Get to know us. This is

Our team

16 participants from 7 partner Universities across the Nordic and Baltic region. Meet us here and please do contact us for more information. 

Helsinki, Finland

Akureyri, Iceland

Kaunas, Lithuania

Tallinn, Estonia

Odense, Denmark

Vidzeme, Latvia

Vilnius, Lithuania

ARCADA - University of Applied Sciences

Arcada is a multi-professional University of Applied Sciences in Finland.  There are 2,700 students and 170 staff members in the campus in Helsinki (Finland). At Arcada high level research with societal impact meets lifelong learning within all our areas of expertise: business management and analytics; energy and materials technology; health and welfare; culture and media and healthcare. Together with the partners, the university is building Nordic bridges to be globally relevant. Smart solutions are created for a dynamic working life and a vibrant Swedish-speaking culture.

For more information about our University, please visit

Mikael Forsström

Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing, International projects, Department of Business Management and Analytics.

ARCADA is the coordinating institution, and as the project manager for VAKEN, my main focus areas are on managing the project progress to ensure that the project meets deadlines.  I have also worked on the VAKEN process, branding, and the development of the VAKEN website. 

I have a passion for digital transformation and I teach all major marketing platforms. I have a long experience in international and national projects, and  I’m a board member of the Space Network for Business studies. 

Christa Tigerstedt

Senior lecturer, Strategic projects, Department of Business Management and Analytics

At Arcada I mainly teach leadership, organizational development and digitalization related topics. I am also heavily involved in different future oriented projects related to digitalization, AI driven agents and future work life skills. As a member of the pedagogical coouncil I have been working wiht many pedgogical development project troughout the years.

I am part of VAKEN’s management team and I am very interested in making VAKEN a future proof model for soft skills learning. I work on the overall process modelling and also more specfically on how our model can support the development of skills from the learner’s perspective. I have been doing some initial research into the wide range of soft skills. 

Owen Kelly

Principal lecturer

I currently work as principal lecturer in online media at Arcada. You can find my personal web site at, you can download my publications from, and you can learn about my work in India at

At VAKEN I have been involved in research related to the VAKEN soft skills as well as development of the overall VAKEN process or model. 

Elena Smirnova

International amanuensis, Department of Business Management and Analytics 

At Arcada I am mostly working with international students. I am advising students to achieve their study goals and to develop professional skills. I am also coordinating and booking of courses for the Business and Analytics Department.  

I am a part of VAKEN management team. I have been involved in research of soft skills and its development.

The University of Akureyri (UNAK)

The University of Akureyri (UNAK) was founded in 1987 and is situated in north of Iceland, in the town Akureyri. There are about 2540 students and 200 permanent employees. The university offers programmes in the following subjects: social sciences, media studies, nursing, occupational therapy, teacher training (preschool and primary school), biotechnology, law, police science, modern studies, psychology, fishery studies, computer science and business administration. Graduate programmes are offered in the health sciences, social sciences, business administration and resource studies.

For more information about our University, please visit

Hafdís Björg Hjálmarsdóttir

Associate Lecturer, marketing.

At UNAK I teach introduction to marketing, services marketing and introduction to public relations. I also guide final thesis.
At VAKEN I have contributed to the pedagogical framework and my participation has also been in developing the VAKEN process, branding, as well as developing the Vaken-process handbook, and developing ideas for dissemination.

Vera Kristín Vestmann Kristjánsdóttir

Assistant Lecturer, marketing and statistics.

At UNAK I teach advertising and promotion, consumer behaviour, quality management and statistics. I also guide final thesis.

At VAKEN I have contributed to the soft skills framework and my participation ha also been in developing the VAKEN toolkit, as well as the Vaken-process handbook, the final layout of the handbook and toolkit.  

Kaunas University of Applied Sciences

Kaunas University of Applied Sciences is a state – owned institution providing higher education in the areas of technologies, social sciences, biomedicine, humanities and arts. It is one of the biggest institutions of higher education not only in Lithuania, but in the whole Baltic Region. More than 6000 students are currently studying and over 600 teachers are working here. The university actively contributes to implementing the state regional development policy – study programmes are realised in Kaunas and Taurage. Alltogether it offers over 50 study programs.

For more information about our University, please visit 

Indre Knyviene

Lecturer, Department of Tourism and Leisure Management, Faculty of Business Management.

At Kaunas University of Applied Sciences I´m the lecturer on accounting and teach mainly Financial Accounting and Managerial Accounting , Finance.
At VAKEN I´ve been part of defining the soft skills, developing the toolkit, framework handbook. 

Gintare Zilinskiene



TK UAS is a state professional higher education institution and the largest university of applied sciences in Estonia, currently educating more than 3000 students. It offers competitive professional higher education and applied research in the fields of technology, production, civil engineering, logistics, economics and welfare. The language of instruction is estonian and the 19 study programs include logistics and transport, environmental economy and technology, robotics, automotive engineering, mechanics, electrical engineering, civil engineering, architecture, business administration, social work, etc

For more information about our University, please visit

Britt Petjärv

Head of Centre for Humanities and Economics as well as Lecturer in Leadership and Management at TTK University of Applied Sciences, Estonia

I’m interested in educational innovation and leadership development, e.g. how to involve into the university teaching more enchanting and innovative teaching and learning methods, forms and tools to deliver the subject knowledge with 21st century skills.

At Vaken I have contributed to pedagogical framework, toolkit development and dissemination of the project results. 

Helen Kiis

Leading Lecturer, Centre for Humanities and Economics

At TTK I´m the leading lecturer on economics and teach mainly marketing and entrepreneurship both to local and international Erasmus students.

At VAKEN I´ve been part of defining the soft skills, developing the toolkit as well as leading the website development process.

UCL University College

UCL University College is a regional higher education institution with campuses in the cities of Odense, Svendborg, Vejle, Jelling and Fredericia (satellite). It has more than 10,000 students and about 1,000 employees. UCL University College is 1 out of 6 University Colleges in Denmark, and the 3rd largest. UCL offers more than 40 academy and professional higher education programmes (AP-degree programmes, Professional BA programmes and BA Top Up programmes), within Business and Technology, Education and Social Sciences and Health Sciences.

For more information about our University, please visit

Kristin Utne

Assistant Professor, Multimediadesign and Webdevelopment, department of Marketing, digital development and design.

I teach graphic design, digital aestethics, interactiondesign and user research on the programmes Multimediadesign and Webdevelopment. I have a focus on UX, UI and content production.

During VAKEN I have been participating in developing the pedagogical framework, selecting the toolbox as well participating in the website development. 

Karen Malene Andreasen

Associate Lecturer, Multimediadesign, department of Marketing, digital development and design.

At UCL I teach content strategy, user research, project management, business understanding and usertesting within digital content production and UI/UX.
At VAKEN my participation has been working with the VAKEN process, and branding, as well as being a part of the website development of the VAKEN website. 

Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences

Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA) is a state higher education institution, which offers 17 study programmes at the Faculty of Society and Science and the Faculty of Engineering. It was founded in 1996 and in 2001 acquired the status of a state university. ViA offers high-quality, flexible study programs that balance theory and practice that are adapted to the needs of society and changes in the labour market. The quality of the studies is ensured by experienced and professional teaching staff, advanced study methods, as well as by students who know what they want to achieve and how to succeed.

For more information about our University, please visit

Aigars Andersons

PhD cand., MSc. manag., MSc. Comp., lecturer, Chairman of the Council of the Faculty of Society and Science, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Member of E³UDRES² European University Alliance

I´m an economic and business processes expert in the Baltic Countries and regional coordinator of the Global business education network “BUSINET” in Baltics. Also I am the principal inventor of an innovative international trade promotion system and advisor of technology and business development for international hi-tech company SPORTident GmbH in Germany.
Most of my local and international projects are related with such interdisciplinary topics as socio-technical systems modelling, promotion and practical use of ITC technologies for various business applications worldwide.

Maira Lescevica

Professor, Vice-rector in Academics at the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Deputy Chairperson of Council of Faculty of Society and Science, researcher in Institute of Social, Economic and Humanities research (HESPI)

My lectures for doctoral students are about Circular Economy, for master students – Entrepreneurship Environment, Business Ethics and CSR, Project Management Strategies, Eco-preneurship, Sustainable Cooperation, and for bachelor students – Research methodology, International Business, Project Management. My research publications are possible to find in

At VAKEN I have been involved in research related to the VAKEN soft skills, developing the pedagogical framework, and development of Vaken soft skills handbook.

Vilniaus kolegija

Vilniaus kolegija is a flexible and continually changing higher educational institution in Vilnius, Lithuania, that is harmoniously combining labour market needs with the development of promising areas of science and art. It has more than 6500 students and around 450 employees. It offers 39 study programs in the fields of electronics and informatics, economics, business management, health care, agrotechnologies, pedagogy, arts and creative technologies. Around 8 of these are taught in English. It has gained its international recognition and is successfully integrating into the common field of European higher education.

For more information about our University, please visit

Dalia Karlaitė

Head of Management Department, Lecturer, Vilniaus kolegija/University of Applied Sciences, Vilnius, Lithuania

I am a head of Management department responsible for the quality of study program Oganization management and I am also lecturing ethics and social responsibility of business, and supervising bachelor theses. At VAKEN I took part at developing the VAKEN process and website. 

Flavius Streianu

Lecturer, Vilniaus kolegija/University of Applied Sciences, Vilnius, Lithuania
Doctoral student, Education Sciences, Mykolas Romeris University, Vilnius, Lithuania

I am a doctoral student in the field of education sciences, working on the topic Ensuring sustainability in HEIs through holistic education and learning: S.M.A.R.T. – Students Make Art, Research & Technology©.

I am also lecturing Personal Leadership and Business Psychology at Vilniaus Kolegija University of Applied Sciences, the courses are developed based on the PhD topic findings.

In the VAKEN project my work focuses are on using the right pedagogical processes, creating a toolkit for the participants and building the project framework 

Contact us for more information

We will be happy to give you some more information about the VAKEN Process and the VAKEN toolkit.