Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Cutting-Edge Creative: How Sweden is Changing Advertising

The New York based seminar Cutting-Edge Creative in September, will examine the growing influence and impact of Swedish creative agencies on the New York market.

New York is the center of the world for advertising and creative agencies – and where they compete for some of the world's biggest accounts. This market is now marked by an ever stronger Swedish presence whose award-winning campaigns continue to raise the bar – not least by the digital agencies. Why have Swedish advertising, design and digital media been so internationally successful? What is to expect from Sweden in the future?

This and many other topics will be discussed at The Paley Center in New York on September 26, as part of Advertising Week V, North America's largest gathering of advertising and media professionals. The seminar is hosted and sponsored by the Consulate General of Sweden in New York, the Advertising Association of Sweden and the Swedish Trade Council.

The program will feature a keynote address by Matias Palm Jensen, CEO of Farfar, as well as two moderated panel discussions with Swedish and American advertising professionals.

Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson will participate in a panel discussion called ”The Swedish Digital Phenomenon: Are We As Good As We Think We Are?”. Mattias will discuss the matter with Calle Sjönell from BBH, Matias Palm Jensen from Farfar and Patrick Gardner from Perfect Fools.

If you are in New York and would like to visit the seminar, register at: www.advertisingweek.com.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Hyper Island Café

The Hyper Island café in the cellar of the old prison building in Karlskrona, is not only a place where our co-workers and students go for a snack. It is also a place where disabled high school students can practise their working skills.

The café is run by Ulrika Fransson and Doris Olausson and I visited them earlier this summer to talk about the project.

- This is a chance for these kids to meet other young people, and for the Hyper Island students to meet us, says Ulrika Fransson.

Where do the students come from?
- From Kihlströmska Highschool, a school that works only with disabled children, says Doris Olausson.

What do the students do here?

- We have twelve students working here three or five hours per day. They make sandwiches, clean the kitchen, serve lunch and so on, says Ulrika Fransson.

What is the purpose of this project?
- When the students graduate, they have had a chance to practise how to work, and most of them can manage to get a job at the municipality. This is a really good project for them, says Doris Olausson.

Do they like working here?

- Most of them. But like most kids they prefer to drink coffee and chat, says Ulrika Fransson.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hyper Island student created the best Swedish workplace in 2007!

The webb bureau Doberman was awarded the best workplace in Sweden 2007. This makes us extra proud, since the managing director Lisa Lindström graduated from Hyper Island eight years ago. I went to Doberman to talk to Lisa about what makes their web bureau such a great work place.

- Many reasons! First of all, we own the company together, which is important to us. Our goal values are quality, profitability and wellbeing. We believe that to be the best webb bureau we need to feel good as well, Lisa says.

How do you achieve that?
- We work with the idea that ”anything is possible”. We try to be very open. Everyone who works here knows everything about everything. We try to give eachother feedback all the time, both spontaniously and at specifik meetings. Feedback is love, as long as it is in the purpose of improving something. Also, everyone who wants to, can take the UGL course at Hyper Island, to get to know them selves better and to get tools to create the group that we want to be a part of.

What else do you do?
- We have development days three times a year where we sit down and discuss the future. Everybody participates in this. ”Everybody” is an important word here at Doberman, as we want everybody to feel that they can have their say.

Can you give me an example?
- We decided that we wanted a really cool office building and made mood boards, to find out what kind of place we wanted it to be. Then we moved everything ourselves and put the new office together by our selves as well. This way we all got involved and we all feel that this office is exactly the office that we wanted.

- Another thing is our philosophy: "to work to live”, and not "to live to work”, because we believe that this is a better way and it makes us last longer. We try to make sure that the work you do suit your motivation and knowledge so that you feel happy about what you are doing here. It is also important to feel that it is more than okey to have children and we try our best to make this work place a good one for parents. We also encourage people to come up with new ideas. Someone came up with the idea that we should do sports together, so now we have Doberman sports. Another thing is to evaluate our work and to learn from our mistakes and share that knowledge with our co-workers.

What did you study at Hyper Island?

- Digital Media. I focused on project leading and made my internship in Ney York.

What were you like as a student?
- An angry one I think. I used to make my own projects at Hyper Island as I didn’t always like the ones they gave me. Today I am very grateful for the learning experience I got there, but back then I thought it was unstructured. Now I can see why, and how that helped me become who I am today.

What did you learn at Hyper Island that you find useful now?

- That what and how is just as important when you want to achive a good result. We priortize the process just as much as what we are producing. I also learned to be curious, and the knowledge of knowing how to learn things. And I learned that openness is important to be more efficient. And that feedback results in less conflicts.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Talented students!

One of our Digital Media students in Karlskrona, Simone Magurno, was recently chosen to participate with his artwork in an art book from an Australian design community called Semi Permanent. I met him a couple of weeks ago and asked him some questions about it:

What is your artwork about?
- It is entitled "Future", and it was produced in October last year as a good omen for the new year.

What did you do to get your artwork published?
- They ask artists from all over the world to send in their artwork. There is no theme or anything. You can send them what ever you like. And then they chose the ones they like the most.

Where can I get the art book?
- It is for sale on their website: http://semipermanent.com/book_08.html

Have you published anything else?
- Yes I had another artwork published on Deleted Scenes, (www.deletedscenesmag.com), a new magazine dedicated to visual arts. I've been requested to participate in the launch issue of Deleted Scenes and create an artwork around the theme of "silence". I worked on the antinomy of the original meaning of the word and i've entitled the artwork "Dire spazio pieno" (tialian for "Saying crowded space").

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hyper Island in the media again

Proffice has a big article about the Hyper Island sucess in their latest issue. Have a look here!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hyper Island at Almedalen, pt 3

Lots of people were interested in listening to Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson when he talked at the seminar at Almedalen last week. Here is an article about the event. And here is a picture of Mattias and Signhild Arnegård-Hansen, from Svenskt Näringsliv.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hyper Island in Almedalen, pt 2

As I have mentioned earlier, Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson will participate in a seminar in Almedalen this thursday. I took the opportunity to ask him some questions about the seminar and his summer plans. This is what he replied:

Who is responsible for the seminar?
- The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svensk Näringsliv) is responsible and I will be on stage together with their chairman Signhild Arnegård-Hansen and others from the political field.

What is the seminar about?
- It's about the future of education and the upcoming global talent shortage.

Why have you been invited?
- To talk about the succes of Hyper Island; how we have incorporated the industry in our teaching method; and how super attractive our students are for the global industry to employ. And answer some of the usual "why" and "how" questions. I also want to take the opportunity to explain why it is so important for the Swedish educational KY-system to survive any blowing political winds that may or migth not want otherwise.

Is this your first visit to Almedalen?
- This is my first time as participant in Almedalen, the largest and most wellknown Scandinavian political "fair". Even though I don't expect a Las Vegas-like sourunding I have heard that is is a real intersting spectacle. I'm glad Hyper Island is invited and get the opportunity to make our voice heard in front of the leading politicians and media.

What else will you be doing this summer?
- I always try to visit Scandinavian rock-epicentre Roskilde Festival. This was my 17th year there and I had one of my finsest moments ever this last Friday when I got the opportunity to actually be ON stage with Nick Cave when his Grinderman performed. Totaly mindblowing! Otherwise: Spending time with family in beautiful Swedish regions Skåne and Dalarna. And in my sparetime I'm producing an old friends Sommarprat-program (popular show on Swedish Radio P1 each summer). Hear the result with comedian David Batra on August the 9th. But right now: My focus is on Almedalen and to represent Hyper Island the best way I can there.

When and where is the seminar?
- Wisby Strand Kongresshallen 080710, 11.00-13.00. It's free! Register here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

She wants more women in the industry

When Hyper Island student Martina Tranström was out doing her internship at Big Spaceship in New York, she couldn’t help but notice that out of 40 web designers, only two were female.

- This made me think about the male dominance in the entire industry. Lots of women want to work with design but somehow women who want to work with webdesign end up as project leaders, Martina says.

And she decided to do something about it. As her final project at Hyper Island she has designed and created a website for women in web design.

- The purpose of the site is to be a forum and a platform for women who want to be inspired and get advice from others in the industry, she says.

Why, in your opinion, aren't there more women in the industry today?
- I think a lot of women believe that is a lot more technical than it is. Working as a web designer is so much more. It is the best job ever. It is international, creative and interactive.

How did you work with this project?
- I started by contacting She Creatives, a Swedish network for female web designers and a London based network called She says. She creatives wanted me to make this website for them, but I wanted it to be in English and for the members of She says and other women in the industry as well. As I wanted to know more about what women wanted from a website like this, I interviewed women who are already in the industry. And to find out why there are so few women in the business I interviewed young women who are studying media in Highschool.

What did the survey show?
- That lots of girls want to work with web design, but as I said, many of them think that it is too technical. But working as a webdesigner is not technical at all, and I found that the more the students knew about the work that web designers really do, the more interested they are. So what they need is more knowledge and other women to inspire them.

And what functions would I find on the website?
- One function is "A day in life", where you follow a web designer during one day, to see how she works. Another function is the forum where you can discuss things and ask others for advice. There will also be videos where role models in the industry answer three questions such as: 1. What inspires you? 2. Why do you work with web design? 3. What is the best part about working with web design?

Was it difficult to get people to participate and share their stories?
- No, sometimes they hesitated, but when I told them who else were in the project they did it.

What inspired you when designing the website?
- I looked around at other websites that I liked. I didn’t want it to be girly or pink and cute. I wanted it to be simple.

What is the next step?
- I really want to make this project work and I am now discussing different ways of funding. We’ll see how it works out.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hyper Island in Almedalen

This week politicians and others gather in a town called Visby on Gotland, an island in the southeast part of Sweden to discuss politics and make plans for the future. Hyper Island CEO Mattias Hansson will talk about the secret behind Swedens most successful education at a seminar held by Svenskt näringsliv on Thursday. Have a look here for more information!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Hyper Island and the Grand Prix

A couple of weeks ago many of our former Hyper Island students did very well in the “world championship in advertising” in Cannes, France. The winner of the Grand Prix was a company called Perfect Fools, which is the work place of eleven former Hyper Island students. Here is an interview with one of them: John Wolst.

Congratulations John! What did you do to win?
- We were nominated in the The Cannes Lions festival which is regarded as the the most prestigious international advertising festival. Together with Forsman & Bodenfors we won a Grand Prix lion in the Media category with a campaign we produced for AMF (a Swedish pension fund). By uploading a picture of yourself from the campaign site or sending it as a MMS from your cellphone you can see how you might look as a 70 year old.

That does sound interesting. Why do you think you won the Grand Prix?
- I think it was the combination of a great idea and a unique and easy way to interact with the campaign by using your cellphone. Regardless of where you encountered the campaign, if it was through the TV commercials, banners or posters on the street, you could directly take a photo and send it. A few minutes later you got an image back of how you could look as a 70 years old. I think those things made it a winner.

How does it feel to have won such a huge award? And what does it mean for the company?
- What can I say... it feels great! And it confirms that we at Perfect Fools are on to something in what we are trying to do and what we as a company believe in.

What kind of work does Perfect Fools do?
- We are a digital agency producing innovative online campaigns.
For lots more about us and our most recent work check out our website at www.perfectfools.com.
Eleven out of a staff of 34 come from Hyper Island, why is that?
- Hyper Island's focus on digital media makes it a great education for people who want to work with the web. I think that is the main reason why there are so many former Hyper Island students working at Perfect Fools. We have also welcomed many interns from Hyper Island through the years, which of course is another reason. That was for example how I got in.
When did you graduate?
- I was a part of Crew11 so i graduated in 2007.

When you look back, what do you think of your own Hyper Island experience?
- I had a good time at Hyper Island. We put a lots of energy in most of the projects and I remember all the long nights we where working to make our deadline.

What did you learn at Hyper Island that you find useful today?
- The best thing with Hyper Island was gaining the experience of working with so many different personalities. You had to find your roll in each of the project groups and learn how to cooperate with all sorts of people. I got to know myself much better, how I ticked in different situations and groups.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Roger about the recruitment week

Last week was a long and intense one, where our recruitment team met with and interviewed a lot of people. From what I've heard this year was extremely difficult, since the team wanted to recruit almost everyone! I asked Roger Sjögren to write something about it for the blog:

It is a very special situation and experience to be part of the recruitment team at Hyper Island. You meet up with a large number of people sharing parts of their lives, talking about their visions and goals and in a large extent sharing big hopes of becoming a Hyper Island student. It is a great moment to start to get to know the potential students and for them to get to know Hyper Island. For the ones that will get accepted this is the time when building the long-term relationship starts. For the ones not getting on board we hopefully have offered some kind of learning experience. Recruitment days create an ambivalent kind of feeling, since you meet so many great people and of eagerness to start to work with the new students you want it to be August so you can meet them again, but on the other hand you can´t accept them all to be part of a program and that is the sad part. The recruitment team have now finished the work and I would like to say welcome to all of you who got accepted and I am really looking forward to meet you all in Stockholm and Karlskrona later on. To the ones that did not get the chance to be a student this year I hope to see you next year when we go through the applications and I also wish you good luck in whatever may occur for you.

Best regards
/Roger Sjögren

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Maria and her UGL experience

My co-worker Maria Eriksson took the UGL course last week, and since I haven't done it yet, I was very curious to know more.

Tell me, how was it?
- Confusing, amazing, eye-opening, tiring, energizing, frustrating, interesting, chocking, and after this rolercoster ride it felt like I needed to get off for a short while, and then back on it again!

Where did you go?
- Södertuna Slott, a castle about 40 minutes from Stockholm, it was beautiful and just by a lake, so sometimes we went for swim during the lunch break. A very short swim though, the water wasn't that warm....

And what did you do?
- Oh God, what did we not do?? A lot of talking, thinking, reflecting and eating.

What is the most important thing that you learned during this week?
- I've learned so many things that are important in different situations, so I cant choose just one thing....

Was it like you thought it would be?
- I thought I had a pretty good idea about what was gonna happen, but I have to admit that it was a lot different. I thought my own experience would be different, but this was even better than expected!

I know a lot of people are exhausted after the class. How was it for you?
- I was very tired, I recommend to take the weekend after the course off!

Would you recommend others to take the class?
- It was odd because when I left I had the strongest feeling that if everybody could go this course the world would be so much nicer. That's an amazing feeling!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

And the winner is...

During our summer tour to Hultsfred we asked our visitors to do something creative out of a rather dull small piece of white paper. And as you can see in the photo below, creative they were.Here you can see some of the pieces they made during these few days. And now we have elected the most creative one. Believe me, it wasn’t easy, but here it is:
The winner is Sofie Kildahl who made a 3D festival. The white piece of paper is in the bottom! In a few days a brand new iPod will be hers. Congratulations Sofie!