Maybe about a month back, I had some spare time on one of my FTD’s and I got invited to visit Uusimaa Innovoi event at Urban Mill in Otaniemi, Espoo. By looking at the the event presentation headlines, the general idea was focused on the today’s new working models, new methods and cooperation. Working on the questions of this area pretty much every day, I decided to go and have a look what the commotion was all about. Would it be yet another case braggadocio with little impact at the end of the day? There was only one way to find out.

To be honest, it was a pretty random event. You had a bunch of 3D-printing wiz ‘kids’ printing miniature demo items, there was a bicycle start-up company (also using 3D-printing tech), some laser scanning scientists, municipal representatives, etc. Not to make the other participants any less important, but for me, the real attraction of the carnival, The Nordic Frugal Innovation Society, was naturally at the back of the hall – just like milk or bread in any given super market.

Admittedly also, as I was evaluating the previous night the possible usefulness of the event and coming across the term frugal innovation, I had to look it up. After a short research and understanding the basics of the ideology I felt a jolt of excitement bursting out with cheerful laughter. Yes, this is so fundamentally me and even more so what I have been starting to shift more towards to. Why had I not seen or heard anything about this before?

After spending an inspiring and engaging 20min or so at the TNFIS stand with Venkata Gandikota, the Founder and President of the Society, it was one of those discussions after which you actually wanted to share contacts with someone to get in touch with them later – and not just because it’s customary.

During the next couple of days we exchanged some thoughts online with Venkata. I became obviously fascinated with his work and ideas, but I also felt I wanted to get involved and provide help for his cause maybe learning something new on the side. With back and forth bouncing emails stretching beyond reasonable length yet still not yielding clear steps for action, I proposed to set up a workshop one Friday at Urban Mill and we agreed on the idea.  Great!

Like with pretty much all FTD’s, as the anxious wait and preparation the night before turned finally into the actual training day, the lapse was gone as quick as snapping fingers. The day was also mostly not what I had expected – this is typically the kick ass part of all FTD’s. However and not denying it, I felt I couldn’t add value much as our lively, free falling discussion pretty much stayed on the idea level – as with our emails -, but the thing is that you never really know what eventually comes out from situations and actions. Let it incubate.

In fact, our session demonstrated one of the typical problems of a FTD, where I cannot get enough traction to start helping because of not being clear about the vision to form a clear mission. Sometimes this is a communication problem, sometimes it’s a problem of trust and sometimes the vision itself is missing altogether. With a few FTD hosts however, like Insplan, we have somehow managed to get past this problem. This mutually beneficial cooperation is the ultimate state of flow, like a good improvisation with every single handover strengthening the story.

Also, not a FTD without the good ol’ folks at Don&Branco. This time me and my loud mouth had promised to join them in a coopers test – one of the most brutal physical fitness tests. I felt short in my target (3600m) covering only 3330m or so – btw pretty much the exact same result as on my 30th birthday and also being 20 years old in the military. I just seem to lack speed. Kalle Elo from D&B covered the spectacle over Periscope. Go check it out!

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