This is a methodology workshop to support early phases of innovation processes. Having a shared understanding of development focus is an important factor for any project aiming to operate on a customer centric or a customer driven approach. Personas are research-based, archetypical profiles of users that enable different stakeholders of a development project to obtain and maintain a common focus during different stages of development process.

In Living Lab projects, personas can be used to to make sense and summarize vast amounts of user research material, to give the research group a uniform, easily relatable focal point of a particular user group, and to make it possible for new stakeholders to understand the users context and their view on development theme. This workshop demonstrates how Laurea UAS and Botnia Living Labs have created and used personas in their multidisciplinary research- and development projects. The workshop includes facilitated session where the participants get a first-hand experience on how they can craft personas to benefit their own projects.

Workshop organisers:

Jaakko Porokuokka (Laurea UAS), Dr. Marita Holst (Project leader, Luleå University of Technology) and Dr. Anna Ståhlbröst (Luleå University of Technology)

Ph.D. Marita Holst earned her PhD in 2007 in Social Informatics at Luleå University of Technology, and thereafter then worked as senior project manager at Centre for Distance-Spanning Technology and Botnia Living Lab. Since 2015 she is also General Manager of Botnia Living Lab Marita and a member of the ENoLL Council. Today she works as a strategist at the Innovation Office at the University. Marita have 15 years’ experience in quadruple helix processes including significant competence both as project manager and user-expert in real-life piloting in various domains such as Smart cities and IoT, energy saving, sports and culture, e-democracy, privacy and security. Recently Marita has been active in projects such as OrganiCity, U4IoT and Privacy Flag. Both Qualitative and Quantitative methods have been used and results have been disseminated in various forms, such as academic publications, hand-books, presentations and workshops. Her interests are methods and tools for creating collaborative working environments for innovative and boundary-crossing working groups. User centric and appreciative methods within the multi-perspective environment of Living Labs.

PhD Anna Ståhlbröst is associate professor in Information Systems at Luleå university of technology connected to Botnia Living Lab. Her research interest is focused on Living Labs and user driven innovation processes supporting the development of digital innovations based on citizen needs. Anna’s research has been published in several international journals, books and has been presented at many international conferences. She is currently active in innovation & research projects such as U4IoT, Privacy Flag, UnaLab, and Smart Buy funded by the European Commission. Anna is also assistant scientific director of the research and innovation area Enabling ICT at LTU, focusing on supporting research and innovation contributing to the development of Smart regions.

Jaakko Porokuokka (MBA) is a specialist in user-centric development and facilitation. He has been using his Service Design pedigree in developing new types of cross-disciplinary, innovation-driven learning environments (Professional Summer School, Laurea Game Jam) focusing on service co-creation. His current research focuses on business digitalization (USCO Project) and enabling novel robot-enabled applications in welfare services (ROSE). In addition to his research, he works on multiple user-centric development projects as a designer and a facilitator.

Related projects:


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