Significant change story: ACADEMIC STAFF

What is the most significant change you experienced during ILCA-project life-time?

Why you consider this as the most important?


Vilnius College of Technologies and Design

Aurelijus Vaškys, Lecturer

“I have to admit that when I was invited to participate in the ILCA project training, I was a bit skeptical. As someone who teaches students about the green course and sustainability strategies, I wondered what more the ILCA training could offer me. However, I must say that it changed my perspective. First of all, it broadened my understanding that sustainability and sustainable technologies are pervasive. In my role as a business educator and professional, I know that many businesses see integrating sustainability into their processes as a cost-increasing endeavor. The ILCA project helped shift my view from seeing sustainability as merely an added cost to recognizing it as a business opportunity—an opportunity to save money and sell innovative ideas.During the ILCA project, we learned how to effectively pitch our business ideas. It’s crucial not only to have a great idea but also to know how to present it well. Many businesses with excellent ideas fail because they don’t know how to market themselves or their concepts effectively. Thus, the ability to pitch an idea is key to turning business concepts into reality. I’m very pleased that the ILCA project trained us in pitching, teaching us how to present our ideas attractively and understandably, appealing to consumers, potential investors, and prospective business partners.”

Jolanta Pileckienė, Lecturer

“I believe the most significant change brought by the ILCA project has been the development of personal competencies, sustainability, and environmental awareness. One of the most noteworthy experiences was the Design Thinking course, which I had the honor of participating in. As a mentor, I was able to share the new knowledge I acquired with our college community. I believe that everyone should contribute to environmental education, making this change essential for building a sustainable society.”


Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Laura Pakarinen, Lecturer

“Hi, I’m Laura Pakarinen from Savonia University of Applied Sciences. I am a functional fashion expert and I work as a lecturer. In the ILCA project, I have been working on the issue of green transitions. The biggest thing that emerges from there, from a designer’s point of view, is the shift from linear to circular thinking. Moving to circular design really changes everything. We have to start thinking in terms of life cycles at the design phase and all the phases of the life cycle have to be carefully planned. And that is also influenced by systems thinking and systems understanding. Everything depends on everything and understanding and managing the interdependence and complex world is the challenge for us and the thing that really changes.“


University of Suceava

Angela Albu, Professor 

“Sustainability is no longer just a word or an idea; it is part of our lives. Our university, and especially the Faculty of Economics, Administration, and Business, promotes sustainability in all its activities, both academic and extracurricular, including the projects it participates in or coordinates. We have several projects in this regard, and the ILCA project is of particular value because it has provided a wealth of information on sustainability to students, faculty, and non-teaching staff alike. However, it is not the only project; recently, another project on sustainability in tourism was completed, in which we were partners. This international project aims to give tourism managers the ability to act in the direction of a circular economy, sustainable training, and the integration of sustainability ideas into all their activities. We are open to increasingly complex categories of projects, trying to integrate the business environment, where there is still a certain lack of knowledge, but which is open and eager to obtain this information, so that they can then integrate it into their daily activities“.


Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University

Diana Mykhaylyna, Lecturer

“Good afternoon, my name is Diana Mykhaylyna, I am a lecturer at the Department of International Economics at Chernivtsi National University and together with my esteemed colleagues I had the opportunity to participate in the ILCA project. I was asked if I could highlight any changes that I felt as a result of this participation. I want to say that I think there are still many such changes and that they could probably be felt by anyone who was involved in the project, because in my opinion, it is not only about climate innovation and entrepreneurship, but also about another opportunity to reflect on our responsibility in relation to the way we live our lives today. Do we sort our waste, how do we behave as consumers, what are we going to leave behind? This is certainly not a new topic. It is known that the entire conscious global community has been raising the issue of sustainable development of environmental and climate change and social responsibility in this context for years.However, when it comes to participating in a specific event or project like ILCA, you can no longer stay away. For me, the international and interdisciplinary format of the project is also particularly valuable, as representatives from such countries as Finland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, and scientific researchers were involved: Finland, Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, scientists, researchers, experts, practitioners, from various fields of activity, including climatologists, ecologists, economists, farmers, surveyors, business and municipal representatives. And I think this approach makes it possible to once again realise the complexity of this problem and our involvement in it. Now you can’t say that this is purely for a climatologist or an ecologist, no; it’s about each of us.

Therefore, this change relates primarily to such a reformatting of consciousness, and in my opinion, such changes are intended to direct us to find in our daily work the way to develop innovative thinking in terms of environmental protection, and significant steps have already been taken within the framework of the project. For example, the so-called innovation laboratory was launched and implemented. In particular, within the framework of the Chernivtsi National University business incubator, which served as a platform for developing new ideas, technologies, and approaches to solving problems related to climate change, it is a place where all stakeholders can meet to discuss new ideas, conduct various brainstorming sessions, and develop various prototypes. I also cannot but mention a number of important and interesting online and offline events in which our colleagues and students participated. In particular, an informative meeting-excursion to the geodetic point ‘University’ where we talked about tools and mechanisms for monitoring climate change in the Chernivtsi region and Ukraine, also talked about the impact of climate change on the functioning of ecosystems, raised the issue of the need to establish a social dialogue between the geodetic laboratory and representatives of business and municipality. First of all, in order to choose the most optimal model for the development of ecosystem functioning and entrepreneurship, especially in the context of climate change.

Also, it is important to mention participation in the international large-scale humanitarian annual conference, if I am not mistaken, ‘Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week’, which took place in Geneva, and which also involves stakeholders, including experts, practitioners, UN representatives, representatives of the international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and non-governmental organisations. Of course, we participated in the Innovation Week, where the requirements for participation in the so-called ecoton, a marathon of innovative business ideas aimed at preserving the environment, were announced as part of team interactions, and we cannot but be proud that the winner was ECO-HUB, a start-up by students of the Faculty of Economics at Chernivtsi National University, which then presented its business idea for recycling recyclable materials and creating prostheses for the military personnel of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on the international platform of the project. In my opinion, this level of environmental responsibility, culture, social responsibility, and innovative thinking is extremely useful and valuable for our youth and our society as a whole.“


University of Forestry

Vera Petrova, Assoc. prof. of land reclamation

“Now I feel confident to start composting”

“The delicate balance between green and brown matter is crucial for compost quality. Understanding this balance has given me the confidence to start composting.“

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