Issues and needs – Competence Hub

Please engage in the discussion regarding potential issues or needs related to the Competence Hub – the EIT Urban Mobility Professional School. The aim is to identify potential areas for the call to focus on. Please discuss addressable issues and needs you see and what you think are causing these. Potential solutions will be discussed later. In essence the question is: What areas should we focus our budget on to maximize the impact and commercial success of the Competence Hub?

The main aim for the Competence Hub is to close the knowledge gap for professionals arising from the ongoing transformation within urban mobility. The knowledge gap may be categorised into training related to implementation and utilization of new technologies, innovation and entrepreneurship, and change management. Three areas that are to a very high extent intertwined and dependant. The Competence Hub works with a variety of formats from different scope and scale of online formats, to blended courses, as well as face-to-face training. We are in constant search for new hot topics and unmet needs. For more information please click here.

The first time you comment, an approval is required before your comment becomes visible. When appropriate, please include links to additional material (maximum 3). Please state your name and organisation if you want to be recognised. Please remember that this is a public site and that all comments are public and can be read by anybody. Please clearly state what issue or need you refer to, already mentioned or a new one, when posting a new comment. Please also post responses to comments made by others and also respond to comment you get.

From our experience of previous calls and the current reality, we have identified some key challenges/needs that the Competence Hub must face/overcome, listed below. In general we look for activities and initiatives that can generate impact within the cities as well as the transport/mobility industries, while also generating enough value and revenue to be profitable.

The Competence Hub’s programmes need to be scalable and repeatable (same/similar course, various cohorts). New activities can be regarded as pilots for further future expansion increasing geographical coverage and volume, gradually improving profit levels when repeated. Marketing and sales of suggested activities will require special attention and target group analysis need to be improved.

On top of the needs identified below, please suggest additional issues and needs to address if you find something missing. Focus on the problem and need, not pushing solutions.

  • Synchronous blended and face-to-face courses with significant revenue potential 
    • With an initial focus on online in 2020 and 2021, we need to strengthen our portfolio especially regarding synchronous blended and face-to-face courses. Course should ideally be possible to repeat enough times to reach break even, justifying the investment and development costs.
  • Niche courses meeting very specific unmet needs
    • We look for proven unmet market needs that may not be obvious. If there are guarantees of paying clients, we should be able to support the development.
  • Successful local courses with internationalisation potential
    • We look for successful local/national courses that are likely to be successful internationally. This should be a possible way to increase our course success rate and commercial viability.
  • Latest learning technologies and methodologies
    • How can we utilize new learning technologies and methodologies within the Competence Hub? Can we improve learnings and/or decrease costs?
  • Trade fair courses
    • New course formats based on existing trade fairs, such as Tomorrow.Mobility, could be an interesting way to leverage and exploit potential synergies based on existing activities gathering urban mobility professionals.
  • Communities
    • We look for new ways to engage with existing urban mobility communities. Supporting existing communities could be a fast way to identify, probe and met training needs by larger groups.

  • Suggest an issue or need to discuss 
    • Please suggest other relevant issues and needs to address and discuss and in line with what is stated above. What you think are issues and needs to focus on on to maximize the impact of the EIT Urban Mobility Academy activities.

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27 thoughts on “Issues and needs – Competence Hub

  1. For systemic change towards sustainable ways of urban mobility to happen, education and training in urban mobility need to englobe all relevant stakeholders. We need education and training in which students, companies, public bodies and citizens can interact with each other so that needs and expectations of different target groups are considered. Also, we need more solution-driven approaches rather than problem-solving, education and training in mobility needs to be more practical with good examples and best practices showcased.

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  2. New “immersive” learning technologies (VR, AR, etc.) and methodologies (gamification, challenge-based learning) are particularly relevant when considering the learning needs of mobility professionals.

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    1. I totally agree because Urban Mobility solutions happen in the real world. In a complex reality, VR, AR and the new XR (extended reality a place where you are adding Virtual interactive elements to your real world) it’s the only way to simulate a complex situation and where the human behaviour is other relevant factor.

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    2. And talking about gamification. For a long time, people thought that if it’s a game it’s not professional but what you have to ask yourself why the games are so appealing and why people can’t enjoy learning. Let me share with you the octalysis-framework where you can see the 8 “forces” that motivate the human to action. All the big social channels (linkedin, facebook, etc and more) use this strategy and components https://www.gamification.education/octalysis-framework

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  3. Trainings focused on strengthening practical skills that can be easily transferable into the professional practice.

    Also, strategies to foster networking and interaction within participants/learners of the courses as an added value apart from the learning output.

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    1. Agree! I think that it can be useful to allow participants to connect their daily challenges to courses. How can we fix a street that we have a problem with? How do we manage e-scooters in our city? How do we apply a bike-sharing scheme?

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    2. Absolutly! “Now” seems that the buzz words “learning by doing” , “active learning” , “colaborative learning” are new.. but not.. Think about what you really are good at.. It’s something that you practice a lot and the more you enjoy it the more you practice. So enjoy it’s the other key component.
      In addition, nowadays professional are terrible bussy and if they dedicate their scarced time to a training it have to be directly applicable, it has to be worth.
      It’s not a “new way” method, from now on it’s the only way to do a effective training.

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  4. Urban mobility is undergoing a huge changes with urbanisation, digitalisation and electrification. This will mean millions of pprofessionals have to be taught new skills, some may even have to change jobs. How to design a training portfolio that meets these needs? How to address so many different types of jobs? How to raise awareness and inform on trends and at the same time teach skills and how to apply them? How to disseminate the (successful) exertise or knowledge from a few single pilots or experiences to millions of professionals?

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    1. Indeed the constant change of the world force us to reskill us constantly. Long-life learning with a flexible mindset is the only way to survive. We need to find the way to integrate this constant reskill without fall in stress. Content curated , micro-moment for micro-learning etc. Teaching methods need to adapt to this new reality.

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  5. Urban mobility is changing and is very difficult to understand in particular to cities what is happening and how to respond to achieve policy objecitives. This brings a need for new skills to get a better understanding and lead to better decision making. Cities need to be prepared and not to be suprised by new developments. Better knowledge and new instruments and data will be important. In Amsterdam we have set up the Innovation department a few years ago to be better prepared, but more is needed. Training programmes in urban mobility need to be tailored to the different tasks and professional expertise available within organisations in order to create added value. A policy maker has other needs than a city researcher, but it is clear that transition developments in mobility have an impact on daily job routines of everybody..

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    1. Very good point. Would you then say that training programs for city officials must have a tailored component directly addressing the main challenge(s) of that particular city in order to be successful? In your case, what could that be?

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    2. Hi Barry, thanks for this feedback. I very much agree with you. In your care how would you wish this tailoring to take place? One option would be to identify experts that are able to contextualise the content they design to a specific expertise. Another would be to bring together different experts from different cities working on similar challenges so they can share their knowledge and learn from one another. What do you think? Any other ways you think this could be achieved?

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    1. I fully agree. Could you give us examples of contextual settings that would be most relevant (specific city? specific mobility challenge? other?)? Would you say specific training formats (workshop, brainstorming sessions, challenges, etc.) are more suited for context-based learning?

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  6. In one of our web TV videos, How is the Netherlands planning its cycling network? Jolanda Smit, a cycling stimulation expert says:

    “Much attention from policymakers is devoted to improving infrastructure (…)we forget that only infrastructure doesn´t encourage people to cycle, we need to encourage them to cycle (….)That´s why we do when trying to sell a cycling project. Selling is about changing behaviour and that´s why we need psychology instead of traffic engineering to sell our cycling project”

    What about creating courses that include psychology concepts to promote these “selling skills” in urban mobility professionals?

    Link to video –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bfLGfaGq1k

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    1. Interesting point Lorena! I agree that behavioral science and the nudge theory are relevant subjects when it comes to changing the mindset of people towards a more sustainable way of moving through the city and of travelling.

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    2. Hi Lorena,

      Jolanda Smit makes and excellent point in the video, complementing Bas Braakman’s focus on infrastructure. The advantage of most European cities, even those that are least comfortable from a cycling perspective, is that the basic land-use structure makes cycling possible for many journeys. Even the most extremely “sprawled” European city is reasonably compact compared to most North American cities. In other words, there is a potential to build an infrastructure network that really works in most contexts. But changing minds, cultural norms (and behaviour) may take much longer than the engineering, and requires continual reinforcement and maintenance of a cycling culture for the current and next generation.

      -George Liu from cyclingresearchreview.com

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  7. Regarding topics, I see working across stakeholders as a major practical challenge. Often best practices and solution directions exist, but making them happen on an organizational level is another challenge. Fitting into the change management category, an example of a course to address this could be for example on agile working in urban mobility planning.

    Building on one thing stated above on this page, I agree that the competence hub has made major progress in releasing online courses. And that moving forward, developing leaders and champions more closely through blended learning and in-person smaller group courses will strengthen its impact.

    Organization: Bicycle User Experience (https://www.bicycleuserexperience.com/)

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    1. Dear Trey, thanks for your feedback and thoughts. I agree that developing leaders and champions through blended learning is key. From your experience, who are the groups of professionals that would most benefit from such blended learning programmes and what do you think they are looking for?

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      1. Dear Gautam,

        At least in the niche of cycling and user centered design, I’d say public practitioners and agency leads. The former for gaining a mindset and practical tools. The latter, for setting the vision of their city’s mobility.

        What are they themselves looking for? Best way would be to ask them. Or a company that has experimented with this before and works with them. Perhaps https://academy.mobycon.com/ or others.

        Apologies for not seeing this reply before.

        Trey

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  8. A major challenge is how to meet the needs of transport professionals today, which on one hand are very local (when you think of governance for example, urban structure, legal aspects) and on the other hand universal (technology, general concepts related to space, to accessibility etc.). As such courses should be able to on one hand to target professionals world with universal content (which can inspiring, eye-opening but can also be seen as generic/superficial), while also addressing local needs (which requires more resources).

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  9. Hi, thank you for the invitation for Khora, Copenhagen, to pitch in here.

    As a company heavily focused on experience-based learning and the power of immersion and aesthetics, something we would consider valuable in the contexts specified could be:

    – Augmented reality tours around urban areas that are under reconfiguration/construction. Most of the time, citizens have no clue why disruptive and annoying construction projects are going on. This can be solved by installing local AR-anchors, that invite the citizens to activate a digital overlay on-site, with accompanying voiceovers. The aim is to give them a full experience of the what, why and when of urban projects that are disruptive.

    – As above, but at a larger scale. Let’s imagine that a city is undergoing a larger and more profound transformation. The blueprints for that transformation can be added as a visual layer on top of the presence, at various sites, and made into an app that both display overlays, guides citizens via GPS to other POIs, and more.

    – As above, but the AR app has the functionality to capture citizen thoughts, impressions, dreams and desires for an area. This can be in the form of voice recordings, pictures, and more, anchored by a citizen to a POI (point of interest), and then looped back into the mobility planners to heighten their awareness of citizen sensitivities and desires.

    – VR domes: Imagine having small local installations with VR headsets immersing citizens in the transformation going on, near POIs. There are various ways in which the domes could gather citizen feedback and impressions – from postits, letters and simi analogues, to virtual annotation in a virtual environment – superimposed.

    Kind regards,
    Matias, Khora VR

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    1. HI Matias, lots of interesting ideas here! Linking this to the Competence Hub´s main goal (training urban mobility professionals): could the 4 concepts highlighted above be integrated/form parts of a training for urban mobility professionals? And if the goal is to create a financially sustainable training, would the cost of implementing VR/AR based trainings be outweight by a high enough number of paying participants?

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  10. Two topics I would like to address:
    1) “Latest learning technologies and methodologies – How can we utilize new learning technologies and methodologies within the Competence Hub? Can we improve learnings and/or decrease costs?”
    -> It would be great to think through a learning strategy that involves all the EIT UM platforms, integrating urbanmobilitycourses.eu courses with complimentary material from YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms. Especially on the YouTube front, I believe our audience will appreciate high quality, long form discussions with urban mobility professionals from various cities and regions in Europe. We have laid an excellent groundwork with both the 5-minute WebTV episodes and the longer online webinars. How about a series that delivers high quality interviews supported by in the field examples of improvements to mobility infrastructure? It would be great to see experts give us a tour, for example, of a few key locations around the city where transformation has taken place, to contextualize the discussion.

    2) “Trade fair courses – New course formats based on existing trade fairs, such as Tomorrow.Mobility, could be an interesting way to leverage and exploit potential synergies based on existing activities gathering urban mobility professionals.”
    -> Trade fairs, and also conferences. Both opportunities to “broadcast” the learning opportunities from a small number of people physically present to a much larger audience. The challenge here is capturing the event in an appropriate media. This can range from live tweets (Twitter/Linkedin) to vlogs (YouTube/LinkedIn) to full courses or entire presentations (YouTube/urbanmobilitycourses.eu). Our key learning in 2021 is that context matters, so the challenge for us is to capture the events in a storyline that makes sense to a digital audience.

    Thank you all for the excellent work! Very satisfying to see our platforms grow and create change in the mobility sphere.

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  11. How can we make sure that courses developed by the Competence Hub reach beyond a highly-educated, English-speaking audience? Thinking about the Spanish context, many industry employees/managers and local/national policymakers tend to have poor level of English, and would highly benefit from translations. Maybe mapping local needs could help us identify which content is of most interest and then translate/adapt to local context (including local examples, etc). This may come with its own issues (if a course is updated, translation may need updating), but impact and reach may go up in the medium/long term.

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  12. Dear all,

    Thank you very much for all the very interesting and relevant feedback you provided relative to the issues and needs the Competence Hub must overcome. Let me summarise these contributions so we can now move towards the ideation and call preparation phase, for which your contributions will also be very useful to help us design a call that is most relevant and that can leverage your expertise.

    Main issues and needs identified:

    – There is a need for different mobility stakeholders to better understand each other as well as to work and learn together. These is a connected need for mobility professionals to develop their network and their networking skills.

    – New immersive technologies (VR, AR, XR, etc.) and learning methodologies (gamification, challenge-based learning, neurosciences/psychology-based learning etc.) enable us to create new, more effective learning experiences. How to leverage, in practice, these new technologies and methodologies within professional/learning courses should be tested.

    – Focus should be but on strengthening practical skills in a way that is easily transferable to professional practice. Training programmes in urban mobility need to be specific and tailored to the specific professional realities (needs, goals, challenges, working environment, etc.) of the learners.

    – Knowledge exchange and shared best practices in the training of professionals should happen in a contextual setting.

    – Given the many deep changes that urban mobility is going through and the need to train many professionals to occupy jobs that do not yet exist, there is a need to address this reality in a constructive way, so to better understand the “big picture”, key trends and transformations, key skills which need to be developed, what data should be used and how, etc.

    – Often best practices and solution directions exist, but making them happen on an organizational or inter-organizational level, is another challenge.

    – Blended learning programmes, which make the most of asynchronous online, synchronous online and on-site offer great opportunities in terms of efficiency, flexibility and price performance, especially in the post-covid era. They should be further and better leveraged.

    – The Competence Hub has already developed and delivered a wide variety of courses and course content, which should be leveraged as much as possible in the development of new courses and learning experiences. There is also a need to integrate urbanmobilitycourses.eu courses with complimentary material from YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other platforms.

    – User and citizen-centred solutions are a key component of efficient and effective urban mobility. We need to find ways to design trainings that better take into account the learners’ needs. We also need to design trainings that show the different mobility stakeholders how to be more user-centred.

    – Another major challenge is how to meet the needs of transport professionals today, which on one hand are very local (when you think of governance for example, urban structure, legal aspects) and on the other hand universal (technology, general concepts related to space, to accessibility etc.).

    – New course formats based on existing trade fairs, such as Tomorrow.Mobility, could be an interesting way to leverage and exploit potential synergies based on existing activities gathering urban mobility professionals.

    – How can we make sure that courses developed by the Competence Hub reach beyond a highly-educated, English-speaking audience? We need to find ways for people around Europe with a poor level of English to still be able to benefit from CH online courses, without having to duplicate/replicate our e-courses into different languages, as they would then be too difficult to operate once online.

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