International networks offer a great deal more than a possibility for individuals to meet and network. Being part of a network that connects people with different backgrounds offers a possibility for individuals to enhance their professional career and development. For cities and a regions this kind of open platform offers a new kind of tool to create awareness of the place, enhance the city brand, and find new development possibilities. Moreover it helps the city to include professionals develop the business ecosystem.
Tampere – All Bright! Ambassador Network was launched in spring 2015 and it now holds around 70 internationally oriented professionals from the Tampere Region and abroad. The main goal of the network is to create international awareness of the city region among investors, professionals, students and tourists. Our goal in Tampere Region Economic Development Agency Tredea is to create a sustainable network that opens a new kind of window for international business development.
During 2016 our goal has been to reach people living abroad and invite them to become Tampere ambassadors. We wanted to expand the network internationally. The idea is to have a Tampere ambassador, your personal and professional connection to Tampere, anywhere in the world.
The three universities of Tampere provided us a great platform to expand the ambassador network abroad
We invited internationally based alumni of the University of Tampere (UTA), Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) to be our new ambassadors. Their love for Tampere would be the best asset in promoting Tampere to their connections abroad.
Our team at Tredea started first with 6 target countries: Germany, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Netherlands and the United States. We mapped these areas for alumni through LinkedIn. Our mapping resulted in hundreds of high profile alumni, a great number of which keen to take on the mission of spreading the good word about Tampere to their connections abroad. There has been a great interest from the alumni, as well as from the universities, which led to us widen the search and include India, China, Russia and Vietnam.
Some have already expressed interest to be door openers from companies that want to do business and investments between Tampere and their countries.
We are still a long way into reaching our mission of having an ambassador almost every country abroad. However, the positive messages we are receiving and the success stories that we are now seeing are great indications that we are on the right track.
The ambassador network map provides a possibility for you to find your personal contact abroad: talenttampere.fi/network-map
This article was first published in Tampere - AllBright! Magazine.