The CityDrivers Forum: creative competence meets business
The aim of the CityDrivers project, coordinated by Laurea and funded by the European Social Fund, is to improve creative industry experts’ ability to offer services that are based on service design and co-creation. In addition to Laurea, the parties carrying out the project include Tampere University of Applied Sciences, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences and the Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo.
In autumn 2017, the project launched a series of free courses and workshops that provide creative industry experts with new competence in service design and co-creation methods, among other things. The first course was organised in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and ended early this year. The next courses will be arranged in Tampere in the spring, in the Kymenlaakso area in autumn 2018 and again in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area later in the year.
The CityDrivers project also provides the training participants with tools for identifying new employment opportunities and developing their own competence. Another focus area is the promotion of networking and cooperation both among creative industry experts themselves and with experts in the other fields.
Experiences from Finland and abroad
The project also organises a series of CityDrivers Forum seminars that bring together the project participants and national and international experts. The first seminar was held at Laurea’s Tikkurila campus on Tuesday, 13 February
The speakers at the seminar included, among others, Menno Liauw and Sabine E. Wildevuur from the Netherlands. Liauw is the founder of Vandejong Creative Agency, based in Amsterdam. At the seminar, he talked about his experiences of how creative networks have emerged in the Spring House coworking space that he launched. Wildevuur is the head of Waag Society’s Creative Care Lab that combines creative competence and well-being technology.
Another speaker discussing creative ecosystems from a technological point of view was Patrick Halford, a Scotsman living in Finland who leads drone, robotics and AR/VR development at IBM. The field of art and design was represented by Tero Annanolli, artist and art pedagogue, and Salla Heinänen, Executive Director of the Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo.
Six different case examples
The CityDrivers training has evoked a lot of interest and attracted a total of 175 applicants. From among them, 30 were selected to the six-month course that includes 25 days of face-to-face instruction.
The course participants are a diverse group consisting of, for instance, graphic designers and other designers, communications and marketing experts, art pedagogues, cultural producers and artists.
In addition to them, the project participants include companies and public sector operators that are interested in developing their business operations together with creative professionals from different fields. The course organised in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area involved six organisations of various types and sizes, ranging from the multinational industrial corporation Konecranes to the two-person startup HILDA.
Tuesday’s seminar offered a chance to learn more about the assignments that the CityDrivers course participants had carried out for companies. In the six different case examples, the course participants could utilise both the service design methods they had learnt on the course and their own experiences.