The amazing Pori Jazz Festival and Suomi Areena Week this summer were not only about music, food and talks in the sunny, cosy and lively city of Pori. A group of eager individuals came together one morning in a workshop room to link different Finnish initiatives in Sout-East Asia and India for better outcomes and impact. This informal gathering was hosted by the Embassy of Finland in Singapore.
The participants were coordinators and activists connecting Finland and South-East Asia for business opportunities and innovation collaboration. Right off the bat, they started their introductions with short warm-up pitch talks.
After that they dived into discussions on a wide series of events and initiatives for 2017, that included IPP & Saigon innovation week in October in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; GoInternational’s Finland-India cluster; GrowthOpen event in October in Singapore; Singapore innovation week in September in Singapore with the City of Helsinki; EdTechXAsia in November in Singapore; the new Finland – Vietnam cooperation; and the new Nordic Innovation House for Asia.
It was GOI’s second participation this year in this invite-only event. The inputs from the different players with the same agenda proved useful in that this created an awareness of what was going on in these two regions; it updated the participants on the latest changes happening on the policy and activity sides; and it provided a welcoming crucible for brainstorming fresh ideas, linking different perspectives and synergising action steps towards common goals.
For example, GOI delivered a presentation on its execution from the last year’s Pori’s commitments. It showcased a number of initiatives it promised, with blogs, photos and videos, namely about its ASEAN Interactive, SLUSH – Arctic Stopover, NIIF – Nordic India Innovation Forum and the NELIS – Next Leaders’ Initiative for Sustainability. It expanded on GOInternational Finland’s Transformation as a Nordic International Accelerator, shared about its acceleration programme for start-ups and collaboration models for corporate venturing.
More participants joined us over our delicious lunch as we broke into smaller groups for deeper conversations and one-to-one connections. We all agreed that there should be more communication among the different participants, and a few additional on-line channels were created for this purpose.
As we parted ways and promised to meet-up again next year, we decided to also create a joint message about Finnish education and learning offering towards South East Asia. Participants went on their own ways, in different directions to different concerts to keep on enjoying the remaining of the short summer days in Finland.