To there and back again

The trip is about to begin.

It’s been five days since we came back from our journey. So what did I learn from this trip and how did our idea develop?

Most of the ideas of the group were more or less unclear when leaving Finland, but after a week of hard work they had progressed a lot. Our idea Yhteismaa progressed too, but since we have been planning it since last spring and we have actually already produced something together, our situation was a bit different. At the same time with the trip there were already things going on in Finland.

It’s hard to say, which the most important influences from the trip are, but there were a lot of them. The visit to Design Thinkers clearly showed the whole group, what we really have to take into account and what our ideas essentially are all about.

During the trip I also noticed, that we have to simplify the idea as much as possible and tell who we are and show concrete examples of what we are doing. Yhteismaa is something quite unique and our working field is pretty wide, and that’s why it is a bit hard to put shortly, what we are all about.

That’s what our idea is all about

Many visits and conversations with others also helped with the main problem of our group: funding. How to get it and where to get it is the question we all are facing (as well as how to use it). There are still no clear answers to it, but at the moment our situation seems to be going to a better direction.

In addition I got many good ideas how to develop our idea further, as well as many good tips how to realize them in a better way. And one should not forget the connections made along the trip. For example Kennisland in Amsterdam has just started a project, which has a lot of similarities with our Nappi Naapuri project. A good change for international co-operation!


From Helsinki to Amsterdam by train and ship, the beginning of the trip

The journey was about to begin. Traveling from Helsinki to Turku.

In Turku harbour.

Marianna and Heli in the night train wondering how to fit in six persons in one carriage. Traveling from Copenhagen to Amsterdam.

We spent a day at Design Thinkers in Amsterdam filling up a start-up canvas. Here are our stakeholders.



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)!

Yliopistolaisesta yrittäjäksi – opiskelijoiden juna Euroopan start-up hubeihin lähtee

Minkälaisia uusia yrityksiä Helsingin Yliopistosta nousee? Kulttuurilaitosten uuden ajan viestintäpalvelu, tutkimustietoa popularisoiva oivallustoimisto ja tee se itse -muotia tarjoava palvelu käsityötaidottomille. Näitä ja tusinaa muuta yritysideaa hiotaan ensi lauantaista 6. lokakuuta alkaen timanttisiksi, kun viisitoista Helsingin yliopiston opiskelijaa lähtee junalla viikon vähähiiliselle tutkimusmatkalle Kööpenhaminaan ja Amsterdamiin. Mukana on yrittäjyyttä pelkäämättömiä opiskelijoita ympäristötieteistä kulttuurialoihin.

Euroopan kuumissa start up -kaupungeissa opitaan inspiroivilta akateemisilta yrittäjiltä ja uudella tavalla toimivilta organisaatioilta. Opiskelijoiden yritysideoita sparraavat Design thinkers -konsultit Amsterdamissa  sekä Future Navigators Kööpenhaminassa. Lisäksi pidetään kehitystyöpajoja laivoissa ja junissa. Tieteestä toimintaa -matkan vaiheita voi seurata opiskelijoiden raportoimana tästä blogista .

Matka on osa yliopistolaisia yrittäjyyteen kannustavaa Tieteestä toimintaa -hanketta, jota Helsingin yliopistolla vetää ajatushautomo Demos Helsinki. Hanketta rahoittavat Helsingin yliopisto ja Uudenmaan liitto / European entrepreneurial region. Demoksesta opiskelijoita sparraamaan lähtevät tutkijat Tuuli Kaskinen ja Outi Kuittinen. Lisätietoja matkasta ja projektista: Mirja Hämäläinen, kehitysyhteistyökonsultointia tekevän Avanto-osuuskunnan perustaja, Helsingin yliopiston opiskelija p. +358 50 380 5086 ( ja Tuuli Kaskinen, tutkija, Demos Helsinki p. + 358 50 5149 752 (