Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU) located in Turku and Vaasa, Finland, is an internationally acknowledged research university with an extensive responsibility for preserving the Swedish educational and cultural heritage as the only Swedish-speaking multi-disciplinary university in Finland. Due to the Swedish language and the university’s location on the South-West and West coast, ÅAU also serves as a bridge for collaboration in research and education between Finland and other Nordic states.

ÅAU employs 1,200 staff and provides high quality education to 5,500 undergraduate and 780 postgraduate students, of whom 500 postgraduate students (64%) are awarded Masters Degrees and around 70 students (9%) graduate with Doctoral degrees per annum. The number of scientific publications averages 1,500 annually.

The Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies is the faculty directly involved in the Include Me project and at the core of this faculty is the belief that health, well-being and proper educational access is the foundation of a safe society. The research in the fields of education, health sciences and social sciences contribute to positive development for all regardless of age and social status, ensuring equality for all learners.

Emmanuel Acquah

Emmanuel Acquah is an Associate Professor (Tenure-Track) in Minority Research at the Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies, Åbo Akademi University. His primary research interests are in advancing equity in the training and practice of educators of multicultural and multilingual learners. He has related interests in diversity, equity and inclusion. Acquah brings a strong knowledge of quantitative and qualitative approaches to educational research and has a multidisciplinary research background. In addition to multicultural and multilingual education, he has researched and published articles in the areas of adolescents’ socio-emotional well-being and children’s social interactions in the classroom in leading international journals.

Acquah is the Director of the International Master’s Degree Programme in Education called Teaching and Learning at the Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies at the Åbo Akademi University and recently developed a professional development course for ÅAU staff training called Diversity, Equality and Inclusion.

Anette Bengs

Anette Bengs has a background in developmental psychology and current research interests pertain to inclusion across the lifespan, with a particular focus on digital tools as facilitators of inclusion. In her position as a project researcher at the Experience Lab at Åbo Akademi University she has previously been involved in several projects targeting inclusive facilitator technology and multicultural user experience design and evaluation. She is currently coordinating and working as a researcher in several international projects targeting digitalization and inclusion in education.

Hasan Habes

Hasan Habes is a PhD candidate and lecturer in Peace Studies and Minority Research at Åbo Akademi University. He gives lectures on negotiation and mediation, which provide participants the opportunity to understand the key strategies of negotiation and mediation and to develop the necessary skills to be a good negotiator and mediator. His expertise on negotiation and mediation also allows him to design and implement activities and workshops tailored to the needs and interests of the target groups. In addition, Hasan has been an active trainer and facilitator in Erasmus+ and youth projects. His goal is to share his knowledge and expertise with different groups who are enthusiastic about creating a more inclusive society by being active citizens.

Yvonne Backholm-Nyberg

Yvonne Backholm-Nyberg is a political scientist and a journalist who has had media, communication and strategic management as a common thread running throughout her career. She has worked as a radio journalist, project manager at the United Nations and led an academic programme in journalism at Åbo Akademi University. In her current position as manager at the Experience Lab at Åbo Akademi University she works with strategy and implementation of digitalization, new technologies, communication and user experience in an international setting.