knowledge ecosystem

  • 09 Apr

    Meta-ecosystem as a tool to generate cross-disciplinary innovations with global impact

    With all the recent economic and societal disruptions we are rapidly entering the Postnormal Era. Collaboration models, tools and organizational theories that were helpful during the Industrial Age are no longer valid. As our slogan states, it’s time for new paradigms. In this blog post we elaborate the meta-ecosystem concept to respond to challenges of the highly volatile future. Our approach can be applied for solving wicked global challenges requiring multidisciplinary international collaboration. However, it is also valid for the development purposes of any domain specific, regional or national level ecosystem, which is aiming to improve its competitiveness on a global scale and to increase the connectivity to global knowledge ecosystems.

    The major trend, which is relevant and fundamental to understand, is the increased importance of startup and innovation ecosystems in supporting entrepreneurship. Today, it is vital for the ecosystem operators to generate gravity and attract global talent. It is essential to get rid of the gatekeepers, who in the Industrial Era were in charge of creating connections between ecosystem members. Ecosystems need to become self-orchestrated and connected to each other on the practical level to enable effective cross-pollination.

    From local ecosystems to meta-ecosystems

    We are sensing that ecosystems will be the decisive entities, when evaluating success factors on the future competitive landscape. Actually, we believe that competition will increasingly happen not anymore between companies, but rather between ecosystems. For most of the local ecosystems forming or joining meta-ecosystems will be the only way to ensure competitiveness in the global landscape. In fact, even their existence in the longer term is a matter of belonging to a more viable and competitive meta-ecosystem. 

    The global startup ecosystem landscape is strongly dominated by the US based hubs, such as Silicon Valley and Boston. These most successful global ecosystems will keep draining talents and ambitious startups from all over the world and thus become even stronger. Unfortunately, the means to fight against this trend are very limited. By applying the meta-ecosystem approach in other parts of the world, we have a feasible solution to tackle this challenge. The market proven coaching and support services need to be combined with top talent and latent resources across the local ecosystems, especially in less developed ones.

    So what is a meta-ecosystem? 

    It’s a synergetic and interdisciplinary combination of digitally interconnected domain specific ecosystems, powered by platform thinking and effective digital trust building practises.

    Relevant tools and practices

    In the context of digital connectivity between ecosystems we introduce a notion of a competence platform, which has an important role in the idea elaboration, team formation, matchmaking and trust building. When deployed and uptaken by a critical mass of individual users, such a digital platform starts to catalyze interaction and therefore increases the dynamics within the meta-ecosystem. It also creates much needed gravity and attracts motivated and skilled people and their organizations and hence improves the talent potential and dynamic capabilities of the entire meta-ecosystem. 

    In order to achieve these objectives, participants of the meta-ecosystem shall integrate services to support top talents and wannabe entrepreneurs all the way through from starting up a new business to the global scale up and, potentially, a unicorn. This approach will help utilizing the best possible resources within the meta-ecosystem at different phases of the business lifecycle. Any talent or company in any location of the meta-ecosystem will get access to the comprehensive set of integrated services provided by top level experts. In addition, through the competence matching tools, any talent or company will get a possibility to identify co-founders with matching skills and ambitions, business development partners or investors seeking investment opportunities. Such a strongly result-oriented digital meta-connectivity between domain specific ecosystems is an essential new element in the European innovation landscape.

    Role of the competence platform

    We strongly believe that increasing diversity within the professional community substantially increases the chance for impactful insights and, consequently, disruptive innovations to occur. The role of the competence platform is to enable the seamless interconnectivity between all participants. We see it as a “digital glue” or a vascular system, which connects all the pieces of the meta-ecosystem together. With the help of a powerful and comprehensive competence platform our vision is to build a highly talented and inspiring global metacommunity of students as wannabe entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups, scaleups, SMEs, larger corporations, service providers, public entities, business angels and venture capital companies. That kind of setting enables us to build a unique meta-ecosystem consisting of motivated free agents and established organizations. The inspiration and momentum generated will increase the competitiveness of all parties involved. 

    Competence platform is well suited for the following purposes

    • crowdsourcing and initial elaboration of new ideas (pre-project phase)
    • matching users’ skills to form effective project and startup teams (pre-incubation phase)
    • matching motivated people with user-generated challenges
    • competence matching tool emphasizing future skills (wills) of users

    See below the comparison between a typical matchmaking tool and the competence platform.

    FeatureMatchmaking toolCompetence platform
    Basic approachStructured and moderatedCommunity driven
    Typical userRegisteredEngaged
    MatchmakingAround predefined topicsAround user-generated challenges
    Matching principlesProfile database search;
    Self-evaluated skills
    Peer to peer validated skills;
    Holistic approach, both skills and motivation included, machine learning algorithms
    The key success factorsNumber of users;
    Number of (successful) matches
    New ideasActive teams working around ideas;
    Unexpected combinations of competences and therefore disruptive ideas in a pipeline
    Targeted outcomeNetworking of like-minded usersBreakthrough innovations based on serendipitous encounters within a highly diverse and engaged community
  • 15 Nov
    Meta-ecosystem concept presented at National Technology Revolution 2035

    Meta-ecosystem concept presented at National Technology Revolution 2035

    Karostech’s Partner Erik Raita participated to National Technology Revolution 2035 event in Saint Petersburg, Russia, 7-8 November, 2019. He was invited by organizers to contribute the round table on export of EdTech.

    At the event we first time presented our Meta-ecosystem approach as a tool for innovation ecosystems development.

  • 04 Dec
    Karostech contributed to the 3rd Innovation Forum in Zheleznogorsk

    Karostech contributed to the 3rd Innovation Forum in Zheleznogorsk

    Karostech’s Founder and Partner Ilkka Kakko has participated in a traditional annual Innovation Forum in Zheleznogorsk, Russia, 29.-30. November.

    On Thursday Ilkka has presented a two hour keynote  to the participants of Youth Forum. The topic was “Professional Communities as Part of Innovation Ecosystem” and the event was attended by about 60 people, students, start-ups, officials and university personal.

    Kuvankaappaus 2013-12-4 kello 8.34.49

    On Friday Ilkka Kakko contributed as a member of panel discussion (picture above) on how cluster development can be improved by some new concepts and structures. Ilkka introduced some Finnish examples like Demola and Urban Mill, and the top experts from Russia, including Technopark Skolkovo, presented their viewpoints. The discussion was dynamic and the Finnish approach received  a warm response.

    Ilkka’s Thursday presentation can be viewed here

    The city of Zheleznogorsk hosts one of the most advanced research centres in Russia focusing on nuclear and space research. The two day Innovation Forum attended by the most important stakeholders from academia, business and regional development sectors was intended to support the innovation activities in the area .

    This invitation highlights the strong position and reputation, which Karostech has achieved in Russian innovation sphere as an acknowledged expert organization. There will be further negotiations on how Karostech’s expertise can be utilized in order to build a sustainable innovation ecosystem in Krasnoyarsk Krai region.

  • 30 Sep
    Ilkka Kakko participated in UNESCO-WTA International Training Workshop in Daejeon, Korea

    Ilkka Kakko participated in UNESCO-WTA International Training Workshop in Daejeon, Korea


    Karostech’s Founder and Partner Ilkka Kakko participated as an invited expert in the International Training Workshop titled “R&BD 3.0: S&T Parks in the Creative Economy” on 24th – 27th September 2013 in Daejeon, Korea.

    “The 2013 Workshop will extend WTA’s emphasis on research/business ecosystems, to encompass the rise of the creative economy. Games, video production, and product design are just a few of the creative industries that have made new connections with the more traditional high tech areas of information tech and software. All are shaped by trends to open innovation, the targeting of messages (including advertising) via social networks, and the movement of high-tech manufacturers into services. The new creative industries do not need large corporate campuses, and tend to employ younger people. They locate in urban areas, changing the geography of the technopolis, creating new links between suburbs and urban core, and potentially even revitalizing cities.” 

    Ilkka Kakko’s paper and presentation was titled “The Fundamentals of Third Generation Science Park Concept” and it describes the 3GSP concept developed by Karostech Ltd  during the last few years. The content of the paper resonates very well with the challenges new STPs are facing, especially in the field of the Creative Economy.  The main topics in his paper are as following:

    ”The Rise of Research Clouds”  

    3GSP (Third Generation Science Parks) concept                      UNESCO WTA Final Dinner

    The Importance of Communities 

    Serendipity  Management

    Two Cases from Finland 

    Ilkka Kakko’s  presentation can be viewed here.


    The event offered  a great opportunity to elaborate the challenges, which STP world is facing, especially in developing countries. The invitation and active participation in the event did acknowledge also the global expertise of Karostech in the area of  science park management. It also enabled Karostech to extend its business relations to the policy makers, governmental officials and STP managers in the countries such as Indonesia, Singapore, Egypt, Taiwan, Mongolia, Colombia, Taiwan, Japan, Nigeria, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Philippines and Korea.

    Dinner, 2013-09-26 18.52.52UNESCO WTA speech

  • 12 Nov

    Serendipity an important topic in Coworking Conference Paris, Karostech organized a workshop and participated actively

    Karostech’s Founder and Partner Ilkka Kakko was invited to Coworking Europe 2012 Conference as speaker and round table panelists. The conference gathered 280 participants from over 30 countries. Serendipity was overall one of the leading themes at the conference and it was especially elaborated in ”Harnessing serendipity” workshop organized and facilitated by Ilkka Kakko.

    Ilkka also contributed to the round table discussion devoted to the building supportive ecosystems around free-lancer communities. The topic belongs to the core competence areas of Karostech.

    Ilkka’s more detailed blog about the event can be found here.