The LISTO project concluded on schedule in October 2020 after an intensive 3-year collaboration. In the final project year, we had to adapt our way of working together because of the COVID19 pandemic. We continued via virtual exchange and presented the results in a webinars series which attracted more than 400 participants.
We are very happy to share the tangible deliverables of LISTO. The project had three specific objectives, each of which we addressed with one work package leading to a number of outputs and outcomes:
1. Foster university-industry relations by using the AIMday match-making method
The consortium worked with a specific tool – the AIMday (www.aimday.se) match-making format – to connect researchers strategically with the private sector. Within LISTO, the seven Latin American partner organized one pilot AIMday each in 2018/19. This facilitated a very concrete and practical exchange about how to advance university-industry relations. In addition, we evaluated the experience and published the results incl. a quantitative/qualitative analysis and recommendations in the LISTO e-book “University-Industry Cooperation in Latin America: Lessons learned from applying the AIMday methodology.” The e-book is available for free and in three language versions (English, Spanish, Portuguese) in the Resources section. While some partners will continue using AIMday, the consortium recognizes the practical peer-learning exchange as an important outcome of this work package. Using AIMday as a proven method for a group activity allowed each partner to evaluate and improve other tools in use, thereby increasing the institutional capacity in a broader way. Moreover, the exchange lead to the development of new, agile forms of cross-sectorial collaborations, e.g. a virtual Hackathon to tackle the COVID19 crisis organized by LISTO partners UNC and ORT.
2. Increase the entrepreneurial skill set of teachers and students by developing International Virtual Classrooms
All ten partners of LISTO worked together in developing the LISTO International Virtual Classroom “Entrepreneurial Solutions in Innovative Global Networks.” After a series of method training and curriculum development workshops, the consortium tested 3 pilots in March/April 2019. After an evaluation, we improved the course concept and turned the 3 pilots into one combined course, the LISTO IVC 2020. It addresses the Sustainable Development Goals and provides a form of global, intercultural learning to students, working collaboratively on addressing specific challenges. (See student impact stories) So far, more than 30 teachers and more than 250 students haven been involved in the 2 editions of the LISTO IVC. We published our experience in the “Entrepreneurial Virtual Classroom Handbook. An interdisciplinary approach from a European and Latin American collaboration.” The e-book is available for free and in three language versions (English, Spanish, Portuguese) in the Resources section. Apart from the tangible deliverables – the IVC itself and the handbook – the co-creative method of developing the IVC has been an important and transformative learning outcome for the LISTO consortium. Our experience might serve as an inspiration and example for other projects who would like to develop similar virtual exchange initiatives bottom-up, and we are happy to share our experience with you.
3. Strengthen a university-wide spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship (entrepreneurial university)
While the AIMday and IVC activities were very practical and hands-on, the third work package aimed to look at the “bigger picture” by discussing and evaluating strategies for entrepreneurial universities. Based on an exchange of good-practice (methods and tools), the consortium conducted a SWOT-analysis of the entrepreneurial dimension of the partner universities. After comparing and jointly analyzing this study, we developed the “LISTO Toolkit for Entrepreneurial Universities” in which we present not only our concluding recommendations but also a change-oriented model (MESAVAR approach) to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in the university. The LISTO Toolkit is available for free and in three language versions (English, Spanish, Portuguese) in the Resources section. With half of the activities of this work package happening virtually because of the COVID19 pandemic, the Toolkit also shares insight in how to work together with a diverse group of universities through virtual exchange.
Every project has a beginning and an end. In the case of LISTO, we have become more than just colleagues, we have become friends and partners. We are collaborating on a number of smaller spin-off projects and are doing research together. In 2021, we plan to offer again the LISTO IVC. There are ideas for follow-up project proposal. While LISTO as an Erasmus+ project ended successfully, LISTO as a collaboration and network will continue.