The international relations team of Proakatemia had a great opportunity to travel to this year’s Team 4 Learning event held on the 8th-9th of February in Lincoln, England. There were over 100 participants from 10 different countries (UK, Finland, Germany, Peru, Romania, Hungary, Switzerland, the Netherlands, USA, and Ireland). It was the first time for every one of us to visit Lincoln and the Team Academy at Bishop Grosseteste University.
After the event, we travelled to London for one day before heading back home to Tampere, Finland.
We felt truly welcomed to the event from the first moment we stepped in to Elliot Room in BGU Campus. In the beginning of the event we heard a speech from Camilla Carlbom-Finn, Honorary Finnish Consul to Lincolnshire and CEO of Carlbom Shipping. I especially remember her mentioning Finnish “Sisu” in her speech. Sisu is a unique Finnish concept about the capability to “strive over extraordinary difficulties”. I was impressed to hear her speaking about Finland and the concept.
Friday 8th February
The first day of the event we had a chance to hear Ted talk like speeches from five inspiring speakers. The most memorable speech for me was from Paula Short, the director and co-founder of Beauty BLVD. She encouraged the audience to work hard and remember to celebrate all of the accomplishments.
Later that day all of the participants were divided into eight teams and introduced to a research and development related business challenge. All of the teams were given the same task with a purpose to compete against each other and to come up with the best solution for the client. It was a great opportunity to network with other participants in the event (teampreneurs/students, coaches and business world representatives), learn from each other and to work in a team full of new people and fresh insights.
Saturday 9th February
The next morning the teams pitched their solutions to the client. The winning team was announced in the party later that day. After the pitches we had the chance to participate in workshops. We had to make a difficult decision and choose two from six different workshops to go to. In my opinion all of the workshops sounded interesting, but I ended up choosing “Design Thinking & Human Centred Design” by Andy Farenden and “Utilising Diversity within Teams” by Jo Keeler from Belbin. I felt that these two workshops were the most relevant for me at the moment.
Both of the workshops were fantastic. The only thing that I would have changed is to add more time to the workshops. I feel that I could have learned more about the subjects.
In the first workshop we were given a short introduction to design thinking and then divided into small groups to work on a task to create a solution for an imaginative client, a 25 years old fashion graduate suffering from Atrial Fibrillation.
The second workshop was about Belbin Team Roles. Before the event, all of the participants were requested to complete the Belbin questionnaire to generate our own Belbin Individual Reports. This was requested so that we could get the most from the Belbin session.
I think that it was very interesting to get the individual report in advance and look into it before the event and the workshop. I have completed a Belbin team role questionnaire once at the beginning of my studies in Proakatemia. Our coaches have told us that the teams in Proakatemia have been formed with the help of the individual results. We haven’t researched the team roles and their features in that much detail in Proakatemia. I feel that in this workshop, I was able to gain a deeper understanding to the different team roles and learn about the history of Belbin. I will take the knowledge into practice and share it with my team in Proakatemia.
All in all, Team4Learning was a great experience. We had the chance meet new entrepreneurial minded people from different countries and to network with them. We learned a lot in just two days and had fun. We thank the project team for a fantastic event, they truly did a great job organizing everything.
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African proverb
To read more about Belbin: https://www.belbin.com/
If you wish to learn about Sisu in 18 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UTIizGyf5kU
Writer and pictures Anna Vikman, Teampreneur in Proakatemia