The Polar Music Prize presents Polar Talks 2019, an international conference joining forces between music, creativity, tech and impact. Artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, politicians and innovators are brought together for talks, lectures and master classes to connect the creative strengths in music with the impact of technical and social opportunities.

Polar Talks 2019 aims to find solutions to tomorrow’s social and creative challenges. How can we drive positive change faster? What if creativity is the catalyst to the change needed to meet the UN Global Goals for a better world? How do we make more impact through the power of music?

Polar Talks also feature exclusive on stage interviews with this year’s Laureates: Anne-Sophie Mutter, Grandmaster Flash and the Playing for Change Foundation.

The Polar Talks program is curated and presented by Lisa Lindström and Anna Ryott.


June 10, 2019

Spegelsalen, Grand Hôtel
Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8
Stockholm, Sweden

Doors open at 12.30
Polar Talks, including Laureate interviews: 13.00–18.00
The detailed schedule will be announced soon.

265 SEK (day pass)
Tickets are available via Billetto from April 11 at 11.00 am.


Anna Ryott, moderator

Anna Ryott is chairperson at Summa Equity, a private equity firm that uses investments as a tool to solve global challenges and at the same time deliver high returns. Anna Ryott is also on the board of Norrsken Foundation, Axel Johnson AB, UNF Global Entrepreneurs Council and World Childhood Foundation. She is the former CEO of the Swedish state-owned venture capital firm Swedfund. Prior to that she worked as the Secretary General of SOS Children’s Villages Sweden and Deputy Secretary General of UNICEF Sweden. On the business side, Anna has worked at Storåkers McCann, McKinsey and Hagströmer & Qviberg. Anna Ryott, was rewared as Sweden’s most powerful female change maker by Veckans Affärer 2018 and 2014 she was awarded H.M. The King’s Medal for “Significant contributions to Swedish society and industry.”

Lisa Lindström, moderator

Lisa Lindström is one of Sweden’s strongest voices for the power of business innovation and leadership to impact society. Lisa is a founder of the global design firm Doberman, named one of Sweden’s most innovative companies, as well as best digital agency and best place to work. With unorthodox methods for innovation and a unique perspective on both employee empowerment and customer experience, Lisa has developed completely new ways of addressing change management within companies. Lisa has been appointed one of the future female leaders and received the Royal Patriotic Society’s Enterprise Medal. She has also served as an industry adviser to the government and is today chairman of Utbildningsradion (the Swedish Education Broadcasting Company). Lisa frequently lectures on innovation, digital transformation, design, and leadership for change, sharing her perspectives on daring to meet new challenges in a changing world.

Grandmaster Flash, photo courtesy of Grandmaster Flash Enterprises

Meet the Polar Music Prize Laureate 2019 in an exclusive on stage interview.

Born in Barbados and raised in the South Bronx, New York, Grandmaster Flash created a whole new way of making music. Grandmaster Flash is a scientist and a virtuoso who has demonstrated that turntables and mixing consoles can be musical instruments.

Anne-Sophie Mutter, photo by Monika Höfler

Polar Music Prize Laureate 2019, German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter also known as ’the Queen of the Violin’, will be interviewed on the Polar Talks stage. By the age of five, it was already obvious she had an exceptional musical talent and at the age of 13, she auditioned for Herbert von Karajan, and her international career took off. Listen to Anne-Sophie Mutter talking about her amazing career and musical achievements in an exclusive interview on the Polar Talks stage.

Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke, photo © Playing For Change

Meet Mark Johanson and Whitney Kroenke in an exclusive Laureate interview about their work and tremendous achievement with the Playing For Change organisation. Mark and Whitney are the founders of the Playing For Change Foundation, Polar Music Prize Laureate of 2019. The foundation, established in 2007, is dedicated to providing music and arts education to underprivileged children around the world, now a global project with 15 music schools and programs around the world. The Playing For Change movement started in the shared belief that music has the power to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. The power of music at its best!

Dr Ahmad Sarmast

Founder of the Afghanistan National Institute of Music and Polar Music Prize Laureate of 2018 is coming back to Stockholm a year after receiving the Polar Music Prize to give us an update on the impact of the Polar Music Prize on the institute’s activities. 


With new music released in the spring of 2019, Sweden’s fastest growing star Janice will both be a guest speaker and performer at Polar Talks. In just a few years, Janice has established herself as a given part of the Swedish music scene with her powerful voice, a deep dark reflection of her own personal stories of anguish and hope. Janice is also an ambassador for Suicide Zero, an organisation that works to reduce the number of suicides in Sweden and to shed light on mental illness. “I found comfort and hope in my music and I hope that other people will do the same. It’s a nice feeling to be able to talk more about it,” Janice has previously said of her involvement in Suicide Zero. Janice will also perform live on the Polar Talks stage.

Quincy D. Jones III

For more than 20 years, Quincy D. Jones III, also known as QD3, a noted creative visionary, has been producing hits in music, film and social media. With many gold, platinum and multi-platinum albums and singles to his name, QD3 is a bonafide hitmaker in Rap, R&B and Pop. In addition to his many hits working with artists such as Tupac, Ice Cube and L.L. Cool J. Quincy is currently preparing to launch a global urban media platform with special focus on European immigrant audiences and communities.

Estelle Joubert Westling

Estelle Westling is the founder of, a Stockholm based femtech company with the vision to put women’s health in the hands of women world wide. is building smart and accessible tools to the 1.9 women in low resource settings that own a mobile phone. The solution is an AI backed women’s health clinic, in the privacy of the patients’ own phones. Prior to founding she was the founder and MD of, Ghana’s largest classified online marketplace site. Estelle has been working within combing business and impact for over 15 years. She holds a M.Sc. from the Stockholm School of Economics and MBA from Duke University.

Claire Rosvall

Founder and honorary Chairwoman of charity ”Min Stora Dag”, that grants wishes and organising activities for seriously ill children in Sweden. Founded charity Musikbojen in 2017, together with Polar Music Prize Laureate Max Martin among others. ”Musikbojen” finances music therapy for children and teenagers in need of a support due to traumatic situations. 

Ceylan Holago, photo by Frank Aschberg

Head of operations at NoBo and founder and advisor at CMDS – Creative minds, diversity strategies.

NoBo is a cultural and festival producer with the firm belief that everyone should be free to shape their own future, with no exceptions. NoBo is a space for learning, creating and networking, using culture and arts as the linking tools. 

CMDS is a production and consulting agency offering advices and strategies for integration and implementation of intercultural and urban perspectives for businesses.

Anja Frey, photo by Pim Kwampaiboon

Anja Frey is the head of Fryshuset in Stockholm. Socio-economist at heart, with 17 years of experience in operational activities and leadership in Fryshuset’s various business areas, she has worked with and for young people her entire professional life. With their interests and needs at heart, and guided by the organization’s values, she works with her aim set on Fryshuset’s vision: “We make it possible for young people to change the world through their passions.” 

Fryshuset was founded in 1984 as a result of the joint efforts by the YMCA of Southern Stockholm and a couple of unyielding enthusiasts. Today Fryshuset has grown into a multifaceted national movement for the development of young people. A movement that continues to grow and spread throughout Sweden and other countries.

Anna König Jerlmyr

Mayor of the City of Stockholm. Born in Uppsala in 1978. Anna has a background in economics and communications, and was a member of the Swedish Riksdag from 2006 until 2010. Upon entering Stockholm City Council in 2010 she was appointed Vice Mayor for Social Affairs and Chair of Stockholm’s Police Authority, posts that she held until 2014. In September 2018, the City Council elected Anna König Jerlmyr as Mayor of Stockholm.

Changers Studio

Changers Studio is part of Changers hub is an innovative entrepreneur hub in the Stockholm region.

Changers Studio promotes the growing culture of musicians’ and artists’ desire to work independently by providing them with space to evolve and take part in a network of our community, with the vision to even out the odds and democratise the music industry.

Please note that the program may be subject to change.

Questions? Send us an email!