At the final seminar on 27th of April, the groups presented their pitches to the partners and the whole class. All the ideas and solutions were great, the presentations were beautiful and even though the seminar was online everything worked well (or even better) than expected. Good job everyone!
We were the final group to have the presentation and waiting our turn was the hardest part of the seminar. We were super excited about our solution; we prepared our work carefully and practiced the pitch a lot. Our group did a great job and we truly enjoyed the process.
After the seminar session we proceeded to a meeting with our partner e2 and mentor teachers. Among many other things, we discussed about the extreme topicality of our challenge. Our partner, e2, is using their knowledge and experience in different working groups, and we found out that they are also solving the problems regarding the current food supply chain’s situation. So, it was nice to hear that our work is important for their needs. During the course we worked quite independently and met with e2 just a couple of times. Therefore, we were happy to get good feedback. Our partner is very pleased with our work and they gratefully take all the material we can give to them. We also got invited to their office once the situation normalizes, yay!
We also talked about the difficult parts of our work: the time limitations, flood of information and about conducting a qualitative research which really was a puzzle as none of us had any previous experience in it. We got so much material that we really had to knock our wise heads together (remotely, of course) and work as a team to come up with a suitable solution for the course’s purposes.
Difficulties, or should we call them challenges, usually lead to learning, as happened with us during these couple of months. This course was unique for us in two ways: we had a very hot topic and we worked almost totally remotely. When Kaisa, from e2, asked what we have learned during the course, our answers circled around these two themes. We deepened our knowledge about the food system especially here in Finland and understood even better how connected countries are to each other. Even though Finland produces a lot of food, we are still dependent on other countries regarding for example fertilizers and fuel. The course was also a step into remote working and studying. We are happy that we got to meet each other a couple of times before the course went online, but we, and it seems like the whole course, were surprised how well we worked from home! For us the most useful platform, besides Zoom, was definitely Flinga, where we made lot of mind maps especially in the first phase of the course.
In the general discussion with all the students and teachers, other students mentioned that they worked more efficiently like this. Also, the possibility for more flexible working times was seen as a plus. Remote working does not seem like such a challenge after this course.
All in all, our group is very happy with the final seminar, and our work in general. It was so nice to see the smiles on our group members’ faces when we had presented our work and gotten good feedback from e2. We did it!
Take home message: trust the process!