C4/C5 mobility – on online meeting in April 2021

Despite preparing the trip to Iceland twice, we had to take into account
the epidemiological risk and decided to carry out the last mobility
online in April 2021. We met on Teams and Zoom platforms on
22-23.04.2021 and 26-28.2021. All project partners took part in
organising and carrying out online sessions whose aim was to present a
business idea supporting the idea of sustainable development. The
business ideas were developed and presented by students from each
partner country. Students participating in the Innovation Camp shared
their experiences with younger colleagues. The graduates of the schools
in the partner countries prepared inspiring presentations for the new
participants of the project. During the online sessions we got to know
the specificity of the countries and schools of other project partners,
we discussed the presented business ideas, we worked on the model of
entrepreneurial competence, we listened to presentations and lectures on
the idea of sustainable development. Important information on this topic
was presented, among others, by Ms. Isabel Brás from Instituto
Politécnico de Viseu in Portugal and Marcus Larsso from Sweden in
lectures touching minds and emotions.  Moreover, Ms Izabela Szczepaniak
from Revas Poland presented the topic “How students experience business
at school running virtual companies in Poland”. Students shared their thoughts on the
application of sustainable development principles in creating business
ideas and pro-ecological solutions in everyday life.  The online
sessions also included a summary of previous activities and
competency-building workshops. The goal of the mobility was fulfilled
and the knowledge and skills acquired during the sessions students will
be able to use in creating their careers and in everyday life.

The Second Year of the Project in Ulvilan lukio

What happened in Ulvilan lukio after the pandemic ruined our plans for the mobility and trade fair in Iceland?

In the middle of March 2020 we were forced to go from normal lessons to distance education overnight. It was a big challenge both for teachers and students. Everyone had more than enough to do with the lessons in the class schedule. Since the entrepreneurial courses aren’t in the schedule, we couldn’t really do much with our project. However, in May the students listened to Anssi Rantanen’s online lecture about his career as a serial entrepreneur and how to build a brand in 15 minutes with the help of a couple of applications. Students wrote about ideas they got based on the lecture. Many of them picked up the fact that it is really important to test ideas to see what works and what doesn’t. On the other hand they realised that an entrepreneur needs to have faith in his/her idea and should see setbacks as a valuable lesson.

After the summer holiday we game back to school, but all visits from or to the school were forbidden. At the begin of the school year we were still hoping that we could take our student companies to the local shopping center to sell their products or services. Unfortunately, it was considered too risky. Instead, we met local entrepreneurs online to hear how they were coping with the pandemic.

Normally only a limited number of students have access to the SLUSH’ side event takeoff. In November 2020 it was arranged online, so for example all of our students who have entrepreneurship courses were able to take part. We heard interesting lectures by Andreas Saari about moving on from difficult situations in business or in life and by Naomi Holopainen about social justice. Lidl arranged a workshop about changes in the job of a salesperson till 2050 and Nordea about bots that could help to save money.

Takeoff was our last meeting with the group that took part in the innovation camp in Silokallio from our school. They were done with the course about sustainable entrepreneurship and a new group was beginning. We got started with an online lecture about different possibilities to enter a foreign market in December. Not the easiest topic to start with, but I am pleased that different institutions have been arranging online program with entrepreneurial topics. As you can see in the pictures the second wave of the pandemic hit our region between November and December so we started using masks at school as a precaution.

We planned to have a meeting once a month, but again the pandemic had its saying in our schedule. In January the second year students were rehearsing for the traditional ball in February, because of covid 19 in two smaller groups, so we didn’t have a chance to find suitable time for everyone. In the end the government forbid the schools having the ball in February because the covid cases kept on rising. In the middle of February we had a longer meeting where we discussed the students’ experiences in entrepreneurship so far and their expectations for this course. Then we played a board game called Circula. It is a game that combines circular economy and entrepreneurship in a creative way. The game is cc-licensed, so if you are interested in it, you can download and print the materials https://circula.fi/en/materials in English, as well as in Finnish and Swedish. After the game we attended an online lecture from Aalto university. Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä talked about how sustainable development and megatrends offer a great opportunity for starting business and how to get new ideas in this field.   

In March half the Finland had only online education for four weeks. Therefore, piloting for Entrepreneurship Competence Mark was postponed and made us in April very busy. For getting the mark students have to do eight assignments. They should demonstrate among other things students’ sales, innovation, leadership and financial skills. The students found the tasks pretty complex and demanding, although they were also interesting and useful, and in my opinion they were partly too academic considering that in the entrepreneurial courses we concentrate on learning by doing and on practical skills. Only one of my students managed to perform all the tasks successfully and get the mark.

At the end of the April we also had our online mobility. The six students were able to attend every meeting despite of different schedules because other teachers let them skip some lessons. The online week taught us interesting aspects about ecological and social sustainability in entrepreneurship and gave information on the countries and schools that were involved in the project. With some snacks I tried to give the students at least a slight illusion of travelling. Because of unexpected decisions of our partner school in Iceland and after that of the national agencies we were forced to plan this online week in an unreasonable short time. That’s why there wasn’t much interaction between students in other countries. If we have Erasmus projects like this in the future, I’d like to make sure that the students are more involved in the planning the program and there is time to get to know one another and to talk with each other, also online. After all I think we made the best of it under these circumstances and can be truly satisfied with the results of our project.

Ready to start the online mobility
As if we were in Germany: Brezel & Apfelschorle
A lunch break while there was program
An example of the content of the program
Joaquim from ASPEA and “my guys”
Happy to see some students from Poland again
A bigger group of participants on our own day
P.S. The ball finally took place in May, but without audience

First steps

These are my first words in a blog EVER. It must have something to do with me being very advanced in years. But, hey, thank you very much, Patrick, for creating the chance of experiencing this extraordinary stuff.

It is a very exciting experience for me to participate in this project. Especially because I have got to know some interesting aspects of dealing with the issue ´entrepreneurship´.

There are so many facets you all mentioned in our meetings so far that I fear many of them might have dropped out of my perforated brain. So I´ll suggest to put all these vital ideas and information in a mind map which can grow / be altered / … throughout our project period. Maybe we could also motivate our students to note down their ideas of entrepreneurship in a mind map as well… We could then publish the whole lot as one of our project outcomes.

As I am a technically completely illiterate person I wonder whether it is possible to work on such a mind map here in our blog.

“The Entrepreneurs of the Future”

Project co-financed under the European Union Erasmus + program. Action ka2, Strategic partnerships,
Vocational education and training sector
No of the project: 2018-1-PL01-KA202-051120
Project title: “The Entrepreneurs of the Future”
The project was developed in partnership with the 6 organizations: Sweden, Germany, Iceland, Finland, Portugal and Poland. We have started a project at a contact seminary in Copenhagen.