Please, don´t misunderstand me, I think strategies, goals, and programs are important, as well as the follow up of them and the most challenging step: to make the necessary improvements based on the evaluation; but; the emphasis should always be on the action. Only with action can we accomplish change.
I write because I want to inspire more people to take action for sustainable development.
I also want to encourage others to write about their actions, since by talking about what you have done, others can be inspired and encouraged. The texts don’t have to be that long, you can for example start on Twitter, where the posts cannot be longer than 280 characters. I don’t, yet, have many followers or likes on my posts in that media, but surprisingly, my Twitter account is the third most referred media, from which my website visitors have found my webpage, during the three months I have had my webpage. Most people find me through Facebook and LinkedIn, but I have used those media channels for about a decade and am more familiar with them.
Also in my short, intense research career, I wanted to focus on action, which I did. My dissertation was an interdisciplinary action research study about enabling change in universities. Interdisciplinary means that several academic disciplines were involved in order to create something new, across academic borders. Participants in the study included actioners and researchers from different fields from 11 universities and universities of applied sciences from Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Action research seeks change through the process of taking action and doing research, which is linked together by reflection. In other words, interdisciplinary research is a method to test hypotheses in a real-world environment.
About a year ago, I saw an opportunity to act as guest editor for the Finnish Journal of Applied Sciences, which planned two theme issues for sustainable development. I have previously worked at a Finnish University of Applied Sciences for 15 years, which is why I am familiar with how they work and interested in what is under development. The first issue (2/2020) concerned Universities of applied sciences promoting ecological sustainability, which I edited with Eveliina Asikainen from Tampere University of Applied Sciences. The other (3/2020) focused on Universities of applied sciences promoting social sustainability, which I edited with Silja Kostia from Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Kaija Saramäki from Karelia University of Applied Sciences. I was deeply impressed by the variety of development projects and educational development being done around Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences. Working as a themed issue/guest editor was therefore rewarding and I warmly recommend it. As we say in the editorial of 3/2020 “Together we can do more”- “In addition to learning more about editing and writing, as a guest editor you can widen your networks and quickly gain a comprehensive view on how the subject of the theme is being developed in universities.”
I am also trying to improve my own writing skills. In school my favorite topics were mathematics and gymnastics. I was not interested in languages, or especially in learning grammar, which I am regretting, since writing is needed in every line of work – the better you write, the better you can get your message across. I still like working with numbers and statistics, but not all sustainability goals can be measured by numbers, which is why I am trying to get better at writing. Therefore, this is also my own training program you are following. My daughters are very ambitious and smart and they both have, among other skills and know-how, excellent grammar. I run every text that I publish here via one of them for grammar improvement, before which I apply the Grammarly program, which I also recommend.
Tove Holm, 2.2.2021
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