A Website Makeover Overnight and Other Recent Events

So the Steps Helsinki website finally got a complete makeover this weekend!

Feel free to check the new site out at http://stepshelsinki.fi.

I am fairly happy with the resulting look and feel, as well as with the new design-related photos and colors that I used in the design.

Migrating the site over to a WordPress Business Plan as well as a complete redesign of the site was in my interests since the very beginning of this year – but I have been putting this project off for some time now, since my weekends seem to fill up with social events.

Last night, I also took the time to revamp the rest of the contents of the site, and will also shortly start writing a blog about marketing and service design and related topics in Finnish to spice up the website.

So stay tuned for that, dear readers!

Steps Helsinki now has 80 followers over in Twitter, and nearly as many followers as that in Facebook and LinkedIn combined.

Joining Twitter, finally, has been fruitful and rewarding. I still need to speed up and to boost my sales, as the two deals I was aiming for to get started with fell through before the end of the year. I am very much looking forward to closing some deals soon.

My agency will be moving in next month with Pentagon Design Oy. This is great news, as their premises are located conveniently enough in the hip Suvilahti area of Helsinki, and only a 10-15 minute walk away from my place in Kallio.

And who knows, perhaps there will be some joint efforts design projects coming up too.

The “Upea Ura!” -festival event is coming up soon. I have been planning the event as for the theme of strategic and creative thinking together with Riikka Pellikka. Our invited keynote speaker in the event as for this theme will be Anne Stenros, the Chief Design Officer of the City of Helsinki. Also, Maija Tanninen-Mattila, the Director of the Helsinki Art Museum, and Piritta Kantojärvi, the CEO of Grape People, as well as Marianne Tenhula, a Service Designer currently working at the design agency Palmu, will be giving talks.

I will be facilitating a few practical exercises during the event. Looking forward to the festival!

In other news, it seems my studies at the University of Helsinki are currently at a complete standstill since last autumn. I did give a presentation on the issue of street art and the Berlin Wall last year in an international summer school conference of the Nordic Summer University (NSU), however, my beloved master’s thesis is a work very much in progress right now.

I will just have to see if this upcoming summer may offer me a chance to work on that.

I am mentoring a group of four students and my peers this semester. Most of them are currently looking for a job. It seems to me like my university background has always come second to my studies in the university of applied sciences when it comes to getting employed and my next career moves.

I hope, nevertheless, that I can inspire this group of students to get to know their strengths in the current job market and to find an intriguing position. I think university background gives a huge advantage for many vacancies.

Like many in the academia here, I am worried that we will shortly be facing tuition fees in universities and other arrangements that will greatly affect the equality of access to higher education.

I think it goes almost without saying that a university-level education certainly gives a substantially stronger background for getting employed in many fields besides studying in a polytechnic institute. The current budget cuts in the university world of Finland may come at a cost in the long run, because we do need workforce with higher education in Finland, to boost the economy and the startup-spirit.

The Helsinki Design Week and Other Recent Events

This year, the Helsinki Design Week takes place from 1st of September to 11th of September. So this week I am very busy indeed, attending numerous design-related events. This year’s theme for the event is “Better”.

Habitare, the most extensive annual design event is taking place in the Messukeskus Convention Center, and I have been invited to this event as a blogger. I will be writing an article on the event, so stay tuned for that one!

And make sure to visit Habitare yourselves. This year, with 550 attending design companies, there will be an unprecedented plethora of contemporary design on show at Messukeskus. This year’s event has a separate exhibition space reserved for contemporary art, which I am very keen to explore myself.

Habitare takes place from 7th of September until 11th of September.

Another interesting event this week is the upcoming “Better Cities Together” seminar that will take place in the Helsinki City Hall. The keynote speaker in this event will be Anne Stenros, who has recently been selected as the city’s new Head of Design. As I am very interested in how design can be incorporated into city planning, I am very much looking forward to this event.

I am a member in a local network of businesswomen called “Ompeluseura”, and I recently signed up to volunteer in organizing an event called “Upea Ura!” next year.

Our team of volunteers is thinking about inviting Stenros to be one of the keynote speakers in our event, so I am very much looking forward to meeting her this week. We will have our next meeting of the network where the programme of the upcoming event will be discussed next week at my workplace in the FNG.

Recently, I have also come to think about signing up for a course on design entrepreneurship, and founding my own business. There will be an Open Studios event on 8th September in Helsinki, and I am looking forward to checking out a few locations for an office, such as the Mothership Of Work, located in Punavuori area of Helsinki. I went to a party organized on location last week, and that was a fabulous event.

If I were to go for setting up my own company, it would most likely be a digital design consultancy agency.

But let’ see how the still on-going job-hunt works out for me first. I went to two interesting interviews last week, and there are still more of these to come…!

So this is a brief summary of what is happening in my life right now. Exciting times!

My blog is celebrating its 1st anniversary in one week, and has so far had over 1,000 unique visitors, with 40 posts now published. My most popular post last year dealt with mindfulness and meditation (https://lifeofaplanner.fi/2015/10/22/about-meditation-and-mindfulness/), and the most popular post this year was about designing for happiness (https://lifeofaplanner.fi/2016/03/12/designing-for-happiness/). I think I will write more on these topics soon.

I recently updated the layout of the blog, and I am very happy with the resulting look and feel. For your information, I also opened a Facebook-page for the blog, you can find a link to that one below. I appreciate that so many of you have taken the time to read my posts, and any feedback on these is most welcome!

See Helsinki Design Week programme: http://www.helsinkidesignweek.com/

Follow “Life of a Planner” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lifeofaplannerblog/