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I'm Inspired by Kristiina Hiukka

It was one Thursday evening a couple years ago when fellow classmate Tauschia Copeland called me and asked if I would be able to record a panel discussion on Friday for a conference that would take place that weekend. In a time when it seemed as though every spare moment was spoken for, I happened to have a free Friday and weekend, so I agreed to help out. Besides, I'd come know that Tauschia has an uncanny ability to surround herself with really cool people, organiations, and initiatives. So when she called, I knew I had to answer.

The next day I showed up at the Pacific Science center accompanied with trusted friend and very talented photographer Andrew Vanasse to record both video and photography for the discussion. That's when I met Kristiina Hiukka. What I found in Kristiina was much more than somebody who decided to host just another conference. Her passion to increase access and literacy for women in innovation as well as supporting those already involved was, and remains, insatiable. She not only hopes to address the people involved, but the systems to create lasting, sustainable results. It was this passion and dedication to the human spirit that compelled me to volunteer a full day to provide photography services in order to help capture and share the story of the day and the mission of the conference.

Since then, I've had the pleasure of running into Hiukka all over Seattle, seemingly with boundless energy to live the change she wants to see in the world. A few weeks ago, Kristiina agreed to meet me at The Hub Seattle to share with me what inspires her to do what she does day in and day out with Women In Innovation.

Who Inspires You?

Right now…people who know how to collaborate. I believe that people who are masters of collaboration have a good sense of themselves. They do not think of life as a competition but an opportunity to share what they know so that others can benefit. Businesses that have a strong brand can afford to collaborate because they are not diminished but strengthened by collaboration.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I also serve as the Honorary Vice Consul for Finland in WA state…

If you removed all constraints how would you spend your time?

Watch movies, read, write, travel, love, laugh…

How did you get to where you are today?

With curiosity and courage

What can you do today to improve someone else’s life?

Work as a personal leadership coach—helping people to embrace their lives holistically, not just as compartments of work and “other life”

What do you think is the most fascinating subject/concept in the world?

Collaboration—why it is so hard (we have wars and conflict) and why do we assume it is a “soft skill?" I think it is the hard core human skill and we really don’t know it yet.

What makes you smile?

My son Markus (16) and my life partner Bob who bring humor to my life.

What projects are you currently working on?

Women in Innovation, WIN—The platform for women who innovate and those who support them. I’m also designing a Collaboration Lab for WIN, and looking for partners to create the next Women in Innovation Summit 2014.

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