In the beginning of 2023, I got an email. And not just any email, but an invitation to join project consortium meeting at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (Eesti Muusika ja Teatriakademi EMTA). Agenda for the meeting was simple: find out what members of the consortium have been up to lately and to brainstorm ideas for future collaboration.
Our project consortium consists of Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Estonian Business School, Aalto University, Sibelius Academy, Universidad del Pais de Vasco and last but not least, Laurea University of Applied Sciences. Co-operation started in 2013 from Managing Art Projects with Societal Impact (MAPSI 2013-2016) project. As MAPSI was a great success, project team joined forces and as a result Higher Education for Societal Engagement (HEISE 2016-2019) project was born. And HEISE is where I got to join this amazing team.
For me HEISE was not merely a project, it was an intensive course in multi-professional and multi-disciplinary co-operation. During the project, I got to work with talented, wise and innovative people, who represented disciplines that I knew little or nothing of (arts management and business to name some). In the beginning of the project, I felt insecure and wondered what I and social sciences could contribute to the project. However, that feeling didn’t last for long, as there was such a warm atmosphere in the project team and everyone’s ideas and contribution were welcomed. During the HEISE project I learned a lot about project work and co-creation, but also about arts and humanity. I got to experience how inspiring it is when people from different disciplines and viewpoints take groping steps towards shared understanding, just like a small child learning to walk.
Since HEISE world has changed and so have we. But what hasn’t changed is how well this team works together. Our afternoon brainstorming led to a project idea – or actually many. To be continued…