Dialogue as a bridge between science and business

The first person to introduce dialogue as a method was Plato. The word “dialogue” comes from ancient Greek where “dia” means “through” and “logos” means speech and reason: through speech. In the 20th century, many philosophers and researchers developed the theory of dialogue forward; many guide books were published, and dialogue also gained ground as a method for leadership.

We believe that the story of dialogue is only beginning. It is a powerful tool in the interaction between people with completely different backgrounds – like scientists and entrepreneurs. Our new project, COHU takes on the challenge of bringing together five companies and seven scientists and making their interaction work. The companies range from IT to housing and to metal products, and the scientists come from various fields of social sciences and humanities. This interesting mix of people will meet six times every two weeks this spring to co-create a way of working together. They will analyse different problems the companies have and find where the skills of the researchers could be most useful. In the end, they will hopefully have identified one or two key research questions around which to start working after our pilot.

To back up our case study, we utilise extensive literature on co-creation, dialogue, and business-research collaboration. Our team members have expertise in innovation and business-research services, social sciences, philosophy, and interaction studies. We will collect all we learn in an easy-to-use guide book of business-research co-creation and hope we can spark an interest in more companies and researchers to break free of old patterns and boldly reach out to the other side. Diversity brings innovation!

Tanja Suni
Antti Hautamäki