Toteemi Summer Reflections from Arcada

August 5, 2019

The spring and the summer, have been a busy time for Toteemi at Arcada.

We have, during the spring, completed and refined all of the planned Toteemi initiatives and the active dissemination has started. At the Nordyrk conference we had both posters and oral presentations.

Our initiatives focused on diversity and recognition of competencies among foreign students (especially students who had a degree or profession from their home country), on competence recognition through self-evaluation and on how sharing and learning between and in work life and in academia can become better through the usage of more open platforms. For this we have developed and piloted podcasts and blogging. We need to learn to speak up more!

As part of the project we also did a huge skills for the future research. We involved many colleagues and went through about 40 reports or investigations about future work life skills. The first results from this support our internal work with soft skills or work life skills for the future. We can see that the things done as part of Toteemi are very relevant even if we sometimes feel that what we accomplish is smallish. We can also see that colleagues from all parts of the world do share our interest in this. A question that have been asked on different arenas now is How can we assess the learning and progression when it comes to soft skills among our students? Maybe this is something we can continue to work on.

We also invited Demos’ Julia Jousilahti ( to talk about the future of work in May. After this we held 12 workshops which had the same focus. In the workshops we had about 180 students and four teachers participating. Here we also had the possibility to pilot our own self-evaluation tools.

We also thought of ways to implement and to guarantee the Toteemi initiatives or innovations last after the project ends in December. Maybe we all can share models for project longevity here as well.

Now in July, before the holidays kicked off, we also had the pleasure to talk about the sharing of work placement learnings and our entrepreneurial mindset coaching clinic at the Edulearn conference. Great to meet likeminded people from all over. Education brings people closer to each other and we share many things even if contexts are very different!

Enjoy a beautiful summer!

/Christa Tigerstedt