We had two starting points. First, phobia: a growing worry of the societal and environmental threats to humankind. Second, utopia: a solid belief that entrepreneurship is the key to overcoming those challenges. By bringing them together, we shaped Slush 2017 into a coherent and thought-provoking story. Here you have it in a nutshell.
Revealing the Theme: A Call For Solvers
After announcing the program theme in April, we were ready to share our trailer. It excites you the whole way until something dramatically hits. Those last seconds give a hint on this year’s storyline: first pointing out the threatening problems we are facing, and then calling for entrepreneurs to solve them. The hero of this narrative was now easy to point out.
Video: Veli Creative / Music: Petri Alanko
Showing the Scene: Venue Launch
Next, we revealed what our team members at Sun Effects had planned for the venue. Their inspiration welled from blending utopia and phobia into a form of a dead neon city. It required a few visual tricks. At the venue, utopia shined in a reviving pink light whereas phobia glowed in a deadly orange. Material-wise, moss and rust were the opposites: moss picturing the healing effect of nature, and rust reflecting the cast-off past. That was the scenery for the solutions to emerge.
Video: Shader Finland / Music: Petri Alanko
Setting the Mood: Presenting an Alternative Future
To build up the atmosphere, we guided our guests through a rollercoaster of feelings. Whereas trailer’s goal was mostly to excite and only give a flash of the phobia, the teaser is the total opposite. Our friends at Veli Creative were set out to create an alternative window to the near future – to a new day as it would be if we never woke up to solve the threatening problems. Rap artist View gives a voice to phobia, and the final seconds place a seed of hope in the otherwise oppressive film. The mood was set.
Video: Veli Creative / Music & Sound Design: Sandra Tervonen / Voiceover: View / Lyrics: Noah Kin
Kicking It Off: Utopia Challenges Phobia
After provoking some worries in our guests, we opened the doors to Slush 2017. The Opening Show took us back in time: from the alternative phobic future to the current encouraging atmosphere. While Huoratron gave us a hell of a show, the multi-talent Noah Kin (representing utopia) challenged View (representing phobia). The pink and orange rotated in sync when the debate was on.
This was the turning point of the story where utopia took over. Entrepreneurs truly can solve even the most devastating problems. Their big goals and world-healing aims might sound impossible and weird for many. As an encouragement, we stated that Nothing Normal Ever Changed A Damn Thing. Be your weird self, step in, and continue solving. Don’t let the sceptics slow you down.
Screens: Veli Creative / Track: Huoratron / Lyrics: Noah Kin & View / Production: Sun Effects
Reminder to Action: Slush 2017 Was Only the Beginning
“Our sincere wish is that something at Slush 2017 opens your eyes in a way that brings about action. Because inspiration itself is of little value, just like technology. Your action – that’s decisive.”
That’s how we called for solvers when launching the theme, and that’s how we called for solvers a couple weeks after the event. These closing words, bolstered with shivering sounds by Petri Alanko, were sent as a follow-up to our guests. It reminded them of what matters now: solving problems. The event in Helsinki was only a good start.
Video: Veli Creative / Music: Petri Alanko / Voiceover & Lyrics: Noah Kin
In all this, we dreamed of making Slush 2017 into a thought-provoking and transformative story that would bring about action. How can you turn the knowledge shared and inspiration seethed into problem-solving actions? This article may now act as the ending chapter and the reminder call on our behalf.
Cover photo: Konsta Linkola