HEI Schools named a finalist in World Changing Ideas Award 2019
Selected from over 2,000 entries, HEI Schools has been named a finalist in Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Award 2019 for its work in “globalising nordic wellbeing through education”.
Fast Company is a leader in the coverage of innovative businesses around the world. According to the publication, its World Changing Ideas Awards “honour products concepts, companies, policies and designs that are pursuing innovation for the good of society and the planet.”
“We are honoured to be able to recognise HEI Schools’ achievements in creating a World Changing Idea – and to include them as part of this remarkable list of innovative solutions,” said Fast Company Editor-in-Chief Stephanie Mehta.
With a focus on early childhood education, HEI Schools is the first education provider to bring Finland’s world-renowned education – which consistently tops OECD rankings – to other countries, including Australia. The company said it delivers a complete and integrated package of curriculum materials, teacher training, facility design, and curated learning tools. The package is designed to be easy to implement and culturally neutral, “while still delivering the robust educational program and nurturing values that have made Finnish schools so widely admired around the world”.
HEI explains that its goal is not to try to export Nordic social norms or structures, but to empower local providers with the core building blocks of the Finnish approach, including practical techniques, foundational principles, and attention to the physical learning environment.
“To this end, we work closely with local partners in the recruitment and training of personnel, as well as in the construction of beautiful learning spaces inspired by Finnish design,” said an HEI Schools representative.
HEI Schools developed its model in collaboration with its pedagogical research partner and co-founding institution, the University of Helsinki.
Jari Strandman, CEO of Helsinki Innovation Services at the University of Helsinki, said “By combining world-leading knowledge about early education with the logistical expertise of the HEI Schools team, and their passion for building a purpose-driven enterprise through holistic design, we are seeing the rapid adoption and development of the HEI Schools model internationally.”
HEI Schools said that, ultimately, their goal “is for children to discover themselves in a way that empowers them to direct their own lives, to create original ideas, and to help improve the lives of others”.
Milla Kokko, CEO and a co-founder of HEI Schools, reflected on the announcement that HEI Schools had been named a World Changing Ideas finalist: “We are honored to be recognised for our efforts to have a positive impact on the world. Our goal with HEI Schools is simple: to provide high-quality early childhood education to as many children and families in the world as possible. As we continue to expand our reach, we will strive to create educational environments that activate young minds, engage communities, and nurture lifelong learning.”
HEI Schools educates worldwide, currently operating in China, South Korea, Finland, and Australia. New HEI Schools locations are set to open in Indonesia, Argentina, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.