Tuesday morning in December 2019, the train from Basel takes me directly to the Gare de l’Est. The rush hour of the metropolis with more than 2.1 million people is ant-like to me, I find the ticket and the right line to Saint-Michel anyway. In the crowded metro I think about the Swiss sandwich expression «a stucked», I am well on schedule, find the right address and grab «un café rapide» and a short time later I ring an office bell in a backyard. This is a really good Rapid Prototyper day.
Quickly up the narrow stairs in the venerable medieval building of Paris: First visit
The doer: Tram Trinh
CEO and founder of VITANLINK Paris — Global Health & Technology Group
The structured Breakfast Briefing leaves time for shared memories; disruptive rental car trips in Jerusalem during one of the legendary mHealth Israel conferences. Afterwards we discuss the topic of Healthcare Startups — in Switzerland and France. Which are the key considerations when entering the French market, which customs and hurdles, requirements, must and nice-to-haves should be born in mind?
Tram Trinh brings more than 24 years of experience in multinational management and from leading positions in the C-Suite to the discussion. Her innovative and strategic thinking works fast, building alliances to open up new markets is in her blood. I enjoy the incredibly delicious Petit Déjeuner delicacies like the «Chouquettes» and then we move on to the next place in the electric car.
Station F is the world’s largest start-up space and is impressively located in a former fre. Almost a bit proudly I present the QR code on my smartphone at the check-in, which Tram Trinh has organized for me. The dimensions and clearly visible brands and the mental innovation lava of these busy, future-cracking people, which can be felt everywhere, leaves me speechless. As an internationally experienced prototyper, I only feel at home in a few places — Station F is one of them.
In the booked mini-cube of the balustrade-like upper floor we meet a French Healthcare expert and entrepreneur. In a brief conversation we deepen the topic of market entry with a digital health solution in the hospital market. The result is a scribbled OnePager that opens up the meaningful approach. At a single glance, it is clear that habits from other markets are absolutely not conducive to achieving the desired results. Prototyping is almost unlimited in its versatility. The conversation can easily replace a semester-long sisyphean way.
We are already back in the car. At the metro station Bibliothèque François Mitterrand, I say goodbye with thanks to Tram Trinh, go underground again and reach the «Pyramides» stop by metro shortly after lunchtime. I wander around the quarter with my suitcase and reach the Palais Brongniart with the ongoing EIT Health Summit.
A sprint over the cobblestones and into the café in front of the Palais: Second visit
The innovator: Susie A. Ruff
CEO of RUFF & CO Business Innovation, based in Copenhagen with a global reach. From market entry to corporate innovation with focus on healthcare and wellness.
The soup smells wonderful and provides my mind and body with important nutrients. Since our meeting at the Techsauce Global Summit in Bangkok in 2018, contact led to the idea of a Masterclass in Healthcare and Innovation, a world-class training topic. From modules on innovation, business development and disruption to nudge, design thinking and language strategies. From digital health to value-based models and the growing challenge of healthcare for the elderly and ageing population.
Susie Ruff brings more than 25 years of experience to her consulting work in innovation and management programs and international business development. She imparts knowledge and collaborations, knowledge flow with the diverse start-up and development pool «Nordic Healthcare», is a member of several boards and committees, shapes health topics as a speaker and moderator, brings start-ups and personalities with strong content to the conference stages and teaches as a healthcare lecturer.
Over a wonderful coffee, we record our next development and collaboration thoughts and agree that South East Asia is on the verge of another eruption in terms of healthcare power and we will meet there again. A prototyping in the educational sense characterizes Susie: «Building bridges and acting as matchmakers between the public and private sectors and incorporating effective means of quality assurance». Our flash exchange produces more than a 10-meter e-mail in a short time.
I thank you for the valuable and unique time and dive back underground at the Bourse metro station. At the Gare du Nord I spot the agreed restaurant for the Flash Finale in the soft and slowly fading daylight.
My head buzzes back and forth inside and a relieving wave shows me the way: Third visit
The designer and researcher: Akemi Tazaki
Board Member of ENSCI (École Nationale de Science de la Création Industrielle)
Years ago at ZHdK Day 2016 in the still new building of the Zurich University of the Arts. I listen and watch Akemi Tazaki’s full lecture on thoughts and research on artificial intelligence from the corridor. Her digital works fascinate me right away. In the same year I arrange for her to give a talk at the world’s first online conference for bots, AI and machine learning (Botscamp, now bottish) on «Artificial Intelligence and Design Considerations».
I immediately say yes to her suggestion for a «Café Gourmand»; the arrangement of different eye-close and enjoyable desserts and the bean-based fragrance. We are talking about my idea for a joint article on the Nudge Theory — the Nobel Prize-winning work on behavioural economics by the authors Thaler and Sunstein (2008).
Akemi Tazaki brings a crisp observation from Japan into the highly condensed conversation. Her extensive experience, research and teaching in design and technology captures my enthusiasm for collaborative knowledge sharing down to the last cell time and time again. We all agree that Nudge does much more than just invite people to change their behaviour about waste and health. And that nudging is often not conceived as such, but is based on an intended change in the perceptions and habits of a specific target group. Mostly as a decision making process for a better common good.
A quick selfie in front of the hectic train station and with one of the 150 daily trains straight to the Aéroport Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle CDG. I make it back on the last flight to Zurich.
The Flash Visit Method
Careful timing for one day. Maximum of three knowledge talks. Personal contact is crucial, saving a lot of correspondence and releasing more prototyping energy than a video call. Either there is a concrete project or a specific topic. The follow-up is defined.
With a Flash Visit, all participants experience not only the agility of prototyping, but also, for example, the goal-oriented definition of new touchpoints. The claim here is neither right or wrong, nor better or worse in comparison with other idea finding processes; an alternative method that may possibly breathe some freshness and joy into your own instrument case.
The key moment experts
Companies, institutions and initiatives, agencies; key moments for development arise from different sources, during individual moments. And they arise between networked, internationally active and travelling experts.
Prototyping is a path of knowledge. In particular, the Flash Visit method delivers the desired insights in a compressed and fast way. This is not new. The openness for transdisciplinary cooperation and the awareness of working with «Transversal Competences», the transferable knowledge, is. The transversal level of skills is not only becoming increasingly important in education — other knowledge flows are also gaining in strength.
According to the report «Transversal competences for an uncertain digital future?» (Ursula Scharnhorst and Hansruedi Kaiser, Download PDF in german of the SFIVET Swiss Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training), the «Partnership for the 21st century learning» identifies four key competencies:
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Creativity and innovation
I look forward to the next transversal journey.