When I received the email a few weeks ago from my senior editor, the request surprised me! He asked if I’d like to talk at an event in Finland of all places! The event was Mindtrek 17.
What is Mindtrek 17?
Some of you might have already read few pre-event article here at our website (Click HERE for some). At first, Mindtrek seems like a standard Technology event running in a beautiful city called Tampere. After my trip, I came to realise it is certainly more than that. It is a melting pot of Innovators, Creators, Academics, Decision-Makers and Tech Experts with a common denominator, to share their experiences and vast knowledge with all attending.
 With over 60 speakers and 80 sessions, you were sure to bump into the right person that was happy to connect and network with you. This sharing mindset was very infectious and I loved every moment of it.
 One comment that was very relevant to the MindTrek’s theme was by Maja Yhde from Gate 21:
“…How similar projects we are doing all over the northern Europe. From Antwerp to Ireland to Copenhagen to Finland. We were all talking about Living Labs, using place/space, involving citizens, the need for more balanced .. ecosystems, mobility. But also reminded me that we can’t focus on technologies to make our cities smarter – that is not the way around… We should keep an open mind and share our findings and experiences with each other. and copy copy copy all the solution to your city or village that are worth coping.”
The event ran for two days and I was fortunate to have a speaking slot on the first day, which allowed me to go out and network with the audience. Since my talk was based on decentralising economies it was good to see the contrast it had in relation to overlaying theme of Smart Cities and IoT.
 The eagerness to scout and learn what’s been happening in the rest of the World was very obvious. Many questions were thrown at me from Remote Work issues to how did my local community accept the Skellig LivingLab.
Most of the speakers had amazing topics to talk about and there were two of the coolest speakers that stood out to me.
 Jacques Vermeulen, Nokia’s Smart Cities Director, was very energetic and his topic on Social, Economic, Environmental and Public Services sustainability as key drivers for Smart City implementations.
Brie Code, CEO of Tru Luv Media, she had a memorable talk, which definitely made you think about the future of civilizations. Dystopian life or gaming for a better World!
 Ann Fournier from Digipolis had was right by saying the following:
“.. An inspiring #MINDTREK17 at Tampere and had great networking opportunities. A lot of good speakers and (delegates) satisfied by the feedback on my presentation: Key takeaways from moving forward with Open Smart City IoT – New way of procuring from SMEs and startups.”
An important point to address is the undeniably visible support Tampere’s local government had at the event. This point is key as it underlines the success of such events, especially when the governments are not there to dictate or control but rather back and promote such event in their locality. Have to tip my hat to them. Would love it if our local Councils can take note of Tampere’s collaborative success.
 I cannot finish this article without mentioning the resilience of the Mindtrek organisers. They definitely go out of their way to cater for the speakers and delegates alike!
So will I go again? You bet I will!

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