‘’I am eager to make things happen”
In this year’s Digital Wellbeing Summer School in Eindhoven, we met Roosa Kallionpää, a Finnish EIT Digital Master School student who also plays in the EIT Digital Academy House Band. Kallionpää shares her beliefs, values, passion, ideas, and how the EIT Digital Master School programme is helping her to achieve her goals. She wants to make things happen instead of just keeping them as thoughts.
Kallionpää studies Human Computer Interaction and Design at the EIT Digital university partners Sorbonne University and KTH. Taking part in one of the EIT Digital Summer Schools is mandatory for all students on one of the seven EIT Digital Master School Programmes. Here, building business solutions alongside classes on how to turn technology into business ideas - working with real-life case studies - are core aspects of the summer schools. At the end of the course, students get the chance to pitch their ideas in a competition.
How is the Digital Wellbeing Summer School going?
‘’It is going very well. After doing not only project work but also partaking in many enjoyable activities such as the city rally, I have noticed that combining work with diverse free-time activities with the team has a positive impact on learning and team dynamics. You get to know people within a professional context as well as a personal one.’’
You are the only female student in your team, aren’t you? How is that going with regards to the team dynamics?
‘’Yes, I am the only girl in the team indeed. I have always hung out with male students in my student years, so I did not necessarily feel out of place. This is also very personal, and everyone is different, everyone has other characteristics and personalities. You are always required to discover and understand with whom you are sitting with and eventually adapt to the person you will be working together with.’’
On which business case are you working with your team?
‘’We are working on the skin cancer case. It is quite challenging and sometimes difficult in the sense of instead of having to create some completely new solutions to a problem we addressed – like most of my business courses have been – this is more constrained and we have been given some numbers, prices, and hardware to work with. So, it is more concrete and requires more research, which I like because we can investigate options in more detail. At the same time, it is inspiring and difficult. We have to research a lot of things regarding healthcare systems which we do not know much about, and that is quite challenging for us as we brainstorm and innovate.’’
Why did you choose for the Digital Wellbeing Summer School?
‘’I think in the context of wellbeing you can really see how it is not about the technology but how you use it. I also really like the Netherlands, which played its part as well. As for wellbeing and behavioral change, I have recently taken mine more seriously and thinking about this through technology and business life could help me with finding ways to help the masses.’’
You are also quite popular because you were playing in the EIT Digital Academy House Band during the Kick-off, have you played in bands before?
‘’Yes, indeed. Some people here recognised me as well. One of my team members joined the EIT Digital Academy House Band during this Summer School! I never really had a band of my own, but music has been my hobby for a very long time. I have played in school bands and done different projects from time to time. I also picked up cello again when I joined a symphony orchestra during my last year in Paris, which I was very thrilled about. I am very happy that during my university years I have always been able to integrate music as my passion with the studies, I am very grateful for that.’’
How did you hear about the EIT Digital Master School?
‘’I was an international tutor during my bachelor’s in Aalto University. So, it happened that most internationals in our study guild were EIT Digital students. I became friends with a lot of these amazing people from around the world and after learning about the programme, I figured that the EIT Digital Master School could be a good opportunity for me.’’
What are your plans after you finish EIT Digital Master School?
‘’I know now that life is very unpredictable, and many things appear last minute. I think I will be working, but on what and where, that is another question. I am more than happy to move anywhere I get a good feeling from and where I can keep on learning and developing’’.
What drives you to do so?
‘’I want to bring certain values into the business world. Values like sustainability, privacy, equality, freedom, connectivity and kindness. I would love to be able to implement these values where I can make a positive contribution to society. I believe I am a creative person with a lot of connective ideas, so I feel very eager to actually make things happen and not just keep them as thoughts, and I like the idea of having an impact within a startup.’’
How do you think society will look like in 20 years?
‘’More global and connected compared to our current situation. What I hope is that the way of digital applications and services, basically the whole Internet, is designed to be more human-centred. Furthermore, that we are more aware of the relationship between our minds and the technologies we use. Finally, I would also look forward to a day when everyone will be vegan! Why? For the environment - decreasing unnecessary processes, resources, greenhouse emissions, death and suffering. It is about doing only what is necessary and making the world more sustainable. In a nutshell, the motive is all about improving the quality of life.’’
How do you think technology can improve our quality of life?
‘’We can automate tasks that are prone to human error and we can make more efficient systems allowing people to focus on what is truly important. Technology can be used to create amazing art and services. Technology itself is fascinating and to me it serves as a constant source of inspiration and even a metaphor for life itself.’’
If you had one message to spread to the entire world, what would that message be?
‘’Be aware of how much impact all your choices have, so make your decisions wisely. Always speak up and be open to conversation. Finally, do not get influenced too easily or be superficial, but instead think and feel for yourself – remember your own values.’’