Creative Teamwork 2020
In September 2020, the new students of the Creative Sustainability program met up on Särkkä island to take part in an intensive workshop hosted by Dr. Paula Siltonen and Prof. Mikko Jalas aimed to familiarize CS students with one other and create a sense of unity as they start their learning journey together at Aalto University.
Due to corona restrictions, a handful of students could only attend the session online while a majority was present in person. Hence, the island tour and workshop activities were conducted in a hybrid mode.
The journey to the island on a fairly cold Finnish autumn day is quite an adventurous one. While some people take a train/ tram or a bike to reach the cafe Ursula, they all have to take a 5-10 minute ferry to the island from the pier. As they reach, the majestic castle and the beautiful view facing the baltic sea wake up even the most nocturnal participants and fills them with a sense of excitement to see how the day on the inland unfolds.
Everyone is welcomed to the program and after a quick round of introductions, Mikko guides the students through the tour of the island. As students get familiarised with the history of the island, the current state, they are asked to pay close attention to the small details of the island and be mindful about their observations as acquiring these skills are also one of the goals of the course.
During the course, students got several opportunities to connect one on one and in groups with their colleagues. They worked together on playful team building activities with the overarching theme of preserving the historic significance of the island and ways to make it a more welcoming place for recreational activities. In this very engaging session, students share moments of laughter, and many aha moments as they learn about the learning culture of the program.
The change in the spirits and the state of mind is evident as participants wrap up the day and head back to catch the ferry. In the morning, while students were to an extent hesitant, by the end of the day, they were comfortable in each others’ presence and had already found some common interests.
To conclude the takeaways of the course, studies then hosted a series of 8 workshops themselves via zoom to practice the skills they learnt. The set up and atmosphere of the session was like a safe space where students were encouraged to make their best mistakes and learn not only about others but about themselves as individuals.