Tallinn University and Ülemiste City signed a cooperation agreement on 12 October to confirm the interest of both parties in jointly promoting innovative education and supporting talents. The signing was preceded by a discussion about what knowledge, talents, and technologies the education system will need in the future.
The discussion was chaired by Kristi Klaasmägi, Vice-Rector for Educational Innovation at Tallinn University, and attended by Rector of Tallinn University Professor Tõnu Viik, Mainor AS management board chairman Kadi Pärnits, Ericsson AS CEO Andrus Durejko, and Tallinn University Professor of Adult Education and Non-Formal Learning Kai Pata.
Ülo Pärnits, the founder of Ülemiste City and the long-time chairman of the board of Mainor, focused on drawing attention to the role and responsibility of the person. According to Kadi Pärnits, Ülemiste City still wants to focus on talented people and supporting them. ‘Education and people are the foundation of a smart economy with high added value – if we do not value them, we cannot succeed. Talented people are able to develop and contribute to the success of both themselves and their organisation by being inspired by the rapidly changing environment. However, they must be supported in this,’ said Pärnits.
As a leader in educational innovation, Tallinn University is committed to how different fields are connected and to the understanding and dissemination of the knowledge that is born because of it. According to Rector Tõnu Viik, technological changes and the fact that more and more people mediate and acquire education with the help of technological means cannot and must not be overlooked. He also says that working with robots will become a part of our everyday life. ‘We must not forget about the human being or their need to be seen and heard. In addition, the relationship between people and robots or people and virtual learning environments must also be based on trust.’
During the discussion, the CEO of Ericsson, Andrus Durejko, revealed what the critical employee skills of the future are from the point of view of an entrepreneur and what prerequisites need to be met in order to create a breeding ground for talent.
Kai Pata, Professor of Adult Education and Non-Formal Learning at Tallinn University, drew attention to life-long learning and explained what opportunities the application of learning in the workplace offers.
The participants also discussed what the entrepreneurs and the university could do together to ensure the next generation of employees in critical areas for society and companies and to accelerate its development. Can workplace learning and lifelong learning help here?
At the heart of the memorandum between Ülemiste City and Tallinn University is the promise not to lose sight of the human being in an ever-technological world and to look for ways to support talents and their development. In order to sign the memorandum, the founder of Ülemiste City and the long-time chairman of the board of Mainor, Ülo Pärnits, was ‘brought to life’ as an avatar created by Pia Tikka, the lead researcher of the Enactive Virtuality Lab of the Baltic Film, Media and Arts School of Tallinn University, and Ats Kurvet, a computer graphics specialist. It is a tribute to his influential work.