‘Be bold and never miss a chance you are given’ – Q&A with Kaisa Ahonen

A quick Q&A with Kaisa AhonenUrban Tech Helsinki Project Manager at Aalto University Startup Center.  


What is your most surprising prediction about cities?

Kaisa Ahonen

I see cities becoming more and more independent from state governments. Their meaning and influence is growing, so we might see more city-states in the future, or at least similar kinds of structures.

Who is the person that most influenced the way you think about cities and technology?

I am really impressed with human-scale city architecture specialists, like Jan Gehl. Even more important now when we don’t follow the old patterns of going to a workplace every day.

What 2-3 books / podcasts would you recommend?

  • Yuval Noah Harari‘s books, to understand us as a species more deeply.
  • Also any technology history book that makes you understand the road we have taken to get up to this point in our development.

Where’s the best place for new ideas?

I’m an introvert mainly, so I say walking alone in an inspiring environment, either in nature, a new neighbourhood or, best of all, a totally new city.

Who inspires you?

All women entrepreneurs at the time when their career path was considered unsuitable. There are so many of them even today in different parts of the world and their stories are amazing. This also applies to other groups of people that are in an unfavourable position in their career path.

What are the skills we’ll need in 10 years?

Online communication, self-governance and patience.
Understanding the bigger picture, history and future will also be essential in the future.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Focus more on the things you like to do and learn, and worry less about the career path.

What is your call to action?

Be bold and never miss a chance you are given. But if you miss one, don’t worry, another one will come soon. Like the application period to Urban Tech Helsinki incubator 🙂


Connect with Kaisa on LinkedIn