3/2020, Abstracts, In English

Abstracts 3/2020

Editorial: Together We Can Do More

Silja Kostia, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, silja.kostia(at)tuni.fi
Kaija Saramäki, M.Sc. (Environmental forestry), Lecturer, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, kaija.saramaki(at)karelia.fi
Tove Holm, PhD, Coordinator, The Baltic Sea Challenge, City of Turku; Associate Researcher, University of Gävle, tove.holm(at)turku.fi

Finland is committed to the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development binding all UN member states, Agenda2030, which was adopted in the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. There are 17 objectives for sustainable development in Agenda2030, many covering social sustainability (Ympäristöministeriö, 2020). Especially the following objectives involve social sustainability: No poverty (1), Zero hunger (2), Good health and well-being (3), Quality education (4), Gender equality (5), Decent work and economic growth (8), Reduced inequalities (10), Sustainable cities and communities (11), Peace, justice and strong institutions (16), and Partnerships for the goals (17).

In Finland, it is Government’s duty to supervise implementation and follow-up of Agenda2030. The goal is to create solutions for challenges in sustainable development, as well as to provide students competence capital required in the job market. In summer 2020, Finland submitted their second Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The review highlights higher education institutions that promote Finnish ”competitiveness, wellbeing, all-round education and culture, and sustainable development”. Several universities have ”worked systematically to integrate sustainable development into different fields of study”. Many of them also provide ”transdisciplinary minor subject modules in sustainable development”. (Finnish Prime Minister’s Office, 2020.)

For this themed issue, we received over twenty article suggestions, with authors from 15 different universities and three stakeholder groups. In our opinion, this emphasises the important role of higher education in promoting social sustainability via the roles of education, research, development and innovation activities and regional developers. The conventions of promoting sustainability are intertwined in the articles in various ways, and the scale of promoting social sustainability varies from global to very local.

The viewpoint of collaboration and cooperation emerges as promoting social sustainability. In practice, it means cooperation between stakeholders, students and/or the staff of the universities. Collaboration is present in developing and implementing teaching, peer support of the students, as well as in developing tourism and travelling. Many articles suggest that if students gain work-related competences (teamwork, interaction, etc.), those will promote social sustainability after their studies. Promoting circular or bioeconomy is also present within the theme of social sustainability.

Naumanen et al. (2019) have explored that nearly 90 percent of all Finnish innovations of this decade support achieving sustainable development goals. They perceived that sustainable development innovations add value to companies. This demands broad cooperation by the public, private and third sector actors. In Finland, we need to be able to create ”networks of expertise that can provide comprehensive solutions to the needs of the target countries, and to be able to conceptualise our offerings to be an effective and understandable solution to the needs of the target countries”

In our call for papers, we wanted to encourage authors to describe unsuccessful experiments and challenges, as well, and in some articles, they have been presented. Amy Edmondson from Harvard University has observed that work communities that report their mistakes most are the most successful. In teams with great mutual trust and respect, people have the courage to openly admit made mistakes. The same team qualities increased innovativeness, commitment and motivation of the employees, and lifted it to success (Saarinen, 2020).

Working as a themed issue / guest editor has been rewarding and we warmly recommend it to all. In addition to learning more about editing and writing, as a guest editor you can widen your networks and quickly gain a comprehensive view on how the subject of the theme is being developed in universities. So why not be a guest editor!

Finnish Prime Minister’s Office, 2020. The Voluntary National Review 2020 Finland. Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Publications of the Prime Minister’s Office 2020:8. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-287-947-9

Naumanen, M., Heimonen, R., Koljonen, T., Lamminkoski, H., Maidell, M., Ojala, E., Sajeva, M., Salminen, V., Toivanen, M., Valonen, M., Wessberg, N., 2019. Kestävän kehityksen innovaatiot: Katsaus YK:n Agenda 2030 kehitystavoitteisiin ja vastaaviin suomalaisiin innovaatioihin. Valtioneuvoston selvitys- ja tutkimustoiminnan julkaisusarja 2019:62. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-287-795-6

Saarinen, M., 2020. Yllättävä tutkimustulos: Eniten omia virheitä raportoivat työyhteisöt menestyvät parhaiten. Tekniikka ja Talous 30.8.2020.

Ympäristöministeriö, 2020. https://www.ym.fi/fi-fi/ymparisto/kestava_kehitys/mita_on_kestava_kehitys, haettu 5.2.2020.

Key words: Agenda2030, education, RDI, SDG, sustainable development, university of applied sciences, work-related collaboration


Sustainable Nature Tourism With Co-creation

Laura Puolamäki, PhD, Landscape Specialist, Southern Finland Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation (Etelä-Suomen Maa- ja kotitalousnaiset), laura.puolamaki(at)maajakotitalousnaiset.fi
Niina Ihalainen, M.Pol.Sc., MBA, RDI Specialist, LAB University of Applied Sciences, niina.ihalainen(at)lab.fi 

The starting point of the Maisa project is natural and cultural landscape. Productized landscape seems to be a growing attraction among domestic and international visitors. It has become highly necessary to explore new areas, and focus on rural entrepreneurs, who are operating on their home field, near the villages and private land, where public operators, like natural parks, are not able to extend their services.

We piloted several products for private nature tourism actors during the project. The co-creation, testing, analyzing and finalizing process resulted a conclusion, that such a process illuminates the local socio-cultural sustainability. It negotiates the local limits of sustainability, explores the mundane sustainability practices, maps connections between people, landscape and business, and weaves new networks. The feedback from pilot customers and participating entrepreneurs indicates, that the project enhanced and triggered willingness in capacity building for landscape-based tourism.

Key words: co-creation, nature tourism, piloting, well-being, socio-cultural sustainability, health care and social services, tourism and hospitality


Producing More and Better Environmental Information in Cooperation

Outi Laatikainen, M.Eng., Senior R&D Expert, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, outi.laatikainen(at)kamk.fi
Pia Haapea, Lic.Tech., Principal Lecturer, LAB University of Applied Sciences, pia.haapea(at)lab.fi 
Tatiana Samarina, Phd, Project Researcher, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, tatiana.samarina(at)kamk.fi 

Achieving solid situational awareness in environmental monitoring is a challenging task, since very often the availability of relevant and up-to-date background data on environmental phenomenon is limited.  Combining different technologies and digital methods with the principles of sustainable development, socio-economic and environmental sustainability, offer plenty of opportunities for creating new kinds of participation and background information concepts.

This article presents two case studies from KAMK and LAB University of Applied Sciences in integrating participatory observations as a supportive tool for creating better situational awareness on local environmental circumstances. From the societal viewpoint, participatory observation provides a possibility to integrate also socially vulnerable groups in dialogue-building, which might help to integrate these groups into societal interaction.

Key words: environmental monitoring, participatory observations, environmental assessment, sustainability, collaboration with society  


Producing Material for Teaching in Shared Use – Co-teaching

Minna Palos, M.Sc.(Econ.), HAMK Bio Research Unit, Häme University of Applied Sciences
Nina Kokkonen, M.Sc.(Forestry), HAMK Bio Research Unit, Häme University of Applied Sciences

The Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland financed the development project Circular Economy Competence to Universities of Applied Sciences, where study material was produced for the teachers’ shared use. Circular economy material was tested and further developed. This article examines study material from the perspective of co-teaching and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Key words: KiertotalousAMK, shared teaching, shared teaching materials, sustainable development


Well Done! – Social Sustainability in Elderly Services

Sari Saukkonen, M.Health Care (Physiotherapist), Project Manager, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk), sari.saukkonen(at)xamk.fi
Anja Härkönen, M.Sc. (Econ.), M.Soc.Sc., RDI Specialist, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk), anja.harkonen(at)xamk.fi 

Decent work and economic growth are part of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It refers, among others, to a sufficient salary, well-being at work and occupational safety. One sector that requires further inspection and developing in Finland is services for the elderly. The employee’s participation in the decision-making concerning work increases well-being at work. When employee experiences being heard and is content with his/her work, it will be positively reflected in the customer’s service. These themes are discussed in two projects carried out by the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.

Key words: elderly services, participation, RDI, social sustainability, well-being at work

Social and Health Care Studies: Focus on Yound Employees’ Ability to Work

Hilla Sumanen, PhD, Adjunct Professor in Health Politics, Principal Lecturer, Southern-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, hilla.sumanen(at)xamk.fi
Anne Kouvonen, D.Pol.Sc., Adjunct Professor in Community Health Science, Professor in Social Politics, University of Helsinki, anne.kouvonen(at)helsinki.fi 

Young employees’ work ability has become a growing concern over recent years. Overall, as it could be expected young employees are in good health; however, early work disability is becoming more common. But why? The research evidence is still scarce but increasing. Young employees’ work ability is a feasible phenomenon to look at during the social and health care studies. This phenomenon facilitates learning and insights, as the current research evidence leaves a lot of room for students ’own discussion and conclusions. Currently, young adults are less in the focus of social and health care, but existing studies show that there are specific characteristics of this client group that future professionals should be aware of. In addition, previous studies strongly suggest that work ability problems affect particularly those who work in the health and social care sector, meaning that future professionals should consider how to maintain their own work ability.

Key words: health and social care sector, work ability, work disability, young adults, young employees


The DUUNI Model:  Parenting Skills to the Use in the World of Work

Mari Berglund (M.Health Sciences, Doctoral Student, Midwife), Lecturer, koulutusvastaava, Turku University of Applied Sciences,  mari.berglund(at)turkuamk.fi 
Tuula Hyppönen (M.Soc.Sc., Family Psychotherapist, Functional Group Work Instructor) Lecturer, LAB University of Applied Sciences, tuula.hypponen(at)lab.fi 
Janina Luoto (M.Ed., M.A.), Teacher, Turku University of Applied Sciences, janina.luoto(at)turkuamk.fi 
Veera Vähämaa (M.A.) Literary Arts Instructor, Literary Artist, Kirjan talo ry (The House of Book Association), vjvaha(at)gmail.com 

The “DUUNI – Vanhemmuuden taidot työelämävahvuudeksi” (Parenting skills to the use in the world of work” project (2018–2020) is a national project funded by the EU 2014–2020 Programme for Sustainable Growth and Jobs. The coordinator of the project is Turku University of Applied Sciences, and the partners are LAB University of Applied Sciences, University of Lapland, Kirjan talo ry, Lounais-Suomen Liikunta ja Urheilu ry and Caritas Finland ry. The target group was 19–26-year-old parents. The social sustainability directed objective was to find and test art-based and sport-oriented methods in the guidance of parents to recognize their own skills which are transferable to the world of work. Other social sustainable objectives were to improve methodological competence and cooperation of professionals working with young parents. To achieve this, interventions were tested in the activity sessions of parent groups, in individual guidance, and eCoaching of the instructors. The DUUNI model is a repository of best proven methods and practices to meet the project objectives. The model is available at: https://duunitaidot.turkuamk.fi/.

Key words: art-based methods, eCoaching, guidance, parenting skills, social and health care, transfer, work-related skills


Sustainable Business and Well-being from Nature

Satu Välijärvi, M.Soc.Sc., M.A., Project Manager, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, satu.valijarvi(at)oamk.fi

The Nordic NaBS (www.nordicnabs.com) project supports entrepreneurs to develop nature-based service business in co-operation with health care, social work and education actors. Most of the enterprises providing nature-based services are small rural enterprises. Users of the services are often people with special needs who can greatly benefit from nature- and animal-assisted services. Research brings up new proof about the nature’s impact on well-being. It is important and socially sustainable to find ways to benefit that impact also in the welfare services. Due to their nature environment and traditions the Nordic countries have a strong basis for developing nature-based services and enhancing their use also in the public sector. Especially in the northern areas of the countries going to nature is still an essential part of well-being and lifestyle. Nordic NaBS is financed by Interreg Nord and its project area covers Lapland, and North and Central Ostrobothnia in Finland and Norrbotten and parts of Västerbotten in Sweden. The project organisations are Lapland UAS (manager), Oulu UAS, University of Vaasa and Luleå university of technology.

Key words: education, Green care, health care, nature-based services, natural resources, small enterprises, social work, well-being


Empowering Northern Communities by Boosting Female Entrepreneurship (this article is in English)

Helena Puhakka-Tarvainen, M.Sc., Senior Project Manager, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, helena.puhakka-tarvainen(at)karelia.fi
Reeta Sipola, M.Nat.Res., Project Manager, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, reeta.sipola(at)lapinamk.fi 
Heidi Vartiainen, M.A., Lecturer, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, heidi.vartiainen(at)karelia.fi 

Key words: female entrepreneurship, gender-sensitive business coaching, innovation platform, Karelia UAS, Lapland UAS, Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, peer-mentoring


Learning Sustainability Competences in Teams and Projects

Eveliina Asikainen, Lecturer, School of Professional Teacher Education, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, eveliina.asikainen(at)tuni.fi
Eija Syrjämäki, Specialist Planner, Development of Education, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, eija.syrjamaki(at)tuni.fi

Competences of co-operation and change-making are in the core of making sustainable change. Learning Lab of Tampere University of Applied Sciences offers opportunities for student driven discussions and multidisciplinary working life projects in teams. These learning environments promote transformative learning, which is pivotal for sustainable change. According to student feed-back promoting open, team-work-based and project-oriented learning environments strengthens the sense of community, co-operation and democracy among students. All these are important for social sustainability.

Key words: community, participation, sustainable development, team learning


Are There Right and Socially Sustainable Methods to Teach Circular Economy?

Kari Laasasenaho, PhD, RDI Specialist, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, kari.laasasenaho(at)seamk.fi
Eveliina Asikainen, D.Sc.(Admin.), Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, eveliina.asikainen(at)tuni.fi
Liisa Routaharju, M.Eng., Lecturer, Southern-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, liisa.routaharju(at)xamk.fi

It is important to teach the circular economy in a socially sustainable wayThe circular economy is a multidimensional phenomenon and it requires the ability to understand things holistically. In this article, we consider are there right methods to teach the circular economy and what should be considered when increasing the social sustainability and societal impact of circular economy education. Teaching should therefore take into account the needs and learning styles of different students. In addition, teaching should take into account the use of methods that promote fast and efficient knowledge transfer from university of applied sciences to business. The most important thing would be to support the individual learning process with good pedagogical practices.

Key words: circular economy, good practices, social sustainability, sustainable development, teaching methods


Circular Economy for BBA with or without Systems Thinking

Annariikka Rosendahl, M.Soc.Sc., Bachelor in Hospitality Management, Project Specialist, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, annariikka.rosendahl(at)haaga-helia.fi

Circular Economy (CE) initiative is relevant to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Both of these world-transforming agendas include Systems Thinking (ST) as key element. However, there are only indirect indications of what ST stands for these two narratives in practice. In addition, ST is seldom defined per se. There are trade-offs between SDG and Circular Economy in relation to certain CE practices, therefore the orientation of Systems Thinking adapted is topical.

This article discusses how Systems Thinking could be promoted in the degree education of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) while implementing the emerging education for Circular Economy. What are the potential adaptable elements of ST for the BBA educational programmes? How can the future business professionals enhance the CE and the SDG benefit from Systems Thinking? The tentative elements of ST that have been associated with ethical and sustainable economy are pointed as an example.

Key words: Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), business and administration, circular economy, sustainable development, systems thinking


Good Deeds within Research Studies

Teppo Leppälahti, M.Sc.(Econ.), Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, teppo.leppalahti(at)laurea.fi
Sari Heikkinen, PhD, Director of Research Program, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, sari.heikkinen(at)laurea.fi

Students’ phone interviews during Covid-19 were not only training on how to collect data for a research purpose. Informants were elderly people, who were socially isolated. Although the originally planned sampling and personal interviews were out of question, the data collection succeeded well. The students contacted senior citizens in their own personal networks. Research interviews were empowering contacts. They were the good deeds of the students and the school.

Key words: business studies, companionship, project learning, social and health care studies, welfare


Digital Thesis Conference – The Bridge to the World of Work

Kaarina Sirviö, Doctor of Health Sc., Principal Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, kaarina.sirvio(at)savonia.fi
Leena Tikka, Lic. Health Sc., Principal Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, leena.tikka(at)savonia.fi
Pirjo Turunen, Lic.Soc.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, pirjo.turunen(at)savonia.fi

It was necessary to develop new ways of working taking advantage of digital opportunities because the coronavirus epidemic.  A digital thesis conference was implemented in Savonia University of Applied Sciences. In the conference, the socially sustainable development and participation had an important role. The students made e-posters and presented them for the world of work. By making their presentations, they were able to demonstrate their expertise. Feedback from this kind of conference model was very positive. So, implementation of the conference will continue with this digital form and also by developing the possibility of interaction.

Key words: digitalisation, participation, social and health sector, socially sustainable development, teleconferencing


Everyone Benefits from Graphic Communication

Tanja Gavrilov, M.A. (Cultural Studies), Sign Language Interpreter, Bachelor of Culture and Arts (Graphic Design), Lecturer, Humak University of Applied Sciences, tanja.gavrilov(at)humak.fi

Graphic communication is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) method and used by, among others, people who have difficulties understanding and producing speech. The method is also used by their families and by the professionals. Luckily, the advantages and possibilities of this method are seen today more widely, because we all benefit from the method. The graphic communication is part of the repertoire of methods and languages that belong to the expertise of the Humanities University of Applied Sciences (Humak). In both education and project activities, our goal is to remove communication barriers of environments and interaction situations, and thus promote linguistic accessibility, which enables social sustainability to be achieved.

Key words: graphic communication, interaction, linguistic accessibility


Multidisciplinary Teaching Prepares for Multiprofessional Collaboration 

Outi Ahonen, PhD (Health Science), Principal Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, outi.ahonen(at)laurea.fi
Päivi Harmoinen, Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Tuija Partio, Development Manager, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Tarja Paukkeri, Development Manager, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Today’s challenges in a sustainable society and regional cooperation call for wide-ranging cross-sectoral problem-solving in order to secure good life chances for future generations. Learning takes place in a community of practice, the characteristics of which are divided into the dimensions of mutual commitment, shared practices, and a common goal. This survey describes the views of university of applied sciences (UAS) social and health care teachers on the factors that promote and slow down multidisciplinary teaching. The goal is to increase multidisciplinary teaching for different fields of study in UASs. The multidisciplinary work of a teacher requires an enthusiastic attitude and courage for new experiments. Multidisciplinary teaching is promoted by clarifying a common goal and strengthening commitment. However, the implementation of multidisciplinary teaching still poses challenges for the operation of UASs.

Key words: cooperation, healthcare, multidiciplinary, multiprofessional, multidiciplinary society, pedagogy, social care

Robots as Eliminators of Social Isolation

Teppo Leppälahti, M.Sc.(Econ.), Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, teppo.leppalahti(at)laurea.fi
Sari Heikkinen, PhD, Director of Research Program, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, sari.heikkinen(at)laurea.fi

Loneliness and social isolation are serious problems today. The situation of elderly people can be especially difficult if family members live far away and abilities to use telecommunication equipment are weak. Telepresence robots may be one solution for social isolation. Those robots are available in markets already and it is the perfect time to start to use them now. Universities of applied sciences with another educational organizations play a key role as early adoption of new technology among students and in the field of elderly care as well. Additionally, telepresence robotics is a potential means to an end of decreasing social isolation. Perhaps schools could organize telepresence of their social and health care students with socially isolated elderly people as a part of elderly care studies.

Key words: business studies, loneliness, robotics, social and health studies, social isolation, telepresence


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