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New Ivey faculty: Erik Bohlin

May 25, 2023

Erik Bohlin (1)

Erik Bohlin

Ivey is excited to welcome several new faculty members to campus this year! To get to know our new colleagues, we asked them some questions to learn about their interests inside and outside the classroom.

Get to know: Erik Bohlin

Erik Bohlin is a professor and Ivey Chair in Telecommunication Economics, Policy and Regulation; and Business, Economics and Public Policy. Coming from Sweden to join Ivey, Bohlin is teaching the new Digital Strategy and Policy course offered to both MScs and HBA2s. Bohlin is a highly experienced academic with a PhD from Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, and an undergraduate degree from Stockholm School of Economics. A long-time expert in his field, Bohlin has been engaged in telecommunications economics and policy and strategy for 35 years. Additionally, Bohlin is a past Chair of the International Telecommunications Society as well as editor-in-chief of one of the premier journals in the field, Telecommunications Society. Bohlin said it’s an honour to hold the Ivey Chair since there are not many professorships on this topic, and he looks forward to studying Canada’s telecom policy

Q&A with Erik Bohlin

What is the most important thing business executives can learn from your research/area of expertise?

To take more accountability of government and public concerns in the telecommunications and digital business. There was a time at the start of the Internet when businesses strongly believed in self-regulation but there has been an increasingly strong counter-reaction to that idea.

Where did you grow up and what was it like there?

I spent my young elementary school years in a peaceful suburban area of Stockholm where soccer and outdoor games were always being played. Our family moved to Gothenburg later where I remained until joining Ivey. I also spent time abroad including a year of high school in Orlando, college in Seattle and Stockholm, and visiting scholarship stays in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan and Seville, Spain

Who have been your strongest influences in life?

My parents initially, of course, and now my dear wife. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary in just a few days!

What led you to your career?

A professor identified me as a promising candidate for research work. My PhD project was on a topic that I continue to work with, investment and innovation telecom, digital networks and services, and related policy contexts.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I like to be outdoors, either going on treks in nature or playing golf. I also enjoy watching engaging TV shows and movies with my wife and family.

What might someone be surprised to know about you?

My dear daughter and her husband are among the 20-30 best in the world at elite ballroom dancing, but I am a terrible dancer. All credit goes to my dear wife!

What is the most played song on your playlist as of now?

I do not listen to much music currently, but I have listened to Steve Reich’s Different Trains many times this last week. I was on a long train trip recently to Ottawa from London and this work was very gripping. Canadian trains use their horns much more than in Sweden and have a different tune, which is also captured in Reich’s work. My long-standing favourite is John Coltrane's My Favorite Things, especially the album Live in Japan.

What book would you recommend to others? On the personal side? On the business side?

I found Conversation in the Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa very fascinating in terms of building themes, structures and parallel stories and contexts.

Another pick is Limits of Organization by Kenneth Arrow. It is very deep and interesting to ask formative questions on theories that are now staple goods in management and economics.