Time just rushes … Maybe I should try out picture blogging in more frequent intervals. Anyways again so many exciting, interesting and wonderful things has happened since I blogged last time. And it’s time for an update …
- On May 1st there was Wappu event by Verkatehdas – with about 1 500 people visiting. We had set up a out -door flea market on the side of bikeshop for used bicycle parts, a temporary coffee stand and some people ( about 400?) also dropped in to see our used bicycles in the bikeshop 2nd floor. It was so nice to hear comments and encouragement by people, even some poems. Also Kaisa and Mikko from Kahvila Sävy visited the shop.
- The next Monday we got the official permit to open both bikeshop and to our surprise also cafe got official permit. So within less than a week, our small cafe was set up. And during the summer we are gradually developing menus and selections. On Friday we picked some coffee from Turku Coffee Roastery. And saw our future coffee machine for the first time at Cafe Art and Pete got his first lessons by Juhani & Mikko Haahti how to use it – it is just awesome.
- It will take for a while until we will get the La Marcocco, and it might take for a while until we learn how to make good coffee. So maybe we will do some coffee parties with friends first to practice our skills. It will take some time to make beautiful cappuccinos. These artistic and most delicious cups of cappuccinos were made by Mikko. Looking so much forward to try this out.
- And then finally on Satuday May 7th we had an official opening! So nice event, friendly people coming by, family and friends, flowers and cards etc. Just amazing, but this only the beginning. We have so many ideas for the future, and so have our customers as well and we have our own “bicycle living lab” to try out various things. The same evening I left for Africa.
- This visit to Africa included visit to Meraka (ICT R&D institute by CSIR) in Pretoria, IST Africa 2011 conference in Botswana, and visit to RLabs in Cape Town. It was so good to get more information on living labs by LIving Labs special workshop, in presentations in IST Africa and them see RLabs team is action in their own facilities and also by Waterfront in Cape Town. They are doing such a great job in promoting use of social media and at the same time helping people to learn and make changes in the community. The main theme of the Africa tour was look into practices how living labs work with companies. This theme is one the the working packages (#5) for INSCO project and we will work together to create enhanced understanding how companies and living labs can successfully work together.
- Then on Monday we had kick off meeting for research team for INSCO project, with people from Aalto University and from Oulu University. We agreed how to proceed – and the first steering group meeting will be before midsummer. More about this later.
- Last week there were visitors – Kristiina Lähde and Thiru Swettenham from SAFIPA – (South-Africa – Finnish knowledge partnership on ICT) program. And we met with Aalto researchers, Spinno people, visited Venture Garage, Aalto Entrepreneurship Society AES and Design Factory. They visited also our bikeshop, we discussed about practices starting up a new company in Finland, and what kind of support mechanisms are available. And together we went to meet with inspiring people all working towards developing new activities, products, services, companies … Regional Council of Häme, New Factory – (Demola, Protomo, Suuntaamo), ProAcademy and Tampere HUB. Quite a selection of institutions and great people in few days – and really good info into use of demos, prototypes and pilots (Work Package #4 for INSCO project).
- And yesterday we had refreshing afternoon for personnel of Department of Industrial Management and Engineering & BIT Research Center by Långvik Spa … delightful place, so relaxing – good ending for the intensive work week.
So it has been rather hectic lately. Luckily the next week will not be as intense… so I will have time for catch up, clear up some documentation practices and do some reflection related to visit, write abstracts etc. etc… Seems like I partially started already, but now it’s time to ride with my cute tiny moped to a pancake party. I just enjoy my new work and living in Hämeenlinna so incredibly much!