On March 29 seminar “Innovation in the Barents” took place in Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences. It was organized by the 1st year students of Innovative Business Services Degree Programme. The objective of the seminar was to raise awareness among the youth about innovation, innovation process and innovative ideas in the Barents Region. The symbol of innovation, chosen by the organizing committee, was an apple, which was not only depicted on the poster, but also given to every participant to fill the empty stomach in the morning and lighten up the moodJ The juicy fruit seemed to be efficient as the students came up with plenty interesting associations with the word “Innovation”: inspiring, creativity, freshness, technology, synergizing, ground breaking, thinking out of the box and etc. Luckily the lecturers were not serious respectable men in turtle-necks and glasses: Satu Ståhlstedt of Massidea.org herself told about the awesomeness and usefulness of this tool and prepared everybody`s brain for the workshop “Accumulation and development of ideas”! Participants formed groups of 7 and in a super short time came up with a challenge they were most concerned with, which they afterwards passed on to the other team. If you haven`t been there you would never believe what crazy ideas students came up with in 15 minutes… It`s like they had innovation running in their veinsJ For example, what would be the language to connect all the nations of the world!? Spinglish, of course! – answers one of the teams and clarifies that it’s a unique combination of English, Chinese and Spanish assembled online by a common effort of our civilization. Head of the organizing committee Jenna Kiviniemi comments: “I think it was very cool that guys got to work with another team`s challenge. That guaranteed different perspective and fresh attitude towards the problem. And it was just lovely, that everybody was having fun and setting their imagination free. That was a unique experience for them and I think most will continue innovating in Massidea.org”.
The other prominent lecturers opened the eyes of the participants on the diversity of innovative ideas implemented in Lapland. Heli Huhanantti, one of the RAMK students comments: “I had no idea that there is so much going on in Rovaniemi! So many interesting ventures students could contribute to! It was especially interesting to hear about the software product of Concurio company!” Indeed, Concurio marketing manager Thomas Kinnaird, by the way,a fresh graduate of RAMK, told not only about their business idea, but also concentrated on the everyday life of a newly established enterprise and its fresh and innovative approach to the working process: “Every morning we have a staff breakfast, which is always cooked by one of us. It is always fun. It lets us learn more about each other, come up with new ideas in an informal atmosphere and improves our time management skills as well as our diet.” Ater delicious advices of Mr.Kinnaird, we got useful information about the BodyFit and eMotion projects, which are both carried out in Arctic Power Laboratory. Both of the projects are revolutionary in different ways: BodyFit uses unique technologies to develop climate-appropriate clothing for policemen and miners, while eMotion is concerned with creation of electric snowmobile for the use in tourism industry of the region.
The seminar was finalized by the workshop “Innovation climate in the Barents region”, during which students came up with the challenges and opportunities of the Barents region from the point of view of those who have been living there for a long time and new-comers. The whole experience was eye-opening for both teams and served a perfect way to draw the conclusions of the seminar. Petteri Törmänen, one of the organizers of the seminar says:”We were very happy with an outcome and I think the participants as well. Each of us learned a lot and enjoyed himself quite a bit! According to the results of the feedback forms` analysis the main goal was accomplished. It also looks like there is a great interest towards our topic and we will be planning another event in the future, which, perhaps, will reach out to a bigger audience and on a more sophisticated level”.
Yulia Chechulinskaya, RAMK
Jenna Kiviniemi, RAMK
Laurea’s Massidea team organised and hosted a kickoff-event for Massidea partners from Universities of Applied Sciences from all over Finland.
The event was started with a welcome speech by the creator of Massidea: Teemu Santonen. The speech was followed by a Skype-conference with Massidea’s Indian partners who told about their current project Nimbus 2011. A group for the Nimbus 2011 – project has been created to Massidea.org and everyone is encouraged to contribute. The Skype – conference ended with a Questions and Answers-section where the audience was given the opportunity to ask questions from the Indian partners.
After the conference, each Massidea partner gave a presentation on their past and future activities related to the implementation and use of Massidea.org in UAS courses and other projects. The audience was eager to comment and ask questions after each presentation and the last few presentations were given after the participants had had lunch at Laurea’s student run restaurant Flow.
The presentations were followed by Learning Cafe-styled workshops where the participants were divided into three groups. Each group had a chairman whose job was to lead the discussion on a beforehand given topic. The topics were:
1) Massidea.org and UAS Courses
2) Massidea.org and Projects and Internships
3) Massidea.org and Theses
The participants were encouraged to write down their thoughts, ideas, suggestions and comments on a paper table cloth, so that the next group would be able to see what has been discussed previously. After spending 15-20 minutes on one table, every participant apart from the chairman moved on to the next table. After every participant had contributed to every topic, the chairmen presented the results to everyone.
Massidea.org and UAS Courses
The purpose of this workshop was to discuss and find methods for implementing Massidea.org to different UAS courses. The Learning Cafe participants concentrated on two key areas: marketing Massidea.org to teachers and educational facilities, and on the actual implementation.
The participants thought that Massidea.org should be marketed as a new pedagogical tool, a new type of solution for teachers and educators, and as a revolutionary learning environment for both students and teachers alike. Massidea.org’s visibility on other websites, especially social media websites, was also discussed by the participants. Changing people’s attitudes was seen as a challenge to Massidea.org’s marketing i.e. having people embrace this new service as an innovative learning tool.
It was agreed that case examples of how Massidea.org has already been used by different UAS is a good way to do this. In addition the participants suggested that a dedicated group for teachers could be created within the Massidea service. The group should be seen as a forum where teachers can share knowledge and experiences related to the use of Massidea.org. A list of contacts should also be provided, so anyone interested could contact teachers who have already used Massidea.org in their courses. The dedicated group could also serve as a platform for solving problems and issues related to using and/or implementing Massidea.org to courses or UAS projects.
When discussing the actual implementation, the participants saw that implementing Massidea.org should be considered at early stages of curriculum planning. Massidea.org was seen as a strong and practical platform for e-courses especially. It was agreed that it would be beneficial to involve communications teachers to any course applying Massidea.org to provide students with a theoretical background on critical reading and quality writing.
Massidea.org and Projects and Internships
The discussion on Massidea.org and Projects and Internships stimulated comments, ideas and suggestions as well. The participants saw Massidea.org as a good project tool. Especially the group and campaign features could be used for e.g. gaining visibility and transparency which in return allow the project to gain new interns and/or partners. It was agreed that internships reports could be done by using Massidea.org which would support the vision of Massidea.org being a portfolio or a new type of CV for its users. Another advantage seen for Massidea.org being used as a project tool was getting comments and feedback from parties outside the project’s organisational boundaries. For example, from companies or students from other educational facilities using Massidea.org.
Massidea.org and Theses
Massidea.org and Theses workshop concentrated on discussing how Massidea.org could be used in each stage of the thesis process. The participants saw that students who are still looking for an interesting topic for their thesis could find it from Massidea.org once different organisations start using Massidea.org as a project tool or when companies start posting topics for thesis on Massidea.org. Also, other students could publish interesting topics as well.
The possibility of finding a partner for the thesis process through Massidea.org, from either different domestic educational facilities or from a foreign university, was also considered to be possible.
Massidea.org’s content feature was seen as a good way for students writing their theses to publish (as Challenges) their research problem for other parties e.g. other students to give feedback on. In addition the students in the middle of their thesis process could also find references from Massidea.org’s existing content.
Once a student has finished their thesis, they could submit a summary of results to Massidea.org as an idea which they could link to their previously written challenge. This task could replace the traditional maturity test since it serves a similar purpose. By publishing their results in Massidea.org, the students could get more visibility for the work they’ve done for their thesis and possibly more feedback than through the traditionally used publishing methods.
In conclusion, the workshops proved to be a good method to bring Massidea.org partner from different UAS together to discuss currently relevant topics. Each workshop was able to produce new ideas, point-of-views and suggestions.
Laurea’s Massidea team would like to give a big thank you to everyone who participated to the Kickoff-event. We are looking forward to collaborating with you in the future projects regarding Massidea.org.