On March 29 seminar “Innovation in the Barents” took place in Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences. It was organized by the 1st year students of Innovative Business Services Degree Programme. The objective of the seminar was to raise awareness among the youth about innovation, innovation process and innovative ideas in the Barents Region. The symbol of innovation, chosen by the organizing committee, was an apple, which was not only depicted on the poster, but also given to every participant to fill the empty stomach in the morning and lighten up the moodJ The juicy fruit seemed to be efficient as the students came up with plenty interesting associations with the word “Innovation”: inspiring, creativity, freshness, technology, synergizing, ground breaking, thinking out of the box and etc. Luckily the lecturers were not serious respectable men in turtle-necks and glasses: Satu Ståhlstedt of Massidea.org herself told about the awesomeness and usefulness of this tool and prepared everybody`s brain for the workshop “Accumulation and development of ideas”! Participants formed groups of 7 and in a super short time came up with a challenge they were most concerned with, which they afterwards passed on to the other team. If you haven`t been there you would never believe what crazy ideas students came up with in 15 minutes… It`s like they had innovation running in their veinsJ For example, what would be the language to connect all the nations of the world!? Spinglish, of course! – answers one of the teams and clarifies that it’s a unique combination of English, Chinese and Spanish assembled online by a common effort of our civilization. Head of the organizing committee Jenna Kiviniemi comments: “I think it was very cool that guys got to work with another team`s challenge. That guaranteed different perspective and fresh attitude towards the problem. And it was just lovely, that everybody was having fun and setting their imagination free. That was a unique experience for them and I think most will continue innovating in Massidea.org”.
The other prominent lecturers opened the eyes of the participants on the diversity of innovative ideas implemented in Lapland. Heli Huhanantti, one of the RAMK students comments: “I had no idea that there is so much going on in Rovaniemi! So many interesting ventures students could contribute to! It was especially interesting to hear about the software product of Concurio company!” Indeed, Concurio marketing manager Thomas Kinnaird, by the way,a fresh graduate of RAMK, told not only about their business idea, but also concentrated on the everyday life of a newly established enterprise and its fresh and innovative approach to the working process: “Every morning we have a staff breakfast, which is always cooked by one of us. It is always fun. It lets us learn more about each other, come up with new ideas in an informal atmosphere and improves our time management skills as well as our diet.” Ater delicious advices of Mr.Kinnaird, we got useful information about the BodyFit and eMotion projects, which are both carried out in Arctic Power Laboratory. Both of the projects are revolutionary in different ways: BodyFit uses unique technologies to develop climate-appropriate clothing for policemen and miners, while eMotion is concerned with creation of electric snowmobile for the use in tourism industry of the region.
The seminar was finalized by the workshop “Innovation climate in the Barents region”, during which students came up with the challenges and opportunities of the Barents region from the point of view of those who have been living there for a long time and new-comers. The whole experience was eye-opening for both teams and served a perfect way to draw the conclusions of the seminar. Petteri Törmänen, one of the organizers of the seminar says:”We were very happy with an outcome and I think the participants as well. Each of us learned a lot and enjoyed himself quite a bit! According to the results of the feedback forms` analysis the main goal was accomplished. It also looks like there is a great interest towards our topic and we will be planning another event in the future, which, perhaps, will reach out to a bigger audience and on a more sophisticated level”.
Yulia Chechulinskaya, RAMK
Jenna Kiviniemi, RAMK