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Design Forum Newsletter

Slush 2016


Design is too good to be left for designers alone. it is not just about the shape and form of an object, aesthetic issues or cool brands. It is more about thinking about your end-user, leading your customer's experience, and building up your company ingeniously and comprehensively. Thinking about your identity from products to customer services; thinking creatively but consistently. Such an interesting way to gain growth!

Last year was the first time Design Forum Finland organized an event at Slush. We are there again: with DESIGN FORUM talk event at Engine Room on Wednesday 30 November. Our group of expert panellists will be talking about various ways to apply design expertise: creating brands, gaining visibility; founding companies based on an innovation. Improving the customer journey, inventing new services; standing out from your competitors. Simply getting a better, bigger and more prosperous enterprise. So, why wouldn't you make use of design, too?

The panellists are: Braden Kowitz / Design Partner at Google Ventures GV; Pirjo Suhonen / Ivana Helsinki; Niklas Bergh / Niklas Bergh Kommunikation, and Maija Itkonen / Gold&Green Foods. The discussion is led by Tobias Dahlberg, Founder and Managing Director of Wonder Agency, a brand and innovation firm active in the Nordic countries. Tobias works as a strategist to create brand growth, mainly with brand strategy, internal culture, design, innovation and brand communications. He is also involved in a handful of start-ups – so he knows what he is talking about.

Design Forum Finland is the national design promotion organization in Finland. Our role is to strengthen the growth and international competitiveness of companies through the means of design and strategic design management. We believe that with design, a company can get that extra it needs to truly become a high-flyer. Come and get inspired!

DESIGN FORUM talk: Design for Growth
Wed 30 November 2016 at 1.45–2.45 pm
Slush, Engine Room, Messukeskus

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This year, there will be quite many events covering design at Slush. Braden Kowitz, Design Partner of GV (Google Ventures) opens the Green Stage on Wednesday morning, talking about his work with over 100 startups. The magical words are "design" and "culture". Antoine Nussbaum, co-founder of Felix Capital, continues with the importance of branding and design for startups. Later, on Black Stage, there is a discussion with the title "Why is design moving over to the c-suite?" Four well-known names: Marko Ahtisaari, CEO and co-founder of Sync Project; Anne Stenros, Chief Design Officer of the City of Helsinki; Olof Schybergson, founder and co-lead of Fjord; and Karri Saarinen, Design Lead at Airbnb. On Thursday, Maija Itkonen, one of the inventors of "nyhtökaura", Pulled Oats, speaks about designing food. A design break-through, one could say. Photo Otto Vainio


We are proud to announce that Braden Kowitz, Design Partner of GV Google Ventures, will be one of our panellists on Wednesday at Engine Room. Kowitz is known for his viewpoints on customer experience and his work for startups. Before joining GV, he led design for several Google Products, including Gmail, Google Apps for Business, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Trends. He says he's passionate about creating great user experiences on the web.


Maija Itkonen, one of our panellists on Wednesday, has a career in productizing innovations. Her first success was PowerKiss, founded in 2008 and based on integrating wireless cellphone chargers into furniture. In 2015 she co-founded Gold&Green Foods, a company which produces the Finnish invention and food craze "nyhtökaura", pulled oats. This substitute for meat has been a success both commercially and gastronomically. Recently the company was acquired by the Paulig Group, a big Finnish enterprise in the food industry.


20 images, 20 seconds for each. This is the PechaKucha presentation format. It was devised by two architects in Tokyo in 2003 and since then, it has become a trademark of a fun/interesting/surprising presentation especially loved by the creative people.

Design Forum Finland, in cooperation with Helsinki Design Week, is now arranging a tech-cum-design PechaKucha Night for Slush visitors. The speakers include some of the most interesting names in both the design and tech scene: Tobias Dahlberg, Niklas Bergh, Markus Kuuranta, Liisa Gylfe, Johanna Rantanen, and Anne Badan, among others. The subject is free, allowing pitching your latest project or a tech innovation you recently read about... but hopefully it will touch our Slush theme "Design for Growth". This is a presentation you won't be nodding over. The event is free with the Slush pass or an invitation but pre-registration is required. Photo: Ville Malja / Helsinki Design Week

PechaKucha Night
in cooperation with Helsinki Design Week
Wed 30 Nov 2016 at 6–8 pm
Hotel Kämp, Helsinki