• 24 Sep

    Karostech’s Vucability Assessment tool introduced at Global Innovation Forum

    Karostech has worked intensively together with some of the new experts in its partner network in order to conceptualize and design the first version of Vucability Assessment tool. The first version of the tool has been launched September 21st in Indonesia at Tangeran Selatan Innovation Forum with vast international audience.
    VUCA is a term originally created within US Army to describe the volatile (V), uncertain (U), complex (C) and ambiguous (A) times we are facing today. Vucability assessment tool, named as the evaluation and mapping system of the VUCA approach (EMS-VUCA 1.0) is a three dimensional model, where the vucability level of a company/ecosystem/region can be evaluated and improved based on the evaluation results.

    By Ilkka Kakko News , ,
  • 29 May

    Ilkka Kakko speaking about engagement platforms at Open Innovation 2.0 conference

    Ilkka Kakko was invited to have an introductory speech in panel session “Open Engagement Platforms as Value Enabler” at Open Innovation 2.0 conference in Amsterdam. His novel approach comparing pipeline-thinking with platform-thinking gave the audience some new insights which were further elaborated in Challenge Cafe discussions on the following day.
    The presentation can be viewed and downloaded here.


  • 12 Feb

    How to elevate your platform thinking – the role of Devil’s Advocates in harnessing serendipity

    Platform thinking is gaining momentum and for a good reason. It has disrupted many industries already and it will re-shape our business ecosystem thinking in the very near future. The consequences of this evolution process will be huge and therefore it’s fundamental for us to adapt as early as possible to these changes.

    The first conceptual definition of platforms, which I have noticed was by John Hagel, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison in their brilliant book “The Power of Pull” (2010). They introduced the notion ‘pull platforms’. The authors defined the new phenomenon as following:[1]

     “Pull platform is used metaphorically to describe frameworks for orchestrating a set of resources that can be configured quickly and easily to serve a broad range of needs”.

    With a wide set of case examples the authors were able to explain in beforehand, already few years ago, the vital benefits of platform thinking. They also predicted with amazing accuracy the vast implications, which platform thinking will bring to out business environment.

    The fundamental changes that accompany every shift in the industries, which are getting transformed by the platform thinking are[2]:

    1) new networked markets get created

    2) new sources of supply start to emerge

    3) new consumption patterns will be developed.

    4) new and unique combinations of competences will be created.[3]

    The first three (by Sangeet Paul Choudary) are certainly valid when talking about traditional platforms, but I added also the fourth dimension, which is available by the use of competence platforms.

    John Hagel et al have analyzed ‘pull’ driven platform thinking and they conclude that to exploit the opportunities created by uncertainty, pull platforms help people to come together and innovate in response to unanticipated events, drawing upon a growing array of highly specialized and distributed resources. With this feature a pull platform becomes a real asset for ecosystem builders and in orchestration of distributed freelancer organizations.

    In the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambigous (VUCA) conditions the developments and the encounters often are unexpected and hence unpredictable. Pull platforms and the concrete implementation of them called competence platform will help to prepare for the unexpected and act accordingly. The self-organizing characteristics, the agility and open access are the fundamental features of competence platform and vital for survival in out contemporary business environment, and unfortunately not offered by the traditional communication tools.

    How do the Devil’s Advocates fit into this thinking, why do we need them? That is a question, which has recently obsessed my mind. And the answer is finally found from Gary Klein’s wonderful book ”Seeing What Others Don’t – The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights”. According to Gary Klein insight, which is the key outcome of serendipity process, will be triggered by (the picture below)[4]:

    –      Connections                                                             Klein

    –       Coincidence

    –       Curiosity

    –       Contradiction

    –       Creative Desperation

    Actually a contradiction is a very strong catalyst for unexpectedness. And there are many wonderful stories in the history of serendipity about cases where especially contradiction has ignited the final insight for a great discovery. Let’s figure out how we can benefit from this approach.

    Creating contradiction by purpose is easy, just make sure that there will be enough diversity in your platform and if needed ask some people to play the Devil’s Advocate role. For harnessing serendipity purposes this will certainly be a great alternative. Putting people in front of unexpected contradictions will sparkle their creativity and lead to insightful results.  The role of Devil’s Advocate might be a real catalyst in many communities and companies, as long as it’s understood the right way. Contradictory opinions can stimulate the serendipity process in various ways. Often innovation communities are way too homogenous without any contradictions; the ability to tolerate uncertainty and different kind of thinking is the key to fruitful discussions and hence disruptive solutions in any business ecosystem.

    The critical success factor in introducing Devil’s Advocate principle to a competence platform is to design the matching algorithm in a way that also people with totally different values and competences are invited to certain swarms, partups or whatever they are called in various services. The alarming trend with just mixing people with similar interests and values is not encoruraging contradictory behavior – vice versa. So, as a platform operator you will be more successful and have better results with great impact, if you encourage the Devil’s Advocates to do their job properly.

    (During the canonization process employed by the Roman Catholic Church, the Promoter of the Faith (Latin: promotor fidei), popularly known as the Devil’s advocate (Latin: advocatus diaboli), was a canon lawyer appointed by Church authorities to argue against the canonization of a candidate.[2] It was this person’s job to take a skeptical view of the candidate’s character, to look for holes in the evidence, to argue that any miracles attributed to the candidate were fraudulent, and so on.)


    [1] John Hagel III, John Seely Brown & Lang Davison: ”The Power of Pull – How Small Moves, Smartly Made. Can Set Things in Motion”, Basic Books, New York, USA (2010), page 76

    [2] http://platformed.info/platform-stack/, Sangeet Paul Choudary.

    [3] Ilkka Kakko, Mika Lavikainen, Tatiana Glotova: ”netWork Oasis: New Practises for Emergent Collaborative Working Environments” p. 338 in a book by Luis Camarinha Matos, Hamidesh Afsarmanesh, Martin Ollus (eds) ”Network Centric Collaboration and Supportive Frameworks”, Springer, NY, USA (2006)

    [4] Gary Klein (2013): ”Seeing What Others Don’t – The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights”, Public Affairs, New York


  • 23 Nov
    3GSP tour in Mongolia

    3GSP tour in Mongolia

    Ilkka Kakko was invited by the Minister of Education and Science of Mongolia Mr. Gantamuur to five days visit to Mongolia. The comprehensive program was set up by the personal meeting with the Minister on the first evening and followed by visits in the leading universities and research organizations. During the discussions Ilkka gave several introductory speeches and a full two hour lecture to the students of Mongolian University of Science and Technology about serendipity management. The conclusive remarks were given in an TV interview at ‘Jargal de Facto show’ and one interview in the main national newspaper.

    Mongolian hospitality was fantastic and people very friendly, but the innovation system and infrastructure needs urgent renovation. We are looking forward to continue the collaboration in the area of science park development in Mongolia. By implementing our 3GSP model the country has a great opportunity to make a tiger leap towards the science parks of the third generation.


  • 14 Nov
    Workshop on Third Generation Science Park Concept at Innopolis Foundation, Daejeon

    Workshop on Third Generation Science Park Concept at Innopolis Foundation, Daejeon

    Ilkka Kakko was invited to have a workshop with the participants of Innopolis Foundation’s International Training Program. The title for a half-day event was ”Workshop on Third Generation Science Park Concept” and there were about 30 attendees, mainly STP managers and governmental policy makers from 15 countries.

    The introductory presentation by Ilkka and the following work in small teams generated a lot of dialogue and the feedback after the event was really positive. This session held on November 12th was part of a continiuos collaboration between Innopolis Foundation and Karostech, which started earlier on the summer, when Dr. Seo from Innopolis Foundation was in Finland on a visit organized by Karostech.

    Innopolis Foundation is the leading creative economy driver in South Korea and is promoting new technologies and markets. The focus in their strategy is to:
    • Commercialize public technology and activate start-ups or business foundation
    • Professionalize the commercialization mechanism
    • Create open ecosystems for the growth of INNOPOLIS

    The workshop slides can be found here.

  • 25 Sep
    Ilkka Kakko presenting platform thinking in UNESCO/WTA International Workshop 22.9.

    Ilkka Kakko presenting platform thinking in UNESCO/WTA International Workshop 22.9.

    Karostech’s Founder Ilkka Kakko was invited to prepare a paper and make a presentation at UNESCO/WTA International Training Workshop in Daejeon, Korea. The audience of 150 people consisted mainly of science park managers, highly ranked governmental officers and representatives of academic institutions, mainly from the developing countries, in which the economy is booming.

    The response was positive, Ilkka received straight away invitations to have a training day in Korea on November and also to visit Mongolia as a keynote speaker in their annual Innovation Forum this year.

    You can download the paper here and the presentation here.

  • 30 Jul
    Karostech luotsaa suomalaisia yrittäjiä pk-yritysten Mestareiden Liigaan!

    Karostech luotsaa suomalaisia yrittäjiä pk-yritysten Mestareiden Liigaan!

    Karostech tarjoaa kasvuhakuisille yrittäjille EU:n Horizon 2020 pk-yrityksille suunnatun rahoitusinstrumentin hakemusten valmistelua kovalla ammattitaidolla. ”Valitsemme tarkkaan asiakkaat, joita lähdemme auttamaan rahoituksen piiriin. Yrityksellä pitää olla ainutlaatuinen tuote- tai palvelukonsepti ja todellista potentiaalia tehdä kansainvälinen läpimurto. Keväällä teimme sopimuksen innovatiivisia lämmitysjärjestelmiä valmistavan PolarSol Oy:n kanssa, jolle varmistimme ensimmäisenä pohjoiskarjalaisena yrityksenä pääsyn Horizon 2020 SME Instrument- rahoitusohjelmaan” – kertoo Karostech Oy:n yrittäjä, toimitusjohtaja Ilkka Kakko. Lisätietoa PolarSolin sivuilla: http://www.polarsol.com/news/polarsol-valittu-horisontti-2020-pk-instrumentin-rahoituksen-saajaksi.html.

    Horizon2020 pk-instrumentti on tarkoitettu voimakasta kansainvälistä kasvua hakeville pk-yrityksille, joilla on korkea markkina- ja kasvupotentiaali. Dr. Bernd Reichert, Head of SME Unit European Commission, vertaa rahoitusohjelmasta kertovassa esityksessään rahoituksen piiriin valittavia yrityksiä Mestareiden Liigan huippujoukkueisiin. Suomessa rahoitusta koordinoi Tekes, mutta hakemukset tehdään kuitenkin suoraan EU:n viralliseen hakijaportaaliin. Lisätietoa ohjelmasta Tekesin sivuilta: http://www.tekes.eu/horisontti-2020/teollisuuden-johtoasema/innovointi-pienissa-ja-keskisuurissa-yrityksissa/ .

    Ensimmäisessä vaiheessa yritys saa komissiolta 50.000 euroa kansainväistymiseen tähtäävän liiketoimintasuunnitelman tekemiseen sekä tuote- tai palvelukonseptin pilotointiin. Vaiheessa 2 tarjolla on jopa kaksi miljoonaa euroa komissiolta tulevaa avustusta kansainvälistymisen toteuttamiseen.

    Hakemuksen valmistelu on 3-4 viikon projekti, jonka aikana Karostechin asiantuntijat perehtyvät yrityksen liiketoimintaan ja laativat yrittäjältä saadun tiedon pohjalta hakemuksen EU:n hakujärjestelmään. Varsinaisen hakemuksen lisäksi tiivis sparraus projektin alkuvaiheessa auttaa yrittäjiä virtaviivaistamaan prosessinsa sekä liiketoimintasuunnitelmansa.

    Haku on parhaillaan käynnissä ja seuraava hakemusten jättö on 17. syyskuuta mennessä, joten ripeällä toiminnalla saamme hakemuksen tehtyä. Jos kiinnostuit, niin ota viipymättä yhteyttä.

    Lisätietoa tästä ohjelmasta saat soittamalla Ilkalle p. 050 5362941.


  • 24 Jul
    New international partners from Japan and Korea for Karostech

    New international partners from Japan and Korea for Karostech

    We in Karostech have been active this summer in streamlining the global partnership network for the benefit of our customers.

    During the Open Innovation 2.0 Conference on June Ilkka Kakko had a great chance to spend one afternoon in a workshop together with the directors of JIN (Japan Innovation Network). It was an awesome two and half hours and Ilkka got also an invitation to come and visit JIN in Japan in the near future. In the cover picture Ilkka is after the workshop alongside Urban Mill orchestrators Kari Mikkelä and Lars Miikki together with the top management team of Japan Innovation Network (JIN) Prof Konno, former President of Sony Corporation Dr Ando and Chief Executive Officer of JIN Dr Nishiguchi. 

    Karostech organized also a visit for our Korean contact Dr Seo from Innopolis Foundation. Dr Seo made an European tour visiting UK, Sweden and Finland and was interested in studying the latest developments on innovation platforms. Ilkka took Dr Seo to LADEC to show how the local science park in Lahti has merged with regional development company and what kind of experiences they so far have from this re-structuring process. We also visited an Lahti – based entrepreneur Jarmo Järvinen, who is running two amazing businesses, Lean Park Oy and Methator Oy.

    After Lahti we continued the program and visited also Espoo Innovation Garden in Otaniemi, where Ilkka explained how 3rd generation science park concept is implemented and what it requires in practical terms.  During the afternoon tour Dr Seo had the chance to meet people from Design Factory, Start-Up Sauna, Urban Mill and a recently established business accelerator Vertical.

    Dr Seo was impressed and promised to take some of lessons back to Korea and start implementing them in his organization. He also invited Ilkka to visit Korea on November to conduct some training sessions in their innovation workshop.


    Näyttökuva 2015-07-30 kello 14.01.35Näyttökuva 2015-07-30 kello 14.01.13

    In photos: Dr Seo visiting LADEC, where our host was Essi Artima-Sulkinoja and the Vertical accelerator in Otaniemi, where our hosts were Hanna, Kenneth and Paolo.


  • 12 Jun
    Serendipity session organized at Open Innovation 2.0 Conference

    Serendipity session organized at Open Innovation 2.0 Conference

    Näyttökuva 2015-07-30 kello 13.58.52

    The Open Innovation 2.0 Conference was held on 8th – 9th June in Otaniemi, Finland. It was the 3rd time when open innovation practitioners and researchers met in this context, the two previous events were organized in Dublin.

    Karostech’s Founder and Partner Ilkka Kakko was invited to organize and chair a panel session especially dedicated to serendipity. This was the very first time when serendipity was taken into the agenda of any EU level conference, thanks to the organizers for this insightful decision.

    Ilkka invited distinguished international experts to join the panel: Anabel Quan-Haase flew all the way from Canada, Andreas Krueger from Germany and Sebastian Olma from the Netherlands. They all gave 15 mins introductory talks from different perspectives. Anabel presented the academic perspective, Andreas explained some practical urban development cases from Berlin and Sebastian took the social and cultural perspective stating that the cultural roots of serendipity can be found in hippie movement and the science of cybernetics. “Making Love and War” – slogan was presented as the manifesto of that . The audience of 40-50 people participated actively into the discussion and one the final outcomes of the panel was the definition of serendipity in Open Innovation 2.0 context: “Serendipity is the art of benefiting from unexpected” .

    The elaboration of the topic at EU-level and the plans for further actions in promoting serendipity research and piloting cases are now well under way, partly thanks to all participants of the panel session. We will meet again next year, this time again in jolly Dublin.

    Cover photo: Sebastian Olma with his statement on stage

    Side Photo: Preparation for the panel, left Sebastian Olma, center Andreas Krueger, right Anabel Quan-Haase.


  • 12 May
    Karostech accepted as a certified dealer for PolarSol heat management systems

    Karostech accepted as a certified dealer for PolarSol heat management systems

    Karostech was today accepted by SonnSe Oy as a certified dealer for PolarSol heat management systems. The agreement is project-based and gives Karostech an exclusive PolarSol dealership in selected pilot projects. On the cover picture the Managing Director of SonnSe Oy, Elena Sonne, and Founder and Partner of Karostech Ltd, Ilkka Kakko, are signing the contract.

    PolarSol is a Finnish start-up company and their products are the leading heat management products on the global market at the moment. The elements of hybrid ‘solar-air’ heat management systems are based on patented manufacturing technology originally developed at Bauman State University in Moscow. PolarSol Oy was just last week accepted to EU Commission funded Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Program, which is also called as the European Champions League of SMEs.


    jälleenmyyntisopimus 12.5.2015


  • 08 May

    Karostech helped a customer company PolarSol to get Horizon 2020 SME Instrument funding

    The Senior Consult of Karostech Ltd, Dr Erik Raita, was in the leading role when PolarSol submitted a proposal to EU Commission’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument. He was responsible of the overall content of the proposal and  the technical process of the submission process. The proposal was this week accepted with very good to excellent evaluation results.

    Horizon 2020 SME Instrument is a state-of the -art funding system for the “rising stars” of the European SME market.




  • 05 May

    Karostech made a deal to consult a disruptive heat management company in Finland – PolarSol is taking a huge leap towards global launch

    Karostech made an agreement on February to help a Joensuu based manufacturing company, which is specialized in designing and producing solar-air heating systems, in their business development, marketing and value chain creation. Erik Raita and Ilkka Kakko – the senior consultants in Karostech – have worked now three months in order to improve the business of PolarSol. In this time Karostech has organized numerous meetings with potential customers, opinion leaders and collaboration partners and the feedback from all these meetings has been very positive. Here we are really launching, together with our customer PolarSol , a disruptive heat management system!



    By Ilkka Kakko News
  • 24 Apr

    Ilkka Kakko presenting PolarSol technology in a workshop organized by Green Building Council Finland and RAKLI

    Green Building Council Finland and RAKLI  organized a workshop on 23rd of April. About 40 people from leading real estate and facility management organizations were attending and Ilkka Kakko gave a presentation about Polarsol’s unique technology.

    The feedback was very positive and some emergent customer contacts were promoted.


    By Ilkka Kakko News , ,
  • 27 Mar
    Ilkka Kakko had a keynote speech in Seats2Meet Global Partner Conference

    Ilkka Kakko had a keynote speech in Seats2Meet Global Partner Conference

    Ilkka Kakko was invited to have a keynote speech in Seats2Meet Global Partner Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands. The main message of the presentation was that emergent competence platforms are urgently needed when building up global freelancer ecosystems. A well designed platform with enough critical mass will help increase the dynamics and interaction and hence support new idea creation and implementation of emergent ideas. Ilkka’s presentation can be downloaded here.





  • 14 Feb

    100 radical technologies – a comprehensive report published in English

    Please find here a comprehensive, 178 page report published by The Parliament of Finland describing the 100 radical technologies, their potential impact on our society and a method for evaluating the impact of radical technologies. One of the authors is a member of Karostech’s partner network  – Mr. Risto Linturi. Thanks Risto et al of this valuable report.


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