SHIFT: Made by Volunteers

SHIFT is an international business festival in Turku, Finland. It was held for the first time in May 31st and June 1st of 2016. The theme of the first SHIFT was how technology is changing the fields of health, learning and energy. This year’s theme has two parts: Human & Machine and Human 2 Human. The event has wide range of activities to choose from. Participants can gather their SHIFT adventure from speakers, panels, round tables, workshops and many more experiences.

In 2016 SHIFT had over 1000 participants, 80 partners, 150 growth companies and 100 volunteers. This year’s goal was to double the numbers in participants and volunteers and grow the number of partners and growth companies. I don’t have the exact numbers, but I’ve heard the goal was achieved. In little under a week over 2000 people are going to make their way to the Turku castle to experience the SHIFT.


In December 2016 I was approached by SHIFT’s head of marketing and communications. A friend of mine had told her about me and my expertise in marketing and communications. The head of marketing and communications suggested that I’d do my business administration degree’s thesis for the SHIFT. I had to think about it. I already had planned to do my thesis for my own company at that time. During the holidays I came to the conclusion that SHIFT as a reference and as an experience is too huge of an opportunity to pass up. So I joined SHIFT’s marketing and communications team in January 2017.

Making SHIFT happen

Behind SHIFT is a large group of volunteers. Some of the volunteers have been involved from the very beginning. Volunteers contribute to the SHIFT along with their own job, company or studies. Making SHIFT happen takes a lot of time and expertise. So the amount of volunteers is always growing. I haven’t even met all the volunteers. But it takes a specific type of a person to become a SHIFTer.

During this spring there have been a few seminar type events for the volunteers. At one of these events the volunteers were asked to think and discuss: If SHIFT was a person what kind of person he/she would be? I don’t have the completed list. But I do remember few of the qualities and adjectives. I believe those fit quite well for describing any of the volunteers. Here are some of the qualities: social, outgoing, thirst for knowledge, adventurous, enthusiastic, friendly, ambitious, people loving, responsive and all in all quite awesome.

I hope to see you at the SHIFT next week. The next post in this blog will also be about the SHIFT. This time I will write to you from the event and the post will be published on the second day of the SHIFT.


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