People in the project


Step by Step is a research and training organization that has 30 years of experience in project managing and training in various topics and areas. Our major emphasize has been on VET and WBL for adults, working with and for all kinds of companies. Over the years we have been involved in many research programs within the field of adult training and learning with the aim of having people to understand the importance of life-long learning. We have been managing several big training projects, for example for airlines, shipping companies, banks and many official organizations, as well as working with small innovative enterprises. We have comprehensive and even unusual experience by using all kinds of field and action research (like having to sail all over in Europe and USA to learn about the fascinating live at sea) in order to design the right approach for our customers. We have managed projects, both on local and governmental level, with the aim of new job creations as well as competence building in the rural areas of Iceland. In the years 2012-2014 we did an extensive survey among tourism companies in Iceland (we interviewed more than 100 regional companies) where among other things, we discussed product development, quality control, management and staff training within the companies.

HANSÍNA B. EINARSDÓTTIR, born in 1957 in Reykjavik, Iceland is one of the project leaders. She grew up in a large family, as the oldest of 8 siblings. Hansina has cand.polit degree in Criminology from Oslo University and M.A degree in Management and business development from same university. During her university years she and her friend Herdis D. Baldvinsdóttir started the company Step by Step where she still works today. This means that Hansina has never been formally employed by anybody else than herself and might also explain her interest areas which are business development, entrepreneurship, equality, training and mentoring as well as playing with the kids, swimming, travelling and learning new things. She is happily married to her co-worker and good friend Jon Rafn Högnason, a chef and a trainer. She is a proud mother and a grandmother to several kids ages from 19 to 2 years old. Her family lives in a small town in the Reykjanes peninsula in Southern Iceland in the middle of wild nature and sea.


HERDIS D. BALDVINSDÓTTIR was born in 1954 in Reykjavík, Iceland. She studied Psychology in the University of Iceland and then did her M.A. in Organisational Analysis & Behaviour followed by a Ph.D in Behaviour in Organisations at the University of Lancaster in UK. Herdís then worked for almost 7 years for the Nordic Council of ministers as the Coordinator for Consumer Research in the Nordic Countries. The main objectives in that job were to develop and support research networks and their activities, promote dialogue and cooperation between relevant actors to foster consumer research of relevance to consumer policy and to broaden the interaction between consumer researchers and policy-makers in government, agencies, and organisations. The last 9 years Herdís has mainly worked on small, diverse research projects in Iceland, Greenland and the UK.  

She is married, has two sons and 3 wonderful granddaughters aged 20 months to 6 years old.

Reet Hiiemae photo

REET HIIEMÄE, Estonia, NGO Estonian Folklore Institute, 

Reet Hiiemäe has a PhD degree in folklore and she has written numerous books and articles on storytelling, folk belief and magic. In addition Reet has given numerous trainings and lectures to various age groups and offers expert consultations on traditional customs, folk belief and narratives, the usage of folk traditions in tourism, film and art, etc. On the photo Reet is giving a workshop about the traditions of the Candlemas Day in 2017. In the T4T project, Reet’s main aim is to build a bridge between storytelling, folklore and branding in making the rural tourism more attractive. In this project she represents the Estonian Folklore Institute that was founded in 2000 by the folklorists of the Department of Folklore, Estonian Literary Museum. Since then the institute has worked on numerous publishing, educating, lecturing and popularizing projects on national and international level.   


RUTA PELS and PAVEL SMULSKI, Estonia, NGO Eesti People to People, 

Pavel Smulski has several years of experience in tourism industry. He has also experience in hotel business and has worked as a freelance tourist guide mainly for French and English speaking groups in Estonia and the Baltic region. He works as a trekking tour guide in the nature as well as with the recreational farms in Western Estonia, especially on Saaremaa island. He is also a trainer in non-formal education, has participated and implemented Erasmus+ projects in several European countries and provides consultations for several local and international tourist companies.

Ruta Pels is president of Eesti People to People since 1997. With her education on Departments of Journalism in Moscow University and London City University and professional background in media industry (news agencies ETA and BNS, weekly and daily newspapers, magazines, radio and TV) she has competences to provide quality trainings for youth, youth workers and adults. Ruta has participated in many projects in Estonia and abroad, implemented several Nordplus, Norden, LLP and Erasmus+ projects, being an experienced project manager. Ruta was national coordinator in LLP Leonardo da Vinci project "Cultural treasure hunt" about tourism. Additionally she cooperates with Tallinn tourist guides club and is a freelancer journalist writing about the topics connected with tourism. 

Ruta and Pavel


Ilona is the thought leader, founder, and head of the NGO RIC, Latvia. Jelena is trainer, carrying out volunteer work for RIC. NGO RIC – Radošas Iniciatīvas Centrs, or in English - the Center of Creative Initiative was founded in 2007.

The persons working for RIC cannot be another but creative, responsible and inspired. RIC provides juniors’ as well as adults’ and seniors’ education and support in personal growth and social development. Activities of our three departments in different regions of Latvia – in Riga, and in rural areas Vidzeme and Latgale – cover a wide territory and involve also passionate volunteers. We have organized various workshops, art contests and educational events for different age audience, as well as charitable actions for persons from rural and disadvantaged areas. 

We believe that it’s important to encourage people showing them ways how to find their best place in social space, and how to become a full-fledged and socially active person, to change the role of “receiver” to the “active giver”. Among other things we empower people for starting their own successful business, which in the field of rural tourism is highly-sought, promising and modern. We support the idea of practical educational programs in creative entrepreneurship in rural tourism and we participate in the project T4T wholeheartedly, bringing in all our experience and knowledge.

JUKKA KALLIO and OILI NIITTYNEN, Finland, Anmiro Oy,  

Anmiro Oy is a Finnish company situated in Kuru, Finland. Anmiro Oy promotes, researches and trains entrepreneurship and supports nascent and new small business owners to grow their businesses. The other business line is writing and photographing for local, national and international media. Our third line is project management; i.e., preparing, evaluating and participating at transnational projects as partner or external evaluator. Anmiro Oy is a member of the transnational project management and research association called Euroreso. For the T4T -project Anmiro Oy runs dissemination activities and designs trainings for rural tourism SMEs.

Our key person Jukka Kallio is doctor of philosophy in economics and business administration (entrepreneurship), he has obtained his degree from the University of Turku, Finland. He has also obtained a diploma in entrepreneurship training and small business development from the Durham University Business School, UK, and a diploma of adult education (pedagogical competence) from the Jyväskylä Pedagogical University and University of Tampere, Finland. Jukka has been involved in transnational project as a project application writer, partner, co-ordinator and internal/external evaluator from 1995. He has trained nascent entrepreneurs and SME business owners over 25 years. Jukka has made research in entrepreneurship and written several text books and working books for nascent and ongoing entrepreneurs.

Our ICT-expert Ms Oili Niittynen has a long experience in adult training for ICT. She is well aware of competence based qualifications for adults. Oili participates at the T4T project and supports Anmiro Oy's role in the project. Oili is also an artist and photographer.

SILVA BLAŽULIONIENĖ, Lithuania Klaipeda State University of Applied Science (KVK),  

Silva Blažulionienė has 20 years of experience in the adult training sector. Her teaching areas are: Investment economics, Finance, Banking. She has been involved in several EU projects as manager or/and researcher from 2004, including the following responsibilities: project management and project implementation; administrative management; organisation of training programmes, courses, conferences and study visits in multiple sectors; developing training proposals; identifying partners; identification of new training opportunities and developing them into programme proposals; coordination of work with international financial institutions and donors; promotion of different activities and implementation of raise-awareness global events.