Soita Mummolle

The initial pilot

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How the idea of Soita Mummolle campaign was born.

The first implementation of the concept came to life in summer ’09, when I started working in MIND (Decode Research Group, Aalto University, Helsinki). Our team’s task was to develop concepts to keep elderly people living actively and independently at home. One of our ideas was to test a small “street campaign” to try to change people’s behavior: in order to improve elderly’s lives sensibly society doesn’t need more products, more stuff, but a change of attitude and behavior. This could start at a personal level, caring more for our senior relatives.

We went on the streets of Helsinki wearing t-shirts and showing A4 signs saying “soita mummolle” (call your grandma). We simply stood there, smiling, searching for eye contact. If people laughed or reacted in some way, we asked them if they agreed with this “suggestion”.

Then we asked them to be portrayed in a picture showing the slogan “soita mummolle”, to be published later on on a blog.

Our intention was to collect as many “thumbs up” as possible: we didn’t want money, we didn’t your signatures on a petition, we just wanted them to spend a thought for a good action!

The idea revealed a certain potential, it was able to move some energy in the air and bring big smiles on people’s faces… Many were curious and asked us why we were doing this, some wanted to know more about our project. We ended up collecting around 30 photos in just one hour!

So the moment came to bring this experimentation to the next step: re-enact street actions, create a web and guerrilla campaign, try to involve media and aim to the creation of the Soita Mummolle Päivä (“call your grandma day”) in August 2010. All this to spread a good idea – which is also free – and to research how far personal involvement in society can push. Can a private citizen, with goodwill, passion and all the tools given by Web 2.0, try to change a little bit the world?

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