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Entrepreneurship training, creativity and cooperation skills of growing importance in educating game changers

The theme of the annual NORDTEK Conference was entrepreneurship and how do we educate game changers for the grand challenges?

Executive in Residence Bruce Oreck emphasised that in a disruptive society creativity solves the problems. Photo: Annika Artimo / Aalto University

NORDTEK President Hilmar Janusson drew attention to the fact that NORDTEK and networks similar to it are fundamental when it comes to the development of education. An avalanche of changes is coming both in teaching and learning. Janusson emphasised that especially if we want to shape the future on engineering education the support of peer networks is indispensable.

Aalto University Executive in Residence Bruce Oreck wanted to shake up the traditional way of thinking according to which innovations are the solution of the future. Oreck feels that with regard to success, creativity will be a more important characteristic than the ability to innovate.

'Disruptiveness is the new normal, and creativity is the key in solving the problems. Creative thinking will be the manner in which problems are solved in the future.'

Aalto's innovation ecosystem trusts in meaningful activity

'Previously, if one said they were a student and an entrepreneur, it mostly meant that they had not been able to secure a summer job,' Startup Sauna's Kasper Suomalainen began his talk. 

'Our premise at the Startup Sauna has been to tackle negative attitudes.'

Aalto´s innovation ecosystem was presented by Nicolas Dolenc from Slush, and Kasper Suomalainen from Startup Sauna. Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University

According to Suomalainen, 20% of their target has been accomplished. He feels that the fourth industrial revolution is the entrepreneurial one. How we work is goint to change, and millennials can already clearly sense this shift.

Additionally, relevance will be of greater importance in the future. Purpose driven organisations outperform their peers in respective markets. 

'Are universities currently organisations of significance? If in the future, information is available from where ever in the world when it is needed, why would we need to go to school to acquire information', Suomalainen asked his listeners to consider the significance of universities.

Future makers to steer through changes

To round off the conference day, participants, who had arrived from different Nordic countries discussed entrepreneurship training and its significance in groups. As a general summary of the day, it was found that entrepreneur-like thinking will increase in the future as work is reconfigured. It will also be needed more than previously.

Participants also felt that good problem solving skills and teaching based on these were important. Additionally, discussion drew attention to especially the student perspective that degree programmes should offer more freedom and the opportunity to solve real life challenges.

The world is changing; teaching and learning must change with it and meet future needs. In the future, agility, the ability to adapt to changes and creative thinking will be the characteristics that will ensure success.

***
NORDTEK Network is a student exchange network between Technical Universities in the five Nordic countries. Its objective is to achieve more effective, competitive engineering education, as well as to increase diversity and transparency in Nordic universities.

This year, Aalto University and the School of Chemical Technology were responsible for organising the annual NORDTEK Conference.

http://nordtek.net/

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