Design Thinking Hackathon – Innokas challenges design thinkers to integrate circular design in healthcare

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What happens when you challenge random teams with no prior connection to your organization to design innovative circular design services, and give them two days’ time to do it? 


Business Oulu hosted a problem-solving event Design Thinking Hackathon beginning in May 20 and ending on May 22, 2024. In this event, the participating teams were tasked to find solutions to the presented design thinking related challenges. Innokas took part as a company and put together a presentation about a particular challenge we are looking to tackle for the participants. 


Most photos taken by Arctic Factory



The key question that Innokas presented for the teams was how to integrate circular design principles into our services for our, and most importantly our customer’s benefit. In healthcare, sustainability requirements, particularly regarding CO2 emissions, are becoming increasingly central for all MedTech companies. This means that considering sustainability and circular economy principles in product features, requirements and design implementation needs to begin sooner rather than later. We named our challenge “Circular design from top to the last bolt and nut.” 


The teams had two and half days to look at the materials available and come up with solutions. They had Innokas sustainability report 2023 to consider, as well as all the materials on our site. 


Insights and future directions for Innokas 


The Design Thinking Hackathon has now concluded, and Innokas wants to thank both wonderful and talented teams for taking part and sharing their ideas with us. This experience has given us a pause for thought! 


The hackaton results provided us, in many respects, an eye-opening initial input. This experience encouraged us to consider what we need to account for in the future, such as how to transform a complex, multidimensional challenge into a clear, solvable problem. It was a valuable experience that demonstrated how well-structured implementations can be achieved in a short time with dedicated individuals focused on finding solutions.



"We were taken aback by how, in just two and a half days, the teams could come up with something like this. This became apparent even as we prepared for the hackathon ourselves, formulating questions for the participants. We're happy that we participated," commented Jenni Tuulos, Director of Design Services at Innokas. 


Among the valuable insights we gained during the hackathon was the understanding that we should further build on our existing strengths, staying true to our commitment to continuous improvement. More specifically, we were encouraged to reconsider our methods of communication and marketing, what our strengths are and where we could begin improving our delivery – coincidentally some of the actions have been on our internal roadmap already. 



 Photo by Jenni Tuulos

Planning for a sustainable future –  the next steps 


We are excited to begin planning our next steps with sustainable technology. "We need to be very clear with our customers regarding the facts of working with ecological design. The choice is ultimately up to them, but our ultimate goal is still to provide them with the most informed choice possible," Antti Virtanen, Solution Architect at Innokas outlines. 


Innokas is ready to go onward with what we have gained from this experience. "It was inspiring to see the diverse yet complementary solutions that the teams developed during the hackathon. It was fascinating to observe how the teams utilized our materials, and I gained valuable insights into what aspects we need to clarify for ourselves as well,” comments Eve Lindroth, the Innokas Head of Marketing and Communications.  




Innokas is a growing and agile family-owned technology company. We have 30 years of experience of highly demanding technology, and of working with an exceptionally wide range of customer projects from Healthtech to other complex, intelligent devices and solutions that help improve the quality of people’s lives. With close to 200 professionals in manufacturing, engineering, software development, quality, and regulatory services, Innokas is a dedicated partner to its customers throughout the product or solution lifecycle. Contact us throught this link for a consultation!


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