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Our alumna Taina Laaksonen

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Taina Laaksonen is a design manager who develops cooperation between creative fields, technology and trade.

Laaksonen graduated in December 2014 from Proakatemia’s Master’s Degree Programme in Entrepreneurship. She has also completed studies in design and digital culture. Laaksonen creates sustainable development co-creation concepts in which the public sector, associations and enterprises can combine their best competences.

When working as a design entrepreneur and teacher in 1997-2010, Laaksonen searched for ways to make creative talents succeed in business life. After finishing teaching in the metropolitan area, Laaksonen decided to study the matter deeper and applied for Proakatemia’s entrepreneurship studies.

Her prior experience in social media and love for numbers re-arose and Laaksonen ended up studying measurement of social media images. The analytics competence opened the road to her dream job at New York State University where Laaksonen first produced a fashion blogging publication to one of the world’s largest fashion museums, Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Laaksonen still administers MFIT’s social media channels on a part-time basis even if she lives in Finland. The channels have about half a million followers.

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According to Laaksonen, measurement and impact assessment are already a part of all work. Her latest project, the greenhouse area in Hiedanranta, combines design, architecture, recycling and communal activity.

In the greenhouse project called Valokoru, Laaksonen measures the social effects of design.

“Earlier I sometimes curbed my creativity at work but the American culture gave me courage to combine my different competences, which increased my productivity and occupational wellbeing. At Proakatemia I adopted the low threshold for experiments.”

At the moment Laaksonen works actively at Arts Promotion Centre Finland and with the Tampere Region’s application for the European Capital of Culture.

“As the chair of the Arts Council of Pirkanmaa, I occupy a vantage position in the regional cultural life and participate in the superinteresting strategy development work, which hopefully will have positive long-term effects on the Tampere Region culture and creative economy.”

Laaksonen hopes that the application for the European Capital of Culture will increase both creative skills education and educational resources in practical subjects in all regional educational organisations.

“Creativity is one of the most important working life skills. I rejoice that nowadays people value the courage to experiment and create personal paths to working life during studies. What do art and entrepreneurship have in common? Risks are tools in both of them. However, risk-taking consumes energy. Taking care of personal wellbeing is a superpower.”