The MindTrek 2013 Experience – 5 Take-Aways for Aspiring Service Designers

If you have never attended the MindTrek Festival I do advice you to do so. This year they promised this:

”International three-day forum about the future of tech, knowledge and media. Expand your mind, step into the conversation and share the experience with like-minded”.

Sounds pretty cool don’t you think! This was my third time. I was really looking forward to the few days at Tampere being surrounded by innovators, movers and shakers of digital media and business.

This fall MindTrek teamed up with Technology Entrepreneurship Days so there was plenty of great sessions  to attend. I had the luxury to pick whatever I considered interesting. Here are the best take-aways:

1. Cyber security will change our sense of security and create great opportunities for innovative services
 Jarno Limnéll  gave a lot to think about. He talked about cyber security and well…things that make him angry. Cyber threats will change our overall understanding of security in few years. The thing is that dangerously cyber security is hardly ever a strategic issue. It’s something IT guys and gals should mind about. But Jarno Limnéll wasn’t all angry. Cyber security will create opportunities for new services. Ville Oksanen   even argued that Finland could become the Switzerland of personal data. Finland has a great brand for that. It is the least corrupted nation in the world or close, not a NATO-member (so the big brother won’t be listening that much) and has the only non-US based mobile operating system, Sailfish . Finns should just seize the opportunity and create more services like F-Secures YouNited.

2. Design and user interfaces: make it simple and maybe make it change shape…
Niilo Alftan
the Senior Design Manager of Nokia smartphones said it well. Great design is something that makes you envious; why didn’t I think of that. Great design is about making things appear simple and obvious. Of course it takes tons of work to make things appear simple and easy. And what about shape changing interfaces then? Would it be super fun to sit on a bench that would start to move and change shape? Majken Kirkegaard Rasmussen presented some exciting stuff how physical interfaces can change shape and communicate with users.

3. The age of mass-disruption is transforming media but there is a point in looking back
Service design is a must becauce it’s all about the experience. It’s about creating moments people will love Tommi Pelkonen  Head of Media Solutions at Google Finland stated. Good news for service designers! There is work cause we are living the age of mass-disruption. Current structures are not so valid. Things we thought would never happen will happen. Media is 24/7 everywhere and more visual. We have second screens, but it’s not the personal device that is the second one. It’s primary. But despite all this disruption in the end it’s about people, good stories and relationships. David Cohen gave us an impressive walkthrough in the history of media and entertainment. Sometimes you can start innovating by looking back for things that were innovative but didn’t succeed in their time for some reason. Maybe now it would be a break through.

4. Robotics and robots will be a true game changer. Prepare yourself!
You think internet was a huge thing? Well, robots and robotics will be even a bigger game changer. Cristina Andersson is among other things the curator of Robotics week Finland and she knows about this stuff. She claims that everything that can be robotized will be robotized. Industrial robots are not the growing sector, the service robots are! The legend himself Steve Wozniak hoped that in the future every child could have a personal robot teacher. Woz wasn’t there in flesh but had an inspiring talk over Skype.

5. Vision, talent, culture and leadership is everything
Ever heard of Jolla ? Marc Dillon Head of Software Development gave an inspiring presentation in COSS Open Mind forum focusing mainly on Jolla company culture and leadership. In Jolla there is no space for command and control but plenty of room for meritocracy, openness, transparency, love and passion. The Jolla values are not goals to be achieved somewhere in the future, they are the current practice. And yes, we did see the Jolla phone in action too.

Post by Mervi Rauhala
Aspiring service designer and storyteller who started her SID journey this fall

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