A conversation with Ville Valtonen from MinnaLearn on AI education for all

“AI won’t take away your good job, but a human who uses AI might” – Ville Valtonen

Portrait picture of Ville Valtonen, founder of MinnaLearn

Ville is an engineer turned marketeer and the CEO and co-founder of MinnaLearn. His loves to spend his free time either on the tennis court or skiing the Finnish mountains.

In the rapidly evolving landscape of AI education, MinnaLearn stands out with its inclusive and accessible approach to educating talent. As one of our valued Pledgers, MinnaLearn is shaping the way people do AI education. When Ville Valtonen, Co-founder and CEO of Minnalearn, joined us at the Web Summit in Lisbon, we took the opportunity to ask him questions about his motivation to create a mindset of continuous learning for AI concepts.

Ville emphasises the importance of focusing on non-programmers as learners and enabling them to develop professionally and understand AI concepts so that they can communicate better with technical teams. 

Sometimes understanding basic concepts is enough to foster collaboration and innovation.Ville Valtonen

As for the Elements of AI Learning for Business course, Ville observes a very different demographic interest in training. Contrary to the norm, over 40% of MinnaLearn students are women, which underlines the universal appeal of their programmes. And that is exactly what motivates him: Breaking down barriers, making AI education accessible to everyone, everywhere and changing the way we learn.

According to Ville, AI is not just a distant future, but is already shaping our present, which is why people need to educate themselves regularly. He remembers the time when universities started using MOOCs and that it was not easy to adapt. Ville believes in a blended learning approach, combining online and physical experiences, as social interaction creates a supportive peer environment that boosts motivation and facilitates effective learning through discussions and exchanges between people.

His key insight is that continuous learning while working is essential. Rather than taking longer breaks, individuals and organisations should integrate learning seamlessly into the working environment. He strives to make this a reality by providing accessible training that puts people at the centre.

When asked why he wanted to participate in the EIT Deep Tech Talent Initiative, he replied:

Why wouldn’t you want to be part of the initiative? Becoming part of a larger European network to close the skills gap in the EU is a win-win situation.Ville Valtonen