HELSUS Sustainability Discussion Group

 

Helsus SDG logo

Welcome to HELSUS Sustainability Discussion Group!

The HELSUS Sustainability Discussion Group (SDG) is a monthly meeting for bringing together HELSUS PhDs and Postdocs (as well as others working in sustainability fields). The purpose of the SDG is for HELSUS members to get to know each other, discuss big and emerging ideas in sustainability science, and work toward better research outcomes and community.

Read the Helsus news article about the Sustainability Discussion Group and Rachel Mazac, who launched the group.

The topics for upcoming SDGs are decided on rolling basis by interested parties at previous meetings. The SDG is held the last Tuesday of each month from 10:30-12:00 on Zoom (link below) and possibly also in person as gathering restrictions loosen.

What is needed of participants? Just show up with an open mind and interest in engaging discussions. We will rely on our collective, previous knowledge and critical minds to ground our discussion. No advance registration is needed.

This autumn we will focus on a series of discussions with experts and HELSUS members, engaging in critical questions of how justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion fit within sustainability practice, research, and philosophy.

What: HELSUS Sustainability Discussion Group (SDG)

When: Tuesday, September 28th, 10:30-12:00

Where: Zoom (yes, still for now) 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 670 6325 8027

Passcode: 055649

In autumn’s first SDG meeting, Nira Johri who is working at global food company as Director of Global Diversity & Sustainability, will introduce us her work and the topics she is working on. Here are some questions that you can think of in advance.

  1. Where do you see the great opportunities for justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in sustainability?
  2. Where are the greatest tension points / what will be harder to find convergence on?
  3. What gives you hope / what do you fear as you look to 2030 sustainability goals? 

Nira Johri is the Director, Global Diversity & Sustainability for Rich Products Corporation, a $4B global food business, where she leads the enterprise strategy for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) and Sustainability. During her time at Rich’s, she created and met time-bound goals for both DEI and Sustainability and established senior-level governance mechanisms to ensure integration of both topics into business strategy. Prior to Rich’s, Nira spent five years building the cocoa industry’s collective sustainability strategy, CocoaAction. Nira previously worked for Unilever and served in the Obama administration.

Throughout her career, she has been a passionate supporter of the development of women leaders.  She is the founder of ‘Women in Policy,’ an affinity group focused on fostering professional development among women at the Pentagon.  Nira established the first-ever gender conference on cocoa, bringing together over 100 stakeholders across Africa. She is also a Board Member of the Western New York Sustainable Business Roundtable and an Impact Fellow with the Sustainable Food Lab.  She holds an MBA from the University of Cambridge and a BS in Marketing & BA in Government & Politics from the University of Maryland.     

 

For the too-long-don't-read-folks

What: Sustainability Discussion Group for bringing together HELSUS PhDs and Postdocs to get to know each other, discuss big and emerging ideas in sustainability science and work toward better research outcomes and community. 

When: Last Tuesday of each month from 10-11

Where: Due to the COVID-19 situation the discussion group will be via Zoom.

Join the meeting via this Zoom link (passcode: 055649)

Top­ics dur­ing the spring 2021

Each topic set by interested parties at previous meetings.

June 2nd: Using your privilege as a way to support sustainability and not perpetuate systemic inequities 

April 27th: Cli-fi: creative climate fictions to combat future climate dystopias and reasons to stay hopeful

If you have some ideas of types of climate-fiction (both dystopic and/or utopic) please share them in HELSUS-members discussion group on Teams. We would love to curate a list of books, films, poems, short stories, etc. that we can all turn to for some much-needed hope! 

 

March 30th: What are the most important topics in sustainability science right now? 

What is needed of you: Just show up with an open mind and interest in engaging discussions. We will rely on our collective, previous knowledge and critical minds to ground our discussion.

Rolling collection of the links shared and discussion topics

For the give-me-more-information-folks

Goal #1: SDG can serve as a space for HELSUS PhDs and Postdocs (as well as others working in sustainability fields) to get to know each other and share critical discussion of big/complex/controversial concepts in sustainability science. 

Benefits/skills gained: critical thinking, debate and discourse practice, social networking, mental health/peer well-being support

Goal #2: SDG can provide a forum for young researchers to workshop ideas and drafts of papers before they submit to larger audiences (i.e. courses, supervisors, journals, etc.). 

Benefits/skills gained: public speaking, academic writing, article editing, constructive feedback

Goal #3: SDG can help young HELSUS researchers to collaborate on and record emerging conversations in sustainability science geared towards a publication akin to the work done by the members of the Stockholm Resilience Centre

Benefits/skills gained: Collaborative work, concept and field development, practice synthesizing ideas and distillation of narrative in long-term discussions, multi-author/perspective publication situated in HELSUS strategy

Want to know more? If you have any further questions please contact Rachel Mazac (rachel.mazac@helsinki.fi)! 

For the too-long-don't-read-folks

What: Sustainability Discussion Group for bringing together HELSUS PhDs and Postdocs to get to know each other, discuss big and emerging ideas in sustainability science and work toward better research outcomes and community. 

When: Last Tuesday of each month from 10:30-12:00 

Where: Due to the COVID-19 situation the discussion group will be via Zoom

Top­ics dur­ing the autumn 2020

Each topic set by interested parties at previous meetings

September 29th: So, everything has changed: What does change mean? What is sustainable change? What still needs to change?

October 27th: One Health, Wellbeing, and World: How can we center health, equity, and justice in sustainability?

November 24th: Beyond Discussion: seeking tangible outcomes from the SDGs

December 15th: Advice from the 'field': thoughts on doing sustainability research and well-being as a sustainability scientist

What is needed of you: Just show up with an open mind and interest in engaging discussions. We will rely on our collective, previous knowledge and critical minds to ground our discussion.

Topics during the spring 2020

 

Each topic set by interested parties at previous meetings

March 3rd: How do we reconcile knowledge-action/value-action gaps in sustainability?

April 7th: Scarcity vs. abundance: Can we reach a sense of “enough-ness” or "sufficiency?" 

May 5th: The co-covid and climate crises: what have/are we learning in these crises and how do we respond, reengage, and restart? 

June 2nd: Creative disagreement with past, self, and others: how can future habits and structures be put in place for a sustainable 'normal'?

What is needed of you: Just show up with an open mind and interest in engaging discussions. We will rely on our collective, previous knowledge and critical minds to ground our discussion.