See you there:ENoLL Summer School !!!

ENOLL

The travel calendar for the fall starts to fill up. It’s gonna be a fantastic autumn. The first goal is Manchester, where the user driven innovation people gather together for the 4th European Network Of Living Labs Summer School. The previous three events in Paris, Barcelona and Helsinki have been great, and we can expect the same for Manchesher. One difference between the previous editions and this one is the location, which is in the middle of the (beautiful) city.

The summer school kicks off with a research day, and continues through the whole week. It will be also the launch event for the World Bank & ENoLL collaboration – community-driven Living Labs are especially valid way to do innovation int he developing countries and cities.

More info can be found in the summer school websiteSee you there!!!

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…

Free, like, without luggage

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Free, like, without luggage

A few things happen when you are 10000 km from home without your luggage;
First, the understanding of how little you actually really need. I’ve managed three days now with two pairs of socks, briefs, and shirts.
Second, that fact that the temporary feeling of freedom from material goods is easily spoiled by shopping frenzy, proven today at the mall.

Guess which colour of running shoes I got? Hint: not either of THE most boring ones, but pretty close.
Besides airports and McDonaldses malls are one of the most concrete proofs of the globalization – or homogenisation – of concepts and ideas.

British Air Fails

Sitting by the laptop at the home office – but I should be sitting on a BA plane to London.
After trying to check in on-line (as I usually do) at 8 PM, 1 Am and 5 AM just to get an error message, I was finally left out of the plane after queuing for 1,5 hours at the check-in counter (two officials and looooots of people – of course, as the on-line did not work…) when the flight was closed. At that time, there were six of us left in the queue. Way to go, BA.

Anyway, the whole frustrating process really made me think of the stupidity of the current check-in-systems. Why on earth do all the airlines have their own chek-ins (especially since most of them are sorry pieces of web design & technology, and I fully understand that people are afraid of, don’ t trust them and still prefer to queue)?

An universal check-in would finally rid us from airport aggressions; especially if combined with body scanners for security.  Maybe Foursquare could extend their service from just playing around to real check-ins?