On April 8th 2021, LAB University of Applied Sciences joined the Kick-Off Meeting of VIBES (Virtual Business Skills Empowerment), a Project co-funded by the Erasmus Plus Program of the European Commission, which brings together 7 Partners from 5 countries (Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Switzerland). The kick-off meeting, originally planned to be held in Brussels, Belgium, was held in online mode due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Virtual Team Skills Are Required
As recent Covid-19 pandemic exposed, in times of crisis virtual teams become the only means of functioning for organizations’ activities. In this context, being able to work in virtual teams is one of the basic skills for the employability of prospective graduates. However, while different aspects of digital transformation are covered in educational programmes of higher education institutions (HEIs), a clear focus on building of skills for work in virtual teams is lacking. For European society to prosper in a digital era, there is a need to empower European youth to harness the benefits of working in virtual and multi-cultural teams.
Co-Create our Solutions
The main aim of the project VIBES (Virtual Business Skills Empowerment) is to enhance students virtual team working competencies to cope better in today’s global working environment and create and develop entrepreneurial opportunities for the European single market. The project will deliver study module(s) with process descriptions of the learning outcomes, learning methods as integrated processes, lists of supportive tools and assessment methods and criteria. We will use “working practice” from each country to start with, and share and develop collaborative approaches to building virtual teams’ capabilities. By co-creating innovative approaches to support collaborative capabilities, networking opportunities, and innovation and strategic competence development, our aim is to support two targeted areas. First, we aim to develop the innovation and entrepreneurial capabilities of the students and to support the extension of these capabilities with the aim that these modules become potential development resources for SME’s that need innovative entrepreneurs. The point is to develop and extend innovative virtual teams to produce new entrepreneurial business capabilities and opportunities, while developing a more sustainable individual skill set that can more readily adapt and create emerging market opportunities. Rather than training people for existing roles which are rapidly becoming obsolete VIBES aims at developing an entrepreneurial attitude to understand that a constant evolution of individual and organizational capabilities requires a response to emergent opportunities. We believe that improving the capabilities of individuals to effectively participate in virtual transnational teams is a viable approach to sustainable economic development.
Create the VIBES
The project VIBES aims to tackle two types of competencies relevant for future employability of young Europeans with university and high school education, in a digital era and the ability of companies to tap into global pool of talent: 1) The ability to work in virtual multi-cultural teams and 2) the ability to identify entrepreneurial opportunities and to act on them. The entrepreneurial competencies will be developed based on the existing framework: EntreComp (The European Entrepreneurship Competence Framework, 2018).
The students at LAB Master’s Program will play a decisive role as the co-creators of the business curriculum modules for both academic environments and targeted strategic SME opportunities throughout Europe. Create the VIBES!
Riitta Mähönen is the Project Manager for the VIBES project. She is an RDI Specialist for LAB University of Applied Sciences and a certified Business Coach.
Brett Fifield is a Principal Lecturer for the Master’s Program of LAB University of Applied Sciences.