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Salla Kelorita

Degree:

Diploma in Strategy and Innovation

Location:

Finland

Industry:

Public safety

Year:

2016

By Salla Kelorita

Future Now

The last couple of months passed by incredibly fast and I have returned from Oxford, from our second module. It was wonderful to meet my classmates again, we are getting to know each other more now. For the last few days the DipSIs learned an overflowing amount of information about innovations, forecasting, weak signals, S-curves and everything in between. Our second module just ended and for us the future is already here. I’m taking the opportunity to glance back a little anyway to reflect on closing our loop of some ‘firsts’ as Oxford students and our fantastic module on innovation strategy.

Time management is mentioned to programme applicants as one of the transferable skills and it’s true. I have learned my lesson; managing your time effectively is a very much needed skill. The month leading up to the second module we received what felt like endless amount of pre-reading and only two weeks later we received our first exam case. For me learning the case study style was also new so it’s been a steep learning curve already from the process perspective. Thanks to our very effective group communication, we all knew within minutes that the exam case is out and first thoughts were shared soon after. During the two weeks, we all spent hours and days reading the case study, recapping theories and frameworks and applying them to the case.

The true test came the first morning of the module: exam time! As one can expect, an examination in Oxford is an event. We met at the school with dark suits and white shirts and blouses on to get gowned up – in Oxford you wear so-called subfusc for exams. This means everything else should be black except the collared shirt. The school provided us with ribbons and bowties, gowns and mortar boards. This alone is an experience that makes you a little bit nervous, especially coming from a country where there are no school uniforms or gowns even when graduating. The examinations take place in so called Examination Schools and you can really sense the hundreds of years of academic atmosphere when you are finding your seat and getting settled. Our exam was a two hour one and time management played a key role here too. We were a rather nervous bunch beforehand but our first examination at the University of Oxford is now done. There are two more exams to come during our diploma studies and it’s relieving to know what to expect in the future.

Speaking of the future takes us to the time after the exam, to the topic of the second module: Innovation Strategy. We had two fantastic lecturers, Marc Ventresca and Victor Seidel. Both of them led us to the world of future and innovation in their very different but equally intriguing styles.  Marc Ventresca started the very first lecture quoting William Gibson: ‘The future is already here, it is just very unevenly distributed.’ This quote set the tone for the days to come as we discussed innovation concepts, eco-systems, strategies and how to leverage innovation. Personally, I wasn’t able to read all the material in advance, which is not something I would recommend anyone to try, catching up between lectures and evenings simply doesn’t work. Lecturers and cases with Marc and Victor were incredibly lively and interesting. The wide reading list certainly is well justified and there are multiple topics I’m keen to learn more about.

Quoting William Gibson again, for us the future is indeed already here. As we are now half way through the modules, we are not half way through the programme. We are getting more and more information and get a better idea of what we might want to consider as a topic for our final project – something we will discuss more next time we meet in July. However, already Oxford has done what it does best: provoke ideas, conversation and flame up the hunger to learn more. Welcome to the future!

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