This time a brand new voice will echo from the basement. I’m OSAKO’s new Secretary of Cultural Affairs, the latest member of three-strong pack of employees. As I’m responsible for international affairs and communications, I intend to write in English so that also the non-Finnish speakers (or readers) can find out what’s going on in the office.

I’ve been here now for a month, and these four weeks have been filled with many things that are new to me. Not just new tasks, but new people and new kind of working culture. OSAKO’s office doesn’t really remind any of my previous work places.

Though it sounds rather gloomy, the basement isn’t that dark and eerie at all. Actually it’s quite the opposite. All six board members work in the same room and most of the time you can hear that, too; comments, ideas, and questions bounce around freely. When it’s quiet, it’s usually a sign of concentration. At least I haven’t caught anyone sleeping yet.

As a new member of the team, I have been able to observe the place and the work done here as an outsider. The very first thing I paid attention to is the balance between the individual work and the team work. Everyone gets to do their own thing independently; the work is highly influenced by everyone’s own ideas and skills. Obviously, responsibility comes along with this. Luckily no one here seems to be afraid of the challenge. And then, on the other hand, things are discussed and pondered over together. Whenever you need an opinion or feel like the decision should be made together, all you need to do is ask.

This impression of balance between freedom and responsibility has made me think what kind of a personal print I wish to leave on my own work. I guess I wish to be, above all, a constructive developer of things; have new ideas and dare to challenge some of the old habits. Hope I get to keep my outsider’s vision still a while.

Tanja Vallo

Secretary of Cultural Affairs


And my haiku, of course:

Way too much coffee

A bit of chocolate, too

Must buy chewing gum


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