Executive Summit in Helsinki: Meet the hosts

Nordic Game is coming to Finland on 15-16 November, with an exciting business-focused schedule and a mission to give games companies and industry professionals an even better reason to attend Slush.

The Executive Summit is a cornerstone of Nordic Game’s activities in Helsinki this November, but what is it about? To learn more, please meet Executive Summit hosts and moderators Sonja Ängeslevä, CEO & co-founder of Phantom Gamelabs (FI) and Anette Ståløy, CMO at Dirtybit (NO).

Image above from left to right: Sonja Ängeslevä and Anette Ståløy.

Nordic Game: Hello Sonja and Anette! Please introduce yourselves and tell us why you agreed to host the Exec Summit in Helsinki?

Sonja Ängeslevä: I am the CEO of Phantom Gamelabs. We are a hyper-accessible mid-core game studio. I have been a games industry activist for more than 10 years. I founded Women in Games Finland, formalised IGDA Finland to be the first IGDA chapter outside the US and steered Neogames Finland as the chairperson for several years. I agreed to host the Exec Summit because it’s a perfect way to get in touch with the community again. I am eager to learn from others and as a host, together with Anette, can choose topics and drive the discussion to actionable results.

Anette Ståløy: I’m Chief Marketing Officer at Dirtybit, the Norwegian games studio behind the Fun Run series for mobile. I have been in the games industry for seven years, mainly focusing on marketing and business development. Hosting the Exec Summit gives me lots of inspiration and is a great way to build one’s network in the industry. All the positive feedback from former participants, and knowing that my co-host would be Sonja, made it an easy decision to immediately accept when asked to host the Exec Summit again.

Nordic Game: Anette, you are a Nordic Game legend and have helped us many times, especially with hosting and organising our Exec summits. What’s the mission behind doing these exec-focused events?

Anette Ståløy: Oh, thank you ? It has been a true joy to be part of the Exec Summit team. The very best part of the Nordic games industry is how open and friendly people are, willing to share learnings and network. And that is at the core of what we want to achieve with the Exec Summit – to bring together games industry executives to meet, share learnings and openly discuss current industry challenges.

Nordic Game: Sonja, can you tell us a bit about the topics for the Exec Summit in Helsinki, and why you’ve chosen these?

Sonja Ängeslevä: As an industry, we have faced more diverse challenges over the last few years than in the previous 10 years. Companies face similar challenges no matter what their core business is or game genre they are focusing on. Global crises like pandemic and war in Ukraine have changed networks as well as the ways and places of work.

We have seen app store player privacy changes, along with other changes on the market like web3 that bring opportunities but also uncertainties to the business environment. On top of that, game studios have to consider their approach to DE&I strategy and UNESCO’s sustainable development goals, just to give a few examples.

The games industry community is strong, but we haven’t been able to have executive level discussions for a while. At the Exec Summit, we want to hear what our peers find challenging in building sustainable businesses and upholding Finnish company culture in current hybrid/remote work situations.

Nordic Game: Is the event in Helsinki only meant for Finnish execs? If not, then why should leaders of the industry from outside Finland participate?

Sonja Ängeslevä: Executive Summit topics are relevant for game industry executives regardless of their home. At the Executive Summit we will discuss openly about the challenges, but also ways to overcome some of them. Many Finnish game studios are happy to share and help others to grow. I am sure this event would bring a lot of value to those executives who want to join the discussion and share their thoughts with their peers.

Anette Ståløy: I highly recommend the Exec Summit for executives also outside of Finland. In previous summits hosted in Malmö, we have had participants from across the Nordics, from all over Europe and some from the US and Canada as well. Regardless of location, we share a lot of the same challenges, and it is great to meet with new people and try to come up with solutions together.

Nordic Game: How is the Exec Summit structured? Is it “just” a huge discussion forum, or have you planned any activities for the participants to get the talk flowing?

Sonja Ängeslevä: The Executive Summit is about group conversations and sharing one’s thoughts with others. It’s our responsibility to provide good orientation on the topics. We will also have guest stars setting the stage for key topics!

Nordic Game: What are you looking forward to most for this Exec Summit?

Sonja Ängeslevä: I want to learn from others and hear how they approach some current challenges. Hopefully I can take along a few tips and apply those to my company.

Anette Ståløy: It’s always great to be in Helsinki to meet with industry friends and contacts, and I’m always inspired by the studios and people I meet, so I’m looking forward to coming back in just a few weeks. I can’t wait to observe great and engaging conversations happening around the tables and to hear people say, “Oh no, already?” when we as hosts go around and informing that time is running out ? See you there!

Nordic Game: Thank you so much and see you in Helsinki! ?

The Executive event program at NG22 Helsinki is presented by i3D.net, UberStrategist, Xsolla, Yahaha Studios, Neogames and Rehaboo!.

Join us in Finland!
Join Nordic Game in Helsinki on 15-16 November and schedule your games industry meetings in the MeetToMatch Lounge (included with all passes), join our fall Publisher Market as a developer (selected submissions only – apply here) or publisher (pass upgrade here) and mingle during our After-Hours gathering to build relationships and make new connections that will push your business forward for 2023 and beyond.

Nordic Game Helsinki passes will go on sale and registration will open for this fall’s Executive Summit right here from Thursday, 29 September.

Welcome to Nordic Game!


Become a Nordic Game partner
Nordic Game would not be celebrating its debut Helsinki edition this fall without the tremendous support of our sponsors and partners. Many of them have already signed-up for our 2022 events, but we’re always ready to welcome new partners.

Contact us here for more info about the wealth of opportunities available to put your brand in front of the entire Nordic developer community and their global peers at Nordic Game – in Helsinki this fall, at Slagthuset and online in Malmö next spring and beyond.

This is Slush

This is Slush
Slush has grown from a single gathering in Helsinki to a series of events organised all around the world. The crown-jewel event is the annual Slush event, but Slush also hosts smaller get-togethers around the globe.

It all started in 2008 in Helsinki with a one-day affair made up of around 250 people. While the size of the Slush event has grown by leaps and bounds, the goal has stayed the same: focus on how best to serve start-up ecosystems across the world.

As a company, Slush serves start-ups, founders and investors through the main annual Slush event as well as Slush products: start-up media Soaked by Slush, online community Node by Slush and smaller global events Slush’D.

If you are Slush ticket holder and/or registered with Slush, you can find Nordic Game Helsinki activities scheduled in the list of partner side events on the Slush platform website here (login required).

Nordic Game Helsinki

About the Nordic Game conference
Nordic Game is the leading games conference in Europe, and 2022 marks its twenty-first and twenty-second editions, as well as our return to historic Slagthuset and debut in Helsinki. Gathering thousands of industry professionals in the spring and autumn each year, Nordic Game is the one and only “home turf” meeting place for the highly successful game developers of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

Learn more about Nordic Game last May, this November and next spring.

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