I met Christopher Fabian, co-lead of UNICEF’s Innovation Unit at New York Headquarters, in spring 2012 in Finland. He was one of the panelists at the conference “Zombie Innovations or True Development” organized by Aalto University. During the conference I realized how close the subject was to my Master’s Study Programme in Service Innovation and Design and decided to talk to Chris about an internship at the unit. Now, I have been interning here at the NY Headquarters for eight weeks.
My academic and professional experience is in business management. Before joining the Innovation Unit at UNICEF HQ I filled different positions in the cards and gifts unit at UNICEF Finland for six years. Even though I was continually evolving in my work I felt confined to thinking inside of the box because I was limited to concentrating my focus in this one area. I realized that I desired to push the envelope and I enrolled in a pioneering Master’s study programme that marvels thinking outside of the box by emphasizing concepts like service-dominant logic, co-creation, learning by developing, design thinking, innovation, and multidisciplinary knowledge. I studied for two years while I continued to work at UNICEF Finland and tried to use my work as a study subject in school assignments whenever possible. This made understanding the study programme and its modules easier but still kept me within quite a narrow mindset.