JOB SHADOWING for lifelong learning & qualitative research — 03

3 min readDec 23, 2019


What are our key takeaways from this experience? /Job Shadowing at Sitra

Image 01, 02 and 03: Justyna, Paweł, and Henryk during Job Shadowing at SITRA, October 2019

>>> To read the first part of the article click HERE >>>

>>> To read the second part of the article click HERE >>>

01Long live the internship!

We believe in long-life learning as both professionals and simple humans. During our student years, we have all taken internships, however more we grew into our careers, we stopped this practice completely. Job shadowing at Sitra felt like an internship for adults and we are 100% sure that we will be doing more of such experiences. No matter how senior you are in your career — we challenge you to do one internship or job shadowing a year in one of the industries or positions analogous or adjacent to yours.

02Further motivation for working towards more circular design & economy

At Change Pilots we are constantly driven by the vision of bringing change to business through design that results in more sustainable solutions. Such shadowing experience simply reminds us that this direction is not one of the options, but rather the key fundamental of future economies where we want to play our role.

Image 01: Paweł and Justyna looking at Helsinki city from Oodi Library / Image 02: View from SITRA’s office

03Keep the 80/20 work-learn balance

Each year we take around 2 months for learning through experience, formal and non-formal education. This may sound extreme, but in the end, we take 15–20% of our professional time for that while 80–85% we keep for performing our work. After 5 years of working at Change Pilots, we see this as a crucial strategy not only for maintaining health and appreciation of our work but also preventing burnout, allowing ourselves to redefine and adjust as well as to constantly educate and update ourselves. This is especially crucial in the line of work as consultants, strategists, and facilitators.

04New point-of-view & inspirations from outside of our daily work

As facilitators and consultants, we need to constantly stretch and work out our perspectives by stepping out from the comforts of our knowledge and industry. Even if we have shared a mutual understanding with Sitra teams, we had a priceless opportunity to gain new perspectives, tools, and methods to address such areas as foresight, trend analysis, circular economy, sustainability or impact evaluation.

Image 01: Henryk explaining the concept of Design Safari for SITRA’s employees

05Working with the future, change awareness & systems thinking

We were inspired by how Sitra is addressing the hopes and fears of the future, such as the Climate Depression, which occurs in many of their research outcomes (some universities offer that service). We live in times where growing human consciousness expands beyond “me, myself and I” towards “we”. The correlation between one’s decisions and impact on the surrounding society and environment gets more noticed even if growing more complex. Growing uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity around both current times and near future calls for the balance in a form of more positive, solution-oriented communication and action. This in return gives rise to the importance of systems thinking in design, skills in facilitation change and working with foresight in organizations. It gives us a reminder about the importance of a change-maker mindset and circular systems approach at our work.

Image 01: Henryk and Justyna (from Change Pilots) and Job Shadowing coordinator Pinja Parkonnen from SITRA.

Wrapping up our reflections of the job shadowing experience at Sitra, we would like to especially thank and express our gratitude to Katri Vataja, Pinja Parkkonen and Jenna Linneo at Sitra for your kind invite, genuine interest in our viewpoints as well as that intensive time we have spent together under your guidance and support.

#humancentereddesign #solutionbasedpsychology #circularthinking #systemthinking #servicedesign #longlifelearning #jobshadowing

#sitra #changepilots #changepilotsontour

Text: Henryk Stawicki, and Justyna Turek, co-founders of Change Pilots




Strategic design consultancy that offers a unique perspective as both designers & strategists. They make unknown known & help organizations design their growth.