Lyfta is 7!

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Lyfta News
Today, on the 16th of May 2023, Lyfta turns 7 years old! If Lyfta was a child in Finland, s/he would start formal education this autumn :). In this blog, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer, Paulina Tervo reflects on the amazing highs and challenging lows Lyfta has experienced in the past year.
Lyfta is 7!
Lyfta is 7!
In some societies the 7-year cycle of life carries great significance. As well as having biblical meaning, some astrologers believe that 7 years has a lot of significance in terms of shifts and changes in the cosmos that influence the energies in our lives.This past year has certainly brought with it many shifts and changes in our lives, both personally and professionally. It feels like the universe has really tested us this year, requiring a lot of resilience and belief to get through some of the challenges that have come our way. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that everything that life throws at us is meant to teach us something.Today I feel very proud and humbled that Lyfta is 7 years old and it marks a new chapter in Lyfta's life.

A challenging year

One of the major challenges in this year gone was receiving the news of Serdar's (my partner and co-founder) cancer diagnosis last September. Serdar wrote an article about this in January, and recently shared an update on his birthday. Needless to say, it has had a huge impact on our family life, our personal lives, and also on the company and our colleagues. It has been a tough 8 months. No one wants to get cancer, but we are both optimistic and we try to find the positives in this situation. It has made us re-evaluate a lot and really appreciate each other and what we have. I'm happy to write that Serdar has responded very well to the cancer treatment and we are hopeful that his next scan results will give us some good news.
At the same time as we were dealing with the cancer news, and as the outlook seemed to get worse each time there was a new scan or biopsy result, the macroeconomic situation in the world also went from bad to worse. With inflation and the cost of living crisis came higher interest rates and a much more challenging environment for small companies like Lyfta. This was the biggest tide we have ever had to surf as a business. I'm delighted to report that, despite these challenges, we have reached our goal to ensure our continued growth plans for 2024.

Great work and an amazing win

Students of Bollington St John's participating in Lyfta live lessons
Students of Bollington St John's participating in Lyfta live lessons
The last year has not been all gloomy and challenging, and now I want to recognise all the amazing work done by our team. Everyone has been working really hard to make Lyfta what it is today. Our product team ensures that our platform is user-friendly and continues to delight teachers and students; our content and education team makes sure that our content is of high quality, brings new perspectives and topics from all over the world, and helps teachers use Lyfta in the classroom. Our school partnerships teams continue to reach out to new schools and trusts, and collaborate with many of our users to gather impact data that forms part of our impact case studies' bank. I want to highlight these case studies, because they really show the brilliant work schools have achieved using Lyfta, and also work as really valuable examples for anyone wishing to adopt Lyfta in their classrooms.
Bett awards
Bett awards
All the fantastic work resulted in us winning the prestigious Bett Award in March, in the category of ‘Transformational Impact'. We couldn't be more proud that we were selected and won this award, and it means so much to us as a values and impact-driven organisation.
In terms of our storyworlds, since last year we have added another 17 fantastic storyworlds to our platform, and by doing that adding more countries (pins on the globe), a larger diversity of human stories, themes and alignment with more curriculum areas such as science and engineering. We have also been engaging with new filmmakers in communities in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Additionally, we've produced new, helpful lesson plan sequences to further support teachers to see how Lyfta fits into the curriculum.
A visual showing all the new storyworlds released this year since Lyfta's last birthday
A visual showing all the new storyworlds released this year since Lyfta's last birthday
On the platform, we have made big strides since last year. We upgraded our technology and made our student app much faster to use; for teachers we brought out a teacher dashboard with functionality that helps easily find teaching resources, return to your lessons, and soon-to-come displaying usage data. All to help teachers get more out of Lyfta!

Lifting off with Live Lessons

Another innovation that we brought in last year was the introduction of Live Lessons, delivered by our engagement team live, via Zoom, bringing together many different schools for a shared Lyfta experience. We have taken students to NASA headquarters, to the backstage of the Finnish National Opera house, to the homes of young football players and more. We continue to deliver these incredibly popular lessons featuring our storyworlds, and bringing together students from all over the country to connect and share their thoughts with each other. Since we started our live lessons, under a year ago, we have delivered these to over 1500 classes all over the UK and 45,000+ student sessions. Read about our live lessons celebrating cultural diversity here.

Exciting partnerships

We have been delighted to work in partnership with some amazing organisations this year. In June we were invited by CST to deliver the ‘Civic Cinema' at their Annual Conference with more than 600 trust leaders, exploring the theme of Civic Leadership #TrulyCivic. Last autumn, we worked with nearly 100 schools in 15 countries from the international school chain Cognita, who did an extended Lyfta Lesson on the same day around themes of sustainability and wellbeing. This gave us the capability and track record to work with huge school groups in multiple countries, and provide content in multiple languages. We also continued our work in partnership with children's charity, the Youth Sport Trust (YST) to create a scheme of work for PE teachers and sports leads which uses our storyworlds to teach students how to live healthily.
We currently have some very exciting partnerships in motion which we can't wait to announce soon!
There are many more things to highlight, and this short blog mentions just a few of them. What I really admire and appreciate over the past year is all the support, professionalism and dedication of our team. Despite all the uncertainties that everyone has had to live through we have had the best year to date in terms of growing subscriptions, an engaged user community and awesome product updates and that is all thanks to the consistently hard work that our team does, and the love they put into their work. There are always ups and downs in life and in business, but I know that with the right people and the right mindset anything is possible. Here's to the next 7 years of Lyfta - I can't wait to see what the future holds!
By Paulina Tervo, Co-Founder and Chief Content Officer
Immersive Learning
Character & Values
Cultural Capital
Global Learning
Human Stories
Social Emotional Learning
Diversity Equity Inclusion
Personal Development
Sustainability & Global Citizenship