Vappu innovation stories

1st of May is Vappu day in Finland. But all ITMPs are now safely back in France. All next week the Paris Fair (Foire de Paris) will feature the Concours Lépine – an annual inventor’s competition and fair. That’s where you’ll find Mike on Sunday who’ll be helping Nicolas Trub (ESIEE Paris alumni) to set up his stand.


Nicolas was on the radio just now in a short report on his workshop in Montrouge.  This was part of a great one hour programme on innovation and invention. Three of the four guests have innovative products: a one square metre totally complete kitchen, a mirror that doubles up as an ironing board and a fireplace log made of compressed coffee grinds.  The fourth has written a little book on the sociology of innovation. We’ll see who wins the competition next week!!

Thank you Finland.

Why Finland?


Because in Finland I sleep short nights, am never exhausted there but always when I get back (at last I am) so at 10 this morning I was still in bed and switched on the radio and started listening to this great programme. It covers many themes of interest to our ITMP programme and innovation creation and management: inspiration, experimentation, user experience, small networks, big networks, crowd funding. Listeners called in with good questions on patents vs community innovation. There are lots of themes. This programme is something all ITMP15s will be asked to listen and send in a rapport d’étonnement before the course starts in November.

It also relates to Finland because with 13 kilos of coffee consumed per capita there are 65 million kilos of coffee grind waiting to be sustainably recycled in a country where half of the homes have heating stoves.

In the programme there were echoes of all of our visits on Day 6 (which I have yet to recount!). Hannu’s theme of networks and indeed he said a web of needs solution coupling. Within actual worlds and possible futures. This was a really great presentation and it deserves a good write up. Will I have the sisu to do it???? That is the question. Then the mirror ironing board man who has over 150 patents mentioned a handy phone patent from 1985. This links to Jorma’s fascinating and masterly (because he was a key actor at the tie ) presentation on the origins of the mobile phone industry and the case of France in the 1980s. Finally, in our visit to Teleste company, Toni, the R&D director shared with us for almost three hours his passion and questions on how best to unleash, encourage and steer innovation in a company that has been doing it successfully for 60 years.

Last but not least, in our last Finnish breakfast discussion at the Hosteli, Sebastien’s story of the Saturday’s he has been spending in the Family start up incubator since March, and the way in which the leadership trio team is running the incubator blew away my decades long pessimism about the chances of success for innovators in France.


A propos markowskikrys

I run an advanced Masters programme on project management and innovation at ESIEE
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