TAMK Media and EYA 2014 in Graz - Part 1/3

On top of Graz! (Rolands Tiss. Photo by Felipe Santana.)

This is the story of TAMK Media students' trip to European Youth Award festival in Graz, Austria. Following blog posts take place in 18th–22nd of November. The trip was part of Networked Media Culture course.

According to EYA's own description, the festival is "a pan-European contest to motivate young people to produce socially-valuable digital projects that address the goals defined by the Council of Europe and Europe 2020. It demonstrates their potential to create innovative solutions with Internet and Mobile technology. The EYA Festival is an established platform for international knowledge-exchange and a widely recognized networking-event for future cooperation. EYA is organized by the International Center for New Media, a Non-Profit Organization based in Salzburg, Austria." (http://eu-youthaward.org/)

Team 13 Media! (Sami Lindfors, Sohvi Sirkesalo, Ida Tokola, Tarina Tommiska, Chrystal Giam, Felipe Santana, Rolands Tiss, Alessandra Bernard, Ida Tuominen, Helmi Pirinen, Petra Mether.)

Up in the Air!
Sami: Everyone was able to wake up in time for the morning flight from Helsinki–Vantaa Airport to Vienna. Most of us consumed a lot of coffee since we had to be at the airport already on 6am!

Though most of us were in Austria for the first time, we still saw some familiar faces around. We found out that our fellow 13 Media music student Kalle Boissonnier is a famous advertisement face in the country!

See? (Selfie by Kalle Boissonnier.)

We really enjoyed the train trip from Vienna to Graz. The route went straight by the mountains and – as a Finn from the flat part of Finland – I was amazed about the view and the fact people actually build cities on slopes we’d call the most dangerous slopes ever.

We were really excited and prepared for the views! (Alessandra Bernard, Felipe Santana, Chrystal Giam. Photo by Sami Lindfors.)

The view from the window was amazing throughout the 2 and a half hours we spent on the train. (Photo by Sami Lindfors.)

Well, on the very first train we took from Vienna Airport to the City, we witnessed how local junkies snorted cocaine right next to us. It was before 12 AM.

The A&O Hostel was a pleasant surprise. The rooms were really nice, with own separate toilets and showers, and the bar downstairs was quite nice. Also the breakfast was good considering the price. (Author doesn’t receive any credits from the company for this endorsement, though he would be glad to negotiate about it in the future.)

Amazing view on top of Schlossberg!
Before the actual festivities, we visited FH Joanneum, a university of applied sciences in Graz. Their curricula are similar to TAMK Media’s, but with the exception that they have a hornet on their yard.

Team 13 Media again! Could we have a hornet to Mediapolis' backyard too? (Sami Lindfors, Sohvi Sirkesalo, Ida Tokola, Tarina Tommiska, Chrystal Giam, Felipe Santana, Rolands Tiss, Alessandra Bernard, Ida Tuominen, Helmi Pirinen, Petra Mether.)

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There were some cool and provocative Putin posters on FH Joanneum’s walls. (Photo by Ida Tokola.)

After the visit we decided to go blow our minds. We climbed on top of Schlossberg to see the entire city of Graz!


Of course we had to take some selfies there! If you're on Instagram, you can find a lot of our photos with hashtags #Graz #EYA2014 #13Media. (Photo by Sami Lindfors.)

Witness the infinity! (Photo by Felipe Santana.)

Welcome Session | Speed-Hello-Working
Speed-Networking - Meet Europe's most innovative social Start-Ups, creative students & ICT experts
Videomundus – Produce your personal video about your EYA-motion

Chrystal: This is where we had our first official welcome by the organizers. We formed into two circles, one circle inside the other and paired up with somebody we didn’t know. The 2-minute speed introduction then began with getting to know each other’s name, profession, interests, and other things. When time is up, the inner circle rotates clockwise and again, we paired up with a new face and the process repeats itself every 2 minutes.

Through this speed-introduction, we got to know other participants of EYA (winners, students, lecturers, etc.) from different countries in Europe. Personally, I find it rather amusing and enlightening at the same time that some immediately launched into a speed-marketing speech promoting their projects while others asked questions like “What motivates you?”, “What is your passion?”. I’ve learnt that it is important to tell concise details about yourself and be interested in what others do.


Welcome party
Tarina: The thing that motivates us students the best is anything that involves food and alcoholic beverages. The organizers of the EYA were kind enough to invite us to the first welcome party that was held in the Graz town house. It was after the beginning session with warm welcome words by the city officials (like the mayor’s representatives) when Paul Hughes held his Ten Meters of Thinking presentation. Afterwards we arrived to the cabinet with a food buffet and a selection of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages! We had some time to network as well. Instead of networking right away, our corner table decided to direct some Instagram movies. Plenty of fun, indeed!

An example by Sami, Ida and Tarina: how wine should be consumed by a proper media student. Rolands didn’t appreciate wine at all. (Photo by Felipe Santana.)

Ten Meters of Thinking
Designing the path of individual & organizational transformation by Paul Hughes

Chrystal: Paul Hughes is a master at mnemonic storytelling and it is quite a pleasure to attend his talk for the second time, albeit a different topic – about how to think and act differently as an individual and as an organization to design the future. From his talk, I learnt that instead of managing people, we can achieve so much more by facilitating and collaborating with others. He reminded us to always ask “Why?” and while we use our hands and head to design, it also has to come from the heart.

Paul Hughes drawing a Circle of Hearts during his Ten Meters of Thinking presentation. (Photo by Sami Lindfors.)

Stay tuned for the blog posts covering the two other days of EYA 2014!