Feb 11, 2016 Katja Toropainen
The Redefining School program, which covered the challenges of education, was featured at Slush 2015. Among the speakers was Saku Tuominen, CEO and Co-Founder of Scool. Scool aims to find the best practices in education and share all the insights and know-how with the world, for free. Founded in 2015, Scool already has a pretty impressive list of partners: IDEO, one of the world’s most reputed design and innovation consultancies, as well as education expert Sir Ken Robinson.
As Tuominen said in his speech, the challenges of the future education are huge. The world outside of school is changing so fast that it is difficult for schools to keep up with the pace of development. What are the skills needed in the future that schools should be teaching? What kind of people should be facilitating teaching process? What are the best spaces for education like? Furthermore, globalization brings important matters like growing inequalities, global warming and digitalization on the table, and if education is to contribute to today’s world, teachers’ expertise plays an important role. However, education is completely its own type of market, very different from others seen at Slush. There are local and national silos and gatekeepers in every country, which makes the market harder to disrupt. Take a look at the interview with Saku Tuominen to find out more about the journey of Scool and the changes needed in education.
Getting funding is always hard work, as it should be. People complain about this way too much. We should always remember that if someone is backing you with a big sum of money, they are the ones who are willing to take the risk and you should highly respect their position. My advice is simple. Create something that you passionately love and believe in it. Invest all your available money, time and passion in it and look for funding only when you have run out of your own resources. If you are not willing to invest everything you have in your venture, why would anyone else do it? For me it’s all about the basics – be humble, ambitious, trustworthy and really hardworking.
I have been an entrepreneur all my life. I am an idealist, I want to the change the world, and there aren’t many things as meaningful and as interesting as the future of education.
Our mission is to help schools change. We want to do it by creating ambitious and scalable learning formats. Almost everyone in the field of education agrees that there is a big need for this change but the key question is, how to do it in practice? The biggest challenge is that the global education market is full of silos and gatekeepers. We believe that one of the best and the fastest ways is via simple and scalable innovations that have been validated in a competitive market like Finland.
Again, this is a very complicated and broad question. There are many things that schools are doing extremely well at the moment. It’s not about changing everything, it’s all about the balance. Let’s keep something what works but at the same time add something bold and new. In general, I think schools should teach not only academic skills but also a growth mindset and educate kids who can manage in an ever-changing world, no matter what happens.
Finland is one of the world leaders in education. If you have an ambitious, bold and credible concept, you can get almost everyone on board. But these people are also world-class thinkers and doers. In order to impress them, you have to do things that they genuinely respect. So again, be ambitious, humble and hardworking.
The biggest challenge is inside our own heads: how to think really big daily? All the decisions we make can be either cautious and small or bold and ambitious. For us, the biggest challenge is how to be truly world-class every single day, in every single detail.
We have really clear goals for every quarter of 2016 and 2017, but overall our goal is to be one of the leading experts on the revolution of education by 2020 globally. It takes a huge amount of work to make it happen, but I have no doubts. We will be there.
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