May 24, 2023
Please can you let us know about your work and about Meaningful Talks?
I`m Lilian and passionate about sharing my knowledge and expertise accumulated over the years of business development coupled with diversity and international experience. I have been working in Estonia but also in New Zealand. I love strategy, product development, operational marketing, and all with the drive to change how people communicate. Two years ago we started (with the co-founder Kristi Jõeorg) a company Meaningful Talks.
Meaningful Talks is an online learning platform that provides video content to support employees’ work, life and personal life challenges. The idea is to help employees bring their best selves to work, AND their best selves to home. We have vigorously started raising awareness amongst the teachers and parents about the importance of meaningful communication. We have a solution where teachers can learn about self-esteem, create meaningful talks and get lots of methods to build playful lessons (it all decreases their workload and prevents burnout). All the reflections and feedback from teachers are taken to principals. Principals can find out about teachers’ needs and create meaningful talks with them. In the same platform, we have a solution where parents can learn about self-esteem, create meaningful talks and get lots of methods on how to build a supportive home environment.
It is scientifically proven that meaningful relationships not only make people happy but are also associated with better health and even longer life.
We lately conducted a survey (got over 1300 responses) by Meaningful Talks that shows 70% of employees feel their personal challenges affect concentration and satisfaction at work. When you experience stress at work you take it home with you and when you experience stress at home you take it to work.
What have been the greatest achievements of Meaningful Talks so far?
The purpose of our company is to build meaningful relationships with meaningful talks between teachers, parents, and children. The education system can unfortunately create too many conflicts due to the inability of the participants to communicate and unfortunately, children are the ones suffering because of it.
We started our activities in 2021 and during this time we have:
- Organised 5 big online conferences, in one event with over 7000 attendees
- Held over 50 different webinars
- Composed 7 video courses, with more than 10 modules on each course.
- Engaged more than 30 000 parents and 4000 teachers in Estonia
- Have received more than 1000 positive feedback to our events
- Have worked with different governmental institutions
- Build cooperation with over 60 Estonian schools
In August 2022 we held the first on-site conference in Estonia. The purpose was to increase the self-esteem of our teachers. One of the speakers was the Minister of Education and Research. The conference had 350 participants and got a lot of public attention. Considering the fact that we started marketing the event in June, we did really well!
Now we are setting plans for August 2023. This time we are expecting around 1000 teachers. The format will be an outdoor conference.
Feedback from teachers:
“Excellent performers and approaches introducing the latest trends. Very refreshing and uplifting, especially for those of us who have trained as teachers more than 10 and more years ago. Many thanks to the trainers!” Hille Juss, Võru Kreutswaldi School.
We have already 4000 teachers using our platform and a list of 30K parents that are ready to use our services. We are working full-time and are a fully dedicated team.
What do you think are the greatest challenges facing the EdTech sector?
The work of teachers is not valued enough, and young people do not want to become teachers. Unfortunately, the teaching profession is not attractive enough today. Also, the relationships with parents are very challenging and burnout forces them to quit their teaching job.
We have conducted a survey among teachers. We asked teachers what worries them the most in their daily work. Here are the main issues:
It turned out that one of the biggest challenges is communicating with parents. Parents do not understand the content of teachers’ work, and at the same time, many parents do not have the basic truths of educational sciences and the development of the child. This makes it difficult to understand each other. The loser in the middle of the relationship is the student. Teachers and parents do not have 1:1 meaningful conversations.
Burnout and lack of time. The working hours of teachers are very long. This results from many different factors, for example, time planning and self-management skills.
We are also facing the challenge of a low budget for teachers’ training.