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Design Forum Newsletter

Special Slush Issue October 2015


Why Design@Slush?

Recently the most successful tech companies have been acquiring design knowledge either by hiring designers or even buying design agencies. Having designers in startups and venture capital companies is becoming a mainstream activity. And not only in product development or designing the user experience but as corporate partners.

Organizations are becoming design-centric. On this new level, design is not just about user experience in a digital service or implementing innovations into commercial products. It's about creating a company, shaping the business idea, forecasting problems, managing processes, finding points of impact. It is becoming a key strategic competence.

In Finland this development is just starting. The most successful companies are already on the topmost rung of the design ladder: on the strategic level, using design e.g. as a means of brand management. Most companies are far back, utilizing design on the tactic level – if they utilize it at all. But having designers in executive-level positions is very rare in companies that are not startups or designer-founded or -based.

We at Design Forum Finland believe that design – or more specifically design thinking – is truly an asset for the future. This goes for companies as well as for the public sector. With our design heritage and top-level education combined with the Finnish startup scene there should be no obstacles. That's why design is spoken of at Slush.

Read more about Design Forum Finland's events at Slush!

Why design should be in every company's DNA?

Panel discussion Wed 11.11.2015 15.45.–17.00
Engine Room, Messukeskus

A panel of four design experts talks about the role of design and its impact on companies, about the importance of branding and the changes in businesses towards a human-to-human approach. The speakers are Jaana Beidler (Aalto University), Andreas Rosenlew (GROW), Pyry Taanila (Catchbox) and Jaakko Wäänänen (Hellon). The discussion is hosted by design writer Katja Lindroos.

A selection of design agencies is presenting their work alongside with the panel discussion. Several of the agencies have gained experience in working with startups; as a whole, they represent a wide selection of design services. Included in this mini expo are: Agile Work, Buorre, ED design, Hellon, LINK design and development, Muotohiomo, Nórr Design, Pentagon Design, Pinto Design, Porkka & Kuutsa, Werklig, and Wonder Agency.

The discussion ends with networking and bubbly. The event is open for all the Slush participants and requires no pre-registration. After this, you are warmly welcome to continue at the Engine Room with Demos Helsinki's discussion about the Internet of NO Things – more info below.

Two design-themed Round Tables

Design Forum Finland also organizes two Round Table discussions with design as their topic. The first, on Wednesday 11.11.2015 at 17.00–17.45, is moderated by Christian Lindholm, CEO and co-founder of Korulab, a wearables software company. The title of the event is "Software design and designing the user experience – key to success".

The other Round Table, on Thursday 12.11.2015 at 14.00–14.45, is about brands and startups. The question is: "Brand, innovation, design – why brand building is crucial also for startups?" The moderator if this Round Table is Tobias Dahlberg, the CEO and founder of Wonder Agency Inc., a brand and innovation company.

Both Round Table discussions are already fully booked but we will report back on them later.

Events of our partners: Internet of NO Things

Wed 11.11.2015 17.00–18.00
Engine Room, Messukeskus

After Internet of Things comes Internet of NO Things, which means that smart technology will become part of the environment  – disappear. Welcome to learn about the next phase of digitalization and to network with other pioneers of mixing atoms with bits.

Roope Mokka, Johannes Koponen and Tuuli Kaskinen from Demos Helsinki will capture visions of life after the sensor revolution. In addition Harri Kopola (professor, VTT), Iiro Salkari (FIIF) and the most inspiring IoT startups of Finland describe the opportunities of the hyperconnected society.

At 18.15 a bus will take us from Messukeskus to Putte’s Bar and Pizza, where we will continue networking and partying at Slush Peloton Club.

Aalto at Slush

Aalto University is there, too: the partnership with Slush was published last week. Aalto is a place to foster startups and a supporter of entrepreneurship. So, naturally Aalto is at Slush. Check the design startups and read more from www.aalto.fi

Follow us!

Design Forum Finland's webpages at www.designforum.fi/slush take you straight to what we are doing at Slush. Watch the videos and hear what our panelists Pyry Taanila (the co-founder of Catchbox) and Jaakko Wäänänen (CEO of service design agency Hellon) tell about design. Visit our brand new blog and read Katja Lindroos's post about the importance of design in every company at www.designforum.fi/blog! And we'll share the most up-to-date ideas, moods and news at Facebook and Twitter #Designforumatslush #Designforum #Slush.