As a teacher, I help my students to become independent thinkers and creators. My teaching is driven by the principles guiding my research: fostering diversity, creativity, and positive social change for a more inclusive and equal society.
Encouraging diversity in class room is important for representativeness and for maximizing knowledge creation: Research shows that the more diverse a group is, the better it can outcompete a homogeneous group in problem solving. When students are given an equal chance to succeed, regardless of their background, it creates a positive effect on society.
When teaching human-centered design methods, I apply a multidisciplinary approach for solving timely problems. In a class at Stanford d.school “Douglas Engelbart’s Unfinished Legacy: Solving Global Grand Challenges”, we designed concepts addressing the urgent issues in three domain areas—environment, education, and health-by using information technologies.
In another class about human-centered design at Stanford, "Designing Civic Technologies with Virtual Reality" , we developed new ways of using virtual reality and 360° video for civic use. The students designed concepts for addressing people’s needs in education, journalistic storytelling, environment, and democratic decision-making.
My classes about media sociology intertwine theories with timely societal developments. In a class about moral panics in the media in the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, we studied societal reactions to contemporary juvenile crime portrayed in the media.
I believe in a cyclical learning loop: The concepts are best learned in practice. Therefore in my classes we first study the concept, apply it in practice, and then return to the roots of the concept. For example, in my research methods classes, we apply social science research methods, both qualitative and quantitative, in solving research questions the students have developed.
I have led a number of human-centered design workshops for developing media innovations in academia, industry, and government, including the Government of Canada, a number of media companies, and the World Forum for Democracy at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.
At the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Stanford, I developed and implemented the concept of the Brown Media Innovation Base Camp. In these camps, the students designed media innovations in multidisciplinary and bi-coastal teams.
In the Media Innovation Challenge Uutisraivaaja (News Pioneer) in Finland, I have designed and lead several media innovation workshops.
At the World Forum for Democracy at the Council of Europe, I have designed and lead workshops for the Forum's the Democracy Incubator.