WiT Programme

WiT Programme - Bridging capacities to advance resilience of vulnerable communities

Written by Saija Hollmén, 9th of August 2023
Teachers and students in Tanzania
Image: Saija Hollmén

The gap between practice and academia

Amidst our contemporary global challenges, university education alone cannot respond to the needs of changing societies, nor can societies manage without the adequate research and knowledge base that universities can provide. The gap between academia and work-life has been widely acknowledged, but the distance between them often seems unsurmountable. 

Aalto WIT Programme has been established to address the gap. It is an academic platform with high quality research and teaching capacities, that that provides an opportunity for organisations and individual professionals for networking, for identifying mutual interests and building long-lasting relations. 

In this blog I elaborate two of the reasons and guiding principles of the WiT Programme, that have guided its development.

Bridging opportunities

Organizations that work on various areas on the humanitarian field may find it difficult to find resources and means for updating their methodologies and widening their networks. On the other hand, individual professionals that possess valuable capacities may find it difficult to enter the field and find the opportunities to investigate their own potential in the field. 

WiT Programme is an opportunity to test one’s own boundaries and get involved with grass-root case work on the humanitarian field, while learning research skills and critical systems thinking. It is a platform where organisations and individuals can find their match, while creating wider networks. It is a framework that allows for research methodologies to become more widely used in grass-root case work, for better informed decision-making and wider understanding of local challenges. 

An entry point to collaboration 

The WiT Programme provides a framework for individual professionals to benefit from an academic research environment, and an opportunity to get involved with grass-root projects on the humanitarian field. 

For organisations it allows access to new forms of knowledge creation and a pool of enthusiastic professionals with growing capacities, tailored for the specific needs of their organisation. 

It is an entry point for stakeholders from both practise and academia, to create connections and create new knowledge on issues that are specifically related to the collaborating organisations. 

WiT Programme aims to create a new standard and a base line for collaboration between practice and academia. 

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