AALTO University: Knowledge networks within creative ecosystems and environments

Part of: a series of workshops for changing urban environment


Mr. Miikka J. Lehtonen, Researcher

Dr. Toni-Matti Karjalainen, Research Director

Aalto University School of Economics, IDBM Program, Helsinki

Do you know what is going on in your city? How does a taxi driver, for example, participate in a knowledge network? Furthermore, what do these knowledge networks mean and how can we work with them to make better cities?

Toni-Matti Karjalainen
Doctor of Arts (arts& design) and M.Sc. (econ.) is Research Director of the IDBM Program at Aalto University School of Business. He has managed, conducted, and supervised numerous research, development, and student projects within various product and service fields, many of which in close collaboration with international companies. His personal research interests are in visual culture, design for branding, design management, NPD processes, creative industries, and heavy metal music. Karjalainen has published close to one hundred articles in academic conferences, journals, and popular press.

Miikka Lehtonen
PhD candidate at Aalto University School of Business and he holds a B.Soc.Sc. from Political Science and M.Sc. (Econ.) from International Business Communication. In addition, Miikka is currently working as a Project Manager in an IDBM research project on creative industries. Prior to his career in the academia, Miikka has worked as a Research Director at ACE Consulting where he was in charge of developing new service and business concepts. Miikka has been teaching and working in Finland, Denmark, India, Japan, and on a boat between Portugal and Brazil. His research interests revolve around multisensory knowledge, creative industries and processes, Japanese philosophy, and visual communication.

Topic: The workshop will address creative ecosystems and environments in different urban settings, localized in the context of one of Moscow’s districts. The first part will introduce various creative fieldwork methods of mapping the current state of knowledge networks and community creation. In the second part, results from the data collection will be synthesized and analyzed, and new creative ideas and business models will be developed based on the collected data.

Objectives: The participants will learn new creative data collection and ideation methods as well as insights from other mapping exercises the facilitators have conducted in different cities in the world (Helsinki, Tokyo, Copenhagen). Building on this knowledge, the participants will also engage in creating value for the ecosystem under investigation by crafting feasible ideas, solutions, and business models.

Methods: Data for this workshop will be collected through various means (interviews, observations, audiovisual material, artifacts, surveys…) with a specific focus on cartography, the ancient art of map-making. Maps are produced both individually and collectively, and their purpose is to serve as windows to the world we construct and make sense of. Thus, we will be shifting between cartography and other methods throughout the workshop.

Outcomes: As a practical outcome, particular districts in Moscow from a selected viewpoint will be mapped and new ideas for services and environments will be created to enhance knowledge networks and novel communities taking place (citizens, companies, service providers, local communities, local government). The results from the ideation can be community events, physically designed environments and objects, art intervention, exhibition, social media applications, and so forth; something that can trigger future change in terms of enhanced communication and well being of the citizens and business opportunities of companies.