Learning Cycles

What are People-Centred Learning Cycles?

People-centred Learning Cycles are the key innovative contribution of the PEOPLE project. They present a novel pedagogical approach bringing together students, university educators, business professionals, and users of products and services to foster balanced exchange of knowledge, skills, and experience. Applying different people-centred development approaches, local development teams of students, academic mentors, business professionals/mentors, and users will be cooperating in the development and testing of new industry solutions tailored to the needs of communities in the area of sustainable living. Interdisciplinary teams of students will be working on real-life business challenges to develop or improve the industry partners’ products and services.

What we do in the PEOPLE project

The project will implement and evaluate two 6-months learning cycles, the first cycle starting in Month 11 (September 2017) and the second in Month 23 (September 2018).

In each of the two Learning Cycles, we are implementing four Case Studies, each being a node of the project’s knowledge alliance and a partnership between the higher education/research institution and the industry partner. The four industry partners also take over the role of Case Study Leaders, thus ensuring a business push towards realisation of common goals.




How we do it

In each country, we identify and recruit 4 students at Masters (level 4) programmes (or higher) with diverse disciplinary backgrounds within sociology, psychology, anthropology, or related disciplines. Prior to the launch of Learning Cycles, training in entrepreneurship is provided to university staff, while training for business professionals introduces research and development methods, case studies, and the potential of people-centred development approaches. Students then engage in research with the local partner company, applying the identified people-centred development approaches and tools developed by the PEOPLE project. The students’ work is jointly monitored by Academic and Industry Mentors (PEOPLE partners), who provide guidance and feedback. At the end of the Learning Cycles, a Co-Creation Camp is organised, bringing together students, academic and industry mentors from 4 participating countries to share and discuss the results and to present the methods and project results to an international external public from academic, research and business environment. The PEOPLE approach and methodology in different Case Studies is being thoroughly evaluated during and at the end of Learning Cycles, finally  combining and generalising the outcomes to guide the further refinement of PEOPLE results as well as to create lessons learned and best practices on  implementing people-centred learning cycles.

The expected impacts of PEOPLE Learning Cycles

In terms of impact the case studies will:

  • coach students in adopting an applied perspective on theory and methods, by incorporating business requirements in research design;
  • enable students to carry out practical observations by working alongside company employees and gain qualitative insight in their daily work and business processes;
  • enable students to do participant observations and field-experiments in customer contexts (e.g. household, SMEs, larger industries etc.);
  • offer opportunity to contribute and expand customer-led tools that are already used and /or introduce new tools or methods;
  • bring practical and interdisciplinary experiences in the way theory and methods from social sciences can be applied in customer-led innovation.Overall, each of the two People-centred Learning Cycles will have an impact on three different segments:
  • Impact on Business (criteria: “Viable”): the results produced will be economically sustainable over time.
  • Impact on Technology (criteria: “Feasible”): the solution developed will be achievable through existing technology, best demonstrated through a working prototype.
  • Impact on People (criteria: “Desirable”): the solution will solve a key identified industry problem and will create a value for a group of stakeholders/customers/users.

1st Learning Cycle: CASE STUDIES

Case studies, implemented in the first PEOPLE project's Learning Cycle (2017/2018) in all four partner countries: Slovenia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Czech Republic. More

2nd Learning Cycle: CASE STUDIES

Case studies, implemented in the 2nd PEOPLE project's Learning Cycle (2018/2019) in all four partner countries: Slovenia, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Czech Republic. More.


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