Aalto University Junior

High schoolers explored circular economy business models during Aalto University Junior's Business & Design Camp

The deliverables of the course were a video ad, a slide deck and a quick pitch.
Nainen katsoo oikealle ja koskettaa kuvan vasemmalta tulevaa kättä. Etualalla värikkäitä geometrisiä kappaleita
Aalto University Junior will arrange an online course on negotiations in April 2021 as well as another Business & Design Camp in June 2021.

During the last week of February, when many Finnish high schools had their winter breaks, Aalto University Junior organized an online entrepreneurship camp on business & design. The 4-day camp featured students from all over Finland and its aim was to foster business ideas related to the circular economy. The business ideas were worked on in groups of 4, and the deliverables of the course were a video ad, a slide deck and a quick pitch.

The syllabus of the camp was built in a way that encourages hands-on learning and interdisciplinary thinking. The first day focused primarily on ideation and getting to know each other, in addition to introducing the challenge of the camp: to come up with and develop a circular economy-related business idea. The second day focused on learning about basic concepts in entrepreneurship and business, such as marketing, idea validation, competition analysis and the business model canvas.

The third day of the camp focused more on the design aspect of a business and featured a lot of hands-on activities. The groups were taught how to create a visual identity as well as a video ad for their companies and then made them happen. The final day of the camp was about applying finishing touches and preparing a presentation. At the end of the final day, the groups presented their video ad, slide deck and pitch to other participants as well as our panel of judges.

Käsi pitelee asiakirjoja, punainen tausta

In addition to Aalto University Junior’s own instructors, the camp featured 3 keynote speakers. The first one, entrepreneur Kati Mayfield, spoke to the participants about her organization, FloweRescue, and the circular economy as a concept. The second speaker, Teemu Kautonen, professor of entrepreneurship at Aalto University, spoke about different forms of entrepreneurship. The final speaker, Luisa Jannuzzi, who researches and teaches design at Aalto University, spoke about sustainability and working in interdisciplinary teams. Each speaker was met with curiosity and probing questions from the students.

‘It was a pleasure for me to talk to the Business & Design Camp students about circular economy companies and initiatives here in Finland. They had really insightful ideas about what makes a company 'circular' and came up with some constructive feedback for how companies can further embed circularity in their models, even offering suggestions about how I can improve the sustainable enterprise I am involved with,’ says Mayfield, who herself is an M.Sc. (Econ.) graduate of the Aalto University School of Business.

In my experience, these four days were really successful. I got lots of valuable experience and got to improve my ability to work in a team.

Participant

The camp got great feedback, with the average overall grade being 9.42 (on a scale of 1 to 10). The response rate of the feedback survey shared at the end of the final day was 100%, with students especially praising the quality of the instructors as well as how practically oriented the camp was.

Some feedback comments from participants:

  • “A very positive atmosphere and as a whole, the camp was planned really well.”
  • “A really good course, I learned a lot of new skills and how to apply them in practice.”
  • “The instructors were nice and positive.”

“Aalto University Junior aims to teach and inspire the next generation about the core competence areas of Aalto University, namely business, art and technology. This camp serves as an excellent example of how interdisciplinary teaching can be done in an interesting and engaging way, in spite of the current state of the world”, adds Marko Ikävalko, a second-year business student at Aalto University and one of the camp’s instructors and judges.

Aalto University Junior will arrange an online course on negotiations in April 2021, as well as another Business & Design Camp in June 2021.

Read more about our upcoming negotiation course and sign up here.

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