non-fiction : tips from the trip

Queueing for culture @ Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum

Non-fiction is an Amsterdam based group of cultural innovators. We wanted to hear more about their work with heritage repurposing, crowdfunding and public media strategies. As folklorists, we are experts in stories, communication and locality. On this trip, we’ve been working on how to turn our passion and ideas into practise.

Meeting at non-fiction

Here are some tips from nf’s Juha on how to carry out your projects, when the future seems iffy.

-Values. Values are concepts. They give our idea a sense of worth. They’ll give you a sense of direction and show what is most important in your work.

-Meaning. Why am I doing this? Ask yourself :what problem will this solve and how?

-Don’t give up. Keep your goals clear and let them come from your heart. Passionate people find motivation and are not afraid of failing.

Bubbling under:

Personal contacs! Talk to people. Although, without a doubt connecting with people online is utterly important. Arranging dinners and chats over coffee can easily fill your day, but personal contacts are the thing. Make sure you have a network of people with you.

As an entrepeneur, keeping these four things mind will get you far !

Let’s get loud : our idea in short

A Cultural expertize cluster started in Helsinki in the spring of 2012 to discuss challenges in the field of current cultural recearch. Anthropologists, folklorists, ethnologist and other cultural experts peered in to talk and think these questions over. Not only in Finland the stature and visibility of this field of science has suffered from the financial cuts in education, recearch and funding of cultural institutions. People working with these issues have awaken to change this progress.

We (our team :Heli and me) want to find inspiration from Copenhagen&Amsterdam :

our aim is to turn turn these ideas into action!

1) No to hidden treasures

In order to gain better visibility and public access to cultural heritage, we should be able to use media, web based services, open data, social media and applied practices better in our work. Museums, archives and cultural institutions are in a key position to make this possible.

2) Students in action

Among students it will be crucial to renew the networks necessary to find jobs and bring out our own capabilities. We will have to develop better communication  outside the academic world, put more stress on problem focused recearch and bring it to the public.

3) Spinning the web

As a side project, we have been planning to launch a new web community and media discussing cultural recearch in Finland. At the moment, people interested in the on going conversation and cultural recearch don’t have a shared arena for these purposes.

Yhteismaa – good together

Finally, as we are sitting in the train heading to Copenhagen, I have enough time to finish the introduction to our project called Yhteismaa (Common Ground). Our program has been really busy, but fruitful. Especially the visit to Kennisland yesterday was an inspiring one.

Yhteismaa consist of four people, who are specialized in social sciences, social media, culture and design. Our main task is to design, implement and maintain social projects, events and services together with the society. We help organizations to create fruitful processes together with the citizens by combining our scientific background with expertise in social media, project management and web services.

Yhteismaa’s work is based on a strong vision on how we could all better express ourselves, how our creativity and capacities could be made a better use of and how we could actively participate in the building of the world around us. Often this means creating tools that utilize social media, as well as draw from social movements and collective creativity. We always work experimentally, developing our ideas in close relationship to the users.

We have already been working together with some projects like Siivouspäivä (Cleaning Day), which is a recycling carnival during which people bring their used stuff outside on the streets, parks and gardens for others to buy, take or swap. We also participated with Ilmastoinfo (Climate Info) in the international movement Park(ing) Day in the 21st of September 2012 with our own unique event. In cooperation with city authorities about twenty parking spots were reserved for anyone to occupy, without cars, in the Helsinki. The underlying task was to encourage people to imagine a different kind of city, with little less cars and little more people.

Now our main project is Nappi Naapuri (Spot on Neighbour), which is a web service that enables people living close to each other to communicate easily, ask and provide for help. The long term goal is to determine the extent into which geographical proximity can be employed as a resource to achieve social, cultural and even economic benefits.

So this is Yhteismaa shortly. Currently we are working with our home page, so soon you can find us in Internet ( too. Check it out, when it’s ready (hopefully soon)!