At the beginning of June (7th to 10th) the Metropolia University Applied Sciences arranged the International Master’s Summer School. The topic of the week was “The Social Innovation in Social Work”. Around 50 students and lecturers participated in the programme. Participants came from different countries as for example Switzerland, Netherland, Germany or Finland. During the week, Social Innovations were explored from different perspectives, articulating and sharing methods, services, models and tools regarding the topic of the course.
ITSHEC project activities were a part of the week. Eija Raatikainen and Katriina Rantala-Nenonen managed a workshop in Transversal Skills. With the title “Transversal Skills – An Answer for Future Social Workers for Creating a Better Tomorrow”, the workshop’s purpose was to present the results of our pedagogical intervention on how to support students (Master´s degree students) to develop their transversal skills during their studies. Additionally, the second aim of the workshop was to describe what kind of connection there is (may be) between Transversal skills and Innovation competences. It is obvious that Innovation competencies are not synonyms to Transversal Skills, but they can operate as complementary habilities that nourish the one to the other, making social work professionals much empowered and prepared in their laboral contexts.
Innovation competencies require people’s Transversal Skills, such as motivation, creativity, interpersonal and social intelligence, as well as cooperation skills. Transversal Skills are important skills to create a more sustainable working life and guarantee the quality of services, but also to improve and develop new Social Innovations for our communities.
In conclusion, it can be said that, even though Social Innovations in social work are mainly based on knowledge and previous studies, there is still is a huge need to understand the value and meaning of people behind Social Innovations. People (and their skills and networks) make it possible to create and co-create together new Social Innovations.
Eija Raatikainen, PhD Education, Principal lecturer, Metropolia UAS
Katriina Rantala-Nenonen, M.Soc.Sc, Senior lecturer, Metropolia UAS