My exploration of the Tampere Smart City Week

Robots, and Bunnies, and Snow, Oh My!

This week has been amazing for many reasons. There were robots, drones, esports, and finally snow. That’s right, it finally snowed in Tampere. From what I’ve heard, it’s the hottest winter in Tampere for like 100 years, yet it still snowed this week. Granted, it has just been light flurries, but mother always said beggars can’t be choosers. Snow was not the only thing to come to town this week.

The Tampere Smart City Week is currently going on. It started on the 25th and continues until the 31st. The program started off with a bang with the Tiedon Valoa event which I was lucky enough to attend. Yes, the event was in Finnish, but there was an exhibition where all the people were kind enough to explain their products or projects in English. So, shout out to all wonderful people–and robots–at Tiedon Valoa. I met a robot named Pepper who is amazing in every way. 

If these are our new robot overlords, I’m okay with that

I mean come on, that’s simply adorable. I know what you’re wondering, and the answer is no, I did not take a picture holding Pepper’s hand. There were many children admiring Pepper, and I am not the push children out of the way guy anymore. Along with Pepper, there were awesome 3D printing displays, drones, and motion capture systems. I learned so much at the event, and I am really excited to see all the technological change and advancement happening in Tampere. I also got to speak with the owner of the famous 3D Crush Café which is a bunny and 3D printing café.

Wouldn’t you love to have cup of coffee with this little fellow?

I did not know either of those things could be made into a cafés, but here we are. Society never ceases to amaze me. In addition to learning about unique cafés, I discovered the wonders of esports.

I was at the Smart Week esports event with my amazing Tampere Region Capital of Culture team (shameless plugs for the win). I was loosely familiar with esports, but I really got to know a lot more about the industry at the event. I was really surprised by all the fans; they were from every age group, and they were all so welcoming. I know I will definitely be going to the next esports event in Tampere. Tampere, just like me, is really excited about esports, and we want it to be a big part of the culture. Look at me saying ‘we’ when talking about Tampere. I’m basically already a local. So, moro, to you all. Moro is how us locals say hello, try and keep up.

The Smart Week was jam packed with events and conferences. I was not able to attend them all because I am still a student after all, which means I do have to sometimes study instead of experiencing the culture of Tampere. The events I was able to attend were a blast, and there are still a few events remaining. Here is the link to the program if you want to check out the upcoming events or learn about the events that already happened because my blog is not enough for you It’s fine, I understand. There are just some things I can’t give you. One thing I can give you is more blogs. So, until next time, have a wonderful week. Cheers.

My name is Dillon and this is my weekly blog as I explore Tampere’s culture while working with the Tampere Region 2026 team during my semester abroad at Tampere University. The Tampere region is currently applying to be the European Capital of Culture in 2026 which is wonderful timing since I love capitals and culture.