How fragmentation of work changes the way we need to learn in the future


One of my favorite topics to discuss is that of life paths how we take a stand on them differently generation by generation, and what different assumptions we’ve made when thinking about our careers and other major life choices.

In the Western world there’s a consensus that from a classical point of view we are set to first go through a several-year-long learning path, which then transitions to employment in a field we have been studying towards. It’s not that rare to come across people who’ve been working in a company for decades. These types of paths are slowly becoming increasingly rare as more modern cultures are starting to prevail. One could argue that essentially anyone who’s working in a modern work environment knows that long-term career forecasting is becoming more and more abstract in a constantly developing labour market.

Instead of settling into a job for long periods of time, people are confronted with much more complex roles, whose relevance in the coming years is difficult or even impossible to foresee. New professions, such as E-commerce Data Scientist and Growth Hacker, have only emerged in the last few years but are rapidly becoming more common roles, while older ones are making room for them by going extinct. Employers are slowly moving from hiring well-educated to hiring well-learning. Having a university degree will be a good starting kit but carries us an ever shorter distance in terms of our careers.

Towards a more fragmented way of learning and living

People will have more diverse roles that overlap with each other and also evolve according to the currently dominant need. At the same time, education in the more traditional sense, is starting to merge with work by adapting models that enable us to learn by doing. Learning becomes a lifelong path as we encounter change increasingly often. Of course many of us have already been learning our whole lives in different fields, but this kind of change will be more of a built-in, across-the-board way of thinking in our culture — less steered by the pressure of a competitive labour market. Learning itself is becoming decentralized — here and there, people are absorbing an article, a lecture, a podcast, a book and an online course on a wide variety of topics that may have nothing to do with each other. And yet it's all paying off. If not now, at least in the unforeseen future.

All of this change can be simultaneously exciting and terrifying. Excitement of confronting the new and moving forward — or fear of mistakes and uncertainty. But if we start going towards a direction based on what we find ourselves to be passionate about, the odds are we are going to find more happiness in the long term.

Text written by Janne Valtakari, a TEDxOtaniemi volunteer

I Wanna Play

TEDx to Fill the Empty Spot for Thinking Together



Here is a perspective I wanted to share:

What I have already learned as a volunteer in TEDxOtaniemi is that the background of the people involved in this topic TEDx varies. Instead we tend to share the same interest for developing our own thinking and being curious to know a bit more.

As a minority in our team, I am a law student. I have worked a few years in jobs related to my legal studies. I am grateful of the lessons learned both from experienced lawyers and from the faculty of law at the University of Helsinki – for example problem analysing skills, being able to see the big picture and staying calm under pressure with a huge amount of information. Yet I find it extremely useful to have had a chance to also work with people whose expertise is something else than legal.

Excuse me, does she say she learns from someone who is not an expert in the profession field she is working in?

I am not only saying that I have learned, I am saying it is mandatory to learn and to have a functioning society, to be able to challenge our own thinking and to gain inspiration of the variety of thoughts there exists.

We people have this tendency to think we know everything because we know something from our perspective. One of my favourite thoughts is that knowing the incapability of our own thinking can lead to greatness.

Is it scary to get rid of the control of knowing?

Absolutely. But also it builds the thinking to another level.

I think we have an open spot for thinking together here in Finland. Let me introduce you TEDxOtaniemi!

Being Involved

In the previous blog post Hannu inspired us with thoughts about TEDx. But what is in TEDx for us?

The best part in being involved building the event TEDxOtaniemi is to meet people with genuine interest in both developing themselves and sharing their competence – with a smile. This is the perspective of a single TEDx event volunteer in Otaniemi, Finland.

What is going on at the moment?

We have started the work with our communication team, other teams are working with their own responsibilities and sometimes we are all in cooperation. Last Monday we had a picnic just for fun with the volunteers – who I think are an inspiring and intelligently sparking group of people.

Why Having Fun Makes a Difference?

Ever seen someone with a genuine excitement about anything? Ever created your own motivation because you love what you do? How about putting lots of this kind of energy together and making everyone put their enthusiasm into informative and inspiring form.

When it comes to being open-minded and giving our brain a gentle shake, we are ageless. They say nothing is more dangerous to our thinking than stopping, so lets keep on the movement. Our TEDxOtaniemi theme this year is Learn to Play – Play to learn. It is time to play.

Ps. A recommendation: Watch the most popular TEDtalks in 2015

Text written by Niina Karjunen, a TEDxOtaniemi volunteer

What is TEDxOtaniemi all about?

The essence of TED is bringing ideas together and building connections between people. When I attended the TEDSummit in Canada this last June, we had over 450 TEDx organizers coming from all over the world. People with passion, purpose and ideas. We were so diverse that you could learn new things just by chatting for five minutes with the person next to you. The barriers of politics, religion, ethnicity and financial stakes didn't matter, so there could be more opportunities for connection.

As TEDx organizers, we tried to distill what this ..thing is all about into short sentences. These are some of the things we came up with: 

  • TEDx is a platform that curates local and global ideas and experiences that inspire purposeful actions. 
  • The purpose of TEDx is to unite our global community to spread important and diverse local ideas and to empower them to facilitate progress. 
  • The TEDx community connects people, inspires empathy and thereby fosters positive change. 
  • TEDx is a cocreated, borderless learning community giving voice to ideas that matter everywhere. 
  • By nurturing and challenging ideas, we make good shift happen.

"Learn to play, play to learn", our theme for TEDxOtaniemi this year, is an idea about our lives being more than just the necessary things. If we aim only for efficiency, we may lose something that makes us human. Play gives us freedom to try new things, trust more and make new friends. And those are all things that we sorely need. 

The curator of TED recently wrote about the changes in our world and about the hope of a connected humanity.

The current system is in danger of breaking. We need to give a platform to dreamers and reformers who are thinking outside the box.

-Chris Anderson

This is why I believe that we need to nurture the human capacity for learning as well as give time and space for play. To everyone.

Want to play with us?

If you are interested in joining our community, please check out our FB page and community group. We are seeking ideas that matter, and would love for you to join us.

Also, if you're thinking that you want to organize a TEDx event yourself, I would be more than happy to help. Contact me at


Learning is a journey, where everybody wins

Image source:

Image source:

Learning is a lifelong path with hurdles that takes courage, persistence, and enthusiasm.

Learning is an on-going process, a journey, rather than a destination, where one can arrive at a given point of time. It requires active observation, sensitivity, and reaction to either internal or external cues instead of passiveness or withdrawal. Hereby, it is possible to both produce completely new meanings and connections to subjects and reshape existing beliefs and patterns.

Learning can vary in size and appearance. Whereas it is possible to comprehend vast and fundamental ideas and concepts, it is also worthwhile to grasp tiny details; practicalities and general pragmatism. In order to fully reap the benefits and versatility of learning, it is best if one exposes oneself to diverse, new, enticing, and even somewhat intimidating situations. By confronting with and engaging in various types of situations and socializing with different people, one is able to develop or hone one's skills and understanding to the fullest.

This, in turn, takes quite a lot of courage. It requires an open mindset and a fearless attitude. Ideally, one should not be afraid of making mistakes or failing. Failing, essentially, should be considered as an attempt to learn. Whereas failing may not lead to desired prestige or outcome, it is a crucial step in the overall process of learning that none of us can bypass. Ultimately, learning is a loop of interconnected phases, where errors occur. We learn through trial and error.

Besides boldness, learning entails dedication and motivation. By coupling the softer side of learning – namely, willingness for innovation and creativity – with the more rigid and tougher side of learning – that is, intrinsic persistence and discipline – truly remarkable and noteworthy outcomes may be achieved. Not only is hard work especially valued in a society, it also teaches us modesty and appreciation towards the learning experience. Ambition, herein, becomes central to success.

As referred in the introductory section, learning also involves meaning-making. This is a process, whereby an individual establishes connections between extant knowledge and novel information. If one is passionate and joyous about learning new things and expanding one's understanding, the process of meaning-making becomes easier. In addition, various tactics can be employed in order to facilitate the process. One of them is the concept of 'play', which introduces a gamified learning environment to spark enthusiasm and eagerness.

It's been said that when there is a will, there is a way. I could not personally agree more. Yet, I wish to open up the sentence a bit by suggesting that when there is a will to challenge the status quo despite potential adversities, a will to explore matters in a structured and driven manner, and a will to get excited about everything new and inspiring, we have an excellent basis for further development and evolution regarding the learning experience. 

By engaging in the aforementioned activities associated with the three 'wills', the definitive outcomes of self-development and self-fulfillment may be actualized and capitalized. Only then can real value be created for an individual.

Text written by Krista Palmu, a TEDxOtaniemi volunteer

Joona Pohjonen: Tekemällä aidoksi ammattilaiseksi

Please note: This talk is in Finnish. Every TEDxOtaniemiED talk will get translations (in closed captions) as soon as we can add them to the videos, so that they can be enjoyed as widely as possible. Check back soon!

At TEDxOtaniemiED Joona shared his story on how his passion paved his study and career paths. He hopes to inspire us all to turn our interests into personal success with the help of determination and actively going after your goals.

Joona Pohjonen is a 22-year-old student of Automation and Systems Engineering at Aalto University and an entrepreneur at Pohjonen Group. Despite his young age Joona already has years of working experience in the field of software development, automation and robotics. Joona has been awarded for his research in machine vision and he has represented Finland in several international science and technology related competitions.

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at

Inga Rikandi: Miksi meidän tulisi pitää oppimista tärkeämpänä kuin osaamista?

Please note: This talk is in Finnish. Every TEDxOtaniemiED talk will get translations (in closed captions) as soon as we can add them to the videos, so that they can be enjoyed as widely as possible. Check back soon!

Doctor of Music Inga Rikandi is a teacher, researcher, musician, trainer, improvisation artist, producer, writer, dog trainer and an acrobat. She will tell us in her speech why she loves learning more than knowing. She will analyze why we need to be in a state of learning more often, how improvisation connects to teaching as well as learning and what we can learn from the best teachers. 

Everything Inga does is connected by curiosity. Curiosity for new things, for improvisation, creativity and interaction and also for the pedagogical dimensions in everything. Being in a state of constant learning is an important source of wellbeing for Inga.

How did you get the idea for your TEDx talk?

My job means that I reflect on questions of learning and teaching all the time. There have been a lot of changes in the last few years, both in society as well as my own life and career, that have directed my thinking into new areas. The chance to hold a TEDx talk about learning was an excellent opportunity to clarify these thoughts also to myself. 

What would you like to happen to your talk and your message?

I hope my talk will spark conversations and thinking in other people. I hope I can also participate in these conversations.

What are you doing next?

I will continue my work as a teacher, trainer, musician and as a improvisational theatre performer. I'm also planning a couple of new book projects. Working in different disciplines and constant learning are still central themes in my life.

Where can people find you?

You can find me at the music institute of West Helsinki (Länsi-Helsingin musiikkiopisto), improv performances by reactori, working in a dog school, in the Kallio neighbourhood, my garden allotment or at 

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at 

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at 

Laura Heinonen: Reality bites - oppimista yhteisöissä

Please note: This talk is in Finnish. Every TEDxOtaniemiED talk will get translations (in closed captions) as soon as we can add them to the videos, so that they can be enjoyed as widely as possible. Check back soon!

Laura Heinonen (B.Ed.) is an experienced developer of education and study communities. In 2011-2013 Heinonen was in charge of the Kyky project, which aimed at enhancing Finnish university students’ study and learning skills by fostering dialogue between student associations and universities. Today she is a wellbeing expert in a social work organization and argues for the importance of group interaction in creating study motivation, wellbeing and happiness.

At TEDxOtaniemiED Laura will explain us how a very simple idea can be very effective.

How did you get the idea for your TEDx talk?

How else, together with other people. The organizers had invited me to speak, because I had been working with study ability and community building in different universities' studying communities. Especially my work with study ability had highlighted the need for groups. Also, I had just started a new job, working with the wellbeing of vocational students in AMIS-project. In the project, I had the opportunity to work with the best people in the business, such as Antti Maunu. He has researched the importance of groups and the social dimensions of wellbeing.

I believe that students will fit better into work life, and for example into student associations, better than into their studies, for the simple reason that they offer a sense of belonging, chances to be seen and to accepted in a group.

What would you like to happen to your talk and your message?

I hope that the talk will awaken people to accept the fact that we all need groups, where we can belong. By putting resources into building groups and supporting them, we can get more results and meaning, whether it be in schools and educational institutions or in working life. Too many students don't feel attached to any group that is relevant to their studies. School bullying, hate speech in the net, disfunctional work environments; these are all part of the same phenomenon. It is also a phenomenon which can be changed. Ask me more, and I will tell you how!

What are you doing next?

I'm at my best, when I can help groups and communities develop their functioning and internal cooperation. I shall be doing that in the future, until the years' end at my current job in the AMIS-project and as a freelancer instuctor. At the same time, I'm starting an inspirational collaboration with Me itse -associations' Helsinki area group. Hopefully my soon to be finished Masters' thesis will further the agency of people with intellectual disabilities. My thesis will study the life experiences of women with intellectual disabilities.

Where can people find you?

Not by googling, because I there are many people with the exact same name! The best ways to reach me are by Twitter and gmail at laura.ehei.

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at 

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at 

Lauri Järvilehto: Fun Learning Revolution

Lauri Järvilehto, PhD, is a founder and consultant at Filosofian Akatemia, a research and business coaching company in Helsinki. Lauri believes that the revolution of learning is near and urges everyone to join the movement right now. At TEDxOtaniemiED Lauri will tell us how we can make learning fun and why it is so important for us to place the element of fun in the core of designing education.

Join the revolution - it will be fun!

How did you get the idea for your TEDx talk?

I have been investigating leveraging games for learning and creating Fun Learning for the last 3.5 years. During this research, I have come to the conclusion that games and play form a very sound basis for next generation learning and also that in a world that is changing constantly faster, learning to learn is the key skill to both survival and progress. Because of this, we need all hands on deck to make learning fun and inspiring.

What would you like to happen to your talk and your message?

I want the idea of Fun Learning to reach as many people around the world, and to influence both teachers, parents and policy makers to really put effort in to changing the old factory model of schooling to something more inspiring. I wish to see a global change towards inpiring, engaging and meaningful learning that is both life-long (from birth to death) and life-wide (from waking to going to sleep).

What are you doing next?

I am starting to work on developing next generation learning games with an amazing team of world's top gaming professionals. I hope that in the next few years we will be able to revolutionize the way we learn.

Where can people find you?

I am active on Twitter and also happy to connect with people working for the learning revolution on LinkedIn. You can find me at


The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at 

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at 

Lotta Uusitalo-Malmivaara: Catch them being good!

Lotta Uusitalo-Malmivaara is a docent and university lecturer of Special education at the University of Helsinki. She teaches future special educators and studies the applications of psychology in school environments with particular emphasis on the concept of happiness and strength-based teaching.

Lotta will introduce the audience of TEDxOtaniemiED to the role of happiness in school contexts and explore such related themes as social belonging, sense of significance and building on ones existing strengths. As Lotta is a firm believer in embracing positive values, seizing moments of success and compassion, these will form the foundation for her speech at TEDxOtaniemiED.

How did you get the idea for your TEDx talk?

I teach future special educators. My research focuses on positive psychology classroom applications and character strength interventions. Diagnosing what is good and intact in every learner is at least as important as finding out what could be improved. This is of particular salience when working with students with special needs. In too many cases, we are very familiar with everything that we are not capable of but non-aware of where we excel. Promoting positive emotions and the idea of going from "what is right with you" is something that I wanted to emphasize in my TEDx talk.

What would you like to happen to your talk and your message?

I would love to see educators, student teachers and parents get the message of building on what is well functioning in their students and cultivating strength based positive education.

Find your proximal zone of strengths! is one of my mottos.

What are you doing next?

I keep on running positive psychology interventions in schools with my students. I'm also writing a book of character strength education with my PhD student Kaisa Vuorinen.This book will be published in January 2016. I work in a compassion promoting project CoPassion (led by Prof. Anne Birgitta Pessi) that aims at growing compassion in organizations. I also participate in Helsinki Challenge competition in the Play-Learn-Heal team (led by Prof. Kristiina Kumpulainen) that develops new concepts of well-being and learning for hospitalized children. 

Where can people find you?

I work in University of Helsinki, in the department of Teacher education. My projects and publications can be found in

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at 

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at 

Petteri Kallio: Jatkuva oppiminen

Please note: This talk is in Finnish. Every TEDxOtaniemiED talk will get translations (in closed captions) as soon as we can add them to the videos, so that they can be enjoyed as widely as possible. Check back soon!

Petteri Kallio (PhD) is a geneticist, entrepreneur and learning junkie. Petteri’s background includes a decade worth of sales and marketing experience but currently he is working in the fields of adult and management education. Petteri gets excited about brain function, digitalization and the revolution of work and working environments.

At TEDxOtaniemiED Petteri tapped into the topics of continuous learning, the importance of genuine excitement in the learning process and so-called middle ground ideas.

How did you get the idea for your TEDx talk?

I tried to showcase my own way of learning, as I consider myself a quite fast learner. I wanted to bring more personal examples to make the idea easier to digest. Learning by Doing.

What would you like to happen to your talk and your message?

Everyone has their own path and their choises, including as a learner. The most important thing is to add your learning to those things that were learned before. Understand yourself so that you can understand others.

What are you doing next?

I'm running and developing leadership training courses at the University of Eastern Finland. I'm also developing new methods of teamwork.

At the moment, I'm enthusiastic about developing completely new courses for leaders, which universities haven't traditionally been offering. I want to change the course of leadership training to meet the needs of 2015.

I'm also involved with my own company, we are taking over the world from Kuopio. Meditation is a new thing for me and I'm trying to be consistent in its' practice.

I'm thinking about learning new things.

Where can people find you?

 @petterikallio and also the market of Kuopio.

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at 

The talk is illustrated with Sketchnotes by Linda Saukko-Rauta at