The New Work
As we mentioned previously, last month we were working with the Synergize Finland team to run three concurrent studios on the theme of "new work". The details are continually pouring onto the Synergize (Elinvoima) website, so you can hop over there for the updates as the programme continues, but here's a peek at the week in an abreviated form.
Esko Kilpi talks with the 'new knowledge work' studio team about the ways that social media and the internet are changing working relationships. Monday was full of talks with guest speakers.
Tuesday each of the three studios were out and about all over Helsinki, making site visits to see the realities of contemporary work in each of the three themes. This is a scene from the group who visited the City of Helsinki offices to talk about immigration and work.
With a bit of top-down and bottom-up perspective percolating from the first two days, Wednesday is when things really got down to business. The teams were in studio all day beginning to synthesize their insights and ideas through group discussion...
... and collaboration in pairs.
That evening we had a town hall meeting with 60 guests where each of the three studios gave a 4 minute 'elevator pitch' of their current thinking.
Marco and the rest of our Strategic Design Unit were continually 'sparring' with the studios to help them hone their proposals.
As the end of thursday came near, the deadline began to loom large. We ended each day with a dry run—'what if you had to present now?'
Dan and I stayed late on thursday night to help the teams wrap up their presentations. No one used Powerpoint, so there was a lot of paper-wrangling come friday morning.
The three teams presented one after another, each giving their version of the big picture and sharing a collection of 10 action areas each described in sketch form, both verbally and visually.
Amongst the audience were five special guests to give focused feedback: Annika Forsander, Kirsi Juva, Mikko Kosonen, Risto Siilasmaa, and Anni Sinnemäki.
Anni Sinnemäki responding to a question by Mikko Kosonen.
After the presentations concluded we moved all of the chairs out of the way and set up a big table to continue the discussion during a casual lunch.
After the studio week the teams have had a subsequent session to begin developing some of the action areas into social innovation projects. The trajectory of that work is based on the rapid development of a big picture 'architecture of solutions' in studio and will culminate this fall when Sitra hosts everyone again for a celebration and announcement of the projects that are continuing forward.
As for us, we learned a lot from the week and it was an especially useful experience to run multiple studios concurrently. Exhausting, to be sure, but useful.
By nature of being an internal collaboration within Sitra we also dedicated time to articulating in a more careful way how to put something like an HDL studio together. Part of this was iterating and formalizing the tools and techniques that make each of the days tick.
One example is an 'ethnography field guide' that we developed with the help of WeVolve for the fieldwork on tuesday. On my plate is to finish up the English translation and get that document up here as a download, which will happen before summer kicks in.
In the meantime, there are many more photos of the week on our Flickr account. Enjoy!
All photos by Ivo Corda.