serendipity management

  • 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.


  • 25 Nov

    Karostech facilitating the development of the sport and exhibition area in Lahti

    Karostech was invited to lead the development process of Sports and Exhibition Centre area in Lahti. Lahti is internationally well know of its Ski Stadium, but now the stakeholders of this entire area – like Ice Hockey stadium, Exhibition and Fair Center, Track and Sports Stadium, Swimming Stadium and indoor sports facilities (basket ball, volley ball, tennis etc) – want to have a clear vision for the future use of the area.  This is especially important now, because Lahti was awarded to organize the World Championships in cross-country skiing and ski-jumping in 2017.

    Karostech will help in organizing and facilitating the workshops, in implementing serendipity management principles like Training Camp approach and in supporting the creative process by introducing new co-creation platforms and methodologies.


  • 07 May

    Ilkka Kakko’s book “Oasis Way and the Postnormal Era: How Understanding Serendipity Will Lead you to Success” published

    This new book is free to view and download here.

    The book is based on the experiences taken from ’netWork Oasis’ – and ’OpenINNO’ (ENPI – 631) – projects. It will describe the revolutionary change in our society and business fields having a transformative effect also to our innovation environments. The increasing importance of communities and sustainable ecosystems is highlighted. The emergent types of entrepreneurship – both effectual and social entrepreneurship – are explained and some great examples also outside Oasis and OpenINNO projects are illustrated.

    The key conclusion of the book is that innovation activities can be improved by understanding serendipity and applying serendipity management principles. The book gives practical, hands-on advices, how to harness serendipity on individual, community and organizational levels. It describes the possibilities to enhance serendipity in business environments by workspace design, both physical and virtual, and explains how to increase coincidencity in the team building process.

    Keywords: innovation environments, incubation, community building, ecosystem development, open innovation, collaboration platforms, serendipity, serendipity management

  • 18 Oct

    Serendipity Management Master Class in Saint Petersburg on 24th of October

    Ilkka Kakko will hold a state-of the art  ”Serendipity Management” Master Class on Thursday 24th of October in Saint Petersburg.  The event is sponsored by ENPI project ”OpenINNO” and Karostech Ltd and is free of charge. Registration is needed by e.mail to – the registration ends on 22nd of October, and be quick, there are only 40 seats available.

    The doors open 16:30, and Master Class will be 17:00 – 21:00. The venue is Fablab Polytech, Address: Polytechnicheskaya st., 29, Hydro Tower Building,


    By Ilkka Kakko News
  • 02 Sep
    3GSP concept and serendipity management principles raising interest in Russia

    3GSP concept and serendipity management principles raising interest in Russia

    During August 28-29 Ilkka Kakko has participated a training event for managers of Russian technology parks at Technopark of Novosibirsk Academgorodok, “Academpark”. Ilkka’s first day’s contribution included a participation as invited speaker in high level expert panel and a keynote lecture “The Fundamentals of Third Generation Science Park”. The following day he has conducted a two hour “Serendipity Management” master class, which raised a lot of interest among the audience. It was considered to be one of the highlights of the whole three day event and gained a very enthusiastic response from about 40 participants. Here is the feedback from one key participant:

    “Just attended Serendipity Management Workshop delivered by Ilkka Kakko at our innovations & entrepreneurship fostering bootcamp deep in Russia, in Novosibirsk J. Even thought the term “Serendipity Management” may sound as an oxymoron, the workshop provides very clear examples and guidance how to keep your mind opened to new ideas, how to stimulate “unexpected creative collisions”, how to spot and harness those of potential business value. Very good balance of theory, sound example, practical exercises and activities, made the Serendipity Management Workshop real highlight of the day. Really enjoyed the Workshop and deeply believe in Serendipity Management as a “must have” skill for all those dealing with innovations both in startups as well as in big corporations.”   Alexey Nikolaev, Innovations and Entrepreneurship Development Manager, Intel Russia.

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    2013-08-29 12.02.04


    Photo: Participants of the master class                               Photo: Presentation of the team work results

    The event was a joint initiative of Russian ICT Ministry, Intel and Russian Technoparks Association. It combined plenary session and hands-on practical workshop. The workshop had the “train-the-trainer” format and intended to provide managers/administrators/staff of technology parks and incubators with the best management practices and working models.

    More about the event in these links (in Russian):

    The main photo: Governor of the Novosibirsk Region, Mr Vasily Yurchenko, having an opening speech of the expert forum, sitting on the background the experts (from left) Ilkka Kakko, Pekka Viljakainen, Advisor to the President, Skolkovo Foundation, Mark Shmulevich, Deputy Minister at Ministry of Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation and Olga Lobanova, Director of Corporate Affairs Group, Intel Russia.




  • 12 Apr

    Karostech invited to contribute to ISPIM conference on June


    The XXIV ISPIM Conference – Innovating in Global Markets: Challenges for Sustainable Growth – will be held in Helsinki, Finland on 16-19 June 2013. Organised by ISPIM and hosted by Aalto University School of Business in partnership with Lappeenranta University of Technology, this conference will bring together around 500 innovation experts from 50 countries.

    As one of the leading innovation conferences in the world ISPIM wants to follow the latest trends and identify also the emergent innovation paradigms and Karostech’s partner Ilkka Kakko, a respected  global expert in serendipity management, was asked to contribute by organizing two serendipity related sessions in the conference.

    On Monday 17th of June Ilkka Kakko is holding a Hot Topic Roundtable session: Harnessing serendipity – where are your challenges?  together with Sebastian Olma , who is Creative Director at Serendipity Lab and the Author of the book “The Serendipity Machine”

    On Wednesday 19th of June Ilkka and Sebastian will organize a workshop: Serendipity – understanding the key to organizational innovativeness

    The conference program in details in this link


  • 27 Mar

    Coworking – a gimmick or the real solution for future challenges

    netWork Oasis - a coworking hub inside Joensuu Science  Park

    netWork Oasis – a coworking hub inside Joensuu Science Park

    The early signs were recognizable already years ago

    ”Traditional business incubators will fade away, replaced by new kinds of spaces for entrepreneurship and collaborative research. Pop-up labs, co-working hubs, mobile incubators and disposable research parks will provide flexible physical spaces for R&D. Rather than warehousing workers, they will meet a need for communal collaborative meeting space in a world of increased mobility within and between worksplaces. They will be neutral places where networks of investors, entrepreneurs, hackers ans customers converge for collaborative knowledge creation and trust building, cementing relationships initiated and  cultivated online.”

    Rather than warehousing workers, they will meet a need for communal collaborative meeting space in a world of increased mobility within and between worksplaces

    This is how the report from Institute for the Future described in 2009 an emerging trend called ”The Social Life of Small Research Spaces”. Sounds familiar ?  Later on that year I was interviewed by a reporter from an independent supplement of Media Planet within the Wall Street Journal. The article ”What is the Future of Research Parks?” was part of the publication  and my outspoken vision in December 2009  was pretty incisive:

    “There should be places where people could meet more randomly and ad-hoc. Research parks should work on trying to increase the diversity among their clientele. So far, it looks like science parks are no longer very attractive to the younger generation. Young people feel the parks too rigid or too business like. They like this more relaxed environment. You have to develop methods for “serendipity management” and “open innovation” to discover ways to best facilitate the ad hoc collaborations. Otherwise it will happen in coffee shops and bars.” 

    Today we will see this happening in ever increasing speed and mostly outside the walls of STPs.  The new innovation scene is attractively set mainly by coworking spaces and by new innovation platforms like netWork Oasis, Demola, Urban Mill etc (this was discussed in my previous blog.)


    Location, location, location

    While the coworking movement is gaining momentum and STPs loosing it,  maybe we should analyze some of the fundamentals behind this trend. My understanding is that one of the decisive elements is location.

    There are hardly any STPs in the downtown locations of the metropolises.

    Coworking spaces are mainly located in downtown areas, where the people density and diversity is high naturally. The STPs are located in suburban areas, in university campuses or industrial zones. There are hardly any STPs in the downtown locations of the metropolises. Why is this an important difference?  Watching the old classic by William ”Holly” White – a 55 min film ” The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces -The Street Corner” might give you insight. 

    The vibrant and random action on the streets and the possibility to serendipitous encounters  – the coincidensity! – can be harnessed in the nearby located coworking spaces but not in the STP glasstowers in suburban locations.  And like the video proved even small changes in the settings can be decisive. Our behavior is very context dependent!


    Linking surrounding communities into the innovation processes

    A week ago Stowe Boyd published a great blog where he interviewed Jennifer Magnolfi. Jennifer is widely acknowledged for her reputation in the field and the visionary way of thinking. Her applied research work explores coworking and co-creation, the technologies and practices that support workspaces for innovation, collaboration and community development. In 2012, Jennifer teamed up with CEO Tony Hsieh to support the company’s new headquarters redesign.  Jennifer explains in the interview the magic of coworking spaces:

    “Coworking spaces have the capacity to support productive work because of the very human-centric approach to how they are created: the community, or network, comes first, followed by studying and stabilizing the network, and then creation of an environment that supports the behaviors and needs of that network.”

    The creation process was based on self-organising principles and the core tribe members were selected because of their passion to the topic.

    We surely can confirm that. In our 3GSP pilot project we noticed that the implementation of netWork Oasis, a coworking space inside the existing STP, was the vital element in understanding how the communities are created and supported. We discovered in the very beginning the importance of the core tribe. The creation process was based on self-organising principles and the core tribe members were selected because of their passion to the topic. Actually to be precise – our idea of creating a revolutionary collaborative working environment (CWE) – like it was called at that time (2002) – was so attractive, that it was evident that we could gather the masterminds of this topic into our planning team. The community building was further supported by using our Training Camp approach. As a result we had in the spring 2004 the most diverse and motivated team consisting of core tribe members, substance experts and networking members. By the way, who would have imagined that our task attracted also a monk, Father Andreas, from nearby Valamo monastery to join our team….So passionate lead users and core tribe members were leading the way to create the concept.


    Harnessing the benefits of a vibrant coworking space

    A properly organized coworking space is essential in hosting various communities. The design of the physical space is extremely important, like Jennifer explains :  “The properties of space –- volume, texture, materials, proportions, light — have the capacity to trigger neurochemical reactions in the brain. It is believed that when this is understood correctly, it can be a tool to design for a certain kind of behavior: concentration, energy, focus.”  In fact with the design and implementation of netWork Oasis we went one step further, our leading design principle for  the space was to support and generate serendipitous encounters of people with diverse backgrounds.

    And as important as the physical space is the virtual collaboration platform. Like Jennifer says: “Our digital social space has implicit laws (it’s based on distributed networks), speed and acceleration. It also creates new emergent behaviors in users.  For businesses, the purpose of understanding this social context is to describe and possibly predict its future evolution. In other words, understanding these emergent behaviors helps businesses innovate faster, and thus achieve competitive advantage.

    That kind of attractive and open space will work as a camp site, similar to those of the ancient nomadic communities – a campfire which gathers the surrounding communities together to reflect, to create and to enjoy.

    A vibrant coworking space is the core platform in our 3GSP tool box! It works because the communities are alive and hence able to attract more inspiring people with diverse backgrounds to the space. That kind of attractive and open space will work as a camp site, similar to those of the ancient nomadic communities – a campfire which gathers the surrounding communities together to reflect, to create and to enjoy. And like Jennifer Magnolfi mentioned earlier on,  these mental campfire places can be created. The most attractive element in netWork Oasis in fact has turned out to be the logfire place in Serendipity Cafe, where you can watch the flames of the logs burning live.  It’s a general wisdom that  campfires are one of the most relaxing phenomenons a mankind have ever created.  Our experience shows that a natural campfire ambience is by far the best way to create insightful moments in a built environment. And insight really is, what is needed in our communities!


    Photo courtesy – Finnish Game Jam / Facebook:






  • 26 Feb

    Ilkka Kakko to speak at the Luova Areena event at c/o Malski on 5th of March

    Ilkka Kakko will keep a keynote speech at Luova Areena (Creative Arena) in c/o Malski in Lahti on 5th of March. His topic is ”Erilaisten ihmisten satunnaiset kohtaamiset –hyödynnä serendipiteetin mahdollisuudet”  – ”How to productively facilitate and exploit the serendipitous encounters between people with diverse backgrounds”. The two other keynotes are ”Community building with the help of social media” by Hanna Takala and ”User centric workspaces as the community resource” by Suvi Nenonen. We are expecting a highly interesting round table discussion after the keynotes.

    The link to the program can be found here.

  • 25 Oct

    netWork Oasis

    netWork Oasis was an ambitious development project by Joensuu Science Park (JSP). It was initiated and managed by Ilkka Kakko, who at that time was a member of Directors Board in JSP. The vision in the beginning of the project 2002 was to design and implement a new type of collaborative working environment, which could serve as a platform for incubation services and a breeding environment for innovation communities.

    The project unfold in a creative way and many new ways of facilitation were created during the process. Soon after the Training Camp Kick-Off event also serendipity related issues begun to gain momentum. The pilot space “FlexLab” opened 2004 and offered valuable experiences and insights to the mechanisms of serendipity management and community building.

    netWork Oasis opened in the top floor of extension building of JSP in December 2006 as the first ever coworking environment in the world, which is purposefully designed in order to harness serendipity and support active community building. With the embedded GLOW virtual collaboration platform it was the state-of the art pilot for “hybrid space” thinking, blending real and virtual.

    You can have a glimpse of netWork Oasis and an interview of Anthony Townsend, Research Director of Institute for the Future, here.