Jens Stoltenberg, Norway’s Prime Minister, was forced to run the country by iPad this week after finding himself stranded in the midst of volcanic ash travel chaos.
With continued flight delays across Europe in the wake of the Eyjafjallajokull volcanic eruption in Iceland, the Norwegian leader took the initiative to work remotely while stranded in the United States.
Stoltenberg had been attending the nuclear summit hosted by US President Barack Obama but was unable to return home on his scheduled flight after Norwegian aviation authorities announced the complete closure of all airspace. The move was taken by dozens of European countries over concerns that the volcanic ash cloud could cause jet engine malfunctions.
Showing a commendable grasp of modern technology and social media networking, a photo posted to the Norwegian Prime Minister’s official Flickr page showed the leader working with his iPad from what appeared to be an airport lounge.
“Due to the delays, I’ll be working from New York,” Stoltenberg was reported as saying, with The New York Daily News applauding his ingenuity. His press secretary said that Stoltenberg was “running the Norwegian government” from the United States via his iPad, according to a report by Fresh Business Thinking.
Stoltenberg later claimed in his Twitter blog that “it is an exaggeration to say I govern the country with an iPad, but it is one of several great tools”. Twitter followers pressed the prime minister for more information on his iPad usage, to which Stoltenberg replied that he uses the device for reading documents and keeping up-to-date with the latest news.