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Design Forum@Slush 2016 30 Nov 2016


Wed 30 November 2016 at 1.45–2.45 pm
Engine Room, Messukeskus

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!

At Slush, Design Forum Finland's group of expert panellists were 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.  

The speakers were: 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 was 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.

Photo: Kalle Kataila

PECHAKUCHA NIGHT in cooperation with Helsinki Design Week
Wed 30 Nov 2016 at 6 pm, Mirror Room, Kämp Hotel


MOderator: tobias dahlberg

Tobias is the founder and CEO of Wonder, a strategic design and innovation consultancy that creates future facing brands and businesses. Tobias has consulted and worked for brands and companies such as Coca-Cola, Nike, Fiskars, Paulig, Iittala Marimekko, Nissan and Altia. Driven by a relentless curiosity and passion for everything brand, design and innovation, Tobias is a self-confessed learning junkie (geek!) who believes the only sane strategy is to be extraordinary, to avoid being average at all cost. Tobias lives in Helsinki with his wife and two daughters.



Pirjo Suhonen is the co-founder, owner of Ivana Helsinki, a Finnish art, fashion  and design brand she started in 1998 together with her sister Paola. Ivana Helsinki has been the first Finnish brand to enter Paris and NY fashion weeks. The brand is known for its delicate, feminine style and distinctive patterns. Ivana Helsinki has done design work for Top Shop, Uniqlo, Coca Cola to mention a few of their clients.  Besides clothes, Ivana Helsinki produces films - and is making inroads into fields outside fashion. One might guess that for the Suhonen sisters, the transition from clothes to films and books is just another way of telling stories.


Niklas is an involuntary entrepreneur with a profound passion for communication. Last known to have co-founded the brand Urbanears, he know pretends to write a book while unsuccessfully dodging offers to help a number of other brands with their communication. He has no fancy educational title but looks rather funny.


Maija is and industrial designer, brand fanatic, design management professional and entrepreneur. She founded her previous company PowerKiss in 2008 and built it until it was acquired by US-Israeli company Powermat in 2013. After the merger Maija worked as design and brand head at Powermat. In 2015 she co-founded Gold&Green Foods, the company behind the phenomenal success story of the “perfect protein” food and Pulled Oats. Pulled Oats is a new kind of meat alternative based on the Nordic superfood oats, built around the team’s unique scientific knowledge and design thinking. In August 2016 the Paulig Group acquired 51% of Gold&Green, and Maija remains the company CEO.