Meet The Speakers – Ricco Nourzad

Meet an Agile Saturday Tallinn XVI speaker, Ricco Nourzad (Austria), who will run a workshop “Unlock the Key to Success with Effective OKRs”!

Topic: Unlock the Key to Success with Effective OKRs!

About the workshop:
Do you struggle with setting and achieving your organizational goals? It’s time to take control with Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). In this high-energy workshop, we’ll demystify the process of creating successful OKRs that drive business growth. You’ll learn how to set clear and measurable objectives, align your OKRs with company strategy, and engage all stakeholders in the process.

We’ll also cover techniques for setting attainable key results, tracking progress, and regularly adjusting goals as needed. Say goodbye to guesswork and hello to accountability and transparency. I’ll share best practices for creating a culture that supports and celebrates the achievement of OKRs. By the end of this session, you’ll have the tools to create and implement effective OKRs that drive results and take your organization to new heights. Don’t miss this opportunity to turbocharge your OKR game! Join me to learn how to unlock the key to success with effective OKRs.

Ricco about himself:
Climbing to the top of Austria’s highest peaks, I discovered a diverse and ever-changing landscape – much like my career journey as an Agilist, Consultant, and Founder. With over 10 years of Agile experience and a global consulting practice, I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table with the clear goal of creating environments, where people work best together. Here, one of many possible ingredients is the best possible rollout of OKRs – that’s where I come in.

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Registration to Agile Saturday Tallinn XVI is now open!

Please reserve your spot by registering to Agile Saturday Tallinn XVI through Eventbrite ticketing system.

We kindly ask you to reserve a seat only if you are really planning to show up and please cancel your reservation if your plans have been changed! This way we can better plan and organize the event to make it really beneficial and enjoyable for the participants. Thank you for collaboration!

NB! Please be aware, that there will be photo shooting and video recording at Agile Saturday XVI conference. By registering to the conference, you are giving your consent that these photo and video materials can be published in any media and can be used by Agile Saturday organisers for promotional activities in future.

This year we will have 5 main themes at Agile Saturday Tallinn – we will look at Agility through 5 different lenses:

Registration to Agile Saturday Tallinn XVI is now open! Read More »

The main themes of Agile Saturday Tallinn XVI

This year we will have 5 main themes at Agile Saturday Tallinn – we will look at Agility through 5 different lenses:

  • Leadership Agility
  • Organizational Agility
  • Business Agility
  • Team Agility
  • Product Agility

Use this opportunity to learn, to reflect, to get inspiration and maybe to get confused sometimes.

The registration will be open really soon! Stay tuned!

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Meet The Speakers – Giuseppe De Simone

Meet our first keynote speaker, Giuseppe De Simone (Sweden), with a talk “Leadership in today’s world”!

Topic: Leadership in today’s world

About the talk:
In an era of global challenges, volatile markets and exponentially faster changes, it is impossible to rely on the ability of a few people to be able to take all the necessary decisions at a time suitable for the business needs. Therefore, leadership can not be seen just as a skill or trait of a limited number of roles: it must be seen as an organizational capability to grow. 
The empirical evidence agile42 got from multiple client engagements, supports the model that there are no leadership behaviors that are inherently positive or negative. Rather, there are leadership behaviors which are more or less appropriate within a certain context and a given group of people.
Therefore building agility into leadership is key: the ability to make sense of the circumstances and flexibly adopt behaviors which are coherent with what coworkers feel comfortable with. Instead incoherent behaviors are those that are not helpful within a specific situation and might be perceived negatively in the given context. 
In this talk we will explore how an effective leader in today’s world can adopt a multi-dimensional adaptable leadership approach and use the appropriate leadership behavior which fits the specific situation as well as creates the least “motivational debt”. We will also introduce some practical tools for self-reflection and improvement of personal leadership behaviors and skills.

About Giuseppe:
Giuseppe De Simone is an engineer, leader, coach and trainer, passionate about helping leaders, teams and organizations become more productive and resilient. Being a Certified Scrum Trainer, Agile Coach and Leadership Educator, Giuseppe is one of the very few in the world holding all the guide level certifications from Scrum Alliance. Currently he leads the agile42 branch in Sweden. He has been working for almost 25 years in product development with different roles and in the last 12 years he has helped companies in various industries to create more human and skillful work environments. He has embarked on a mission to democratize leadership skills for everyone. Giuseppe has spoken at several conferences, regularly writes articles and holds webinars about agility, change management, culture, leadership and coaching.

Previous sessions:

  • Building agility into an international bank, while making employees happier. UniCredit Bank Agile Gathering 2022, Milan, December 2022
  • The ideal company culture: is there one?. HR Dagen 2022, Stockholm, November 2022
  • Sustainable solutions for learning organizations. Personal & Chef 2022, Stockholm, September 2022
  • How (and why) your Agile transition will fail. Global Scrum Gathering, Vienna, October 2019
  • Training young agile minds. XP 2018, Porto, May 2018
  • Managing in the Century of Networked Society. Agile Greece Summit, Athens, September 2016
  • Amplify Agile. XP 2016, Edinburgh, May 2016
  • Managing in the Century of Networked Society. agile42 Connect Conference Berlin, November 2015
  • The Mango Tree – How to make your company Agile, Agile Tour Vilnius, October 2015
  • How to make your company Agile. Lean Tribe Gathering Stockholm, December 2013
  • The 12 ingredients of a successful Agile transformation. Agile Prague 2013 Conference, Prague September 2013
  • Learning to be a manager in the age of Agile. LESS 2012 Conference, Tallinn November 2012
  • Behavior Driven Development…from the trenches. Ericsson Agile Conference China, Shanghai June 2012
  • Learning to be a manager in the age of Agile. Agile Croatia Conference, Zadar May 2012
  • Driving Agile Transformation by encouraging right behaviors. Ericsson Agile Conference, Helsinki October 2011

Meet The Speakers – Giuseppe De Simone Read More »

Meet the organisers!

Meet the team of Agile Saturday XVI organisers! 

Here we are, in the hall of the future conference venue, Hestia Hotel Europa, from left to right:

  • Tatjana Fadejeva, Team Manager  at Riverty
  • Einar Koltsanov, ScrumMaster/Agile Coach at Eesti Energia
  • Lauri Greenbaum, Agile Coach at SEB Baltics
  • Julia Västrik, Agile Coach at Scoro
  • Svitlana Korjus, Scrum Master at Swedbank

Not in the picture:

  • Stanislav Vasiljev, Director of Engineering at Eurora
  • Helen Koltšanov, Designer at Dojo OÜ

Except Stanislav, a co-founder of Agile Estonia MTÜ,  who has been Agile Saturday organiser since 2009, the rest of us are new team members. However, with all that great heritage from previous 15 conferences, Stanislav’s wisdom and our enthusiasm, we are more than confident that Agile Saturday XVI  is going to be again a wonderful experience for all the participants and speakers!

Meet the organisers! Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Heldin Rikk and Kaspar Eding

“Agile Organization” Track (16:15) – Heldin Rikk and Kaspar Eding 

With topic:

“Stop believing magic and face your fears – change your organization”

Short introduction about speaker:

Heldin and Kaspar have more than a decade of experience in adopting agile methodologies in finance, banking, logistics, hardware manufacturing and communication industries. They have taken several organisations through an agile transition, built new agile organisations and most importantly delivered several successful products on the way.

In search for know-how on implementation challenges, Heldin and Kaspar have found themselves in organizing management trainings and presenting the challenges in conferences. They claim to have found a cultural offset that holds organisations back from harnessing the benefits of agile. Their story is based on engineering success, but they talk about why organisations often still consider agile frameworks to be not suitable for them.

Topic abstract:

Evolution in technology is changing the game in every industry – this is not news to any business. Predicting market demand and satisfying customer expectation is becoming gradually more and more complex task. To improve strategy execution capabilities – to be faster and more adaptive – companies adopt agile frameworks. These transitions are often painful and in many cases lack the desired business impact. This talk is about the “Elephant in the room” – how we pick the methods that are convenient to adopt and dismiss the change that is really needed to move the needle.


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Agile Saturday XV – Jüri Tomingas (Swedbank)

“General” Track (11:10) – Jüri Tomingas (Swedbank)

With topic:

“Positive irritations while trying to be agile”

Jüri Tomingas


Short introduction about speaker:

Product Owner.
35+ years of extensive experience in life, somehow surviving.


Topic abstract:

What starts to happen in a big company while development teams are trying to live according to the agile values?

This is based purely on my personal bits and pieces I have noticed for the last year working as a Product Owner of the mobile development teams delivering a new generation mobile app.

I will be sharing 5 major irritations that have caught my eye and what in my opinion have had triggered a great outcome for the company!


Agile Saturday XV – Jüri Tomingas (Swedbank) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Ari Tanninen (Zulia Oy)

“Workshop” Track (15:15) – Ari Tanninen  (Zulia Oy)

With workshop:

“Take ownership of your life”

Ari Tanninen

Short introduction about speaker:

Ari is a trainer at Zulia Oy, a product development consultant at Lempea Oy, and a Recognized Practitioner in The Leadership Gift. He spends his days helping companies develop software that fit customer and user needs, and enjoys lighting the spark in people’s eyes by training them in self-knowledge and responsibility.

Workshop Abstract:

Are you stuck or facing problems in life?
Would you like to learn to lead yourself and others better?
Are you wondering how to get your sub-ordinates to take more responsibility?
Would you like to live a life of freedom?

Then join this workshop, and learn about Christopher Avery’s Responsibility Process. It is a psychological process, that explains how we all naturally react to problems, and how our brains create obstacles for us in taking responsibility. And thus living a life of freedom, power, and choice.
Understanding and practicing Responsibility may help in:
– Leading yourself and others
– Building teams
– Understanding organizations
– Breaking through problems
– Understanding behaviors such as blaming and shaming
– Living a life of freedom, power, and choice

This is an interactive 2-3 hour workshop with exercises and discussions, and no slides. You will learn about the responsibility process, learn to recognize it, and get tools for practicing and taking responsibility in your life.

Agile Saturday XV – Ari Tanninen (Zulia Oy) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Roman Zahharov (Lean Digital)

“Workshop” Track (11:10) – Roman Zahharov  (Lean Digital)

With workshop:

“LEAN analysis – universal tool to align people to really understand processes”

Roman Zahharov

Short introduction about speaker:

Senior Consultant and Partner LEAN DIGITAL, partner Lean Shanghai Co. Ltd. Roman is managing and developing business processes for 15 years. Has portfolio of clients from family businesses to Fortune Global 500 companies. Worked with multiple ERP systems SAP, Movex, NAV, DAX, Monitor, etc. I especially enjoy to introduce tools and methodologies between industries, like implement Scrum for non-IT businesses.

2003 – 2011 went from technologist to director
2011 – 2013 launch of manufacturing company in Shanghai, China
2010 – … executed dozens of LEAN and DIGITALISATION projects in Estonia, Russia, Lithuania, Sweden and China
2009 – 2016 lecturer at Tallinn Technical University “Project Management” “IT systems for Business Management”

Workshop Abstract:

Agile, LEAN, Value – very popular words and very powerful concepts, but not many really know how to “see” value and waste in business processes.

At this workshop you will learn practical way how to clearly define process, how to see value and waste in process and how to identify improvement options. You will get skills how to structurally visualize any process – from team work to landscapes of entire businesses. and all above with easy tools only.

Agile Saturday XV – Roman Zahharov (Lean Digital) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Dmitri Lebedev (Citadele Bank)

“Agile Organization” Track (15:15) – Dmitri Lebedev (Citadele Bank)

With topic:

“Conway’s Law or How Your Agile Organization Supports Your Agile Architecture”

Dmitri Lebedev

Short introduction about speaker:

Dmitri started his job as a software engineer more than 20 years ago, has delivered many software projects, failed a few, learned a lot of things from other people and now he is willing to share his stories of success and failures with broader audience. The ultimate goal of his activities is that software could be developed pragmatically, based on an engineering approach and mutual respect between all involved parts.

Topic Abstract:

According to Melvin Conway the organizational structures manifest themselves in org’s software product structure. In other words, dysfunctional organization would produce dysfunctional software architecture. Let’s try to reverse engineer organizational structures from a robust and agile modern architectural principles, and see how agile org should look like. I am going to review modern architectural and devops practices like micro-services, feature toggling, continuous delivery and etc and examine which org structures support that kind of architecture and which structures are making this nearly impossible to work. Talk is based on my personal experience and on some good known examples like Spotify.

Agile Saturday XV – Dmitri Lebedev (Citadele Bank) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Alek Kozlov (

“Agile Organization” Track (12:10) – Alek Kozlov (

With topic:

“Building organisational strategy for taming dynamically changing situation”

Alek Kozlov

Short introduction about speaker:

Organisational coach, agile strategist and service designer.

Topic Abstract:

In the world of high complexity and dynamic changes, managers tend to lose the awareness of the organisational situation. Mapping organisation strategical services, products, systems and components create an opportunity to tame situation and agree on an actionable and focused strategy to own the future.

In my talk, we will go through the complexity theory practicalities. What are the differences in management approaches, org structures and skills for different stages of your plethora of systems, services, products and components? How evolution and competition are influencing your business? How to use simple tools to co-create and unify organisational view to the organisational strategy and let the future to catch-up with your organisation.

Agile Saturday XV – Alek Kozlov ( Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Hanno Jarvet (Jarvet Consulting)

“Agile Organization” Track (11:10) – Hanno Jarvet (Jarvet Consulting)

With topic:

“Teaching old dogs new tricks. Preparing the ground before Agile can help”

Hanno Jarvet

Short introduction about speaker:

“I help organisations improve performance. Under that wide umbrella I have helped organisations of all sizes and all levels to set higher sights and to implement their goals with more speed and comfort. I have been happy to work with clients sectors, such as finance, insurance, government, education, IT, telecom, IT, media, utilities, logistics and others.”

Topic Abstract:

I help organisations of all sizes to improve performance. Sometimes the business outcomes can be improved by using Agile practices and principles. These are useful, but not sufficient. If it were easy, we would all be Agile already. Usually something else needs to happen before we can get the full benefits from Agile. How do you help the top management to set focus, create clarity around strategy, alignment in the organisation and to step back from the Agile way of working?

I will share the tools and methods I use for helping companies set strategy and to execute it. (E.g. Wardley mapping, start-up canvases, KT strategy process, Cynefin etc.) Some agenda items: – First rule of Agile club is we do not talk about Agile. If you want to influence major business decisions, you have to speak in the language of money. – Understanding your competitive landscape and internal context. – Formulating and executing strategy. – Critical issues of strategy execution: competencies, compensation, processes, and organisational structure. – Understanding principles to evolve local practices.

Agile Saturday XV – Hanno Jarvet (Jarvet Consulting) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Rainer Tikk (LHV)

“Mix Tech/Case ” Track (16:15) – Rainer Tikk  (LHV)

With topic:

“LHV’s Agile journey”

Rainer Tikk

Short introduction about speaker:

“I have more than 15 years of experience in software development management, product development, team leadership, and software engineering. During this time, I’ve worked on strategic management, organizational design, agile methodologies, full SDLC and dealt with various fin-tech and banking domains (payments, cards, core banking etc).

I believe in value driven product development, building high-quality software), continuous improvement, automation and autonomy.

In my free time, I travel, read, enjoy the fresh air on a golf course, hit the slopes on snowboards, search treasures underwater and rise my 2 children.”

Topic Abstract:

The session will provide insight of the agile journey of LHV from the past 9 years. The company has grown to 400 employees to date, with 60 people working in software development alone.

Rainer joined the IT department 8 years ago, when the department itself was only made up from 2 people. He will talk about the lack of agility then and the road to agility in the long run.saa

What is agility in the context of LHVs journey to becoming a new generation bank and the only Estonian bank exporting its services?
What are the difficulties and challenges of being a bank as well as a tech company – challenges of talent, teams, building products, complying to regulations and keeping up with the growth of the organization? Changing the course of the ship, when it’s often expected to maneuver like a jet ski?

Last year, a major change was made in the way product and IT teams work both within the organization structure as well as in “real life”. Trying to take over the Spotify teams/tribes model was a bold move, but nothing ever goes quite the way you perhaps hope, when you’re a bank, when you’re considerably large and a one-size-fits all solutions sometimes just don’t fit.

Rainer will share his honest journey of failures and successes from the past 8 years and what it’s been like to grow a team from 2 people to 60 in a financial organization.
How do you keep a cruise ship on course when you’re expected to throttle and maneuver like a jet ski?
How do you do it when your challenged by the talent war, numerous regulations and keeping up with the exponential growth of the organization?

The participants will get a closer look at the inner workings of IT in a bank, more knowledge in how a modern bank is more and more like a tech company and what are the most common struggles and inspirational success stories.

Agile Saturday XV – Rainer Tikk (LHV) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Timo Punkka (Schneider Electric)

“Mix Tech/Case ” Track (15:15) – Timo Punkka (Schneider Electric)

With topic:

“From Agile product development to organizational Agility with Holacracy”

Short introduction about speaker:

Timo has 20 years of experience in new product development. 15 years ago, he was one of the early adopters of Agile methods in embedded domain. Since then, he has helped Agile teams and organizations around the world in varying environments. Timo has academic background from three different disciplines. He has masters in electrical engineering, licentiate degree in computer science and is finalizing his doctorate in industrial engineering and management at Aalto University, Helsinki. He is passionate about organizational learning, and always looking for opportunities to gain more knowledge by working with people, teams and organizations in different domains.

Topic Abstract:

Gather around for a story of 2-year bottom-up Agile scaling with Holacracy. Building on Agile development, the case organization seeks company-wide Agility. Concerned with moving beyond Agile development? Join us, and get inspired!

Below is a 45 min timeline, based on talk format. Parts can be replaced with exercises. The content can also be delivered in a longer workshop format. This time I personally prefer giving a hands-on account from the industrial corporate setting. It seems that many are missing this encouragement.

There is a PhD research behind this story (but this is not academic presentation).
Holacracy plays a role in the presentation (but this is not a Holacracy promotion).

Learning objectives
• An understanding why Agile product development, while beneficial, is not the end of the story
• A model for organization for reaching towards organization-wide Agility
• A piecemeal approach for experimenting towards the future state of the organization

Agile Saturday XV – Timo Punkka (Schneider Electric) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Anton Keks (Codeborne)

“Mix Tech/Case ” Track (12:10) – Anton Keks (Codeborne)

With topic:

“The need for Full-stack craftsmen”

Anton Keks

Short introduction about speaker:

Anton Keks is a software craftsman, co-founder of Codeborne, the only extreme programming shop in the region, frequent speaker at conferences, and a lecturer in Tallinn Technical University. He is also a strong believer in open-source software and agile development methodologies, author of a popular network tool – Angry IP Scanner, and a regular contributor to other open-source projects. Before founding Codeborne, Anton has led a team of developers of the award-winning internet-bank of Swedbank for 5 years, gradually introducing agile methods. During this time he has also co-founded Agile Estonia non-profit organization that organizes regular agile conferences in Estonia. During spare time he plays guitar, rides motorbike and travels to remote corners of the world.

Topic Abstract:

Developers and IT people in general tend to specialize and become narrowly skilled. In the past there was always the conflict of DB developers vs Application developers, or DBA vs developers vs testers. Nowadays developers split even more into frontend/backend/Android/iOS/whatever else. This leads to inflated teams, inefficient communication, and not following basic Agile principles, even if organization claims to be Agile. The term “Full-stack” is often applied to developers being responsible for all aspects of their work, but XP/Craftsmanship goes further – we should also take our operations, testing, etc under control.

True Agile Craftsmen can be an order of magnitude more efficient than traditional teams. Let’s break it down and see why it works.

Agile Saturday XV – Anton Keks (Codeborne) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Juha Heimonen (Flowa)

“Mix Tech/Case ” Track (11:10) – Juha Heimonen (Flowa)

With topic:

“Wait, wait, wait a.k.a. My code is compiling: the things we wait when creating software”

Juha Heimonen

Short introduction about speaker:

Juha is a holistic software developer. He has experience in many things agile, and he is enthusiastic about simple things and human interaction in order to deliver magnificent software. He loves Clojure, cloud and people. He loves punk, both the music and the attitude.

Topic Abstract:

We take many things for granted. One of them is ‘waiting’. Waiting takes many forms, depending on context, but then again internet is full of cat pictures, so what’s the problem?

Some say software development is costly. That may be true. But it’s not very easy to point out the reason for it being so. Though, one of the things we generally tend to agree on, is that we wait. And waiting is costly.

We wait for a meeting to start.
We wait for CI build to finish.
We wait for our code to compile.
We wait for that certain pull request to be merged, so we can continue.
We wait for a daily morning meeting to start, at noon.
We wait for coffee to be ready.
We wait for go or no-go.
We wait for a meeting to end.
We wait for input from product owner.

All in all, we wait. That costs something, doesn’t it?

So what can we do?

Fear not, there’s things. Mythical one-piece flow, stupendous delegation board! Yes, there’s certain tools, methods, what-nots. But it’s so very important to understand the fundamental thing:

We wait.

This will be a light-weight talk, with a robust message: waiting is caused by simple set of conditions, with very unforeseeable consequences. But fear not, you can make the situation better!

Here’s a short introductory video as well

Agile Saturday XV – Juha Heimonen (Flowa) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Pascal Papathemelis (Agile42)

“General” Track (16:15) – Pascal Papathemelis (Agile42)

With topic:

“Going Agile with Culture”

Pascal Papathemelis

Short introduction about speaker:

Pascal has worked as an agile project manager/scrum master/facilitator of various developments in size and type for almost two decades. His focus is on people and practical approaches in order to deliver value. Currently Pascal is working at agile42 as an agile coach. Since 2014 a co-organiser of Agile Finland’s coaching circle in Helsinki and an active member of the Agile Finland community.

Topic Abstract:

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Why is it so? Everybody says that culture is important and that it needs to be improved. But a decision by the management alone and the announcement at the summer or Christmas party do not bring much. The organisational culture is based on people’s values & their behaviour. How can it be quantified in order to really know where the organisation stands on this? How to evolve it and follow up the journey based on real facts?

In this talk we will see how to identify an agile culture based on the competing values framework and how an organisational culture transformation can be measured and followed up in smaller steps.

Agile Saturday XV – Pascal Papathemelis (Agile42) Read More »

Agile Saturday XV – Antti Karjavainen (Flowa Oy)

“General” Track (15:15) – Antti Karjavainen (Flowa Oy)

With topic:

“Facilitating Change through Helping Leaders Grow “

Antti Kirjavainen

Short introduction about speaker:

Antti Kirjavainen, a co-founder of Flowa ( and a coach at Lean-Agile Culture Accelerator at Yle, is an entrepreneur and a coach helping digital businesses reach their potential through new methods of creative and knowledge work.

Topic abstract:

In the face of digitalization and amidst risk of being disrupted by new products, companies, and business models, many companies have woken up to the need for change in company culture, management and the way of operation.

Whether the goal is business agility, the culture of experimentation, or agile company culture, the key challenge is how to foster change in a large organization. The big question is: what investments to actions help make the change stick in the organization while still providing a return bigger than the investment.

One approach to this that I have been a part in at Agile Company Culture Accelerator at Yle, as well as other companies, is creating coaching curriculums to grow leaders and change agents to enact and catalyze the change itself.

Change in organizations spreads like innovations in the population: in a network. You can reach the early adopters with a small change agent team, but to spread the meme of change wider in the organization network, you need other tactics.

In coaching curriculums such as Yle’s Culture of New Work Leadership Coaching, we offer coaching for the hub persons in the organization network (not necessarily the ones in management positions) to grow as and into leaders and change agents. This way, we foster the change in the organization at an arm’s length. This way, different parts of the organization can tailor the change according to their own context and take responsibility for the change themselves.

In this talk, I will share my experiences in designing and carrying out these kinds of coaching curriculums for the leaders. I will also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this way of fostering change.

This talk is targeted at coaches, change agents and managers who want new ideas on how to foster change in their organization and for their customers. The audience will walk away with tips on how to, and how not to, organize a coaching curriculum for leaders, as well as an idea how and in what context it makes sense to consider this way of fostering change.


Agile Saturday XV – Antti Karjavainen (Flowa Oy) Read More »

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