Carl Aaby, CEO/CSO Retail Manager IKEA Norway

Carl Aaby is the CEO & CSO of IKEA Norway. His career with IKEA spans over 18 years, working in countries like Japan, Austria and the Netherlands, before joining IKEA Norway in 2021. Carl has a clear ambition to make IKEA more relevant, affordable, and accessible for the many people, without compromising on sustainability.


Professor Tor Wallin Andreassen, NHH

Dr. Tor Wallin Andreassen transitioned to the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in 2013 after holding key roles at BI Norwegian Business School. At NHH, he serves as a Professor of Innovation and previously led The Center for Service Innovation (CSI) and founded the research center Digital Innovations for Sustainable Growth (DIG) at NHH.

His educational background includes a Sivilokonom degree from NHH, an MSc in marketing with honors from BI Norwegian Business School, and a Doctor of Economics from Stockholm University, School of Business.

Dr. Andreassen’s influence extends to the editorial boards of esteemed journals like the Journal of Service Research, Journal of Business Research, Service Science, and Journal of Service Management. He is a prolific author, contributing to leading publications such as MIT Sloan Management Review, Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Service Research, in addition to writing eight books.

His research has earned him prestigious accolades, including the MSI/H. Paul Root Award 2007 from the Journal of Marketing, the Outstanding (Best) Paper Award from the Journal of Service Theory and Practice, and the Highly Commended Article Award from the Journal of Service Management. He has also received accolades like the Citation of Excellence – Highest Quality Rating from the European Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Service Management. His research articles have consistently ranked among the Most Downloaded in the Journal of Service Management and featured in the Top 200 in the Journal of Economic Psychology.

Beyond his research, Dr. Andreassen has assumed leadership roles, being elected Chair of INFORMS Service Science community and Vice President of Education and Professional Development at the European Marketing Academy’s Executive Committee. He is also the founder of key initiatives, including the Service Forum (BI), The Norwegian Customer Satisfaction Barometer (BI), the Norwegian Innovation Index (NHH), The Innovation Index Coalition (IIC), and the annual Professor Johan Arndt Marketing Conference.

Andreassen’s global impact is underscored by his roles as a research fellow at Center for Service Research, Karlstad Business School at Karlstad Universitet, Center for Excellence in Service, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, and Cornell Insitute for Healthy Futures, Cornell University.

He has been a Visiting Professor at institutions like Vanderbilt University and the University of Maryland in the USA, the University of Queensland in Australia, and as a visiting scholar at Stanford University, Cambridge University, and the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands. Dr. Andreassen’s dedication to education is further demonstrated by his pedagogical education and training received from Vanderbilt University and Harvard Business School.


Anne Gro Gulla, Co-funder and Partner Ascension AS – CMO Agency

Is a seasoned, international marketing executive with experience from some of the world’s largest companies like Unilever, Coca-Cola, McCann and several years in the telecom industry working as Global Head of Branding for Telenor, Telia and Ericsson.

As a programme director at Executive Education at London Business School, she co-created with Kathrine Mo the Telenor Brand Academy. A founder of two start-ups and strategic marketing advisor to the largest companies in the Nordic region through her company Ascension AS.

Anne Gro has a Master of Science in Business (Diplom Kaufmann) from the University of Mannheim, Germany and has attended several executive education programs at IMD Lausanne, London Business School and INSEAD.

Kathrine Mo, Co-Founder and Partner at Ascension AS – CMO Agency

Is an international C-suite marketing leader with broad industry background ranging from FMCG, telecom and the energy sector. She gained her experience from companies like Procter & Gamble, Orkla, Telenor, Statoil and Tine.

Together with Anne Gro Gulla, she created and led the Telenor Brand Academy in close collaboration with London Business School for 7 years. The boutique CMO agency Ascension AS, has since the start in 2019, advised companies like Equinor, Schibsted, Ericsson as well as start-ups.

Kathrine gained her Licence HEC at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland and participated in executive education programs at IMD Lausanne and London Business School.