Creating multidimensional experiences with UN's SDGs

Aalto Ventures program, Aalto University’s entrepreneurship program, teaches students how to scale new businesses to global success and get the most out of life while doing it. One of the latest expansions for AVP has been the international summer course ‘Creating Multidimensional Experiences’, which received exceptional feedback from students already during its first year. This year the AVP team is looking to continue improving the intensive summer course and bring in the United Nation's sustainable development goals.
Group photo from the intensive summer course Creating multidimensional experiences 2019

Creating multidimensional experiences is a 3-week-long intensive bootcamp during which students learn to create competitive business concepts that solve some of the biggest global challenges. The multidisciplinary student teams start their journey as early stage startups, working through idea validation to create a business concept, and end with a sustainable business concept that makes a significant social impact which has been verified by experts, investors and various mentors. The journey is supported by the design thinking methodology with the sequence of discover, define, develop and deliver phases and a strong accent on business modelling, financial planning and pitching.

Last year, Creating multidimensional experiences (CME) had 40 students from 14 countries and 15 different universities. During the course students learned about entrepreneurship from an academic context and got to use the theoretical knowledge and tools they learned in practice. The students examined how multidimensional experiences are created at CME’s 2019 creative partner, the music festival Flow, which is one of Europe's most well regarded music and art boutique festivals.

Making an impact with sustainable development goals

This year, the AVP team is looking to expand the course to an even larger audience and make an impact. The team, consisting of Ilja Riekki, Nguyen My, Lidia Borisova and Johannes Kaira, has worked hard to update the course for 2020. The introduction of the United Nations sustainable development goals highlights a more conscientious and impactful focus for the business concepts created by the student teams. The teams choose which of the 17 SDGs they want to solve, and start to develop a business concept that aims to help reach that specific goal.

The responsible teacher for CME, Lidia Borisova, has been working with the Aalto Ventures Program team to incorporate UN's sustainable development goals in to the course. Last year Lidia received an award for impact in entrepreneurship from Kauppalehti and Suomen Liikemies-Yhdistys for her work in the field of entrepreneurship. This year she is looking to continue integrating new aspects to the Creating Multidimensional Experiences summer course.

She sees the benefits of teaching entrepreneur skills within the sustainable development goals as being two-fold. Firstly, entrepreneurial skills provide the must-have skills for adjusting to the modern world, which is full of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. The job market is constantly changing and students need to be able to adjust to the changes to find their place. An entrepreneurial skillset is vital in this regard, regardless of your field. Secondly, she sees that the SDGs provide a great framework for impactful entrepreneurship. "The goal of entrepreneurship is not only to make money, but to make the world a better place." says Lidia Borisova, referring to beliefs held at both AVP and Aalto in general

The goal of entrepreneurship is not only to make money, but to make the world a better place.

Lidia Borisova, responsible teacher for Creating Multidimensional Experiences

Life skills from the Good Life Engine and team working skills

The entrepreneurial skillset from Creating Multidimensional Experiences is supported by content from the Good Life Engine track and team work track organised alongside the entrepreneurial content of the course. These provide students the possibility to develop their individual and group identity in addition to their entrepreneurial skills.

The Good Life Engine (GLE), created by Johannes Kaira and Lidia Borisova, is a course taught by AVP that focuses on the mindset for maintaining well-being and a high energy level in life. Approaches and tools from the original 9-month-long course are being used in the Good Life Engine track in Creating Multidimensional Experiences. During GLE sessions, students get to drill down to what their personal values are and how they really want to spend their time.

The team working track focuses on team dynamics and is ran by Jari Ylitalo, who is a university lecturer and part of the teaching staff at Aalto Ventures Program. During the workshops and clinics, students get to develop who they are as team members and how to make their team work efficiently. The team working track and diverse extracurricular activities provide support for team work, but often also result in life long friendship.

Entrepreneurship summer course: Creating Multidimensional Experiences (Online)

Learn to create immersive experiences in a multidisciplinary team of international students, working online but together towards a sustainable future.

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