Hi everyone! We’re Julia & Laura and our team of two just finished Lungi Summer Program’s second module called Think Global at Helsinki Think Company – what a great experience! Here are some of our thoughts on the last couple of weeks.
The first few days were both exciting and intensive: we got to know our team members, their interests and ideas, while brainstorming fiercely for different problems and their solutions. One of the greatest things about the module was definitely the diversity of people: our team had expertise from international business to the forestry industry and geography, and other participants’ backgrounds ranged from information technology to graphic design and philosophy. It was also a rather international bunch as we had Brazilian, Pakistani, Taiwanese, Estonian and Finnish people all working together. This created a vibrant atmosphere where the ideas tossed were at times completely crazy. We definitely learned that keeping your mind open to all kinds of ideas is key and that this itself can be a hugely enriching experience!
The starting point for our ideas were the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals, which were presented to us by Anja Karppinen & Sanna Nikkanen from UNDP Finland. This backdrop inspired us to address the issue of climate change awareness amongst children. We came up with an idea of an escaperoom, which informs participants about more sustainable lifestyles and makes them think about ways to tackle the problems of environmental change. After having spent these first days completely in our own heads, it was time to test the idea by seeing what fresh minds would think of it. The workshops we attended were super useful in this! Jenni Selosmaa and Saila Kokkonen from Impactor really helped us to think about our actual business model, especially in this case where one of the main missions was to create a positive social impact. Additionally, we learned a lot about how to measure our success by Key Performance Indicators, which Pontus Stråhlman from Finnish Business Angels’ Network (FiBAN) introduced us to. Aape Pohjavirta from Funzi, Tiina Juvonen and Dr. David Lawson, Professor of Development Economics, also gave us novel ideas of how to tweak our project into the right direction. Getting so many new perspectives on our idea was really useful and also one of the most valuable lessons we learned – constantly fixing and validating your idea is the only way to success.
Finally, the module ended in us pitching our idea to a room full of people. Thanks to the warm and supportive atmosphere this didn’t feel too daunting and the feedback we got was again important in driving the project forward.
We feel that we learned a great deal about the start-up scene, working in a diverse team and practical business skills in only 10 days! We cannot thank enough the great team of Helsinki Think Company who were lovely from the first day on and kept us going with their positive energy even during the times we thought we had hit a wall.
Thank you for the module – it was definitely a worthwhile experience!