What do we know about new wood-based products and materials in Finland? What kind of information would we want to have? Who should we communicate with about these new innovations and how can we reach out to them? We tried to find answers to these questions in two co-creation workshops of the Nordic hub organized in Jyväskylä, Finland, in Nov 2018.
A diverse group of people participated in both workshops, representing civil society, academic world, business & industry, education and policy sector. We were especially delighted of the active and enthusiastic participation of our youngest contributors from the local Youth Parliament! In two three-hour workshops, we had interesting presentations about forest bioeconomy from Sirpa Kärkkäinen (the Finnish Forest Association) and consumer behavior from Roosa Blom (blogger and entrepreneur). These introductions led us smoothly into the topic.
By using different workshop methods, we were able to get understanding of each participants’ point of views on wood use and wood-based materials and products. Jointly, the workshop participants co-created new ideas. In the first workshop, we used the brainstorming method to find out what is already known about the new wood-based products and materials and what kind of information would be needed in order to make more sustainable decisions. The participants got the task to think if the communication of these new wood-based innovations reaches to the wide audience. They also had to discuss whom should the communication be targeted to. To make things short, the conclusion could be phrased as:
“Forest bioeconomy and its new innovations have gained lot of publicity in Finland – but still many of these new applications are relatively unknown for the wide audience. Thus, it’s important to raise discussion about these applications and their qualities, especially among young people, to make sustainability transparent and important criteria within consumer decision-making”.
In the second workshop, joy and laugh filled up the room when the participants got the chance to create different personas with the avatar method. The age and sex was defined but other characteristics were formed along the workshop process. With the method, we were able to recognize the interests and routines of the representatives of different focus groups and we got an insight on where do they confront bioeconomy in their daily lives. After creating four personas, the participants used the future scenarios method to define these personas’ attitudes about sustainable development and bioeconomy and to create ideas on how should we reach out to them.
Four different personas were produced. Despite the differences the personas had, the participants thought that similar kind of outreach activities, such as fairs, traditional and social media, social media influencers etc., are effective ways in reaching out to these four different kind of personas.
So without further introduction, here are the four personas:
Pictures: Diana Pitkänen
By following the activities and updating of the Nordic hub of the BLOOM-project, you’ll hear more about these personas: what are their likes and dislikes and what do they think about bioeconomy – so stay tuned!
The Nordic hub has chosen youth as their focus group and it will organize two more co-creation workshops in the coming spring – one in Finland and one in Sweden. We will invite young people to these workshops to co-create concrete ideas for actions on how to communicate about forest bioeconomy and wood-based products and materials to youth in a way that’s interesting. So if you know that some students of your high-school, vocational school etc. would be interested to participate, get in touch with us!
JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Finland
Kirsi Knuuttila (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Aino Voutilainen (email@example.com)
Vetenskap & Allmänhet, Sweden
Maria Hagardt (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lotta Tomasson (email@example.com)
Writer of this article is Aino Voutilainen who works for the BLOOM-project in JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Finland.