Volu venture

Näyttökuva 2015-03-17 kello 11.09.51

Introduction of the team members

Anne, youth work professional

Tiina, artist

Jarkko Lagus, programmer

Lari Saukkonen, programmer

Jyri Saukkonen, programmer

Concept introduction

Idea was to rebrand volunteering work (in Finland) and to make an app that connects volunteers and organisations in a meaningful way. We decided to make platform to aggregate the supply and demand of voluntary work and change the overall attitude about voluntary work in finnish culture.

Screen Shot 2015-03-15 at 15.38.41


3 important user stories


Lifestyle: skater, lives with parents, doesn’t care so much about school, dreams making it in the skating business.

Attitude: free soul, doesn’t know yet what he wants to do in life, lives in the moment

Gain from voluventure: explore different kind of work possibilities, likes to work with children and other teens

Could have potential in youth work in the future


Lifestyle: vegeterian, into arts, has strong opinions issues in society etc. goes to kallio school of arts, into acting etc.

Attitude: determinate young person with lots of optimistic dreams

Gain from voluventure: can have impact on society through own actions, likes animals etc. so could help in rescuing animals and so on..


Lifestyle: parkour instructor and a professional stuntman, urban person who likes to participate in all kinds of charity events and happenings around the town

Attitude: Fearless opportunist who likes to try out new ideas.

Gain from voluventure: Can make, organize and participate in volunteer events.

What did we learn about the service design process?

We learned how important it is for a successful service design process to include the professionals from the specific area of expertise to be able to understand the underlying problem. When designing a platform for young people it is not enough to have the information and means how to technically produce the generic product but how to make it adapt the specific field of business.

What became your solution architecture?

MEAN-stack: MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, Node.js


MEAN-stack and Heroku were already familiar with us so that was a natural solution for our project’s starting point. We didn’t have any major setbacks using the stack and we could operate it efficiently. Overall we recommend the MEAN-stack and Heroku for anyone already familiar with the technologies but if starting to learn them in a hackathon-like fast pace environment is not advised because they take some time to master.

What development tools did you use?

Hipster logo generator Amazing professional tool for all your graphical needs.(http://www.hipsterlogogenerator.com) Forget about photoshop and use this instead.

GIMP, photo editor

Webstorm, IDE

Sublime text, text editor

What advice would you give for a person planning to participate SomeJam 2016?

In our opinion SomeJam is more about innovation and prototyping than just hardcore coding in a dark room without communication. We think that for success it is essential for the group to have an open communication between software developers and other professionals.

Almost 50 Shades of Your City


Want to hang out but don’t know your city? Let us introduce you to “Almost 50 Shades of Your City”!

During the weekend we were lucky enough to participate in SomeJam 2015. An event where you are among great minds. We had 48 hours to implement an idea which should help people, specially the youth. Beside all the intensity to implement something useful in 48 hours we also had much fun and great food. It all started when the three of us couldn’t find any group in line with our interests which lead to forming a team ourselves.  Since we were all computer scientists, Martin Radev, Farbod Faghihi and Ankit Kariryaa,  we wanted to use advanced knowledge in computer science and not only a normal service.  Since we were interested in Location-based Services and Machine Learning concepts we came up with “Almost 50 Shades of Your City”.


There are times that one is lonely and cannot find their desired places to go and like minded groups and related events are not found easily. As a new student you want to know more about different regions in the city in order to find desired places to hang out or as a person who is moving to the city because of his or her new job you want to know which regions contain events in line with your interests. As an agency working for improving the city, you want to know which parts of the city are deprived of cultural, technological or social event, so that we can work on these areas and making such events available to a large population. So we decided to get all the information from the services that organizes event such as Eventbrite and Meetup to make people more familiar with their city. The idea was to find out that what kind of events are held at which regions of the city. We have an intelligent user interface that provide the user with different levels of abstraction relative to the area that the user is viewing in the Google Maps. So as the user zoom in or zoom out we would classify different regions on the map into corresponding type of event that is happening there. For this goal we use clustering methods such as K-Nearest-Neighbors.

So here you can see three different figures, each with a different level of detail. The first one shows the Europe which we can see that the dominant event is business. In the next figure we went further and you can see a view of Berlin which is interesting because we can see the we have three separate areas with different kind of events. It shows that in the south west we have technical events while in the center the dominant type of event is business and finally in the south east music events dominates the events in that area. You can go even further, in the third figure you can see one of the Berlin neighborhoods with lower level of abstraction.






We divided the challenge into 3 sub tasks, Martin was responsible for gathering data about events around the world, Ankit was responsible for the clustering of the data  and Farbod took up the job of visualizing the data. We went through different event hosting sites and decided to use www.eventbrite.com as our first source of events and then expand further if time would allow. For clustering the data, we decided to use,  K-Nearest-Neighbors clustering algorithm, here class labels are determined by a majority vote in its K-Nearest-Neighbors. In this way we were able to determine the most popular event in a certain area. For visualization, Google Maps API was selected and marker were used to display the finding of the clustering method.

We implemented the back-end i.e. the web scraping technique and clustering in Java. The front-end was implemented in JavaScript. We used github.com for source code management. We are happy with our choices as it worked out very well in the end (Yes we were one of the winners! 😀 ). We really enjoyed participating this event and would like to greatly thank everyone responsible in organizing the event.


Our team started working on an idea that was originally developed in Nuorten Akatemia (the Youth Academy) to serve as a real life jamming project with only social media as a digital platform. As a team we took this idea further and decided to create a virtual communication platform for the youth and the employers, where they could design and create presencial events to support the digital connection.

Team members


Ville Niemi – Programmer, Computer science student

Juho Leinonen – Programmer, 3rd year Computer Science student, wishing to make people’s lives better through technology. Almost learned the cup song, but not quite.

Nidia Obscura Acosta – Mathematics and Computer Science student. From Mexico. I love sleeping. Cup song mentor.

Qian Zhou – Computer science student from China. Student of the cup song.

Henrik Nygren – Programmer, Computer Science student. I did not learn the cup song.

Irma Savolainen – Project worker at the Youth Academy, media-assistant, totally did not learn the cup song 🙁

Kaisa Karvonen – I am person who likes to work in projects. Teacher assistant of the cup song.

Our concept
One in every five young people in Finland is unemployed despite young people being talented in areas such as IT and social media. Youth finds it hard to get immersed into the laboral sector because of their lack of experience and the high expectations from employers.

To solve this problem, we decided to create a platform to connect talented youth with future employers in their field of expertise.
This platform will include both online challenges and presencial events such as jams, job fairs, traineeships, guidance, workshops, seminars, etc.

Link to the prototype

Example Users

Summary of our learnings
The main idea and concept was visualized already by the end of Friday night. We sticked through the weekend with the same main idea, the only main change was the change of scope of our platform events and enterprises- from technology and social media, to any kind of field.

As programmers we learned design stuff from Irma (Joni’s picture<3), and great pitching skills from Nidia. We also learned that Finland is NOT the place for street polls. We learned how to get a prototype ready really quickly.

Software prototype

What became your solution architecture?
We use Ruby on Rails to build our website platform. It is an web development framework that designed for rapid application development. It also takes advantage of software engineering patterns such as convention over configuration (CoC), don’t repeat yourself (DRY), the active record pattern, and model–view–controller (MVC). Ruby on rails uses SQLite3 as a default database which we used in development, in production we used PostgreSQL.

We were very pleased with Ruby on Rails. Majority of our programmers are already familiar with Ruby on Rails and familiar with each other at university. Using Ruby on Rails was also fast way to build our platform, and we wouldn’t have done anything otherwise. We were especially pleased with all the premade libraries that were available for the platform.

Development tools
Ruby on Rails
Heroku to host our website
Travis for deploying the code
Atom for text editing
Git for source code management
Photoshop for editing pictures for website and mockups
Google drive for shared and group documents
Slack for delivering pictures for website and documents

Way of working
We divided on two main groups, the designers and the programmers. We took mainly all the decisions concerning the design together so we all had a clear idea of how the project was working. We didn’t really had problems communicating with each other and dividing was an efficient way of working because we had good connection and the communication worked well.

Add something else?
We rocked the cup song!





Somejam, a coding event where the task is to create an app that benefits youth in someway. In 48 hours our team was able to create a communication tool that would allow a young person to have a private chat with a youth worker or other person capable of helping. Our teams was quite large and consisted of (from left to right):

  • Programmer, designer, innovator – Henri Malkki
  • Programmer, solution architect Felix Lindholm
  • Programmer, designer – Jonne Huotari
  • Designer, programmer – Perttu Lähteenlahti
  • Programmer, designer – Zita Němečková
  • Programmer, designer – Yan He
  • Youth worker – Maija Pihlaja
  • Youth worker – Liisa Kurtti


Liisa told us about her goal to make important information for young people more easy to access because they usually get it from wrong or outdated sources like friends or family.At Friday night we talked about some kind of Emergency button that would let you call a youth worker at anytime you wanted. On Saturday we expanded it to chat platform that would be 24/7 available, easy to use and let you talk one on one with someone who have correct and up-to-date information that young person needs. We wanted to create trustworthy chat environment so we decided that someone who is there to give advice should provide their name, photo and some additional information about themselves. This way young people can know who they are talking to and they can trust them. There are many chats but none is open for long or provide any information about people you can talk to.

oulu-3Our goal was to create some basic prototype that Liisa could show to her employer so they can use to improve the chat in Netnappi in Oulu that they want to renew in near future.

Technical stuff

Fact was that some software company would make the app from scratch when it would be launched, so we focused on making working demo instead of a complete product. We used nodejs and socket.io to create the software, because they were fast to implement and easy to use. This helped us to focus on the usability and design.

Final solution architecture


Development tools

Sublime text
Pen and paper

We think that nodejs and socket.io were quite easy to get started with, but deep understanding can take some time of course. All other technologies were useful and we can recommend those too. We can also truly recommend using Sublime text and Vim for all the editing needs. We used Slack for communication and sharing links. To put shortly, Slack is IRC with GUI and file sharing. It was great because not everyone uses IRC.



The final product met our expectations and we were very happy about it. Overall the weekend was great experience for all of us and provided everyone of us some new. It was super fun to work as a team and create a working service concept prototype.

It is great that our work can hopefully benefit young people some day.

Rainbow badgers – Gamifying the youth

Rainbow badgers

Our team of five consisted of the following members: Mika Hämäläinen, Mikko Holm, Evgeny Tiutiunikov, Kristiina Rahikainen and Tiamo Laitakari.

Our service, Badger, is all about motivating young people to do volunteer work. At one end of the service, there are young people who don’t have any work experience to get a real job. And at the other end, we have people who need help. Our service brings these people together. Young people get work-like experience that builds up to their virtual CV in form of badges and points.



Some user stories:

– As a young person I want to have work experience to make it easier to get a real job

– As an old woman I want to read the Holy Bible to someone so that they’ll learn real values

– As a single mom I want help with the kids so that I can relax


It was cool to innovate a new service that could possibly have a positive impact on people’s lives. The HCI part was also interesting.

Software prototype


The initial mock-ups were done with Balsamiq, you can see them at our GitHub page https://github.com/mikahama/rainbow-badger .

Our architectural choice was pure HTML, CSS and JS – no servers. I’m not entirely satisfied because with an SQL database we could have done more in an easier way.

The tools we used were basically NetBeans for some, while others used SublimeText. Git and GitHub were common to us all.