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What is Team Academy (Tiimiakatemia®) ?


25 years ago, in Finland, marketing lecturer Johannes Partanen challenged his business students – “Do you want to go on a trip around the world and learn some marketing on the side?” In December 1996, the first group of graduates embarked on a world tour lasting seven weeks – financed by their enterprise activities as a team that earned as they learned.

This was the birth of Team Academy –or Tiimiakatemia® and a whole new way of learning in higher education.

Today, there is a growing network of over 10,000 users in over 12 countries. In the UK a small number of universities have adopted the Team Academy methodology as a way of engaging young people in business learning.

But let’s go back to Finland for a moment…. If this programme has been running for 25 years, what has happened to the graduates of such an innovative programme?

Well, in a quiet, progressive, collaborative way, they are transforming the organisations which they now own, run, or work for. Some of these are small micro businesses, some are international organisations. These are the organisations of the future.

How is this? Because they have truly learned that a team isn’t a group of employees who turn up at ‘work’ every day; they understand that high-performing teams have little to do with raft-building or paintball combat; they know that effective organisations of the future will not be run by hierarchies, but networks of teams; they have agile mindsets which can cope with complex environments; they thrive on challenge and know the power of vulnerability. They know themselves and are self-directing, agile learners. They are emerging leaders of their futures.

Could your organisation look like this?