On 18 September 2019, SAIS hosted 16 delegates from Connected Hubs for a peer learning session at the Botswana Innovation Hub, Gaborone. This event was one of two on-site peer learning sessions in 2019 and was hosted in parallel with the Annual Southern Africa Innovation Forum (ASAIF) 2019, which took place the next day.
“Even though we are a fairly small group here, we represent thousands of people when we start counting the connections that each of you have as the connectors in your ecosystems,” said SAIS 2 Lead Expert Ilari Lindy during his opening speech. “That is what SAIS is investing in with Connected Hubs, thinking about how we can bring the multipliers and connectors together. It is great to see how this network is operating after two years.”
As SAIS 2 has passed its halfway mark, it was also necessary to use this session as an opportunity to discuss the future of Connected Hubs before the workshop could start.
Learning New Design Methods
After this discussion, Andrea Vianello and Jari Rantala from Siili Solutions presented two workshops. Andrea presented the first workshop, which focused on How to Develop Empathy, specifically with the aim of creating designs that better suit user needs.
“I’m excited to have this opportunity to contribute a little bit to the Connected Hubs,” Andrea said. “It’s one of my passions to share my skills and knowledge with others, so when I heard about this opportunity, I immediately asked how I could contribute.”
The second workshop, Agile Mindset and the Scrum Methodology, featured a hands-on Siili Scrum session to give the hubs’ representatives a practical example of how the process works. The session put their creativity and analytical thinking to the test while also providing quite a few laughs as they learned from the iterative process.
“It was a huge pleasure to come to Botswana,” Jari said. “Getting to know everyone, seeing how they work together here, and how much they laughed and enjoyed the Scrum workshop was a huge pleasure and certainly worth the trip.”
About Siili and the Presenters
Siili is a Finnish creative design and technology powerhouse that works with customers in combining data, design, and technology to create user-centric solutions, digitalised business, and life-changing experiences. They bring together experts in design, technology, and data management to reinvent customers’ business operations.
Jari Rantala (L) and Andrea Vianello from Siili
Andrea Vianello is from Italy but moved to Finland to complete his postdoctorate in Human–Computer Interaction at Aalto University. He is now a design researcher and UX designer at Siili, focusing on research to understand human needs, goals, and motivations before and during the development or improvement of a digital solution. The UX (user experience) design aspect of his work involves incorporating how users interact with digital products into the design of products. As he says, “We are people designing for people. Technology should serve the people who use it, making life better for them in some way.”
Jari Rantala is a serverless cloud competence lead at Siili Solutions but in reality, his job covers everything from Scrum mastering and team leading to managing partnership relationships, competency development, and everything in between. As he says, his work became so varied because he “had a hard time with saying no. But everything I do is something I enjoy.”