Unlikely connections.

Building a bridge between Norway and Korea.

Maya Lie and GoWoon Lim first met at a dinner with professors from Seoul Women University in 2009. After dinner GoWoon turned to Maya and said: «You must join my family celebrating Chuseok next week». Two days later they teamed up in a tiny village on the west coast together with the extended family Lim. For three days on end.

The first visit to Korea happened because her husband, Paul had received a a travel grant from Grafill. They explored Korea for a month and was able to connect to several universities. After the success of their first trip, they went to Seoul every year. 

Over the years they connected with professors, designers and a large amount of students. In collaboration with publisher Ahn Graphics, Paul published Graphic Design for rainy days in Korea. With GoWoon´s help an unexpected community begun to take shape. Things started to happen. 

During a trip in 2012, Paul got sick. He was brought to the Gangnam Severance Hospital. They found a large glioma in his brain. He went straight into surgery. After surgery, Paul and Maya stayed in the hospital for two months. GoWoon came every day at 7 am and stayed until midnight. A deep and solid relationship evolved.

After that everything changed. GoWoon packed her bags and moved to Amsterdam. Paul made it home, but the cancer came back. He died June 7th 2013. Around six months later GoWoon called and said: «Maya, are you ready for company?»

For two years GoWoon and Maya travelled between Amsterdam and Oslo. Gowoon was introduced to Norwegian culture. They went hiking at Hardangervidda, swimming at Jomfruland and had an incredible roadtrip from Oslo to Lofoten, amongst others. 

After two years, GoWoon moved back to Seoul. By now, distance did not matter. As business designers and entrepreneurs they started investigating HOW to evolve their connections further. They wanted to invite people and organisations in Norway and Korea to create common ground, find shared needs, collaborate and innovate together. The question was HOW to do it.

They came from creative businesses in Oslo, Seoul and Amsterdam. They have skills in Art Direction, Graphic Design, Brand Consultancy, Design Management and Creative Entrepreneurship – but for this task they wanted to add more skills. That resulted in taking various leadership development and social technology programs.

They developed a new design subject; Collaboration Design. It provided a language, tools and simple processes to build a ecosystem for cross-cultural collaboration. From this knowHOW they felt ready to launch their social entrepreneurship, Providers of Goodness in 2018. 

Providers of Goodness is an innovation design platform based in Norway and South-Korea. The platform is build for people and organisations that want to create new business opportunities through collaboration and collective innovation.