City Boy Goes Rural

…Well not really – I am born in Joensuu, which is hardly a city, and raised in Juva, which is even less so. So I am just the right person to join the Smart Rural World Congress in Penela, Portugal, next week. The event is organised by Smart Rural Living Lab, and I will discuss the possibilities and challenges of smart solutions for scarcely populated regions (we are experts in that, as basically the whole of Finland counts as such).

Familiar buzzwords there…¬†Participatory Design, Open Innovation and Design Thinking. Let’s see if they really do as they preach; one of the recognised problems of the Living Labs scene is that despite saying that the activities are user-driven, they are actually producer-driven; the companies rarely are willing to challenge their concepts beyond basic user-testing. The ones who actually do go all the way can get remarkable results, like the famous¬†Lego case.

Anyway, while in Penela, maybe I could do some mountain biking as well. But maybe not as hc as the guys going downhill in the video…

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