But he also took the time to speak for some schools. He spoke for 2000+ students at Jōnkōping University. After the speech the client wrote “You are a Rockstar here now!”

He also spoke for the new 150 students at HyperIsland school in Stockholm. One student summarised the speech as: “It was a bloody great speech!” Finally he spoke for all the teachers at the largest private school company in Sweden. After the speech one teacher wrote “You are an amazing speaker and you truly inspire people- including me!”

To be able to inspire students – and teachers – to become more creative is one of the most rewarding parts of being a speaker. If you know of a school that would benefit from a speech from Fredrik please let me know, he would love to come and help out.



26 July 2013
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News for July.

This month I am in the middle of a 9 week tour of all 3 Ideas Islands.
I started with a one week stay on Ideas Island 1 in the Philippines.
I then spent one week on Ideas Island 2
And I am now on a 4 week stay on Ideas Island 3 before going back to Ideas Island 2.

9 weeks on Ideas Islands: an overdose of creative inspiration and quality of life.

Spending the days getting inspired by nature, contemplating ideas in the serenity of being isolated on an island and enjoying the feeling of how life slows down.

That means 9 weeks (whereof 6 weeks in a row) of no traveling, no speaking, no clients. And a minimal of work.

Yesterday I went to the Abba Museum in Stockholm and learnt that Bjorn and Benny of Abba wrote almost all of their hits on a small island outside Stockholm. In a video Benny said: “Being on tour kills creativity.” I think he, like me, are of the opinion that traveling the world is great for inspiration that can LEAD to ideas – but the ideas will not COME unless you give yourself time to unwind, relax and slow down.

So after speaking in 23 different countries in 2012 and jetting around in the same way in 2013 I am now in a contemplation phase consisting of 9 weeks on Ideas Islands.

If you also want to experience the unique feeling of spending time on any of the Ideas Islands click on the Ideas Island link and apply for a chance to stay.

2 July 2013
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News for June


What does baby food producers in France and logistics centres in China have in common?
How is a MBA class in Singapore connected to mobile phone developers in Taiwan?

And what does all that have to do with a japanese company committed to becoming a truly global company?

Well they where all examples of groups that I spoke for in June.

By being a global speaker on business creativity I do not only speak on creativity and global business – I also get to learn from businesses around the world, and in all kinds of industries, how they are using creativity and innovation to improve.

That is what I love with this job.
That I can stand and speak to a group of global managers from Danone on a wine yard in the south of France on day before jumping on a plane to go to the Philippines.

That I can fly in to Taipei to learn about how HTC is developing their new smart phone and the next day speak at the Global Technology Conference for clients of DHL.
Or how I can spend on day in Tokyo first speaking for a very interesting japanese company  and then going out with clients and have a traditional japanese dinner.


So June was another month full of different impressions from around the world giving me inspiration and teaching me many new things.

July will be something totally different.

2 June 2013
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News for May

May was a months with less than normal travel for Fredrik.

Yet he still managed to go to: Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Philippines and Singapore for work.

The theme of the month can be called “Learning” as many of his assignments this month was about learning in one way or another.

Like how he was the opening speaker at the first course by HyperIsland in Singapore.

Or how he was invited to speak at the European Union about the importance of play.

Or how he spoke for 600 kindergarten teachers about creativity and learning.

Or how he was invited to speak about being a global citizen at a seminar at Oslo University.

But the most fun part was probably flying to Sweden to receive the keys to our third Ideas Island and being able to kick-start the island by having a guest stay there the very first month of operation.

The guest was very happy with his stay. So lets end with his quote from the island:

“I had the opportunity to stay a few days at the ideas island #3 (Vifärnaholme) in Sweden and it was a very special and great experience. I stayed 4 days at the island to write on my new book ‘Less is beautiful’ and got a lot of inspiration and a lot of work done thanks to the island. There are not a lot of distractions from the ‘busyness world’ so I could really focus on your goal + if I got stuck, I explored the island and everytime I found a new ‘secret’ place to get inspired. Absolutely recommended if you’re looking for silence, concentration and making ideas happen.”

– Cyriel Kortleven

2 May 2013
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News for April

In April Fredrik visited 6 countries for work:

He got to speak to many diverse groups, from marketing professionals at a Marketing conference in Warsaw, to country heads for SEA for NIKE at a conference in Jakarta and for treasury clients of CITI in Singapore and many more.

He got to speak for a government body (MIDA in KL), for corporate clients (on a speech about “One World. One Company.” in China) and creatives (in Poland.)

Perhaps the most interesting assignment was to be flown in to Shanghai to be the keynote speaker as the Swedish Business Association celebrated 15 years. Fredrik did a speech at the dinner on the differences in creativity between different cultures. Having spoken on creativity in – now – 47 countries, it is safe to say that he has some experience to draw from.

29 March 2013
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News for March.

After launching “One World. One Company.” last month it was very fitting that March was again a very global month for Fredrik.

In 17 days in March he spoke in:

Cambodia, Singapore, Norway, Sweden, Abu Dhabi and Indonesia.

Traveling to different places means nothing unless you also learn. So in March Fredrik learnt (amongst other things) about:

How the tape industry is being changed by the mobile phone business while speaking for Tesa.

How mobile payments in Africa is driving the digital money industry while speaking for Visa.

How the renewable energy sector is changing while speaking for Siemens.

What the future of search looks like while speaking for

How much food is wasted by commercial airlines while speaking for Jeppesen.


How the drive for more nutritious food in developing countries is driving growth, while speaking for Danone.

As a bonus he also got to:

See how the ancient builders of Angkor Wat in Cambodia built their temples.

Learn how the drivers of jeeps tackle the sand dunes by attending a dessert safari.

And much, much more.

Not bad for a month where Fredrik took 12 days off to be on paternity leave with his newborn, baby girl.

Quote of the Month:

“Fredrik’s presentation was very well received by our audience. Although I had experienced it before and knew what was coming, it was again very stimulating and motivating for me personally.”

– Andrea Stumpf, Jeppesen. (Who booked Fredrik for two of their mayor customer conferences in the last 6 month.)