“Preparing our students for the future – From idea into design in professional health work and education”.

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture or presentation


Facing the rapid development in health care both nationally and internationally demands new strategies of thinking and action for both health professions and future health care students. The group of elderly burdening the public sector is the fastest growing group ever, and many countries are now dealing with great diversity in the number of health professionals educated to take care of elderly patients in hospitals as well as residents in older care homes. The mission of finding staff and conducting a well organized and professional treatment and care seems to some extend impossible.

Through the recent past years there has been an increased focus on innovation in the public sector, where the majority of health care professionals are employed. Governments require innovation in the public sector, which as a rule always requires both creative individuals and a creative environment to be done. This leaves health educations all over Europe with a huge responsibility of preparing students for future challenges, teaching them how to conduct what have been called "Innovation focused health care".

Since knowledge about innovation originates from innovation in the private sector there will naturally be challenges in connecting and implanting innovation to a tradition-bound and hierarchical public sector. Innovation in the public sector is, according to Mulgan (2007) in spite of the structure of the public sector and not because of it. The public sector is opposite to the private sector, subject to other requirements and conditions, and the sector is described as without the assumptions required for the basis of innovation.

Innovation is a discipline which has grown out of the shadow of "invention" and has become a business and civic key concept. In recent years the concept of innovation is really starting to gain ground within public sectors through various initiatives, projects, and especially speeches on the importance of being innovative, to meet the demands and challenges public sectors are facing in the near future. (Bekke et al, 2007). However by far the largest knowledge of how innovation can and must be implemented originates from innovation in the private sector. This limits the literature dealing with innovation in the public sector and health sectors in particular.

Considering the development described above leads me to the following question:

"Do we use the right forms and methods of teaching in health educations for our students to become innovators in an era of hyper change? And how can health professions get inspired by other professions concerning creativity and innovation?"

My contribute to the COHERE Conference 2010 will give suggestions to answer the question, by describing different approaches to innovation and methods of creativity that are vital to succeed in innovative goals, as well as a suggestion on how to both teach and use creativity and innovation within health educations. I will benchmark my experiences in teaching both students and teachers in "Creativity and Innovation" at the University College of Northern Jutland and Aalborg University – Denmark as well at international courses.

Period19 May 2010
Event title“Preparing our students for the future – From idea into design in professional health work and education”.
Event typePresentation
OrganisersConsortium of Institutes of Higher Education in Health and Rehabilitation in Europe, Consortium of Institutes of Higher Education in Health and Rehabilitation in Europe
LocationOulu, FinlandShow on map


  • innovation