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For the 2nd time FOI teachers organized an Erasmus+ blended intensive program (BIP) „Transform to sustain: Sustainable future enabled by digital transformation“

Faculty of Organization and Informatics, University in Zagreb, organized and coordinated Erasmus+ Blended intensive program (BIP) „Transform to sustain: Sustainable future enabled by digital transformation“. This BIP was held for the second year in row, at the Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism of the University of Split, with widened network of international partners.

The program offered participants the opportunity to get acquainted with creative methods and techniques for analyzing customers’ needs, opportunities for change and ways to improve business by designing new sustainable business models. In doing so, the emphasis is on creating and developing innovative ideas related to the application of selected technologies, which make the business change digital.

This was achieved by meaningfully interrelation of 4 emerging concepts of business development, namely Digital transformation, Sustainable development, Digital technologies (artificial intelligence and data science) and Management of organization and business processes for the implementation of change. In the implementation of the intensive program, creative and modern teaching and learning methods were used, such as problem-based learning, gamification, teamwork and project tasks, in order to establish a collaborative work environment and enable students to learn from the lecturers and from each other.

Lecturers participating in the BIP from FOI were Martina Tomičić Furjan, Iva Gregurec, Katarina Tomičić-Pupek and Igor Pihir, and the partners involved in the implementation of the program with FOI were ESIEA Paris Laval - Ecole d'ingénieurs du numérique (Felicia Ionascu, Siba Haidar, Bassem Haidar), Paris, France, Hogeschool van Amsterdam (Michel Vorenhout, Martin Spoor, Krijn Hoogendorp), the Netherlands, University of Zilina, Faculty of Management Science and Informatics (Dana Kušnírová), Zilina, Slovakia and Faculty of Economics, Business and Tourism of the University of Split (Maja Čukušić, Tea Mijač).

The students who participated in the program and earned 3 ECTS were also from partner institutions (4 ESIEA, 8 HVA, 8 UNIZA, and 3 from FOI - a total of 23 students).

Online and onsite

The program was held in a blended form, from May 16 to July 1, 2023, through 4 weeks of online classes (May 16 - June 15) and one week of onsite, live classes (June 25 – July 1).

Students were grouped into international and multidisciplinary teams and, in addition to classes, they worked on practical tasks, case study analyses, but also on a team project that resulted in a proposal for an innovative and sustainable digital solution to a real problem related to the UN sustainable development goals (SDG).

The onsite part of the intensive program took place at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Split. During this week, students continued to collaborate in teams, and the teaching was designed through interactive workshops designed by each partner institution, so that the knowledge acquired online was complemented by creative live teamwork. Thus, the students carried out "prototyping" of their solutions, learned how to present their idea through a "perfect pitch", how to implement a potential solution and how to make it "sustainable". With the aim of finalizing, testing and evaluating the implementation of the developed proposed solution, a field trip was organized to the island of Brač, where the participants had the opportunity to communicate with the "users" – employees of the Local action group (LAG) of Brač, of the selected case study and to receive feedback on the applicability of their innovative ideas. At the end of the program, all teams presented their solutions, and through the evaluation of the proposals by teachers, as well as by peers from other teams, they received feedback on the successful realization of the learning outcomes of the program.

The feedback from the participants is very positive, and the teachers will continue their cooperation in the future.

Here are some students’ testimonials:

“This is such an amazing opportunity for anyone who wants to get a real feeling on how it is to work in international teams, working on real-life problems, and have amazing time!”

“Apply for BIP, you won’t regret (I was not paid to say this, I really do recommend)!”

“The best way of learning something is by doing something new, the best way to make friends is by going to new places. If you are a student and want to get everything out of your time being a student, then go do a BIP. You will not regret it.”

“I had an incredible experience with the BIP program in Croatia, which provided me with valuable insights, unforgettable memories, and a profound understanding of the country's rich culture and heritage.”

“If you want to travel but you don’t know where,

if you want to meet new friends and make lifetime's memories,

if you want to work on a project that will transform for the best the life of other,

Join this BIP and trust me... you won't regret it.”

“Just loved it!”

We thank all involved partners, teachers and students, FOI students (Martina Golub, Ivona Jelović, Anja Vresk for participation and Benjamin Filip Šikač for help), FOI Management Board and FOI International Relations Office for support!