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Vi e’ Bergen – itslearning is Bergen

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From the CEO's Desk

Bergensers are proud people, myself included. In fact, I would say that we are among the proudest people in the world – proud of our city, dialect and traditions.

Historical buildings in Bryggen in Bergen, Norway. UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Many people would say that Bergen is a big city with a smalltown charm, but that’s how we like it. We’re an old city with a proud history of seafaring and trading, and we are careful to look after our past because it is very much a part of our present and future.

Historical photo of the fish market in Bergen.

Next year this World Heritage City and Norway’s former capital will celebrate its 950th anniversary with the inclusive motto – Vi e’ Bergen (We are Bergen). Because, it’s the people who make Bergen special.

Ever since King Olav Kyrre sailed into the harbor and founded the city in 1070, Bergen has attracted people from all corners of the world to become the multi-cultural commercial center it is today.

In the last 20 years, I have seen Bergen grow even more rapidly, not just as a city, but also as a hub for Norway’s burgeoning startup scene. I am thrilled by this growth and even more excited to be surrounded by startups in our neighborhood of Solheimsviken in the heart of Bergen.

We were delighted when we were asked to host StartUp Lab Bergen’s Bread ‘n Spread in October to share experiences with other techies. To celebrate the city we live in, work in and love. To reflect on our shared histories and build a better Bergen for tomorrow. We are looking forward to more such opportunities for knowledge sharing.

“We learn by sharing. As a company centered around teaching and learning, I think it is very important for us to embrace this in all we do, not only for the products we deliver. Sharing experiences and learning from people in similar organizations will help us all grow. As a mature company we´ve learned many vital lessons that we are keen to share with startups, but equally important is what we can learn from startups.”

Lars-Jacob Hove, Head of Product Owners

Startup roots

We began as a startup, too, long before the term became the buzzword for technological entrepreneurship. We’ve come a long way since to become Europe’s leading learning management system. But we’ve not forgotten our humble beginnings and the challenges faced by startups.

bread and spread lunch event at the itslearning office in Bergen

Lars-Jacob and Linn Bredesen, Global Development Manager, presenting the itslearning story at our Bread ‘n Spread in collaboration with StartupLab Bergen.

In 1999, we were a small group of Norwegians who wanted to improve the world with technology that helps students achieve their potential. We are now a multinational company with a global footprint, but our mission has remained the same. Our Bergen office alone boasts of more than 15 nationalities, all working side by side, towards this common goal. As an education technology company, we never cease learning, innovating and improving. This is not just a job for us, this is our passion.

This is why we constantly reach out to teachers and schools in the cities and countries that we are in to get feedback and build a better learning platform for the digital citizens of the future. We believe that when teachers succeed, students do, too. Since Bergen is our home city, we work most closely with teachers here, and they have been instrumental in helping us design a learning platform that teachers love and want to use.

itslearning is very much a part of Bergen, and we will continue to be an integral part of this beautiful city.

I want to now take the opportunity to wish my beloved Bergen all the very best as it turns 950 years old in 2020. And, I’m excited to see how the city continues to grow and welcome people from around the world.

Vi e’ Bergen. We are Bergen.

Here’s a video (in Norwegian) from the Bergen Municipality (Bergen Kommune) with more on Bergen’s rich and international history as the city gears up for the celebrations next year.


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