Former Foundry team member Milja Kalliosaari reflects on her experiences at Combient Foundry in Spring ’23, highlighting her experiences in working with the Foundry companies on strategic collaboration, open innovation, and the required change management the venture client opportunities entail.
During the past spring, my journey at Combient Foundry has been transformative: Being immersed in an environment filled with industry leaders and market-disrupting innovations has given me a unique vantage point to witness the change of today’s rapidly evolving world first-hand.
For industry incumbents, seeking new ways of working has become more crucial than ever. While states and NGOs still play a pivotal role in driving societal change, a growing influence lies in large companies, which possess a remarkable power to enact change. This was the spark that drew me into Combient Foundry.
Courage is an essential ingredient in change. We need innovators who can unravel complexity and have the vision to apply the broader perspective practically. The ability to look ahead and be patient is crucial. Working with the Foundry companies has proven that businesses can embrace and overcome uncertainties. This group of companies also demonstrates that working collectively ensures results better than going about it alone.
This opportunity has been an absolute honor for someone with my political science background and passion for strategic change. Witnessing significant changes through ingenious new approaches was the highlight of my tenure. Combient Foundry has demonstrated that deliberate and long-term business development can be achieved through collaboration and innovation. This realization has expanded my knowledge and fueled my professional growth.
The actual value of our work lies in our ability to engage in meaningful conversations, exchange ideas, and develop innovative approaches with other industry players. In a way, I see something quite beautiful in the practical process of equal opportunity and mutual benefit: When we combine a clear and precisely defined business need with an honest desire to make a difference and the best expertise in the field, ambitious goals can be translated into reality.
To turn these ambitions into success stories, I have had the opportunity to delve into market research, explore the global startup ecosystem, and refine my project management skills. This deep dive into the venture client approach has been an exhilarating experience that has enriched my professional toolkit.
Beyond acquiring tangible skills and knowledge, I have also had an epiphany about a more profound doctrine. Building a future that genuinely caters to the needs of future generations requires sharing power and the ability to influence at the grassroots level. Networks play a pivotal role in this endeavor. We can bridge the gap between current decision-makers, company management, and the young generation through this shared wisdom and a genuine desire to support lasting change.
Industry players’ connections and influence can benefit people – especially regarding the questions dealing with the forthcoming generations and the development of our communities. I find it incredibly inspiring to witness the courage of confident business leaders who actively involve young people in decision-making. By engaging with young industry professionals and providing them with opportunities such as an internship, we can foster a broader integration of future generations interested in driving change.
The Foundry approach allows us to tap into young individuals’ unique perspectives and experiences to create tangible and sustainable change that extends beyond a single business opportunity. Witnessing industry-leading giants dedicated to solving the grand challenges of today and the future is genuinely inspiring. Industries such as automotive, manufacturing, and energy can genuinely impact a future-proof tomorrow. By directing our resources towards areas where the effect is greatest, we can expect to achieve the most significant outcomes.
For me, Combient Foundry represents a place where making a difference is encouraged and celebrated. The company fosters an environment that nurtures continuous learning and growth, fostering a culture of innovation. Undoubtedly, the journey toward change is not without its obstacles. Friction is bound to arise as we navigate uncharted territories. However, we can alleviate the burden and propel progress forward through the unity of our resources and collective efforts. By joining forces, we can unlock the full potential of change and create a tomorrow that surpasses the expectations of future generations.
Reflecting on my internship at Combient Foundry, I am grateful for the growth it has afforded me. I am equipped with a newfound professional perspective. I am determined to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during this experience to drive change and make a lasting impact in the world. With the right amount of courage, vision, and unwavering commitment, we can forge a future that meets the needs of future generations and ensures a sustainable tomorrow for all. As the journey unfolds, I am thrilled to contribute to a movement that holds the power to shape what lies ahead.