‘We Can’t Solve Problems with One Hammer’: Jesper Sonne Wants to Help you Learn Better

‘We Can’t Solve Problems with One Hammer’: Jesper Sonne Wants to Help you Learn Better

If you're guilty of habitually nodding off in lectures, or never quite finishing that dry, required class reading, there's good news for you - that is, it's probably not your fault.

At least that's what educator Jesper Sonne thinks. Sonne, who teaches Virtual Project Management and Leadership at Ubiquity, believes the higher educational system needs a fix.

One of the biggest challenges, he says, is that few professors have the incentive to work across traditional subject boundaries. "We can't solve problems with one hammer. We need to educate students to understand the context they are in, and all its nuances, so they can critically reflect on how to solve problems," says Sonne.

"Therefore, I believe we need to educate from a whole perspective combining body, mind and soul to understand and solve complex problems."

Evidently, that's why Ubiquity University and Sonne click - the school sees education as a combination of academic knowledge, and personal development.

Sonne has been working in education for more than two decades. He started as a teaching assistant at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) in the mid '90s, and eventually moved onto developing courses, teaching, and grading students in IT Project Management.

Each year, he challenged himself to improve his classes with exercises that helped students really internalize what they heard and read. In 2015, Sonne was mentioned as one of three responsible educators at CBS that supported the United Nation's Principles of Responsible Management Education - purpose, value, method, research, partnership and dialogue.

The professor met Peter Merry - now Ubiquity's Chief Innovation Officer - that same year at a dinner party. "He told me that he might have an opening – if I wanted to develop my "dream course" in Project Management."

This is how the Virtual Project Management and Leadership course at Ubiquity was born. The rest is history.

Sonne says that while the course gives students the tools to manage projects more efficiently, that's not the most important aspect. Rather, he believes the value students will gain comes from enabling them to collaborate efficiently with different technologies, and helping them to understand that successful project implementation means balancing three major dynamics in an organization: tasks, people, and change.

"I think my desire [to] change the world [stems from] how students learn and apply their education - transforming knowledge into internalized learning – and that's what we want to enable through our course," said Sonne.

"I believe that Ubiquity University has planted a very important seed for a whole new world of higher education and I think it will set standards across nations in the future."

Interested in the class? See the course details below:

Virtual Project Management and Leadership
A complete project management course with tools and techniques to run virtual project management

Class Description: Successful virtual project management and leadership occur when task, people and change are in balance. All three domains are important and necessary for implementing innovation. Many companies often overlook the fact that innovation not only needs to be implemented in the culture but by the culture.

In this course, students are immersed in creative processes and engage with complexity through being engaged with different perspectives. Students are encouraged to step boldly into the role of an innovative project manager and a global change agent.

  • Managing Tasks: Topics covered include planning projects, estimating projects, project process models, risk management and transformation mapping. These topics will give students tools and techniques to master critical project administration skills.
  • Leading People: Students learn about culture & diversity, high performing teams and managing change, resistance and conflict. All of this is to create trust and open reflection in their projects to enable innovation.
  • Facilitating Change: Topics cover stakeholder management, facilitating effective meetings and how to use collaboration technologies to master effective virtual leadership.

This course prepares students to innovate and balance task, people and change in a global work environment, lead collaborative work teams with intelligence, and operate as a grounded visionary change agent.

Class Instructor and Bio:

Jesper Sonne

Jesper Sonne has a MSc in Business Administration and Computer Science. He has worked as an IT management consultant across Europe and US for nearly 20 years and is an experienced facilitator of highly interactive workshops, including in the MG Taylor process and method. He co-founded RETHNK with Carsten Arnfjord Thomsen in 2014, a company that helps organizations accelerate change and decision making on complex problems. He is also an External Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School. His mission is to develop the next generation of global collaborators that will have a significant business and societal impact worldwide.
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Monday, 18 December 2017