Co-creation at work: The ‘Quality Hunters’ Programme from Finnair and Helsinki Airport

One of my favourite pastimes of late has been to collect interesting stories around innovation, crowd-sourcing and co-creation. During my recent hunt for something inspiring, I came across the Quality Hunters programme initiated by Finnair and Helsinki Airport to explore and seek out practical ways of improving the experience of passengers who use their services.

Back in 2011, this innovative programme was launched. It became an instant hit and received hundreds of applications for becoming a Quality Hunter. In the inaugural season, 8 individuals were chosen. They were then mandated to travel the length and breadth of the globe and soak up their in-flight and airport experiences. The nominated representatives were tasked to observe and note their experiences before relaying their inputs and ideas back to Finnair and Helsinki Airport to improve service standards and passenger experience. By the end of the project 260 ideas were submitted. Post evaluation, the best ideas were chosen for implementation.

One such implemented idea pertains to the ‘Airport Book Swap’ initiative. In the words of Quality Hunter, Yalotar, “What started off as an idea, has now developed into something tangible: A small room with bookshelves and books. Anyone can come in and relax for a while. There are some cozy armchairs as well, in case you’re like me and actually need to read parts of the book before choosing. So, if you have a book in your bag that you’re already done with, you can leave it to the bookshelves. Just tag it with the Book Swap sticker, write down where the book has travelled with you and choose a new book to enjoy. So happy and proud for my input!” Located at Gate 27, the Book Swap is open round the clock and definitely should be on your agenda the next time you visit the airport. Please do drop a book when you do so in the true spirit of Crowd Sourcing!

Book Swap

The Book Swap is a unique example of Co-creation. The idea came from one of the Quality Hunters, the interior design was done on the basis of suggestions put forward by members of the online community who responded as to how the Book Swap should look like (question was posed on Pinterest) and the Book Swap logo was designed by a community member. A group of professionals from Finnair and Helsinki Airport worked with the community and translated the ideas and suggestions into a tangible product.

Sounds interesting! You may join the Quality Hunters community on Twitter. You may also visit the blog at


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