Refresh 2024 Unwrapped

The 2024 edition of Refresh was the sixth overall and the second one to take place in Tartu. The aim of Refresh is to inspire and provide practical insights for product and design professionals, enabling them to create superior digital products.

Now, it’s time to look back at the event through the details and numbers.


On Thursday, 23 amazing keynote speakers took the stage on 16 different occasions, covering a wide range of important topics, resulting in 10 hours of inspirational insights being shared with the audience.

The day began with an opening show. Then Siret Tuula from TEHIK and Elisabeth Raidma from Bitweb took the Round Stage. They discussed the creation of TEDI, a reusable design system for healthcare, social, and labor e-services, and its future steps. Meanwhile, the Square Stage was kicked off by Slava Shestopalov from Wolters Kluwer Enablon, who offered his insights on providing value as a design leader without hands-on involvement.

As with every proper conference, Refresh 2024 also had a demo area, where visitors got a chance to meet with representatives from the following organizations: the Estonian Academy of Arts, kood/Jõhvi, and the Tartu Vocational College, who all introduced their product and design related education opportunities.

The first day on the Round Stage ended with a discussion moderated by Anastasiia Schevchenko (Ragn-Sells), where three legendary people, Triin Kask from Soulie, Rain Rannu from Tallifornia, and Kristjan Järvi from Sunbeam Productions, gave us a glimpse into their thought process. They dove into what a creative process looks like for software, film & music products and discussed who a producer is, how they know when a “piece is ready for release” and what parallels can be drawn between these very different industries. 

The Square Stage was signed off by Mark Coleran from Volvo who talked about fantasy interfaces and how in thrillers and sci-fi films, ranging from realistic to stylized futuristic depictions, they often inspire tech and product design. However, we sometimes misinterpret their lessons. By understanding their true intentions and purpose, we can create unique and progressive interfaces today.

Throughout the first day, Refresh’s keynote speakers provided practical insights into the following topics:

👾 Design & Innovation:

  • “Using Value Chain to Maximize Design Potential” (Esko Lehtme from SEB Baltics)
  • Fireside Chat: “Decoding Design Leadership” (Slava Shestopalov from Wolters Kluwer Enablon, Esko Lehtme from SEB, moderated by Jakob Randrüüt from Pipedrive)
  • “Beyond Chatbots: Product Design in the Age of AI” (Marko Klopets from Supersimple)
  • “Emojis With a Bling” (Tanel Vari from Microsoft)
  • “The Reality of Fantasy” (Mark Coleran from Volvo)

👾 Consumer Insights & B2B2C:

  • “How to Navigate Consumer Insights in B2B2C, and Why it Matters” (Anna Albert from Riverty)

👾 Data & Product Thinking:

  • “Data as a Product: Applying Product Thinking Into Datasets” (Erik Heintare from Bolt)
  • “Product Management Meets AI Tools: Stories From the Field” (Rainer Loopere from Esgrid)

👾 Partnerships & Collaboration:

  • “It Takes Two: How to Build a Strong Product-Engineering Partnership” (Keerthi Sekar from Microsoft, Andres Tack from Glia, Selene Gnadenteich from Microsoft, and Reelika Ein from INZMO)

👾 UX & Content:

  • “Help, I Don’t Have a UX Writer!” (Kristiina Kallasmaa from Pipedrive)
  • Company Culture & Inclusion:
  • “Importance of Company Culture for Successful Product Management Teams” (Axaya Kansal from Boku)
  • "Building Products With Inclusion" (Laura Leon from Lightyear)

👾 Navigating Challenges:

  • “How to Navigate Uncertainty on the Oceans of Product Existential Crisis” (Patryk Jarzebski from eAgronom)

"I must say, it was a very focused and well managed event! Well done whole team who all involved."

– Refresh 2024 keynote speaker Axaya Kansal
Director of Product Management @ Boku

Sketch's author: Janika Mandel (@sketchnotesofjanika on Instagram)

The wonderful afterparty at Kolm Tilli wrapped up the full day of conferencing.

"It was my pleasure and thank you for the invitation. A wonderful group of people and having later had the opportunity to talk with a few at the after party, I am in awe and the talent and thinking here. The reputation Estonia has for innovation is deserved and yet completely underestimated by many I think." 

– Refresh 2024 keynote speaker Mark Coleran
Expert Visual Designer @ Volvo


Friday was the day of seminars, during which ten speakers shared 21 hours of knowledge in 7 different workshops with the seminar-goers, covering a wide range of topics.

From mastering AI features to captivating workshops for product success, participants delved into strategies for impactful user experiences. The “Lightning Decision Jam” workshop sharpened decision-making skills, while “Thinking Like a Designer” fostered creative problem-solving.

The impact of buzzwords on design responsibilities and the art of crafting compelling product narratives were explored. In a whirlwind of insights, Friday's seminars left attendees empowered and eager for more.

Sketch's author: Janika Mandel (@sketchnotesofjanika on Instagram)

To conclude, we'd love to give a huge shoutout to our partners and sponsors; without you, it would've been impossible to inspire people in the product and design community!

So please, a round of very loud virtual applause to our partners - Microsoft, Miltton, and Bitweb.

Also, thank you to our sponsors from Valge Klaar, Vinkymon, Others, Red Bull, A. Le Coq, Tere, and MÖM Organic Honey. And, of course, the community support from Startup Estonia, VOCO, kood/Jõhvi, and SPARKUP Tartu Science Park.

Your support fuels our passion, and we can't wait to share what's next! Meanwhile, follow our social media channels on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and X to stay connected with us, keep yourself in the loop about future events, and catch our event recap video, which we will share soon!