VAMK’s inspiring Megatrend Day took place on May 23, 2023
The topic of this year’s Megatrend Day was the opportunities of the new technologies in VAMK’s key areas, i.e. energy and health technology as well as production technology and logistics. In particular, the pervasive effect of artificial intelligence, robotics and virtualisation on everything was discussed. The event was opened by Marja-Riitta Vest, RDI Director, VAMK, and the main initiator of the topic was futurist and serial entrepreneur Risto Linturi.
Linturi discussed in an interesting way and using examples, the use of ChatGPT in content production, the possibilities of digital twins and virtual reality in the social and health sector as well as in various fields of technology, and the use of intelligent robots in the future. Linturi also spoke about the possibilities of using artificial intelligence in energy production.
After Linturi, commentaries were heard, in which speakers reflected on how we are already prepared for the possibilities of new technology in Finland. We heard great insights from one of our key partners, ABB Smart Power’s Continuous Improvement Manager Henna Sjöholm and Sustainability Manager Sanna-Mari Kaakinen, Strategy and Development Director Suvi Einola, Ostrobothnia Welfare Region, as well as Municipal Engineering Director, City of Vaasa and VAMK RDI Advisory Board member Jukka Talvi.
After the introductions, the topics were discussed in three groups. The goal was to talk about how VAMK will position itself with the future in mind. The groups focused on the subject from the perspective of VAMK’s research platforms Smart Industry, Smart Well-Being and Smart City. The theme groups were led by the coordinators of the R&D platforms, professors Ossi Koskinen, Riku Niemistö and Juho Heiska together with VAMK’s RDI Advisory Board members Mikael Hallbäck, Suvi Einola and Heidi Kuusiniemi.
At the end of the event, Jussi Mäntylä, CEO of Skycode Oy, an entrepreneur working in the field, gave a brief summary of the Megatrend Day. The event was closed by Otto Mäkiniemi, chairman of student union VAMOK and a board member of VAMK’s RDI Advisory Board.
This year around 50 VAMK staff members, RDI Advisory Board members, stakeholders and also companies of the Myrsky project participated in the event. The organiser of the event, Marja-Riitta Vest, Head of R&D at VAMK, was very satisfied with the day; the presentations, speeches and the group work results.
“It is important for all of us to understand the possibilities of new technologies. Change is fast and you need to keep up with it. Today, futurist Risto Linturi’s excellent presentation widened our understanding of the ongoing productivity leap, which opens up huge opportunities for us. It’s about productivity, the renewal of the industrial structure, business opportunities, etc. We are currently living in a transition period and now we must train ourselves to use new technologies. We got a lot to think about – you have to stay on top of the wave,” commented Vest.