Monday, June 25, 2007

A trip to Finland coming up

As you have seen, forwarding a blog from an Irish pub in the middle of Brussels works perfectly. Just order a pint of lager or stout and you can start blogging or picking up your e-mail. I felt like an urban nomad sitting in the pub, being looked at as a veteran nerd; which is not true at all for those who know me better.

In Brussels I met my Finnish friend Jarmo Viteli at the European Commission premises. I met him in 1998 for the first time, when we were members of the Grand Jury for the first Europrix in Salzburg. It was fun, but also interesting. Jarmo is involved in the Hypertext Lab of Tampere University. It is one of the first institutes taking content seriously as an academic study topic.

We met later in the same year with our spouses for the big Gala in Vienna. The Gala was impressive. People were dressed up for the occasion. The then EC Commissioner Bangemann was there and the whole Award ceremony was broadcasted; but to whom I can not tell (no one told me later that they had seen Gala). After the Award ceremony there was a lounge for the award winners, the organisers and the jury members to chill down. At a particular moment my partner, Mary, Jarmo’s wife Ariana and the partner of Joachim Jorge were standing together, getting a lot of backlight; since that time I call them the Vestal Virgins. I have no photographs to show the scene. (BTW I also met Jorge Joachim in Brussels).

Reception of MindTrek delegates and the Dutch delegation at Tampere Town hall in 2005

I talked with Jarmo about the upcoming trip to Finland that my partner Hans Sleurink of Media Update and myself are organising. We did organise a trip before in 2005 to Tampere during the MindTrek conference. With 38 business people and people from educational colleges we travelled to Tampere, had a loaded program of lectures and a visit to one of the Nokia labs. This year we are organising the trip again. This time though, we were early with organising it, but getting the program straightened out is a hell of a job. But we have nice people on the Finnish end, quite prepared to help us out. As Jarmo is also involved in the organisation at the Finnish end it was a great occasion to talk to him; besides it is always good meeting a old friend. I am sure that we will hammer out the last details about the trip together. It was a pity that we did not have time to meet and have a good pint of Lager (Skol, kipis, heulekekoleke; cheers in respectively Swedish, standard Finnish and, although my Finnish is still very rudimentary and the writing is incorrect, I have also toasted in popular Finnish).

Blog Number Posting: 794


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