fPlaza - Sustainable Growth and Design Thinking

Project "fPlaza - Sustainable Growth and Design Thinking" enhances the transnational cooperation and exchange of experience and good practices between Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Finland, the University of Oulu, Finland, and the Bulgarian design agency Design Studio 8. The three organisations will jointly develop innovative programs in support of self­-employment, entrepreneurship, and enterprise creation.

Partners will form a strong synergy through transnational cooperation in terms of exchange of experience, best practices and models for supporting self-employment, employability, entrepreneurship and business creation/ business growth/ organisational development through service design, design thinking, creativity, teaching formal and non-formal education, and social innovations.


The co-operation will increase understanding of the challenges of entrepreneurship also on an international level, and expand perspectives, as well as create personal, organisational and business relationships across borders.

Oulu University of Applied Sciences

Oulu UAS is a strong and multidisciplinary University of Applied Sciences. The University educates competent and innovative professionals and does active research and development. 

The studies are in the fields of education of culture, natural resources, business and information, health and social care and engineering. OUAS provides bachelor and master degree programme studies, professional specialisation studies, pedagogic studies at the School of Vocational Teacher Education, Open University studies as well as supplementary training. 

Terttu Savela, project manager

Terttu Savela works as a project manager at Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Since the year 2000, she has managed several large ESF-funded projects on female entrepreneurship and leadership. Several impact studies, academic publications and pro gradu thesis have been made of these projects, and their actions have been presented in several international congresses. The fForum project, which ended in 2014, represented Finland in European Enterprise Promotion Awards. The themes of the projects have included among others establishing a company, the growth and 

internationalisation of companies, responsible leadership as well as entrepreneurship among immigrants. By the year 2018, around 600 women have participated in the programmes.

The University of Oulu


University of Oulu is an international science university which creates innovation for the future, well-being, and knowledge through research and education. Founded in 1958, our community is 13,500 students and 2,800 employees strong, and one of the biggest and the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland. The university consists of eight faculties and many specialized research units.

Anne Keränen, project-co ordinator

Anne Keränen teaches human resources and leadership, especially responsible leadership at University of Oulu.


In addition, she works as a specialist in the area of HR / responsible leadership and business for higher education and companies

Design Studio 8

Design Studio 8 is a design and innovation agency helping people and organisations unleash their creative potential and deliver innovation at speed. The company specialises in acceleration tracks and transformation programs using service design, storytelling and creative leadership. The team consists of designers, digital nomads and innovation experts who participate in a number of national and international projects, mentor startup teams and acts as jury on entrepreneurial competition. The team is highly skilful at event management and event facilitation.

Eleonora Carnasa, project co-ordinator

Eleonora Carnasa is project coordinator at Design Studio 8, a Service Design Practitioner and Accredited Master Trainer. Eleonora has over 2,000 hours in service design and storytelling coaching with multidisciplinary teams in the Netherlands, Germany, Romania and Bulgaria and under her mentoring corporate and startup teams have implemented more than 20 large scale projects. In her previous job as a head of the European Innovation and Information Center at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Eleonora has managed international projects and performed innovation management assessment consultancy for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Contact Us

Project "fPlaza - Sustainable Growth and Design Thinking" is funded by the European Social Fund, Operational Program "Human Resources Development" 2014-2020