The power of allowing oneself to try

Risk money – riskiraha, there’s a word that doesn’t come up often in a university context!

But yet here we are, all of us leading Digiloikka-projects with a blessing that we are allowed to try, take risks and perhaps in the midst of everything, realize that a particular maneuver was a great trial but was followed by an error.

I am happy to say that in our Digiloikka, the ROUTE-project, major setbacks have not occurred, albeit there is always something to learn from your actions. I am more than excited to report that staff and students of ECGS have been eager to seize the opportunities provided by the Digiloikka funding. In the past months we have seen our students emerge themselves into twitter training, organize a streamed and recorded event, the ECGSustainability NOW,  and take their first steps in clarifying their aims and skills through portfoliowork. Our staff and students have also eagerly taken into use the new study planning tool SISU and attended multiple live-streamed sessions both as a part of courses and new Personal Study Planning activities. Currently we have recruited two student teams, one working on establishing a Sustainability Science blog together with HELSUS and the student network Resilience, and the other planning and executing videos of our Master’s programme.

The level of enthusiasm and involvement has been heartwarming and inspiring. And I dare say one of the main things behind these successes has been the knowledge that we are allowed to try, as individuals and as a community. We do not have to master everything at once and the first version can be a mere idea of something. The first time we do a portfolio we are still trying to grasp the idea and figure out the best ways of doing it all. When we stream a lecture for the first time, it might mean that the sound ends up being slightly off or we do not always remember where the camera is.

Or we might nail it on the first go.

Allowing oneself to try and risking that it will not be perfect from the get-go, does not that we program ourselves for failure, but rather that we acknowledge that there is a first time for everything. And that, indeed, it is better to try and have a mediocre or even poor first result than to never step out of your comfort zone.

With this being said, I hope that we all dare to make the most of this unique possibility. And if you ever wish to share what you are doing or get a glimpse on what has been going on in our project, don’t hesitate to be in touch! I’d be more than happy to share, what I consider, our success points, as well as things that have not gone according to plan A (or even B).

Polishing the PSP process in ECGS

In ECGS digiloikka, the ROUTE-project, our focus is on making clear paths.

Paths that enable our students enjoy their time in ECGS (Environmental Change and Global Sustainability Msc programme) and paths that form clear structures all the way from the very first days of orientation week, to planning and finalizing a Master’s Thesis in ECGS. All this is done with keeping in mind, and taking advantage of, current projects and developments of University of Helsinki. Using new platforms, or improved old-ones, is one of the things we are looking into, and things like SISU, Oodikone and ePortfolio are just some the Steering Groupe of ROUTE has become familiar with.

Despite looking into multiple platforms and finding bunch of cool stuff, everything we do in ROUTE goes Process, not Platform first: making the most of developments regarding digital platforms, but not letting them define us. Behind each potential platform there is a person in the need of doing something. Lue loppuun

Sharing ideas and inspiration

During the first few months of the ROUTE project (Reshaping Orientation, Unity and Team-work in ECGS Master’s Programme) it has been important to get to know other projects and developments that are on their way in the University of Helsinki. This has meant countless e-mails, yammer-questions and coffee sessions.

”What exactly are you working on?”, has been a question repeated multiple times during this spring. And let me tell you there are many exciting things on their way!

SISU, Grappa, Oodikone and Eportfolio are just some of the exciting new possibilities that the university is developing. In ROUTE, knowing about these developments is crucial; we aim to make the most of current developments and new ideas, to think about how our processes are best strengthened by new platforms and developments already within HY. Lue loppuun


As I meet new people through my work as the project coordinator of the ROUTE-project (Reshaping Orientation, Unity and Team-work in ECGS Master’s Programme), there are some questions that come up quite often. Here I have gathered some of the main ones, in order to clear some of the misconceptions regarding our project.

What are you really aiming to achieve with the ROUTE project?

The ultimate aim of the project could be summarized in the following quote from one of our steering group members: “Making students and staff feel at home in ECGS Master’s Programme”. Lue loppuun