Meet our people

Juha Meronen, CEO at Tori in Finland, truly believes that marketplaces can help changing peoples’ behavior towards a more circular society. At Tory they have many exiting ideas on how. Meet him, Nina Felixsson, Patryk Kurczyna and Simen Eide, some of our Schibsted people.

What if there was an index on the secondhand value for products? And what if that would make people buy more high-quality goods and resell them when they don’t need them anymore?

“We have the data on value and quality to do such an index, and I truly believe that marketplaces for secondhand trade can change consumers’ behavior towards a more circular society,” says Juha Meronen, CEO at Tori,

Schibsted’s marketplace in Finland. At Tori they have concluded that a circular economy is much more than recycling and the flow of material. They are now looking more into the inner circle of this.

“It’s about making people buy things that last longer, repair and modify and then change ownership. If this became a habit it would totally change the game.”

To get there, consumers need to know why they should change their habits – the index showing the secondhand value could be that reason. If a childrens’ chair is still worth 70 percent of the original price when sold on Tori, parents that normally would by a cheaper chair might consider buying the more expensive one if they know they will get this much money back when reselling it.“We have this information, we just need to get it out,” says Juha. Yet. Tori has now initiated a Schibsted project to develop this index.

But Tori has more ideas to make us buy fewer new products – this is somewhat more advanced: what if all the things you own were listed in an inventory. Or perhaps all the things in Finland? If we knew the value of this, it might make us realize that we should use all the things we already have – instead of buying new stuff.

“We need to start thinking differently, and young people are already leading the way. We hear young people saying that buying new things is not in line with their personal brand.”

Name: Nina Felixsson. Position: UX lead.
Years in Schibsted: 5. My dream job as a child: ather Christmas, a priest or a queen

Cords makes designers cooperate

A new UX design system is fundamentally changing how updates and new features can be implemented and shared on Schibsted’s news brands’ digital platforms. It’s so unique that design teams from both Canada and Belgium have already visited and been in contact with the media product and tech team to learn about it. Cords – Core news product design system – was created by UX lead Nina Felixsson and her team.

“We have made a ‘white label’ product that any brand can use and apply their identity to,” explains Nina.

Cords is a framework for design and artwork that contains guidelines for processes and how to work on design and user experience – and it has its equivalent in code. To be even more specific: on an article level it contains design for all components – like headline, media player, image gallery, text etc. But perhaps most important – it has also changed the way the design teams work.

“Cords has become a reason to collaborate on UX design across all our news brands. Now we have weekly meetings to discuss what’s next on the agenda and what we need to improve,” says Nina.

Name: Patryk Kurczyna. Position: Staff Software Engineer.
Years in Schibsted: 6. My dream job as a child: Professional football player with Juventus F.C.

A project bigger than GDPR

Patryk Kurczyna joined Schibsted in the first internship program at Schibsted’s tech hub in Poland. Now, six years later, he and the rest of the payment team have launched one of the most complex projects so far: they have aligned Schibsted’s products and systems to the EU Revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2). We all know about GDPR – the payment directive is even more complex.

It’s all about customer authentication – making sure that you are you when you pay for something online. Now all users are required to authenticate themselves in at least two different ways – this of course means that all services charging users need to make this possible. The payment team in Poland has worked with many stakeholders within Schibsted.

“We had to migrate four million payment methods into a new system in a seamless way. All the users will still use the same payment cards – but we use another system. And at the same time, we had to do it in a fully transparent way,” he explains. So far everything has gone well.

“We have been able to maintain all payments and our clients within Schibsted are onboard.”

Name: Simen Eide. Position: Data Scientist, Finn.
Years in Schibsted: 4. My dream job as a child: A combined jumbojet pilot and a developer

Algorithms still have to learn a lot

You might think that all the algorithms that control our digital flows and the things we see online have figured out how we humans work. That is not the case at all.

“The exciting thing is that people are unpredictable.”

Simen Eide is developing features created from machine learning and AI at Schibsted’s Norwegian marketplace Finn. Strong focus areas at the moment are recommendations and personalization.

“So far we have become good at showing people what they have been looking at earlier on the site. The challenge now is to create algorithms that can predict how peoples’ behavior develop, based on interactions – to understand what happens after we’ve shown you a certain picture,” Simen explains. “We know so little still – the potential in this field is huge.”

The good thing is that it’s a very transparent field to work in – experts, universities, and companies are sharing knowledge and results to a large extension.

“The cooperation make it very exciting and we’re getting better all the time and on thinking in different ways to solve the challenges.”