We need to talk about platforms

Platforms are not to be confused with traditional corporations. They are much more. Here’s three reasons why: 1. Platforms are a new, unforeseen and strong user of power Platforms that aggregate people’s needs, physical assets and labour. Companies such as Amazon, Etsy, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, and Uber are creating online structures that enable a wide range of human activities. This opens the way for radical changes in how we work, socialize, create value in the economy, and compete for the resulting profits. In future, all of our interactions with strangers […]

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Why IoT leads to the platform economy?

  1. There is nothing new about platforms  An emergence of digital platform economy is driving fundamental changes in our societies. But there is nothing new about platforms. Platform refers to a product, technology or organization that enable direct interactions between two (or more) distinct actors. For example most General Motors cars were already years ago built on a shared product platform. So, no matter if you bought an Opel or a Cadillac, the underlying structure of the car was actually similar. It makes sense, of course, to standardise production […]

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8 Statements How to Make Nordic Startup Ecosystems More Effective

I recently published a big literature review on entrepreneurial ecosystems for Demos Helsinki NAKED Approach project (Finns have a bit of a thing for cheeky abbreviations). The work offers a baseline understanding of the factors that shape high-tech startup ecosystems. GREAT STUFF but most of us don’t have time to shift through 58 pages working paper. Good news is that you can simply check out my slides from Success in the Hyperconnected World -event on 25 August 2016 at the Demos office. The presentation adapts key findings from the review into […]

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Why blockchain – the innovation behind Bitcoin – might completely transform the way we think about trust (and everything else)

Last week, we invited leading digital experts, designers and social scientists to discuss blockchain technology over a breakfast of coffee, sandwiches and yoghurt. The blockchain and its applications are indeed some of the most exciting recent developments in the digital world, but many questions remain unanswered. In this blog post, Demos employees Henrik Suikkanen and Christopher Rowley discuss the transformative role of the blockchain, and ask whether it is worth the hype.   Plenty of hype around blockchain technology, but what is it actually? Lately, blockchain technology has created a […]

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Smart Talk: Carlo Ratti, on the role of testbeds, technology, and design within cities

Rapid urbanisation and the aging of our building stock place serious strains on the quality of life in cities, and on management of big infrastructure systems. The smart city paradigm promises to combat these challenges, but it is often leaving out a fundamental fact: our cities are old. The Smart Retro approach is a novel way to develop cities, seeking ways of integrating smart solutions into existing building stock. This week in Smart Talk we hear Carlo Ratti’s thoughts about Nordic urbanism and smart cities. What role do you see testbeds playing within cities that might foster smart […]

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Smart Talk: Alexander Ståhle, on the connection between Nordic urbanism and ‘smartification’

Rapid urbanisation and the aging of our building stock place serious strains on the quality of life in cities, and on management of big infrastructure systems. The smart city paradigm promises to combat these challenges, but it is often leaving out a fundamental fact: our cities are old. The Smart Retro approach is a novel way to develop cities, seeking ways of integrating smart solutions into existing building stock. This week in Smart Talk we hear what Alexander Ståhle thinks about Nordic urbanism and smart cities. There are many similarities between Nordic urbanism and other western forms […]

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Smart Talk: Re-thinking cities with Gordon Feller

Rapid urbanisation and aging of our building stock put serious strains on the quality of life in cities, as well as the management of big infrastructure systems. The smart city paradigm promises to combat these challenges, but its often ignoring a fundamental fact: our cities are old. Smart Retro approach is a novel way of developing cities, as it seeks ways for integrating smart solutions into existing building stock. This text is the first part of Smart Talk series, where world leading experts comment the most burning issues concerning the future of our urban life. […]

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Smart talk with Mehmet Kaplan

Hyperconnected Neighborhoods, Transparent Cities, Smart Meetings and Transportation-on-Demand. These are some topics we’ll present and talk about on April 11 together with Mehmet Kaplan, Sweden’s Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Information Technology. The discussion is based on Demos Helsinki’s new report on the great potential that the massive initiatives in both building and renovating houses and apartments present: in reaching ecological goals and in promoting sustainable neighborhoods, transportation and energy use. In a word there’s a unique window of opportunity to revitalise the entire city, not just to building more […]

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Why involve users in IoT?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is shimmering now, but if its users – the people – are forgotten during the development, it will fail. When we are talking about the IoT, where different devices and spaces communicate by themselves, it’s easy to forget the people around them. However, there’s no IoT without the interaction with a human being. These IoT devices are collecting data from people, helping them in their daily routines. But different emotions pop up when you know that the collected data not only stays within the faceless […]

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Digital disruption – a new opportunity for old neighbourhoods

The emergence of the digital economy and the need to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions are changing the way we live and work, faster than ever before. These megatrends have given rise to numerous smart city initiatives that aim to lead cities into a carbon neutral future with the smart use of digital technology. But let us not forget to work with what we already have. Old cities with old infrastructure need a new version of smart city: a city that is old but offers the functionalities and amenities of the digital era. Nordic cities as innovation platforms for […]

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5 ways the Internet of Things will change your business

According to the report published by Cisco in 2008 the number of devices connected to the internet exceeded the number of people in the world. The number of devices that are connected to the internet will keep rising. This growth is not just because of computers and smartphones: with the help of sensors every physical item on this planet can be connected to the net. This phenomenon called Internet of Things will change our society as much as the industrial revolution once did. The Internet of Things will revolutionize many […]

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Statement to the Finnish Parliament Committee for the Future about the Biggest Challenges

Topic: 20/2015 vp Parliament Committee for the Future projects 2015-2019 Theme: Expert hearing on the most important challenges of the future and means to improve foresight processes. Statement by Demos Helsinki: There are three things that everyone needs to understand. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, not next decade. Today. We have realized only a fraction of the benefits of digitalization. Connections between people and things are increasing in exponential manner. The planet is becoming hyperconnected. This social, political, economic, environmental and technological development changes our relationship to […]

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The Internet of Things is not about technology, it’s about society

When talking about Internet of Things, usually the first thing that comes into your mind is technology. Sensors, electronics and networks. Throw a bit of software in the mix and you’re all set, right? Not exactly. In the future, new technologies will emerge and yes, they are a fundamental part of the Internet of Things. Technology enables us to combine physical and digital realms. Digital will become physical as much as physical becomes digital. The aforementioned development, however, is not just about technology. It is actually more about society. Yesterday Demos Helsinki published a scenario report The Future […]

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This is not a Smart City

Urbanisation is one of the most important megatrends to shape global society of the 21st century. However, urbanisation puts a strain on the quality of life in cities, as well as the management of big infrastructure systems, such as city traffic and energy usage. The Smart City approach is the paradigm of urban development in the 2010s. It promises to combat these challenges with new technological solutions; information technology can help to bring about new kinds of co-operation and to enable the interweaving of different city elements (energy, buildings, transportation […]

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You’ll forget most of today’s top brands – and this is why

Do these chief executives ring any bells: Cyrus Comstock, John Stephenson, Henry Fitz and Roy Stanhope? Thought so. 100 years ago everyone knew them as they were the most valued manufacturers of horse carriages, racing fiercely over market dominance. Obviously we don’t know them because of a now seemingly self-evident paradigmatic change in mobility: cars. Similar changes are taking place today, just on a lot more massive scale. The majority of the companies on the current S&P 500 list are estimated to be wiped out faster than their forefathers. Want to […]

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3 things all Nordic governments should know about digitalisation

The Nordic countries are stable societies with quality education, making them fertile ground for big digital leaps. We here in the Nordics are able to digitise the more complex and demanding of processes, allowing us to reap the benefits of well increased productivity. Digitalisation allows us to do things smarter and better than ever before, all without compromising the equality in our societies. Nordic governments can, with their choosing, also play a big part in aiding the development of said digitalisation. They are able to provide the legislative base and infrastructure needed for […]

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