Kaija Matinheikki-Kokko, Metropolia UAS
‘Doing things differently’
The Health Promotion Program project (HPP) invited the students and teachers of Metropolia UAS to take a break and participate in a POP-UP event on the 9th of April in Metropolia’s brand-new Myllypuro Campus in Helsinki. The Pop-Up event highlighted evidence-based HPP programs as a means of building multidisciplinary expertise and capacity across sectors that is considered necessary in the future.
The Myllypuro campus is still under construction, but once completed, it will be the largest of Metropolia’s four campuses, built in part for 6,000 students and 500 employees. The HPP pop-up event had 70 visitors in the showroom, and about 300 people had the opportunity to listen to the touching melodies offered by HPP during the lunch break in the campus dining venue.
The campus brings together people-focused expertise where well-being, built environment and healthy future are developed together. The campus was an ideal place to give a spark to teachers and students for cross-sectoral cooperation. Especially to those who are not so familiar with “promotion of health and well-being” yet. The event was organized in the spirit of doing things differently. Pop-Up event took place in an open campus venue. In a HPP showroom the visitors had an option to get to know the HPP products and have a dialogue on capacity building for healthy and sustainable future.
Pop-up event themes
The program was crystallized into five themes that all were seeking dialogue with visitors, their inspiration, and ideas for promoting human health and well-being.
1. Social Media and health today
Our most popular HPP on-line course focus on social media and health. In Metropolia, the course (5 ECTS) is led by lecturer Johanna Manninen and offers competences on how to apply and bring contemporary media and communication information and methods to health promotion practices. Future workforce is expected to use appropriate channels and methods for effective communication in HP actions. Which health and well-being issues are currently the most discussed in the media debate? Which media and communication skills are needed in health promotion work? How could health promotion experts appear and act in the media? Which applications, services, games are there for clients to support self-management of their own health and well-being? These were the questions discussed in the HPP-event without forgetting to use the channels provided by social media as a mean to participate in discussions.
2. Gamification as a way of involving people in urban planning.
The HPP team members from Haapsalu College and Haapsalu Vocational Education and Training Centre, Tiina Alasoo and Annika Armipaik-Nukki facilitated the Simulation Game of Planning our Living Environment. This HPP-gaming offered visitors the opportunity to actively reflect environmental issues in urban planning. Participants in the game are given different roles in urban planning, and they need to assess together how their solutions affect people’s health and well-being. Conflict situations inevitably arose during playing, even though everyone is trying to do their best in the common interest. However, conflict resolution is a lesson learned from the game. The game highlights that promoting human well-being and health is not just a matter of social and health care. In fact, it is estimated that 80% of decisions affecting people’s well-being are made outside the social and health administration. After an intensive testing period the simulation game, developed by Estonian HPP-group, will be used on 4th of July in the Tallinn Health Promotion Conference focusing on Creating Health Promoting Environments in this year. Generally, the goal of the game is to awaken the public and decision-makers to consider the effects and implications of urban design solutions on people’s well-being.
We also invited visitors to participate in Look at my thoughts – HPP competition taking place in Finland and Estonia (http://hpp.tlu.ee/en_US/competition/). The aim of the competition is to collect different visions about future health and well-being. The competition offers a chance for self-identification starting with participants’ own values. There is also the possibility of a more formal approach, such as proposing new ideas for the development of future curricula. What is considered important in promoting health and well-being by future professionals! The results of the competition can tell us later something about the future drivers of promoting health and well-being.
3. A socio-ecological approach — dialogue with visitors
What affects our health and well-being? What is our role as health and well-being professionals? A socio-ecological approach to health promotion brings a contextual and a health-oriented, salutogenic perspective to health education. The overall objective is not to cure illnesses, but to activate the individual, social and environmental resources to promote the health process towards well-being and a better quality of life. This topic was facilitated by Asta Lassila who is lecturing e.g. Urban health and in Health equity – HPP courses. In the Pop-Up event Asta offered as sources for the dialogical discussions the classical ideas of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory as well as the new emphasis to consider underlying issues of human health and well-being: daily living conditions, economic and social structure.
4. Research and Practices — Evidence produced by HPP as relevant future skills
Most essential competences in the future Health Promotion according to HPP-survey are competences (i) to Enable change towards equal health and well-being; (ii) to have a shared and multidisciplinary Knowledge base to promote human health and well-being and (iii) to manage Communication by using appropriate channels and methods for effective communication in practical actions. According to HPP-researcher and lecturer Kaija Matinheikki, these competences have to develop in all and across sectors. Cross-sectoral approach is considered as one key driver towards holistic human health and well-being instead of sector based silos. What makes cross-sectoral cooperation to work? What is cross-sectoral influence? How to act in cross-sectoral networks? These questions were discussed in the Pop-Up event as well as in the HPP on-line course for Cross-sectoral promotion of health and well-being.
5. Emotional drive
Technology and societal structures has an integral role in managing the practices for promoting human health and well-being though they are seldom the key drivers in the field. Future skills are based on people, their knowledge, learning ability, motivation and emotional drive. We wanted to create for a lunch visitors in a campus dining venue a meaningful moment by a couple of melodies. They were not prepared for the POP-UP event, but the event arrived in their everyday life in the form of music. A couple of melodies that people can emotionally relate to moments meaningful in their everyday life was presented by the artist Jesse Kaikuranta. How did we success in this? Beautiful tunes prompted people to ask: What’s going on in campus? “It’s something about promoting health and well-being.” “Oh, what does that mean?” Sometimes you may remember the questions better than the completed answers. However, at the event we also heard a song called “the answer to everything”. What is the powerful emotional drive that gives us the answer to everything!