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Why KEKO cluster?

Today, society has a wealth of data and evidence-based knowledge on the drastically deteriorating environmental situation and science-based solutions to overcome them. However, the substantive awareness of environmental problems and the solutions proposed by natural scientists (e.g. ecological restoration, restorative agriculture, permanent forestry, compensatory forestry) are not translated into enforceable practices by lawmakers and decision-makers or are distorted.

The ambition of the KEKO cluster is to use interdisciplinary teams, including social science expertise, to build a "translation engine" to translate scientific knowledge into practical, sustainability-effective and non-harmful solutions. In other words, it would identify the causes of the gaps between science and real-world practices and, based on knowledge of the principles of change in thinking and behaviour, build a process model for the more immediate application of scientific information in decision-making processes (e.g. at national, municipal, business level).​

What we

    Technology is inevitably changing everything. Today’s incoming workforce is tech-savvy, socially conscious and able to multi-task like never before. At the same time, they are job-shoppers that rank quality training and development programs highly and don’t just work for money. As the nature of work and assignments change, on-boarding is moving beyond the initial hiring phase and is becoming an ongoing process. Similarly, the adoption of new technologies and launch of new services drives the continuous need to upskill staff and redirect resources. It’s a new world and workforce out there ​ The question is no longer only about staying competitive for customers, but also how to stay relevant as an employer. With technological change, the need to speed up, modernise how staff are trained and up-skilled is becoming more acute every day. This, together with the need to keep recruited talent, requires organisations to upgrade the internal training methods to fit both the needs of the business, as well as that of employees of different generations. Tallinn University has decades of experience in the development of the changing educational landscape. We research how people work and learn in the modern world. What are the obstacles for individuals, organisations, communities and for society? By building on this knowledge, we can create future schools and workplaces and help companies that are struggling with high turnover rates. And, if the last ten years are anything to go by, there will soon be some new faces doing things no-one has done before, in every organisation making learning and teaching, an invaluable competitive advantage. A new and more valuable way of learning Workplace learning: together with HR and management, we develop methods specific to your organisation, on how to improve workplace learning and accelerate on-boarding. Upskilling & reskilling: by evaluating individual learning styles and creating tailored training programs, we develop methods that are equally applicable for those about to retire as well as for those entering the workforce in order to upskill or reskill your staff. We analyse workplace changes and provide methods to develop a future competences-management plan. Age-specific learning ability: we know how to support childrens’ development and how to create age-specific pedagogical content, which can be applied to educational games or any other (digital) products and services. What we've done: SUCCESSFUL STAFF ONBOARDING ROBOMATH EDU-LAB
    Sustainability is, and will remain for the foreseeable future, the driving force behind all development. Climate change and a greatly increased awareness of the impact of human activity on the planet is the motivation behind the ideas of the circular economy and zero waste in production and consumption. At the same time, new lifestyle and work-style choices are leading to the rise of the ageless workforce and the end of retirement. Millennials clearly prioritise immaterial benefits over the material while technology keeps changing much faster than people. It’s not a nice-to-have To meet the increasingly tougher environmental requirements and regulations, as well as the changes in demand driven by a more aware consumers and citizens, organisations must consider the totality of their impact, not just financial performance. In particular, this applies to employers as they need to ensure that they provide the conditions for staff to have the mental and physical energy to work and perform. Wellbeing at work clearly correlates to improved performance, but the changing requirements of today’s workforce make that a moving target, while at the same time being a crucial factor in recruiting and retaining talent. We advocate for the development of society and well-being of the entire population. Intelligent, research-based choices for developing a healthy lifestyle, which aleviates stress improves work performance, cognition and decision making in demanding situations. A sustainable way of living helps to reduce the burden on natural resources, pressure on social services and the demands on the healthcare sector. This supports the realisation of high-level interdisciplinary research projects that involve the study of behavioural sciences in cooperation with psychology, neurosciences and natural sciences. Healthy and happy employees are more productive Environment: We can help you assess a service or a product in terms of environmental requirements, such as ecosystem services and lifecycle analysis. Employee wellbeing: how to apply the results of research and studies combining work performance, health, recreation and ergonomics in order to improve your organisation’s ability to provide for a healthy work environment and sustainable business model. Product/ingredient analyses: how to add value to the food, beauty and pharma industry through the analysis of composition, preservation and functional components. What we've done: UPIK - OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY BALLGAME MODULAR HOUSE SOLUTIONS FOR MOBILITY IMPAIRED PATIENTS
    Digital media has developed into a branch of the economy that has the most influence on societal processes. In the increasingly digitised multi-platform world, digital literacy has become a prerequisite to be able to learn, interact with the surrounding environment, consume services and media and create new values. From interfaces to experiences For businesses as well as public organisations this means, that just having a digital presence is no longer enough. Both the external (customer) and internal (employee) experience needs to be taken into account. Moreover, they cannot be considered from an individual stand point, but only from an omni-channel, omni-platform perspective. This also requires the inclusion of emotional intelligence in designing the customer experience and will shift the way personas are developed, implemented and analysed. ​ One of the largest challenges facing organisations is how to minimise the mismatch between the mindsets, feelings and expectations between their customers / users and the service / product providers. In short, what is important to a business or organisation is rarely considered by the user, while what is important to the user is deemed just nice-to-have by the company. In this situation, it is imperative to be able to gather accurate customer insight, which can help improve the customer experience. Moreover, in a global world, how can business create culturally relevant and emotionally charged digital experiences, without physically being present everywhere? We study cultural change and innovation processes that accompany digital media, and apply theoretical knowledge to experimenting with new and innovative forms of digital media. The work is largely interdisciplinary, based on the understanding that interpreting and participating in contemporary societal change requires the cultural, economic and technological dynamics to be viewed as a single system. Proven user centred solutions Content creation: By combining various competences, incl. media studies, marketing research, film studies, communication science, anthropology, etc. we can help develop messages and build content for different media platforms and strengthen your digital presence via new and innovative forms of digital media. Effective user interfaces: We help businesses and organisations to specify and prototype distributed user interfaces for applications that enable interactions across multiple devices, with or without a display, and create the content that engages users at all points of interaction. We have developed a library of usage patterns and methods that can be used to provide foundations for design interfaces and facilitate novel ways of transferring and sharing information among devices. What we've done: SMART SCHOOL HOUSE EDU-LAB DIGIMATH EDU-LAB What we can do: DISTRIBUTED USER INTERFACES APPLICATION OF PHYSIOLOGICAL COMPUTING
    Contemporary society is characterized by growing uncertainty, fragmentation and mutual dependency. Coping with these changes requires renewal of governance, institutions and the legal system. Change is everywhere The digitalisation of services and communication combined with the growth of data is creating new challenges and opportunities. New platforms and forums offer unprecedented opportunity for collaboration and community involvement while at the same time facilitating echo-chambers and the dissemination of “fake-news”. Increased mobility, new patterns of regional and local movement along with the advent of multi-regional citizens are changing the whole concept of what it means to be local. Tallinn University helps governments and institutions adapt to the new world through research on the life-cycle of different generations and social groups, taking into account institutional and social context. This helps deliver innovative solutions for public services, politicians, legal practicioners and non-governmental organisations to apply in the decision making process within their policy areas. Smart cities by and for the people Civil society engagement: We provide knowledge and methods to develop public services through co-creation. We advise on how to plan and develop urban space and the environment around us in collaboration with all the stakeholders and by taking into account the ongoing changes in society. Smart usage of digital data: We develop new methods of collecting and analysing the data created by today’s digital society and advise on how to create and utilise new platforms to improve service provision and governance. For example, we have competence in building a methodology for carrying out contactless population census. Goverance in the era of globalisation: We address the question of how to provide cross-border services, when many of today’s critical services are still nationally regulated. We provide consultancy to the public and private sector on how to meet the needs of administration, research and policy in an interdependent world. What we can do: E-CENSUS
    As the exchange of ideas and commerce increases between communities, countries and cultures, the role of both verbal and non-verbal communication is increasing. However, although knowing a language can lend the people the understanding of the words, it is cultural competence which provides an understanding of the expressed meaning. With the expansion of global interaction and increasing importance of both Asia and Africa as well as rapid changes in mobility and urbanisation, the understanding of how culture forms the same trends differently, in different parts of the world, becomes a cornerstone of effective communication. This understanding is crucial in the interpretation of big data, as the same thing done in different places may also mean different things. A multipolar world In an increasingly globalized world we are open to cultural, political and economic influences arising from different societies, their historical developments and traditions. The ability to interpret and understand foreign cultural input in communication and interaction, offers considerable competitive advantage for business and governmental organisations. In the cultural competences focus field we initiate and implement high-level interdisciplinary research projects, which focus on meaning making practices, intercultural communication, cultural transfer and contacts, and transnational networks. Diversity creates value in global business Intercultural competences: We provide consulting and training on issues related to unambiguous expression, communication of ideas and messages without distortion as well as language skills. We lend your organisation the necessary cultural knowledge required for entering socially alien markets. Cultural data analytics: We have experience in working with big cultural data repositories and designing digital cultural services for the 21st century. Cultural meaning of space: We provide analysis and consultancy on how to develop meaningful practices in the planning of urban (walk)spaces, workspaces, digital spaces, etc.

Meet the
KEKO cluster people

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