Day 4 – Business models as transformation facilitators

When it comes to solving systemic or individual problems, formulating how and why to start is more often than not one of the biggest challenges. To counter this, we utilized the Business Model Canvas (BMC) as a tool to reorganize and sharpen our thoughts.

Despite its shortcomings, the BMC works relatively well as an idea generator. Not only does it clarify your current solution, but it can also give rise to completely new – sometimes even innovative – solutions!


Day 2 – Cartography and ethnography as basis for understanding needs and identifying problems

To identify societal – or systemic – problems, we believe cartography and ethnographic to be some of the most effective and enlightening methods. Bearing this in mind, we sent the students to the district today to gather data about people, interaction, places, and so forth.

After a half-day ethnographic exercise in Yuzhnoportovy, the participants returned to Strelka with numerous problems and challenges identified there. Main focus was on people, spaces, and technologies, and interactions between these. As a result, the participants made their first map of Yuzhnoportovy with problems mapped on it.

Photograph by Maria Encha.

Day 1 – Ready, steady, intervene! Or an Aalto University approach to transforming cities

How do you transform cities through the combination of design, business, and technology? Furthermore, how does mapping of people, spaces, and technology help us in seeing our cities and their problems in a different light? These questions serve as a starting point for our workshop, in which our aim is to identify problems through ethnographic methods and cartography, and to offer solutions that are based on business-driven tools.

To keep matters simple and effective, we have divided the workshop into three interconnected themes: mapping, modeling, and implementation. Each module lasts two days, and they will teach the participants different tools and methods on transforming cities through business, design, and technology.

Day 2: Research in Otradnoe

Author: Jona Piehl

We saw some excellent deriving presentations today — especially impressed by the human chessboard strategy… And of course the graphic novel telling the tale of the industrial area!

The next phase of the workshop is to test the insights of the initial site research and some of the questions it threw up with a constructed situation — each team will go back into Otradnoe and stage a small intervention or action of some sort, to provoke responses, to engage people in conversations or to simply test a few assumptions.

Day 1: Storytelling in Otradnoe

Author: Jona Piehl

Yesterday was the first day of our workshop at Strelka Institute — part of the summer school ‘Agents of Change’. We wanted the workshop participants to approach ‘our district’ Otradnoe with as few preconceptions and assumptions as possible, with as little purpose and aim as possible, and to simply soak up the city and see what happen — so we didn’t really brief them about what was going to happen on Monday and the rest of the week.

We simply sent them out in small groups, each allocated a rough area of the district, and asked them to explore the environment through a derive, borrowing from the situationists…

We did our own bit of exploring today, in brilliant sunshine, and found beautiful green spaces, lots of apple trees, garages and wide roads with few crossings — and we envied the families that were barbecuing in the parks… Now, we are excited to see what the teams come back with tomorrow morning!

Site Visit and Mapping Observations

The first day of the workshop turned into a site visit to Troparevo Nikulino,led by a cycling advocate living in the district.

DIY Traffic Counters

Theodore Ullrich of Tomorrow Lab built and deployed DIY traffic counters with workshop participants which were installed at three different locations in the district to measure vehicular traffic.

Balloon Mapping in Troparevo Nikulino!

Aurash Khawarzad of Change Administration led a group of participants to build and deploy a balloon mapping camera to take aerial photographs upto 1KM above the ground.

Иллюстрированный гид: самодельная картография с воздушными шарами и змеями

TYIN Mitino: Designing Social Dialogue

Today we can say with certainty that half of the workshop is now complete, and sum up the results.

First day was entirely devoted to analyzing the site. Divided into groups, we examined all aspects of terrain, such as distances between objects, human flow, insulation, and even an analysis of the sound context. After a few hours in the sun, tired and sunburned, we all dispersed to our homes to prepare for the morning meeting.

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