“The Elegant All-in-One Solution for Every Citizen”
Countries across the globe have implemented and have been successfully using National ID numbers for decades now to link all local activities. Normally, a National ID card is issued by the country to each citizen. Countries of European Union (EU) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) recognizes each other respectively and allow free movement with passport, but it doesn’t stand true among rest of the world. There are couple of implementations of passport card (in USA and Ireland) but they are very limited.
We can merge the National ID card to the Passport and create an unique ID for every citizen which works both inside and outside the county. I tackled all queries while designing the card. While designing, I researched many passports, the requirements, the guidelines, the design and the technology. Mostly impressed with what I witnessed, I went on creating designs which could serve as base model to all countries.
this is a late post about the OKAWARDS 2017 in Stockholm. It was a really interesting event and I am super glad that I was part of it. As a volunteer I could look behind the scenes and could help to set up the event. It was an honor to pass the award of the category ‘Best Business’ to EntryScape Catalog by MetaSolutions.se. Meta Solutions is a startup of former KTH students which is dealing and managing open data. Their winning project EntryScape is called as a sustainable information management platform for providing a workflow for modern data management. We had the opportunity to mingle before the event with the guests and the jury and get to know each others visions and getting advices. The two founders of MetaSolutions told us their impressive story about setting up the startup and explained what they do and what they want to do in future. For me as a German it was nice to hear that they will expand 2018 and will work together with Sachen – a state in Germany. Germany is not leading in dealing with Open Knowledge and young firms like MetaSolutions are taking a step in the right direction. For the future it is important to encourage innovation democracies and increase open data!
Open Knowledge Awards are for celebrating heroes in open knowledge and are an incentive for sharing more data and information, also in a digital way. Three out of six winners couldn’t come to the event but joined per Skype call and were happy to hear that they got the award. All winners: Beate Eellend (www.openaccess.se), Wikimedia Sverige, EntryScape Catalog by MetaSolutions.se, Lidding, Helena Bengtsson and Eric Borälv are leading in sharing data and setting examples. We need all to shift our mind about sharing knowledge to overcome challenges in the future. Sweden is on the right path but has a big potential to improve – in 2015 the country was ranked #27 in the Open Knowledge Index. Leading countries are Taiwan, Australian and UK.
All in all, it was really instructive and informative to join this event as a volunteer. But moreover the people who helped to set up the event and the winners are a big inspiration for me! It was also a perfect opportunity to talk to founders of Startups and to work on the most important thing in future: network! I want to thank all of you for making this event as it was and also Serdar again for the Kebab at the end of the day 😉
The Nobel lecture by the Economics Prize winner, Richard Thaler was held on 8th of December, 2017 at Stockholm University. When I decided to attend this lecture, I had mentally prepared myself to queue outside to get a seat and listen to a talk filled with scientific jargon that I may not understand. But I was pleasantly surprised when Professor Thaler delivered a presentation with relatable stories to explain 30 years of his research and even included a funny picture of Homer Simpson in his slides!
He started his talk with a story about cashew nuts in a dinner party when he had invited his friends over. The bowl of cashews on the table was being consumed quickly and as a responsible friend, he hid the bowl in the kitchen like most of us usually do with a packet of chips or a huge piece of chocolate cake in a party. Taking it away makes us feel relieved but he pointed out that from an economics point of view, taking away a choice shouldn’t make us feel good. This story and several other thought experiments led to Professor Thaler to research on ‘supposedly irrelevant factors’ (SIFs). There are a lot of these supposedly irrelevant factors that are in fact, not irrelevant. As humans with bounded rationality, unless we are influenced by nudges (like cashews being taken away), we tend to stick to the known and have an aversion for giving up what we already have.
At this point, you might be wondering how this fits into the topic of open and user innovation. During this talk, I realised that when we brainstorm for new ideas in our courses, we always assume that the potential users and partners will make a rational choice like downloading a new app which is better than all the existing apps, buying a new product with better features instead of using a poorly designed product that they already own. But we rarely pay attention to creating ‘nudges’ that can influence these potential users to change their existing behaviour without forcing them to do anything.
An example of a nudge mentioned in the talk was by the Swedish government which encouraged people through an advertising campaign to choose their own pension portfolio in 2000.One of the ads even have Harrison Ford recommending a portfolio. 75% of people enrolled themselves to a custom plan that year rather than using the default plan and the nudge has lasted for 17 years for these people.
Another interesting point related to open innovation was the use of open public data from Sweden and Denmark. The research by Professor Thaler on Swedish pension plan was using open data provided by the National Social Insurance Board of Sweden and the Premium Pension Authority. Another research paper mentioned in the talk was by Raj Chetty and colleagues using open data from the Danish government to prove that the impacts of retirement savings policies on wealth accumulation of people depended on whether they changed their savings rates by active or passive choice. This was done using 41 million observations on savings for the population of Denmark from 1995-2009.
If you curious, you can watch the entire recorded Nobel lecture here. There are lots of other great insights in the talk that I might have missed out in this post.
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Innovation night took place in Nymble building on the main campus of KTH, the event started with inspirational speeches from start-up founders and academics in the field of Innovation.
Here’s a recap of the speeches. Amir Sharafat the co-founder of Shortcut Labs AB / Flic emphasized the importance of being curious, passionate, determined and most importantly that you should not be afraid to try and fail. Niklas Arvidsson Associate professor at KTH spoke about how the innovative idea of blockchain got rid of the middleman of transfer money such as banks and creating bitcoin as a digital currency. Johan Båth – Customer Success Manager at Detectify mentioned the idea of crowdsourcing white hat hackers that can be spread all over the world to find vulnerabilities of different websites and that is a very good example of how open user innovation can be utilized.
After that, participants were divided into the different Case workshops. There were 4 workshops: Sogeti, Karma, MAD, KTH Innovation. The event was a very good place to meet with innovative students from different majors and experienced mentors and moderators that have a lot of experience with the innovation process. I participated in the Sogeti and we worked on how to utilize a high-speed wifi connection on SAS flights in an innovative way. In less than 30 minutes the teams came with a lot of innovative ideas that can be employed and this is a vivid example of how the open user innovation works and how it adds values to the different technologies.
Later we had a very interesting panel discussion with Andrew Hennigan, Niklas Arvidsson, Emelie Ekblad, Johan Båth and Gustaf and they kept bouncing ideas and advice that it is really beneficial for anyone wants to start in the field of innovation.
Overall, it was really good experience and a perfect opportunity for networking with mentors who started their journey of innovation already and have a wide experience.
This event was part of the Armada fair and the registration is on Armada website and I highly recommend it to everyone in the upcoming years!
Last Thursday I volunteered on the biggest of the year organized by EIT Digital. During this event, several companies showed the projects they are working on stands or presented it during presentations. In the following blog, I am going to share my experience of the event.
About 150 people registered for the amazing event in Kista. The most interesting and innovative project in my point of view was of the firm https://www.qinematiq.com/. Qinematiq designs “products for the professional film and television market through professional engineering technology” . The project they presented during the EIT Innovation Day was about machine learning. Sensors and cameras scan the body position and analyze it to find wrong movements.
During six short exercises such as doing one squat or balancing on one foot, my complete body got scanned. Afterwards on a 3D animation of my movements, the orientation of my hips, knees,… got highlighted out. And I could see what I do wrong. I got explained those weak points by an employee of a Qinematiq and he showed me which exercises I should do to make the movements smaller and to relieve bones and muscles to avoid pain and diseases caused by wrong body position. I think it was great to see how easily I can avoid having pain in 50 years. With three exercises that are perfectly adapted to my body, I can avoid this. And the best part it does not take even longer 5 minutes to do them.
If you have ever the chance to make your body scanned and analyzed, I highly recommend doing so for your health and fitness.
The biggest problem in fitness studios is that you do not know how to do the exercises correctly. Imagine this scanning/ analyzing-tool is used to check how to use the gym machines to prevent you from using them wrongly and to prevent accidents and pains.
During the event, EIT Digital students who participated in the IOT Hacker Challenger pitched the ideas they have worked on. The winning team of the challenge presented a chip that can track your workouts in the gym: how many repetitions you do and when. Wouldn’t it be nice to add those two ideas together? Don’t you think that this would improve your gym experience, by ensuring you to exercise correctly, in the amount you need it, adapted on the exercises you should work on to improve your body shape?
Let me know what you think and comment on this blog:)
I think, that the event was very great and everything went smoothly thanks to the organization of Joanna and the help of all volunteers.
In case you know those guys in the picture this is not a coincidence: May I present you now the Open & User Innovation Volunteering Group?
Did you like my comment? Stay tuned, I am sure more volunteering comments about this event will follow.
This thursday, 7th of December 2017, we had the last lecture for our course Open and User Innovation with another very interesting guest lecture by Cristina Gadibadi. The topic was ‘Learning from Failures’ based on Cristina’s experiences as a serial entrepreneur and her last failed startup ‘Get Deals’. In this blog post, I am listing some of the key things I learnt from the presentation.
Speak the customers’ language: The majority of the Swedish population is good in communicating in English. However, as a Swedish company, when trying to on-board clients it’s important to communicate with them in Swedish. It’s their first language and the one they are most comfortable with. While Cristina talked about language in a specific context, the learning can be applied in a much broader sense. As an entrepreneur, it’s important for clients to truly understand the value proposition and to be able to do this successfully, we have to speak their language. To put it more simply, if customers do not understand, they do not buy.
Be smart at outsourcing: It’s really cheap but really difficult to manage remotely. There are a lot of operational issues when outsourcing projects to foreign countries. Hence, when outsourcing larger projects, it’s better to approach companies rather than freelancers. While companies are more expensive, they have established procedures and are more likely to meet our demands. Freelancers on the other hand can be really good for shorter projects (e.g., Logo Design, Short Video etc.)
Bootstrapping is hard: If one does not have enough money to bootstrap a company, it’s best to look for venture capitalists (VCs). VCs provide funds to run a company in exchange for equity or ownership stake. Cristina puts it very well saying ”It’s better to own a part of your dream business than no dream business at all”. Moreover, VCs bring in a lot of valuable experience and knowledge.
Try Guerilla Marketing: Most startups have zero to little funds to spend on extravagant marketing. As entrepreneurs, we need to be more creative in such a situation. Cristina mentioned ‘guys in the amazon holding a sign for Get Deals’. While this has nothing to do with the product, it’s cheap, different and more memorable for the customer.
I was yesterday at an interesting and impressive innovation talk from IKEA about
CO-CREATE CHANGE! IKEA + Social Entrepreneurship
at United Spaces Stockholm. In this blogpost, I want to share my experience and my learnings from this event, due to the high importance of this topic.
The well-known Swedish company IKEA is one of the most popular furniture and design shops in the world. I am a big fan of IKEA furniture and love to stroll through IKEA shops to get inspired by design options. Another reason to buy IKEA stuff is the appropriate prize. I never thought about where the products come from and therefore I was totally surprised when I heard that IKEA is working on expanding their production for handicraft products made by women organizations. The blue cushion cover above belongs to the project “Tilltalande made in Jordan”, which should be launched 2018 in Sweden. By 2020, IKEA is committed to create 400 new jobs for refugees and women in Jordan to fight against property and empower women in this challenging areas.
The concept behind this is social entrepreneurship by working towards a social mission. The central criterion is mission-related impact rather than wealth creation. IKEA established a team, which is working on this by finding new partnerships and sustainable development goals. IKEA want to increase their work with small social entrepreneurs, which have normally no chance to become one of IKEAs’ suppliers and to add them to their value chain. Through the creation of decent jobs, IKEA can fight against poverty and focus on people and the planet. The longterm goal is to provide the social entrepreneurs with a market place and not making them dependent. They started by pointing out social needs: many women at home and no infrastructure. As a result, they introduced different village centers and brought the work home to the women. To support women is one of the utmost importance for IKEA.
IKEA already created 10,500 jobs in vulnerable communities by empowering women in urban areas, in rural areas and in challenging areas. A short video shows how
In this area – social entrepreneurship – innovation comes from small insights and can lead to powerful changes, through sharing a social mission goal. Innovation does not mean to come up with something new, but it should create value. IKEA already started to expand this and already built 19 partnerships. However, they do not have the solution for every part. Therefore, they are looking for commitment and are open for ideas. It is about how can I or/and my company contribute to the growth of social economy and give long-term opportunities. It is an important issue and the approach of social entrepreneurship can lead us to a better world. Thank you Mrs. Gunnarsson for sharing this inspiring work and insights with others to co-create change.
This event was conducted by Founder Institute and held in SUP46 to give some practical advice on raising funding; how to pitch to investors, when to pitch for funding and what is equity.
As one of the speakers, Mikael Wintzell said, “Noone owes you funding. You need to earn it.”
The evening started with a talk by Michael Lantz, CEO of Accedo. Accedo is a cloud platform which provides video experiences and it’s clients include Netflix, NBC, Spotify, Fox and Disney. Michael talked about the funding journey of Accedo. In 2004, he started working with his co-founder Fredrik based on the insight that emerging technology will transform how people consume video, but the stakeholders will struggle to keep up. They spent 3 years in their homes building the solution and went for series A round funding in 2007. On a reflective note, he said, “It would been a better strategy if we had continued to build and focus on getting the product to the market rather than seek funding at that stage“. In 2016, they received 10 million funding by SEB in another funding round. This allowed the early investors of Accedo, including Industrifonden and Acacia, to exit as part of their investment strategy. This was an interesting talk because I learnt how it is important to seek funding at the right time and view the funding effort as a tradeoff for the time spent on product development, especially when there are fewer employees. I also learnt that several seed round or series A investors exit after the next round of funding.
The second speaker was Mikael Wintzell, Partner & CEO at Wellstreet. He said, “If you are in Stockholm and you don’t receive funding, either your idea has no potential or your communication skills are not good because there isn’t a lack of investors in Stockholm”. When an audience member asked him what is the most important thing that investors look for, he jokingly said, “I’ll let you know if you Swish me 10k kronor”. His company, Wellstreet helps entrepreneurs grow and they also invest in these companies (mainly B2C and online-based) if they believe in their vision. He talked about how it is important for the founders to choose the right investor who can guide them in the right direction, just as how it is important for the investor to pick the right startup.
Michael was followed by a corporate lawyer from Lindahl, a business law firm. He emphasised the importance of preserving all the documents (contracts, receipts, sales proofs) and paying attention to the fine line in contracts.He mentioned the importance of honesty from the founder’s side in their business and financial reports since investors usually hire corporate lawyers to verify all the documents before they fund the company. He also introduced the concept of a shelf company (a registered company that has no activity) which can be bought by founders who don’t want to waste time registering a company or are not Swedish citizens. This was quite interesting since it seemed unethical but legal.
Arno Smit, co-founder of FundedByMe talked about his company, a crowdfunding platform for entrepreneurs who want to raise funds through a crowdfunding campaign. In 2010, Arno (coder from Africa) along with his co-founder Daniel Daboczy (with an Art major from Romania) wanted to launch a Kickstarter campaign for a video-site for sharing ideas. Kickstarter turned them down saying their idea was not valuable for the American community. So, they started their own Nordic platform for crowdfunding. Because of their backgrounds, it was hard for them to seek funding. But they succeeded in building the platform and raised equity crowdfunding for their own company.
Finally, the last speaker, Anette Nordvall, an angel investor talked about her funding experiences in California and the US. She, along with a group on 50 angel investors in STOAF, fund fast growing ventures and also guide them based on their experience and expertise. They invest in early ventures, help the companies grow and exit in the series A funding 2-3 years later. She had a valuable advice to potential founders in the audience – “If you can fund yourself, do it.That’s the best option. Funding is not easy or fun, either for the founder or the investor. It involves many steps and a lot of effort from both parties.”
Overall, I felt very educated about the different investment terms after listening to the founder, investor and corporate lawyer’s perspectives on startup funding. I also met a budding startup founder from Stockholm and shared some perspectives on the different startup cultures in Singapore, Stockholm and India. I would highly recommend future events by SUP46 since they have good speakers and the sessions are usually held in the evening at a convenient time. It’s a great opportunity to learn and meet like minded people.
During one of the lectures of Open and User Innovation we had a guest lecturer. The guest lecturer was Thomas Tydal and he is a train driver and software developer. He developed the application Railit Tracker. This is an application for train drivers and other railway personnel. In this application the train drivers can see where they are, where other trains are, how fast they are going and if this is the right speed, and when they will arrive among other things. This application has solved the main problem of data being unavailable to the train drivers, and also it prevents drivers from going too fast and thus reduces the amount of energy used. Thomas’ presentation was very inspiring and I learned a lot from it about how the subjects we discuss during this course are applied in real life. It was a great addition to the course. The website for this application is railit.se.
After Thomas told his story, one of the students asked about the future of trains when it comes to automisation and if his business was threatened by possible automised trains. To this he said that trains are not the same as, for example, trucks. During a train ride often systems in the trains breakdown, but passengers do not notice all these failures because the train driver repairs these malfunctions. This comparison to trucks and the fact that his application saves energy made me think of a company I came across during one of my previous projects called Peloton.
Peloton is an automated vehicle technology company. They try to solve the two major problems in the trucking industry: crashes and fuel use. Peloton develops trucks that have advanced software and radars that allows them to keep track of each other and other traffic on the road. Each truck has multiple types of sensors that register data and they can share this information with other trucks on the road. Peloton software alerts the drivers if there are other drivers nearby and available for a “platoon”. When a platoon is formed two trucks are linked together when driving behind each other. With vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V), the acceleration and breaking systems of the two trucks are connected. This way, if the driver of the first truck breaks the second truck will automatically break too. Also, the drag between the two trucks is diminished so the first truck no longer suffers from this. By forming a platoon the fuel use of the first truck is reduced by 4.5% and the second truck by 10%, leaving an overall fuel saving of 7%. The platoons are only made when it is safe and every platoon has to be accepted by the Operations Center and they can change the platoon parameters to the situation of the trucks. Also, the drivers always have primary control over their truck, they can stop the platoon at anytime and can still use the brakes and acceleration themselves when necessary.
The V2V communication made me think of the subjects discussed during Open and User Innovation. The trucks all register data and share this openly to other trucks, creating a sort of open data community for trucks and their drivers. They help each other navigate and warn each other for upcoming traffic and dangerous situations. Also, by platooning they work together to reduce fuel use. I thought this was an interesting form of open data and communities.
I retrieved the information about Peloton from their website: https://peloton-tech.com/ , if you’re interested to get more information be sure to check out the website!
f This week I have participated in a TED talk evening.
What is a TED talk?
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. During this event, we shared ideas concerning this topic, gave feedback about it and discussed recent topics.
The event started with short pitches of KTH students currently working on an innovative idea. A person from the Netherlands had the great idea of how to use open data and provide this data to the user.
What exactly was the idea about?
The innovator provides a website for people that want to buy a vehicle 2nd hand: Did you already have the problem that you wanted to buy a car or a motorbike 2nd hand, but you were not sure if the given details about mileage and the Technical Inspection Agency were actually correct? If so, this website perfectly suits you. You simply enter the license plate and which information you want to have e.g. last check mileage. The website returns you the desired information through a pdf. For all data which the innovator can access for free, such as technical information about the vehicle, the user does not have to pay. The user only pays for the data, the innovator has to pay for himself e.g. mileage.
Why should the user use this website?
You may believe you can get the mileage yourself. But actually, you can not. Data like the mileage is provided by the government and it is only accessible for companies in exchange for a fee.
Aren’t there any competitors?
There are, but the competitors are only focusing on cars, whereas on this website the innovators provide information for all kind of vehicles.
> What do you think about this idea?
During the event we watched together inspiring videos, which I would like to share with you:
The first video is about how to spread your idea? It explains, as we the students of Serdars’s Open & User Innovation class have seen, that the focus on innovation should be to not target the mass, but the lead users and early adopters. Furthermore, Seth Godin is an awesome presenter. I enjoyed every second of the video and I hang on every word.
The second video was about recent research on AI and which products already exist.
> What do you think about those videos?
> We are living in a world where robots will replace jobs. What do you think about it? Should we be afraid? Should we work together with the robot? How far do you think will it go?
Are you interested in those topics? Do you like to reflect on current technology and its influence on us?
How often do you check your phone, log in on Facebook, Twitter,… per day? Do you even know that?
Have you ever wondered how easily we are manipulated and controlled by those platforms?
If you are interested in this topic I highly recommend you the following website: