Late last year, I joined Alex Glennie of the UK-based innovation foundation Nesta on a short project in Helsinki.
Alex & I were supporting the Finnish innovation agency, Business Finland, as they explored the concept of “mission-oriented innovation”, where innovation policy is linked to societal missions.
Using ‘fast facilitation’ methods to swiftly elicit key ideas and pressing challenges, we asked participants to consider their mission in terms of the value created by their relationships with stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem.
Riitta focusses on the playful and collaborative aspects of the activity. Library Island allows people to jointly approach difficult issues in a safely fictional setting, before taking the lessons learned back into the real world, where they may be applied to achieve practical goals.
Sirota’s article gives the lie to claims that a culture of rigorous testing is the only way to improve standards in US schools – pointing to Finland’s success in creating a world-class education system by cherishing teachers, rather than imposing tests.
Teaching staff lie at the heart of Finland’s achievement. Well-trained, well-supported and given a great deal of independence, Finland’s teachers are trusted academic professionals, choosing their methods and materials themselves. Testing is used as the teacher sees fit – for self-evaluation and development, rather than for league tables and outcomes.