International Innovators Awarded in Finland

Dublin City Council received the Driving Citizen Co-Creativity Award

Open Innovation 2.0 Conference and Innovation Luminary Awards Ceremony 2015 preceded by an Aalto University's ACSI Camp for Societal Innovation which took place in Espoo on June 7-8 encouraged practical innovation adoption for the welfare of society as a whole. The Conference called for industry and policy makers to allow the inherently fluid processes of Innovation to flourish. “Innovation is not just an idea – it’s a mindset,” said President of the European Committee of Regions (CoR) and Innovation advocate Markku Markkula to the packed Alvar Aalto auditorium. “We must deliver investment packages that reward the process of innovation, instead of focusing on projects that have pre-determined results mapped out. This is counter-intuitive to innovation,” he explained.

The centerpiece of the conference, the Innovation Luminary Academy’s prestigious Innovation Luminary Awards Ceremony took place at the WeeGee Exhibition Centre on Monday evening. Invitees were treated to a fantastic menu titled ‘Tastes of Finland’”, and a special atmosphere was quickly generated by the delicious dining experience in a uniquely Finnish modernist way. Master accordion player Heli Siekkinen treated guests to a virtuoso musical performance between courses, with journalist, academic and PR entrepreneur Chryssa Skodra expertly handling the evening’s master of ceremony duties.

Finland was the proud home of two recipients of the prestigious Innovation Luminary Awards. Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa and founder of Slush Miki Kuusi are both tech industry titans, and both had a strong message for the future of Innovation in Finland and beyond. “Finland in general and Europe as a whole has a proud history of innovating, but a poor track record of turning Innovation into business opportunities. The current rate of 30% of all technological Innovation originating in European labs is unacceptable when compared to the fact that only 4 of the top 50 technology companies are European based” explained Nokia Chairman Risto Siilasmaa during his acceptance speech as Finnish Innovation Champion Luminary Award winner. Miki Kuusi, Young Innovation Champion Luminary Award winner expanded on this point, by stating that “Innovation is a direct result of deregulation, and the removal of the fear of failure.”

The Innovation Luminary Awards 2015 recipients in full:

Arts and Creativity in Innovation: Winner - EVA-MARIA BOERSCHLEIN

Democratizing Innovation: Winner - ERIC VON HIPPEL

Finnish Innovation Champion: Winner - RISTO SIILASMAA

Creating Open Engagement Platforms: Winner - JIM JAGIELSKI

Driving Citizen Co-Creativity: Winner - DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL

Young Innovation Champion: Winner - MIKI KUUSI