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Aalto Axiom

Start A Conversation Flow between Uni & Company

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THE BRIEF

Improving The Research Collaboration Between KONE and Aalto University

The aim of this Aalto University and KONE project was to find new ways in which the two entities could collaborate on the PhD education level. The concept was created using a human-centered design approach in which the different stakeholders are part of the design process from the beginning. The final concept is a concrete network, a collection of tools and next steps toward even better PhD collaborations between Aalto, KONE and the students.

Index

Design Process

Interviews

Affinity Diagram

Stakeholder Mapping

Personas & User Journey

Define problem

Co-creation workshop

Invitation

Solution Mapping

Design Drivers

Concept - What/Why/How

Stakeholders & Network

Events frontstage

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Future

Final Concept

Concepting

Framing The Project

The Brief

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FRAMING THE PROJECT

Defining The Problem and Using Empathy to Understand User' Needs 

We started off with the very broad and somewhat ambiguous brief of improving the research collaboration between KONE and Aalto University. We needed to frame the project and specify what problem we were going to solve and what our angle would be in the project. We wanted to take a user-centered approach, and frame our challenge according to the needs of all the stakeholders. This part was all about diving into the challenge and specifying the brief to be able to later create a valuable concept.

Framing 

INITIAL STAKEHOLDER MAP

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Framing 

INTERVIEWS

We conducted interviews in KONE and Aalto ARTS to understand the interviewees’ attitudes towards doctoral studies, their knowledge of the process and their visions for future collaboration.

Doctoral Prospects

We wanted to understand the attitudes, motivations and expectations towards studying and working simultaneously, among people interested in doing a PhD.

Would split the work and studies on a clear (e.g. daily) basis

Knows quite little about the daily routines of a PhD candidate

Motivations for doing a PhD: affect company’s R&D and strategy, contribute to research and have an impact on society

PhD Researchers

We wanted to learn from researchers with a PhD about the process of completing a PhD and understand their thoughts on working and hiring future PhD candidates.

Design research is not valued enough in Finnish industry

Found it enjoyable to conduct research (intrinsic motivation)

KONE could benefit from up-to-date information, current topics, research candidates and future recruitment

Collaboration Experts

We wanted to get strategic insight in future visions from people with experience in university-industry collaboration from both Aalto ARTS and KONE.

Get secondary stakeholders (e.g. management) on board in the company

Create structures for long-term commitment

Understand and support the dual role (employee and student) of an industrial doctoral candidate.

Framing 

AFFINITY MAP

Through the interview insights, we defined the needs of the different parties involved and clustered them down.

V.S

Industry

KONE wants

Fresh points of view

Commitment

Best experts

Credibility

Research usable in business

Academia

Aalto wants

Quality 

Research

Publications

Best PhD

students

More Funding

Trustable

research

Both wants

Exchange

Knowledge

Networks

Long-term

relationships

PhD funded by KONE

More funding

PhD working at Aalto

with topic from KONE

Salary dilemma

Other task from Aalto

PhD working in KONE

Two bosses

Workload

division

All students want

Motivating

topic

Good

communication

Good quality results

Support

Graduate

Framing 

PERSONA & USER JOURNEY

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Markus

Professor at Aalto

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Jake

Master's student

at Aalto

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Lars

PhD candidate

working at Aalto

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Martha

PhD candidate

funded by KONE

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Paula

Partnership Manager

at Aalto

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June

PhD candidate

working at KONE

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Framing 

DEFINE PROBLEMS

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No

Existing

Framework

No structured framework inside

KONE to support writing a PhD

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Different

Interests in

Topics

Difficult to find a topic that

interests all parties involved

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Unfair

Funding

Model

People doing the same

research are paid differently

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Dual-role:

Student and Employee

Reporting to two bosses and

managing your own time

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Work-Life

Balance

Double expectations make

balancing work and life difficult

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No Three-Way

Dialogue

Dialogue between KONE and Aalto

goes through the PhD candidate

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Concepting

Planning The Co-Creation Workshop 

Since one of the main problems was, that these stakeholders have usually no touchpoint, a face-to-face workshop is the ideal possibility to let them meet and exchange ideas and viewpoints. The purpose of the workshop was to bring together all stakeholders that are involved in the process of an industrial PhD in order to co-create different ideas together that might form the solution.

Concepting

INVITATION

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Personalization

We personalized all of our invitation and explained why wewant especially them to participate in the workshop and acknowledged their expertise.

WHO else ?

It is important to tell some details about the workshop before hand. One thing to tell is who else is coming. This can motivate them to come, if they find the other participants relevant for them in general.

Time & Place

Contact Info

Prepare Questions

In the other side of our invite we included question that the participants could ponder upon before the workshop. This helps the participants to situate them in the context of the question.

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Concepting

CO-CREATION WORKSHOP

The workshop was conducted in the “Design Studio” format. This format has a given time frame and thus is ideal for a single workshop day where participants from different backgrounds come together and co-create a concept. Furthermore, the workshop is of very open and flexible nature and could be adjusted by us towards our needs and goals.

Agenda

14.30 WORKSHOP STARTS, OPENING WORD

15.00 Design Studio Workshop (Part I)

Ideation on the first challenge in two groups

15.45 Break

15.55 Design Studio Workshop (Part II)

Building on others ideas and finalizing them

16.25 ‘Wrap up’

Challenge 1

Find ways to within KONE improve the understanding and appreciation of research done in collaboration with Aalto University, and think of ways to ensure a long term commitment towards industrial PhD within the organization.

Challenge 2

Find ways that Aalto University and KONE can support industrial doctoral candidates (with dual roles), who are conducting research at Aalto University while working at KONE.

Concepting

SOLUTION MAPPING

Connecting the workshop ideas to the identified problems

WORKSHOP IDEAS

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Packaging

Based On

KONE's Role

A bundle that explains the structure of a PhD and offers different packages: KONE as a funder, cooperator or employer.

structure and fairness through packages

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Conference

For  Match-

Making

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Online

Social

Network

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Activities For

Personal

Connection

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Social Club

For Idea

Exchange

forum for professional connecting

forum for personal connecting

support from people in the same situation

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Peer

Support

Platform

A peer-support platform, where PhD candidates discuss current research and their challenges and constraints.

IDENTIFIED PROBLEMS

No

Existing

Framework

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Unfair

Funding

Model

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Different

Interests in

Topics

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No Three-Way

Dialogue

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Dual-role:

Student and Employee

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Work-Life

Balance

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FINAL CONCEPT

Aalto Axiom

Aalto Axiom is a network that connects PhD candidates, professors and industry parnetrs on the topic of industrial dissertations. The main core of Aalto Axiom is creating personal connections which enable meaningful and relevant research for all three parties. According to Encyclopaedia Britannica, Axiom is a statement that is taken to be true, to serve as a premise or starting point for further reasoning and arguments. We choose Aalto Axiom as a name for our project because of its latin background which refers to the academia and at the same time the meaning of a starting point that enables further discussions, research and a network to grow.

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Aalto Axiom

DESIGN DRIVERS

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Connecting the people who would otherwise not meet

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Supporting PhD students with peer support

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Personal

connections between industry, university and students

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Working on the future of research

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What

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Aalto Axiom is a network that connects PhD candidates, professors and industry partners on the topic of industrial dissertations. The main core of Aalto Axiom is creating personal connections which enable meaningful and relevant research for all three parties.

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Industrial dissertations are still a rare occasion in Aalto ARTS. Because of a lack of marketing and information, potential PhD candidates often do not know about their possibilities. Moreover, industry partners and university are missing a framework how these industrial dissertations could be executed. Main factors such as workload, funding and support are unclear to the stakeholders.

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Why

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How

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Joint events and exchange circles are aiming at recruiting potential PhD candidates as well as industry partners in order to complement Aalto University. The constant flow of events and activities ensure the longevity of Aalto Axiom. These activities foster personal interaction and allow the stakeholders to co-create their collaboration: The network supports PhD candidates, supervisors and industry partners from finding a suitable topic until the dissertation and beyond.

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Aalto Axiom

EVENT FRONTSTAGE

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​​KONE : Want talents

Aalto : Push industrial PhDs

PhD : Show research results

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BACK TO

SCHOOL

PHD

KICK OFF

CO-CREATION

TOPIC

APPLY

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ACTIVITIES

PHD CIRCLE

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Peer Support

Regular meeting

Showcasting the results

Peer network

Have fun!

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Co-create thesis topics

Students arrange separately

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Face-to-face meeting

Generate possible topics

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ACTIVITIES

Build Relationship

Hold events for fun parties, workshop, lottery lunch, picnic

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Aalto Axiom

EVENT STAKEHOLDERS MAP

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Aalto Axiom

NETWORKS

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Aalto Axiom

FUTURE VERSIONS

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Yi-tzu

Hsiao

Collaborative and Industrial design

izhsiao.o@gmail.com

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Suvi Majander

Collaborative and Industrial design

suvi.majander@aalto.fi

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Ira Ottmann

International Design Business Managment

ira.ottmann@aalto.fi

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Sebastian Högnabba

Collaborative and Industrial design

sebastian.hognabba@aalto.fi

Team

Oct.2019

Client

KONE

#company-based

#interviews

#affinity diagram

#co-design

#user experience

#service design