Creativity is an essential part in all areas of human life; Science, Arts, Math, Technology, Cuisine, Education, Family life, Politics, Business…. You name it. Yet in many fields, that inner power is undervalued due to industrial mindset raising people to become part of mindless machines. Yet with balanced combination of creativity, mathematics, academics or entrepreneurial tasks we can seize the momentum, that enables us to remain innovative, productive and even happy. That balance we all seek for, encourages us to learn and do new things, every day.
In education, teachers are becoming keen to add new technologies along pedagogical methods to learning process. Children as most adults as well, seem to have more interest in game based learning than traditional classroom studies in school. In modern classrooms, gamification and technology can be used to enhance student engagement, participation and skyrocket the research to new dimensions. Even definition of classroom can reach totally new spaces that aren’t limited to school buildings anymore. We started from developing a digital tool for preschool education to support children’s kinetic learning skills growth. As well as elevate evolution of education with cutting edge technology and gamification. Playful solution we are developing are made for children via their parents, schools and educational institutes.
You can be creative in anything – in math, science, engineering, and philosophy – as much as you can in music or in painting or in dance.” –Sir Kenneth Robinson, author, speaker and educationalist.
It is a delight to see more and more companies providing web-based services, applications, solutions and games to boost the learner’s or customers interest. Yet still very few harness the true potential that interactive elements of technology like computer vision, Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning can give to science along entertainment and education. Only imagination is the limit on how we can harness the possibilities of technology by remaining true to nature of education. Technology is a good servant yet a bad master. It sure is about time to unleash its potential to give us the knowledge our own minds data processing can´t conduct alone.
As a mother, I feel the inner thrive to make Vilike happen, no matter what it takes from me. As an entrepreneur, I have grown to understand the economic instruments that can leverage our mission of making impact with building business by people and purpose before profit attitude. As ex-athlete, with 10+ years in center mid-fielder on football, I know how strong physical activity supports us on all fields of life. As an artists of a lifetime, I know how important it is flourish the creative side in us. All of this, with aha moment among sport education for children and ICT studies, was the starting point which lead me to start Vilike in 2014.
The Light Bulb Moment
It all started out from an interest to utilize technology to support our work with children’s physical exercise (P.E.) education. Ph.D. Arja Sääkslahti, from from Faculty of Sport and Health Science in University of Jyväskylä told about APM inventory in her lecture. This method has been used since 1994 to assess pre-school children’s perceptual and basic motor skills. Arja told about the impact of physical activities, studies that prove how active childhood has fundamental effects on our health, learning skills and self-esteem for the rest of our lives. She also mentioned that she believes after going through massive amount of manually collected data, that more children move, the better they can perceive their bodies in drawing. That was the moment with lightbulb! I remembered self-images I drew once studying art with full soccer scholarship in Franklin Pierce College, and they were pretty accurate. I wanted to find out in practise, what technology can do to develop this method and how research with data could bring new knowledge from our growth.
Problems Faced During Early Phase
So I started learning about algorithms. I fgured out how the analysis needs to be coded and ways software development along gamification can be utilized in early cihldhood education. Along the way, another challenge was big mistake I did with at the databse of the first version. Integer mistake in backend code, made all 10000+ lines of data collected in collaboration with UKK-institute as our first customer. After that I ran out of entrepreneurial grit and savings. But still after the obstacles, life around me has pushed me forward and encouraged the faith keeps her trusting on intuition on Vilike. With that support, the strong determination stays alive and keeps thriving forward to the desired goals. Also grit to learn new things and seeing the golden lining in very storm cloud helps to overcome the hussles and hurdles, every day.
Kirsi’s Definitions of Success
It is vital to keep your feet on the ground, heart with the people and head creatively open to the future. To go forward in business by generating growth with the pace of people is even more important than money. True success is made by and with the people. Always give priority to well-being on ones making the vision happen and take care of yourself along others. If you wish to make your vision come true, you need to be truly hands on part of the change and work for it with your heart.