HELSUS Science-Policy Forum is a discussion platform that foster the interaction with researchers and policy-makers on topical sustainability discussions, research themes and on-going policy planning processes. The Forum calls together different Ministries, Cities, Universities and Research Institutes in Finland to discuss further on science-policy research collaboration.

The first HELSUS Science-Policy Forum was organized on January 20th, 2021. Read more and see the event recording here.

The webinar series was organised on Monday 11th – Friday 15th January, 2021.

Read more about the event here.

Past HELSUS Brown Bag Lunches:

More information about past events in the PAST HELSUS BROWN BAG LUNCHES -page. 

Spring 2019

  • Janu­ary 18 2019: The ef­fect of urban plan­ning on cit­ies’ breath­ab­il­ity – urban cli­mate per­spect­ive, presenter Leena Järvi
  • Feb­ru­ary 1 2019: The role of law in ad­apt­ive en­vir­on­mental governance? Presenter Niko Soininen
  • Feb­ru­ary 15 2019: Au­thor­it­arian En­vir­on­ment­al­ism: Pro­pa­ganda or Real­ity, presenter Viktor Pál
  • March 1st 2019: En­vir­on­mental and Sustainability Education in Finnish schools: current situ­ation and some fu­ture pro­spects, presenter Sirpa Tani
  • March 15 2019: Urban ag­ri­cul­ture boom in Cuba: To­wards food sov­er­eignty, presenter Reyn­aldo Jiménez Guethón
  • March 29 2019: The myth of privat­ising nature, presenter Frank­lin Obeng-Odoom
  • April 12 2019: Sustainability and chal­lenges of in­tergen­er­a­tional eth­ics, presenter Simo Kyllönen
  • April 26 2019: Re-think­ing sustainable de­vel­op­ment as a global concept, presenter Charles Gore
  • May 17 2019: Re­flec­tions on in­di­geneity, re­si­li­ence and con­tem­por­ary co­lo­ni­al­ism, presenter Heidi Sinev­aara-Niskanen
  • May 24 2019: Norm­at­ive Mo­tiv­a­tion and Sustainable Be­ha­vior AND C. Tyler Des­Roches: No One Can Pre­serve Natural Cap­ital, presenter Taylor Davis

Autumn 2018

  • September 2 2018:  Sustainable food systems – the potential of future food production technologies, presenter Hanna Tuomisto
  • October 5 2018: Nudging individuals and companies into sustainable behaviour, presenters Michiru NagatsuEllen Eftestol-Wilhelmsson, Eva Heiskanen
  • October 19 2018: Needs-based conceptualization of sustainable well-being, presenter Tuuli Hirvilammi
  • October 26 2018: Women of the Arctic: Learning how to bridge policy, research, and lived experience, presenter Tahnee Prior
  • November 30 2018: Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks: A cross-national study of domestic climate politics, presenter Paul Wagner
  • December 14 2018: Facts, beliefs and definitions: About representations of invasive alien species in science and policy, presenter Laura Verbrugge

Spring 2018

7.10.2020: Local sustainable en­ergy solu­tions



Erika Winquist, Natural Resources Institute Finland

Bio­gas as part of de­cent­ral­ized re­new­able en­ergy sys­tem

Eeva-Lotta Apajalahti, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science 

De­vel­op­ment of the city en­ergy sys­tem. From dis­trib­uted local prac­tices to large-scale sys­tem and back again?

Santtu Karhinen, Finnish Environment Institute

Regional em­ploy­ment and emis­sion re­duc­tion po­ten­tial of dis­trib­uted re­new­able en­ergy solu­tions in Fin­land

14.9.2020: Clean en­vir­on­ment and health

Watch the recorded seminar here.


Mira Grönroos, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science

Ef­fects of natural mi­cro­bi­ota on hu­man mi­cro­bi­ota and health, Mira Grön­roos (HELSUS)

Marko Tainio, Finnish Environment Institute

Trans­port, en­vir­on­ment and health: Im­prov­ing health through travel mode shift?,

Ann Ojala, Natural Resources Institute Finland

What is known about the ef­fects of nature on men­tal health and how these ef­fects are stud­ied? 

28.4.2020: Land use and cli­mate ac­tion

Watch the recorded seminar here. 


Henrikki Tenkanen, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science

To­wards more sustainable cities with data? The role of spa­tial data ana­lyt­ics.

Antti Rehunen, Finnish Environment Institute

Cli­mate im­pacts of urban land use and mo­bil­ity.

Anna Repo, Natural Resources Institute Finland

Trade-offs and syn­er­gies in land-based cli­mate change mit­ig­a­tion and biod­iversity con­ser­va­tion. 

26.3.2020: Sustainable farm­ing sys­tems

Watch the recorded seminar here. 


Heikki Lehtonen, Natural Resources Institute Finland

Sustainable in­tens­i­fic­a­tion in ag­ri­cul­ture: im­plic­a­tions for the farm eco­nomy and ag­ri­cul­tural sec­tor

Iryna Herzon, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science

What makes an­imal-based pro­duc­tion sustainable

Tuomas Mattila, Finnish Environment Institute

Man­aging soil func­tions to solve environ­mental prob­lems

25.2.2020: Finnish paths to­wards sustainability / Na­tional Ex­pert Panel on Sustainable De­vel­op­ment



Eva Furman,Chair of the Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, director of the Environmental Policy Center, Finnish Environment Institute.

Katriina Siivonen, Member of the Expert Panel for Sustainable Development, professor of Futures Studies and Adjunct Professor in Cultural Heritage Studies at the University of Turku


Eija Pouta, Research professor, Natural Resources Institute Finland

Hanna Tuomisto, Associate Professor (Sustainable food systems), University of Helsinki

Paula Kivimaa, Research professor, Finnish Environment Institute

30.1.2020: Urban Nature-based solu­tions

Watch the stream of the event.


Christopher Raymond, Professor, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and HELSUS.

Co-creating nature-based solu­tions to pro­mote car­bon neut­ral­ity, environ­mental justice and well-be­ing in urban areas: In­sights from across Europe.

Marjo Neuvonen, Research Scientist, Luke

Urban forests and nature as an en­vir­on­ment for res­id­ents phys­ical activ­ity: a case study from Helsinki.

Riikka Paloniemi, Head of unit, Environmental Policy Center, Behavioral Change Unit, SYKE

Pro­mot­ing health and well-be­ing through urban nature-based solu­tions.


We­binar by EX­ALT and HELSUS Global South En­coun­ters sem­inar -series

Watch recorded webinar here

June 5th 2020 at 14:00-15.30

  • Chair: Dr. Ossi Ollinaho, Post-doctoral researcher at Development Studies, University of Helsinki, member of both EXALT and HELSUS
  • Speaker: Dr. Marta Conde

The earth and all of its inhabitants are on a trajectory of cascading socio-ecological crisis driven by extractivist development and growth-centered economism. Like a snake eating its own tail, our progress-orientated and human-centered civilisation is built on the premise that there are no limits to growth. But rethinking growth and the current societal realities cannot be avoided anymore. Concurrent crisis such as the Climate Emergency are showing that the we are approaching the final frontiers of capitalist development. This realisation has given rise to calls such as “degrowth” and post-extractivism. 

In this online seminar we bring Degrowth and steady-state economics together with post-extractivism to seek alternatives for the current crisis-prone world-system. Through inclusive discussion we aim to explore the possibilities of building ecological and economic systems which function within the regenerative capacity of the planet, while at the same time enabling a "good life for all".

This seminar is part of a wider Global Degrowth Day organized each year to unite diverse organizations and communities, which support the idea of degrowth and want to show that “A good life for all” is possible beyond economies built on growth and consumption. The seminar is a joint venture between the EXALT initiative and the HELSUS Global South Encounters seminar series. 

Marta Conde holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering (UPC), masters in Environmental Science (Birkbeck College, London) and a doctorate in Ecological Economics (UAB). She is currently a Post-graduate Research Associate at Durham University and Associate Researcher in UAB. Conde's research focuses on the social reactions to the expansion of extractive industries at the commodity frontiers, where succesful contestations of the imperative of endless economic growth can have direct and positive impacts in the lives of these communities. Using political ecology, ecological economics and political economy Conde studies the the drivers, strategies and discourses of resistance movements to mining. Conde's other research interests include the interactions between science, activism and knowledge-creation by grassroots organisation, the use and expansion of the concept of environmental justice in the South and the link between resource extraction and economic growth.

About EX­ALT: 

The Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT) is an international network of scholars, activists, and policymakers dedicated to collaboration and knowledge creation around the pressing crisis stemming from extractivist policies and practices. This Initiative draws together diverse critical analyses of the phenomena of global extractivisms and the myriad alternatives being actively pursued in both theory and practice. It is the intention of this Initiative to contribute to, expand, and deepen the concept of extractivism and the role of alternatives beyond the conventional usage connected to natural resources.

Global Extractivisms: Un­pack­ing and broad­en­ing the concept

The recording of the event can be found in Unitube. Listen to the recording here

April 15th 2020 at 13:00-14:30

  • Chair: Markus Kröger
  • Presenters: Professor Barry Gills, research assistant Saana Hokkanen

The Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT) is a new international network of scholars, activists, and policymakers dedicated to collaboration and knowledge creation around the pressing crises stemming from extractivist policies and practices. This Initiative draws together diverse critical analyses of the phenomena of global extractivisms and the myriad alternatives being actively pursued in both theory and practice.

This presentation aims to continue the discussion around extractivism and its alternatives, by offering a discussion-opener of critical and holistic understandings of extractivism as an organizing concept, beyond the conventional usage connected to natural resources. The presentation aims to explore the concept of “extractivism” via a range of social, cultural, and ecological perspectives.


Barry Gills is the professor of Development Studies at the University of Helsinki, as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal Globalizations. Before coming to Helsinki, Gills has worked as the professor of Global Politics in the school of Geography, Politics and Sociology at Newcastle University and as the Director of the Globalization Research Center at the University of Hawaii, USA. He earned his doctorate from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Professor Gills has written widely in the fields of world-systems theory, international political economy, the political economy of development and the politics of resistance, globalization and most recently the climate emergency (see recent article). Professor Gills is also a member of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science and one of the founding members of the Global Extractivisms and Alternatives research initiative (EXALT).

Saana Hokkanen is a master's student at the University of Helsinki, majoring in development studies and interested in world-ecological theory and post-capitalist imaginaries. She has previously worked at the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and is currently working as a research assistant with the Global Extractivisms and Alternatives initiative (EXALT).

Form­al­isa­tion of the squat­ting hous­ing through fin­an­cial­iz­a­tion and multi-level state in­ter­ven­tion 

February 25th 2020 at 11:00-12:30

  • Chair: Assoc. Prof. Franklin Obeng-Odoom, Sustainability Science with Development Studies and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, University of Helsinki
  • Presenter: Dr. Sinan Akyuz, Department of Urban Planning, Abdullah Gul University 

Form­al­isa­tion of the squat­ting hous­ing through fin­an­cial­iz­a­tion and multi-level state in­ter­ven­tion 

With the rise of the power of finance capital after the 1980s, the amount of indebt of the households, companies and states increased dramatically. With the restructuring of the financial system in Turkey due to the 2001 banking crisis, the role of finance capital in the economy further increased. In parallel to the political economic change, there has been an increasing attempt by the state for the transformation of self-help squatting housing into registered flats. The presentation will explain how the rise in debts have been a part of registering the housing of urban poor in the case of Ankara, the capital city of Turkey, under new legislations. In 2005, around 30% of the urban population of Ankara were still living in squatter settlements (Ankara Metropolitan Municipality, 2005). With the new regulation, the medium and low-income groups were integrated into the new credit systems, such as the mortgage system. With the rise of the finance and service sectors in the economy, city governments became a part of the transformation of housing. Based on the 2007 Ankara Development Plan, the total planned areas of the city was approximately 80,000 hectares, and 31,235 hectares (39 %) of it have been declared as Transformation Area by the Ankara Greater Municipality. The paper deals with one of the ongoing redevelopment projects in Ankara, Mamak District Transformation Project, targeting to redeveloped 7million m² land via new legislations and debt-based homeownership system.   

Bio: Sinan Akyuz is a University Lecturer in Urban Planning at the Abdullah Gül University in Kayseri, Turkey. In 2010 he was graduated from Gazi University Town and Regional Planning Department and he worked in private sector for a year as an urban planner. Later, he completed his master’s in International Planning and Development at the Cardiff University. He holds a PhD from Sheffield University in the Urban Studies Department. His PhD thesis was titled as “Redevelopment of squatter settlements in Ankara, Turkey” and completed in February 2019. The overall topic of his thesis was the enormous processes of building and rebuilding of housing in Turkey with strong state involvement, targeting squatter housing neighbourhoods, whilst also considering the effects of redevelopment processes on the residents of squatter settlements of Ankara. The thesis investigates overall social, economic, and spatial change of the Turkish cities based on three theoretical perspectives following a Marxist analysis of the relationship between the urban, the state and housing.

The Urban Com­mons: A Dis­sent

January 24th 2020 at 13:00-14:30

  • Chair: Dr. Özlem Celik, Postdoctoral researcher at Development studies and HELSUS, University of Helsinki 
  • Presenter: Dr. Mika Hyötyläinen, Postdoctoral Researcher, Discipline of Social and Public Policy, University of Helsinki

The urban commons is a fashionable concept in contemporary critical urban studies and radical human geography. It is often referred to in literature that explores alternatives to capitalist, urban spatial arrangements that are predicated on tenure security and private property rights. Despite an applaudable, revolutionary agenda in much of the work regarding the urban commons, the weight that the concept carries suffers from ambiguity. In my ongoing work regarding the conceptualization of the urban commons I voice a concern that if radical scholars are unable to claim and define their vision of the urban commons, the concept risks being hijacked and employed in counter revolutionary ways. It risks becoming yet another branding and city marketing tool, disarmed of its radical potential and incorporated in the elite’s vision of urban regeneration and development. For the concept of the urban commons to carry its clout, its definition must be more strictly tied to a critique of private property in the city.


Özlem Celik is a post-doc researcher at HELSUS and Development Studies at the University of Helsinki. She works with Franklin Obeng-Odoom on Social Sustainability of Urban Transformations in the Global South. Özlem's research concerns the political economy of urban development and change, including the politics of urban economic relations, housing, state interventions, rescaling of the state, and urban social movements. She is also interested in using participatory and collaborative methodological approaches in engagement with housing movements and activist groups. Özlem’s  previous research has focused on the financialisation of housing, and the limitations and possibilities of spatial politics of solidarity through commoning practices in Turkey. She is currently completing a book on ‘Theories of the Spatiality of the State’, editing a special issue, which brings together a set of papers that examine financialisation of housing and violation of housing rights at the time of crisis and which thereby explore the contemporary state of neoliberal urbanisation in divergent political economic contexts, and co-ordinating the Urban and Regional Political Economy Working Group, IIPPE. She has previously worked at Lund University, Yasar University, Middle East Technical University and The University of Sheffield, after obtaining a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning, an MA in Sociology, and a BA in Urban and Regional Planning.

Mika Hyötyläinen is a postdoctoral researcher at the Discipline of Social and Public Policy, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Helsinki. Mika’s current research investigates the urban commons as an analytical concept and critically explores the promise of the urban commons as an alternative to private land tenure. Mika is also exploring urban inequality in the context of the Nordic welfare state, researching land management by faith based organizations and customary land ownership in Indonesia and writing a manifesto concerning housing policy in the urban age. Mika received his doctorate in 2019 with the dissertation Divided by Policy: Urban Inequality in Finland, in which he investigates the roles of land and housing policies in the inequalities of Finnish cities.

Are Cli­mate Im­pacts Environ­mental Im­pacts? Court Re­view of Com­plex Environ­mental Know­ledge and Im­pacts

Wednesday 26 February 2020, at 9 am - 5 pm 

Sem­inar de­scrip­tion

Most environmental adjudication is forward-looking and the environmental impacts of any planned project must be estimated in advance. The environmental impacts of significant industrial activities are estimated in environmental impact assessments (‘EIAs’), which are utilised in subsequent environmental decision-making. Administrative authorizations draw on these assessments and if reviewed in the court, it is for the judges to consider whether the scientific side is robust enough for deciding on the matter.

Traditionally, climate impacts have not been counted as environmental impacts that could be considered in the environmental judicial review. This reality, at the root of all climate litigation, serves as the backdrop of our one-day seminar.

Are climate impacts environmental impacts? Could climate impacts be evaluated in the EIA, and in the subsequent judicial review? How has the scope of ‘accepted’ environmental impacts been delineated, spatially or temporally speaking? Which are direct, which indirect impacts, and do cumulative effects play any role? How do the courts address the inherent uncertainty prevalent in all scientific knowledge production, or understand other environmental models apart from climate change models, which are numerous but often not discussed in detail by the courts?

The day revolves around one case where climate impacts were taken into account: the Rocky Hill (Gloucester Resources Limited v Minister for Planning [2019] NSWLEC 7) ruling from the New South Wales Land and Environment Court, whose Chief Justice Brian Preston gives the keynote presentation. The speakers come from different jurisdictions, offering an opportunity to examine how the answers hinge on the niceties of administrative legal systems. Or do they?


9:30 Welcome                        

               Tiina Paloniitty (Postdoctoral Fellow at HELSUS and Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki)

SESSION I: About the Rocky Hill Ruling (Moderator: Tiina Paloniitty)

9:35 Opening Words

              Kari Kuusiniemi (President of the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland)

9:45 Contemporary Issues in Environmental Impact Assessment

              Brian Preston (Chief Judge, New South Wales Land and Environment Court, Australia)

10:15 The Australian Climate & Energy Law Context of the Rocky Hill Ruling

              James Prest (Senior Lecturer, Australian National University)

10:45 The Promise and Potential of Local Environmental Justice in the Wake of Rocky Hill (pre-recorded video)

             Amanda Kennedy (Professor, Queensland University of Technology) 

10:55 Discussion

11:15 Coffee

SESSION II: Scientific Evaluations in the Two European Courts (Moderator: Mariolina Eliantonio)

11:45 EIA in the Case Law of the European Court of Justice

              Agustín García-Ureta (Professor, University of the Basque County)

12:15 The ECtHR: The Role of Scientific Information in Environmental Jurisprudence

              Heta-Elena Heiskanen (Ministry of the Environment, Finland)

12:45 Discussion

13:00 Lunch

SESSION III: …Or Was There a Hill at All? Moderator: Elina Vaara

14:30 Prediction in the Wild

              Alkistis Elliott-Graves (Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow, Centre for Philosophy of the Social Sciences (TINT), University of Helsinki)

15:00 The Scientific and Legal Mechanisms for Addressing Model Uncertainties: Negotiating the Right Balance in the Finnish Judicial Review?

              Tiina Paloniitty (Postdoctoral Fellow at HELSUS and Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki) 

15:30 Discussion

SESSION IV: Views from the Hilltop Moderator: Tiina Paloniitty 

15:45 Beyond Environmental Law: Complex Scientific Assessments in Other Fields of Administrative Law

              Mariolina Eliantonio (Professor, Maastricht University)

16:15 Roundtable Discussion: Towards Holistic Impact Assessment? 

Welcome to follow an Urban sustainability webinar the 26th of May 2020 at 11.15-12.45 
The University of Helsinki launches a research theme regarding urban sustainability produced in cooperation by the two institutes Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (Urbaria).

The webinar showcases how cities globally are encouraging transformation toward low impact and sustainable lifestyles in the face of social shocks and rapid environmental change.  Join us to hear more about urban sustainability research and that how can cities use nature-based solutions to achieve more sustainable growth.

Press here or  copy this link to the webinar:  https://tiedekulmamedia.helsinki.fi/fi/web/tiedekulma/player/webcast?playerId=38521893&eventId=55423830

Event website

Sustainability Science Days 9.-10.5.2019

The thematic focus of the days was on sustainable production and consumption, which is the Sustainable Development Goal # 12 (SDG) where Finland’s performance according to the SDG indicators needs to be considerably improved. During two days this challenge was be approached via scientific debate and popular discussion events. The conference is organized jointly by Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and Aalto Sustainability Hub (ASH).

Check the Sustainability Science Days 2019 webpage.

Sustainability Science Days 16.-17.5.2018

The 2018 Sustainability Science Days were held on May 16-17 2018 with Sustainability Solutions - Partnerships in Science and Beyond as the theme.

Check the Sustainability Science Days 2018 webpage. The materials of the key note lectures are also available. 

Bolivia without Evo? Crit­ical re­flec­tions on the down­fall of the first Indigenous Pres­id­ent of Bolivia

This Encounter is co-organised with the discipline of Development studies at the University of Helsinki.

December 4th 2019 at 14.00-15.30

Chair: Dr. Özlem Celik, Postdoctoral researcher at Development studies and HELSUS, University of Helsinki 


  • Dr. Eija Ranta, University lecturer at Development Studies, University of Helsinki
  • Dr. Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares, Postdoctoral Researcher, Organismal and Evolutionary Biology Research Programme, University of Helsinki

In the last two decades, Bolivia has consolidated a strong reputation as a vocal defender of sustainability in global environmental policy forums. This leadership has been largely ushered in by President Evo Morales, often lauded as a champion for the environment and Indigenous Peoples’ rights. However, after a disputed election, weeks of violent protests, a police mutiny and a call for his departure by the armed forces, Evo Morales decided to resign and flee into exile in Mexico. In this talk, we will examine the meaning and transcendence of the end of Morales’ meteoric political journey, evaluating also Bolivia’s environmental policies since his administration took office in 2006.  Based on our in-depth analysis of Bolivia's current sociopolitical situation, we will reflect on how rhetoric and action have failed to align in the country’s political arena, threatening its credibility in international environmental policy forums. 


Özlem Celik is a post-doc researcher at HELSUS and Development Studies at the University of Helsinki. She works with Franklin Obeng-Odoom on Social Sustainability of Urban Transformations in the Global South. Özlem's research concerns the political economy of urban development and change, including the politics of urban economic relations, housing, state interventions, rescaling of the state, and urban social movements. She is also interested in using participatory and collaborative methodological approaches in engagement with housing movements and activist groups. Özlem’s  previous research has focused on the financialisation of housing, and the limitations and possibilities of spatial politics of solidarity through commoning practices in Turkey. She is currently completing a book on ‘Theories of the Spatiality of the State’, editing a special issue, which brings together a set of papers that examine financialisation of housing and violation of housing rights at the time of crisis and which thereby explore the contemporary state of neoliberal urbanisation in divergent political economic contexts, and co-ordinating the Urban and Regional Political Economy Working Group, IIPPE. She has previously worked at Lund University, Yasar University, Middle East Technical University and The University of Sheffield, after obtaining a PhD in Urban Studies and Planning, an MA in Sociology, and a BA in Urban and Regional Planning.

Eija Ranta is University Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Helsinki and the principal investigator of the Academy of Finland project "Citizenship Utopias in the Global South: The Pursuit of Transformative Alternatives in Times of Civic Disillusionment". Her recent book Vivir Bien as an Alternative to Neoliberal Globalization (Routledge 2018) examines indigenous politics, state formation and transformative alternatives to mainstream development thinking through the ethnographic analysis of state discourses and bureaucratic applications of the notion of Vivir Bien/Buen Vivir (living well) in Evo Morales' Bolivia. The book maps the potentials and challenges in the search for more just, inclusive and ecologically sustainable alternatives to growth-based development models in the global South.

Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences of the University of Helsinki, funded by the Academy of Finland. An ethnoecologist by training, he has more than 27 months of in-depth ethnographic field experience with Indigenous communities in the Global South, most notably in Bolivian Amazonia. His research examines how policies promoting infrastructure and extractive development in Bolivia’s natural areas are threatening the country’s reputation as a global leader in environmental policy forums. He has extensively written about the contradictions between Morales' politics of Indigeneity and its neoliberal extractivist agenda, and the mismatches between Morales' environmentalist rhetoric and on-the-ground realities of Amazonian Indigenous communities on the edge of expanding agricultural, infrastructure and extractive frontiers.

China-Africa ag­ri­cul­tural co­oper­a­tion. What are the im­plic­a­tions at the local level?

Ag­ri­cul­tural technology demon­stra­tion cen­ters as case study

November 14th 2019 at 11.00-12.30

  • Chair: Kristina Lindström, Professor of Sustainable Development, University of Helsinki 
  • Presenter: Mariasole Pepa, University of Padova, Department of History, Geography and of the Ancient World (DISSGeA)

China’s presence in Africa has gained growing attention at an international level in the last two decades. The growing debate around China’s rising influence in Africa agriculture has been strongly related to the alarmism resulting from the 2007-08 food crisis. Concerns mainly regarded the rise of Chinese aid commitment and economic engagement since 2006, when the first Forum on China-Africa cooperation (FOCAC) was held in Beijing. International institutions, government officials and scholars have tried to unpack the Chinese strong involvement in Africa, attempting to understand the real objectives of Beijing. However, still little is know about the effects and implications that Chinese involvement have at the local level. This study focuses on China-Africa agricultural cooperation and specifically on Agricultural technology demonstration centers (ATDC) as a particular form of Chinese aid commitment in agriculture. Agricultural technology demonstration centers (ATDC) were launched during the 2006 Forum on China–Africa Cooperation as the flagship project of China–Africa agricultural cooperation. ATDCs have since been established in twenty different African countries, with five centers under construction in new countries. ATDCs rely on an aid+business model and provide demonstrations and training to local communities, aiming to address the economic self-sustainability of projects through business practices. The establishment of the centers comprises three common stages: construction, technical cooperation and sustainable business. During the construction and technical cooperation phases the Chinese project operator in charge of the centers receives full funding from Beijing. However, in the last stage, the operating companies should theoretically have elaborated a successful business model that allows the centers to operate independently, without additional funds from the Chinese government. Literature on the implications that this aid+business model have at the local level still scant, this study aims to fill the existing gap. Fieldwork, qualitative and quantitative methods, will be use to provide new insights on the local implications of Chinese engagement in Africa agriculture and more in general on local dynamics of South-South cooperation.

Bio: Mariasole Pepa is a second year PhD student from the department of geography at Padua University. At the moment, she is based at Helsinki University as a visiting researcher under the supervision of Prof. Franklin Obeng-Odoom. Her research concerns the implications and effects that China-Africa agricultural cooperation has at the local level in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially using the Agricultural demonstration centers (ATDC’s ) as case study. The objective is to use both quantitive and qualitative methods and elaborate a balance research which take into account both the Chinese and African perspectives, especially underlying the effects that agricultural cooperation possible have on local farmers.

Pepa has recently spent two months at the African Center Studies at Peking University as a visiting researcher. She has graduated in international development and cooperation at the University of Bologna, completed her master’s degree in Local development at the University of Padua, and she has spent several semesters as exchange student at Salford University in Manchester, and Salamanca University. Her final master’s thesis was about the reality and myths of Chinese land grabbing in Africa, and after that her interest in China-Africa relations persisted.

Bio: Professor Kristina Lindström is Professor of Sustainable Development. Based at the
Discipline of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, she is a leading scholar in the field of sustainable agriculture with more than 30 years of research experience in collaboration with Chinese and African colleagues. Her speciality is biological nitrogen fixation in legumes and soil microbiology - from genomes to farmers. Recently she has investigated and published on the adaptation of innovations by farmers and farmer co-creation.  A winner of the 2009 Nova Prize for the Nordic Network Soils and Society, Professor Lindström is well-known for her transdisciplinary research that bridges the gap between the natural and social sciences.

What are Transna­tional Oil Com­pan­ies good for? Big Busi­ness, Health­care, and Society in the Rural Peri­phery

September 25. 2019 at 11:00 - 12:00

  • Presenter: Ann-Christin Hayk, University of Trier
  • Chair: Franklin Obeng-Odoom

A number of corporations operating in the extractive industries have heavily embraced the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). Most have done so in response to growing societal recognition that their operations severely impact the environment and communities. Some companies adhere to one universal CSR policy, despite operating in numerous different countries, which has attracted criticism, especially towards those with projects in the Global South. The literature, however, has failed to articulate how distinct actors within CSR decision-making networks (companies operating transnationally, central governments, local governments and communities) and the governance mechanisms within them can influence the ways in which universal policies in this area are operationalised locally. This paper helps to bridge this gap by examining how, exactly, host governments can overcome power asymmetries between themselves and transnational companies operating in the extractive sector to steer their CSR towards localised activities. It investigates transnational oil corporations’ CSR activities in rural communities, applying the constructivist concept of policy mobilisation, which offers a framework to improve and govern alterations of universal policies. The results draw attention to the significance of a domestic promotor, proactive involvement of local actors, and the openness of transnational CSR strategies to specific localisation processes.

Bio: Ann-Christin Hayk is an economic geographer working on social sustainability in the Global South. Aside her ethnographic fieldwork in West Africa, she is also involved in community organisation, working directly with NGOs in the Global South. She has taught and contributed to many courses in development studies and human geography, including Theories of Development. Her work has been published in Extractive Industries and Society.

Green Ima­gin­ar­ies and Ter­rit­orial Re­si­li­ence in the Case of Chile

Thursday 10. October 2019, at 12-13.30

  • Presenters: En­rique Al­iste and Ju­li­ette Marin

The green ima­gin­ary at the end of the world. Eco­lo­gical dis­courses as a mech­an­ism for pro­duc­tion of new in­equal­it­ies in the Chilean Pa­tago­nia, presenter En­rique Al­iste

This presentation is searching for to explore, characterize and interpret the promotion and diffusion of values that seek to "produce" or "recover" nature, as a trigger paradoxes of contradictions as environmental injustice, environmental poverty, "green-washing", "green-grabbing" or land grabbing for ecological purposes, segregation or environmental exclusion, among other phenomena. The hypothesis is that the green discourses and imaginaries result in the establishment of socio-environmental inequalities as a new social and spatial phenomenon, and whose consequences end up redefining social and cultural geography in the Chilean Patagonia. The aim is to explore how discursive practices of nature protection generate new socio-environmental inequalities, as a result of new strategies of capitalism. In methodological terms, we explore different kinds of environmental protection projects and initiatives, existing in web pages, as a part of others investments projects (compensations coming from mining, forestry or others extractivists projects with environmental compensations). In this phase, primary yet, we offer a general panorama and an idea of the narratives contents in these projects, and a primary cartography representation. From this primary approach, we analyze some general elements that could be an initial guide for discussing about new inequalities.

Bio: Enrique Aliste is Professor and current Head of the Department of Geography in the University of Chile. PhD in Geography and Development Studies at the EHESS of Paris, France, he works in social and cultural geography focused on socio-environmental subjects and sustainability conflicts in the Chilean and Latin-American context. Member of the Steering Committee at IGU’s Commission “The Cultural Approach in Geography” (2013-2016) and “Global Understanding” (2017-2020), and coordinator for the International Year of Global Understanding Regional Action Center in Chile. He works in several academic networks with universities in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Finland, Spain, and Chile. Director of associative project CONICYT PIA-Anillo Soc 1404 and principal investigator in several projects of National Fund for Scientific Research (FONDECYT); he’s advisor member in the PhD programs on Territory, Space and Society, and in Social Science at the University of Chile (with 4 thesis under direction and 4 thesis as co-advisor). Visiting professor in French Universities Sorbonne-Nouvelle (Pablo Neruda’s chair in 2016), EHESS and U. de Poitiers. In Colombia is visiting professor at the U. of Caldas in the PhD program of Territorial Studies.  He has invited in several universities for PhD exams commissions (U. Federal Fluminense, Brazil; U. do Extremo Sul Catarinense, Brazil; EHESS de Paris, France, Catholic University of Chile). In 2018 he obtained the Geography National Award delivered by the Chilean Society of Geographical Sciences. Contact: ealiste@uchilefau.cl 

Link­ing mod­els and ter­rit­or­ies: Ter­rit­orial Re­si­li­ence sig­ni­fied from the Global South, presenter Ju­li­ette Marin

This research proposes to discuss a concept both intuitive and problematic: resilience of territories. In post-modern societies, risk becomes ubiquitous with unprecedented spatial, temporal and social scales and interconnections. Resilience appears then as a strategy for dwelling in this world of global risks, although this perspective doesn’t engage with social justice perspectives and tends to displace the discussion from social wellbeing to emergency response.

Indeed, despite its great discursive deployment since the 2000s, resilience is highly criticized because of its ambiguity, disregard towards social factors of risk, invisibilization of power structures, and ideological mobilization. It is thus pertinent to analyze how dominant models of resilience to disaster risks and climate change are engaging in dialogue with social wellbeing interrogations.

Studies of telecoupled processes point out the limit of traditional territorial scales of analysis for current resilience (and sustainability) models: The lack of consideration of new spacetime scales and interconnected relations leads to disregard cascading risks. Resilience of a place can then be compromised by processes in other places: for e.g., lithium exploitation in Atacama Desert has new pressures because of electromobility transitions in cities from the Global North and radical consequences on regional water scarcity, compromising local communities’ own sustainability.

Bio: Civil engineer (École des Ponts-ParisTech, France), MSc. in civil engineering (University of Tokyo,Japan), specialized in structural engineering, seismic engineering and disaster risk management. I currently work at the Seismic Risk Program of the University of Chile, developing interdisciplinary applied research and scientific-technological transfer projects for Chilean public institutions. I am pursuing my second year at the PhD program Territory, Space and Society (Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism, University of Chile). My doctoral research concerns territorial resilience towards disasters and climate change risks, based on empirical research of Latin American cases. I am part of U. Chile’s transdisciplinary research group on disaster risk (CITRID), where I’ve participated in teaching, research and scientific dissemination projects. Contact: juliette.marin@uchile.cl

11.12.2019: Sustainable con­sump­tion

Watch the stream on Unitube


Annukka Vainio Assoc. prof., Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and HELSUS, Univ. of Helsinki: So­cial psy­cho­logy’s unique con­tri­bu­tion in ad­dress­ing the causes and re­sponses to cli­mate change

Helena Dahlbo Senior Research Scientist, SYKE: Tex­tiles in cir­cu­lar eco­nomy

Kirsi Silvennoinen Research Scientist, Luke: Food Waste in Food Services

27.11.2019: Cli­mate change and long term changes in the Arc­tic

Watch the stream on Unitube


Jussi Eronen, Assoc. Prof, Faculty of Biological and Env. Sciences /HELSUS, Univ. of Helsinki: The End of Arc­tic - over­view of changes and chal­lenges

Letizia Tedesco, Senior Research Scientist / Adj. Prof. in Aquatic Sciences (SYKE): Arc­tic sea-ice de­cline im­pacts on primary pro­duc­tion

Hannu Fritze Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke): The ef­fect of reindeer graz­ing on peat­land eco­sys­tem func­tion­ing - first res­ults

21.10.2019: Science for gov­ern­ing wa­ter sustainability

Watch the stream on Unitube


Dr. Antti Iho, Senior Scientist, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke): Efficient allocation of nutrient abatement between and within source types 

Ass. prof. Niko Soininen, Faculty of Law / HELSUS, University of Helsinki: Systemic incongruence of EU-Finnish water law: death by thousand cuts?

Dr. Mika Marttunen, Head of Water Management and Governance Unit, Finnish Environment Institute: Structured decision making and sustainable water management

2.9.2019: Forests and risks

Watch the stream on Unitube


Susanne Suvanto, Research scientist, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke): Forests at risk? Mapping the probability of forest damage to support disturbance-aware management decisions.

Eeva Primmer, Research Director, Professor, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE): Governing the Provision of Insurance Value From Ecosystems

Dr. Brent Matthies, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Univ. of Helsinki: Climate related risks, opportunities and impacts in forests

16.5.2019: Cir­cu­lar eco­nomy

Watch the stream on Unitube


Postdoc researcher Dalia D’Amato, University of Helsinki: The circular economy and its role in a broader sustainability landscape

Senior Research Scientist David Lazarevic, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE): Policies and tools for navigating the circular economy

Research Professor Katja Lähtinen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke): Circularity as an opportunity for multi-dimensionally sustainable production and consumption

2.4.2019: So­cial sustainability and le­git­im­acy

Watch the stream on Unitube


University lecturer Simo Kyllönen, University of Helsinki: Sustainability and challenges of intergenerational justice

Senior specialist Mila Sell, Luke: The gender gap in African agriculture and how to bridge it

Senior researcher Salla Rantala, SYKE: Equity and legitimacy of policies for open natural resource data

27.3.2019: Sustainable food

Watch the stream on Unitube


Dr. Minna Kaljonen, Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE: What can Finnish school food teach us about sustainability transition?

Prof. Xavier Irz, Natural Resources Institute Finland, LUKE: Promoting Climate-Friendly Diets: What Should We Tell Consumers in Denmark, Finland and France?

Helena Pastell, Finnish Food Authority: What are Little Crickets Made of?

11.2.2019: Open­ing sem­inar

Watch the stream on Unitube


Prof. Raisa Mäkipää (Luke): Sustainable Development Goals and Land Management Practices
Prof., director Eeva Furman (SYKE): Insights to Global Sustainable Development and the Role of Research

Tvättstugan – Learning for Sustainable Development

17–18 December 2018, in Kaisaniemi & Otaniemi


A 2 day hands-on course in Finland for academic and administrative staff of University of Helsinki (UH) and Aalto University. KTH will share their pedagogical knowledge on how the course “LH215V Lärande för hållbar utveckling 4,5 hp”, kth.se/student/kurser/kurs/LH215V, has been implemented. With a peer-to-peer approach we will share best practices on how to integrate sustainability in your respective courses. Come and work towards sustainability in the context of your own course – all disciplines are warmly welcome!


Target group

Academic staff and pedagogical support of respective universities. 

Number of participants

Max 30, 10–15 from both University of Helsinki & Aalto University.

Apply before 19 Nov 2018: https://elomake.helsinki.fi/lomakkeet/92904/lomake.html

  • Short motivational letter to attend the course
  • Your course to be developed 
  • No participation fee

Time, location, programme

  • Mon-Tue, 17–18 December 2018
  • 1 day in UH Kaisaniemi, Helsinki city centre and 1 day in Aalto main campus Otaniemi, Espoo
  • Programme will be published in mid-November


UH HELSUS and Aalto Sustainability Hub are jointly responsible for inviting KTH to Finland and arranging the course, together with UH & Aalto pedagogical support.

Contact persons

Prof. Alberto Gomes, La Trobe University (AU) and DEEP Network:

Lessons from the margin: Indigenous Peace Ecology

Monday November 19th  2018 at 13:00–15:00
Helsus Hub Lounge (Porthania, 2nd floor)
See the presentation recording: https://connect.funet.fi/p3q0ogvwb8x8/

Download the presentation slides:

Humanity is confronted with several inter-related crises: ecological, social or humanitarian and growing violence, both direct and structural. Much evidence indicates that solutions implemented to resolve them, from development and modernisation to neoliberalism and sustainable development, have not just failed but paradoxically have exacerbated these crises.

Inspired by the life-ways and practices of Indigenous peoples, especially the Orang Asli (Aborigines) in Malaysia, this paper outlines a peace ecology that combines peacebuilding with ecological regenerative strategies. The key contention is that subscribing to an Indigenous peace ecology will foster effective solutions to the triple crisis, entailing a paradigmatic shift from an anthropocentric to an eco-centric perception of nature; from hyper-individualism to a community-focus responsibility; from a competitive outlook to one that is focused on empathy, cooperation, sharing and altruism; and from a growth-fetish to a needs-based regenerative lifestyle.

Alberto Gomes is an Emeritus Professor at La Trobe University, Australia, Affiliated Professor at Universitat Jaume 1, Spain, and Global Director of the Dialogue, Empathic Engagement and Peacebuilding (DEEP) Network. Well known for his scholarly work on the Orang Asli (Malaysian Aborigines), he has published numerous articles and several books. His books include Modernity and Identity: Asian Illustrations (edited volume, La Trobe University Press, 1994), Malaysia and the Original People (with R. Dentan, K. Endicott, and M. B. Hooker, Allyn and Bacon, 1997), Looking for Money (COAC and Trans Pacific Press, 2004), Modernity and Malaysia: Settling the Menraq Forest Nomads (Routledge, 2007) and Multiethnic Malaysia (edited with Lim Teck Ghee and Azly Rahman, USCI and SIRD, 2009).


13:00 Introduction Paola Minoia, Senior Lecturer, Development Studies
13:15 Presentation Alberto Gomes
14:00 Discussants: Karen Heikkilä, Geography and Timo Kaartinen, Professor, Anthropology
14:20 Q&As

Contact: paola.minoia@helsinki.fi

Daniel C. Miller, a visiting scholar from University of Illinois:

Forests as Pathways out of Poverty and to Broader Prosperity: Empirical Insights and Conceptual Advances

Wednesday October 24th 2018 at 14.15-15.15
HELSUS Hub, Porthania, 2nd floor
See the presentation recording: https://connect.funet.fi/pelc0puqaxvz/

Download the presentation slides:

Forests provide an important resource that supports the livelihoods of an estimated 20 percent of the world’s population. Forests have been understood to make three main livelihoods contributions: subsistence support, provision of safety nets in times of need, and pathways out of poverty. International policies and investments are increasingly emphasizing the last of these roles, but can forests help rural households to escape from poverty? And can forests provide a pathway to prosperity that includes more widely-shared economic benefits and improvements in other aspects of human well-being?

This presentation describes the results of a systematic map and literature review of current evidence relating to these questions. We identify and characterize more than 250 relevant studies published since 1990. We find that the evidence base on forest-poverty linkages is growing, but available research primarily examines poverty mitigation aspects of forests rather than their potential role in poverty alleviation let alone larger conceptions of prosperity.

To increase understanding of forest-livelihoods relationships we propose a framework based on the concept of prosperity, which emphasizes wider swaths of society who may benefit from forests and a conception of human well-being that extends beyond economic and material dimensions. We argue that explicitly taking a more expansive view can enable better accounting for the diverse ways forests contribute to human welfare, broaden the constituency for forests, and inform policies to more sustainably manage forests within wider landscapes.

Daniel C. Miller is Assistant Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Miller’s research and teaching focus on international environmental politics and policy, especially relating to forests. Dr. Miller previously held staff positions at the Program on Forests at the World Bank and the MacArthur Foundation. He completed his Ph.D. in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan and earned undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Political Science at the University of Illinois.

Sustainable Development Goals – (how) can performance be measured?

WHEN: Thursday 11 October 2018 at 13:00–15:30

WHERE: Think Lounge, Think Corner 2nd floor, Yliopistonkatu 4

WHAT: The realization of the 2030 Agenda's 17 goals and 169 targets is monitored by roughly 230 global indicators. The UN uses this data to compile the annual SDG Progress Report for the purposes of global follow-up. Global indicators help also individual countries in their efforts to reach the SDG’s. However, the global indicators alone do not often provide sufficient information to address countries’ national sustainable development challenges, and an additional set of national indicators is needed. This is the case also in Finland. The crucial question is the selection of appropriate and relevant national indicators to measure national performance.

WHY: Understanding about the implementation and monitoring of SDG’s is vital in achieving sustainability on global and local levels and accordingly this is an important part of a sustainability experts skills and knowledge. In the event you will learn and discuss SDGs, Finland’s performance and evaluation of SD policies with visiting experts from Bertelsmann foundation and International Institute for Environment and Development.

FOR: Researchers, doctoral students, master students, all other interested. No registration required.




13.00 Welcome by HELSUS and Aalto Sustainability Hub

  • Janna Pietikäinen, Vice dean, Educational affairs, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science
  • Meri Löyttyniemi, Senior Advisor for Sustainability, Aalto University

13.15 Introduction to SDGs and assessing the progress on SDG implementation

  • Sami Pirkkala, Counsellor, Prime Minister’s Office


Evaluation of national sustainable development policies – what is it about and why should countries bother?

  • Stefano D'Errico, International Institute for Environment and Development

Measuring sustainability on country level – what makes it challenging, how to measure spillovers, and how is Finland performing?

  • Dr. Christian Kroll, Bertelsmann Stiftung

14.45 Discussion: Measuring performance – how about SDG´s in higher education?

  • Facilitated by Sami Pirkkala

15.30 End of the seminar

Stefano D'Errico works as a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Manager in the International Institute for Environment and Development. His current work includes, for example, designing and operationalizing the IIED's monitoring evaluation and learning system, leading on the delivery of internal capacity building, strengthening the capacity of projects and programmes to design and implement robust and appropriate MEL plans, supporting project proposal authors in the development of appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems and leading IIED's monitoring and evaluation working group and implementation of its agreed work plan across the organization.

Dr. Christian Kroll works as Senior Expert for Sustainable Development at Bertelsmann Stiftung. Dr. Christian Kroll is the Scientific Co-Director of the SDG Index and Dashboards to measure country performance on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (annual report produced with UN Special Advisor Jeffrey Sachs). He authored numerous articles in scientific journals and policy-oriented reports, including "Sustainable Development Goals: Are the rich countries ready".

Sami Pirkkala works as a Counsellor on Sustainable Development and the 2030 Agenda at the Prime Minister’s Office. His main fields of work include national SD monitoring, follow-up and evaluation issues, EU’s sustainable development policy and the further development of national SD governance structures.


HELSUS, University of Helsinki www.helsinki.fi/helsus 

Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science is new cross-faculty research unit in sustainability science within the University of Helsinki. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainability transformations of societies by means of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and education.

Aalto Sustainability Hub www.aalto.fi/sustainability

The Aalto Sustainability Hub aims to solve the diverse societal challenges through multidisciplinary research and to increase dialogue between different disciplines and social actors. Sustainability Hub brings together researchers from all fields of Aalto University and promotes sustainable development as part of teaching, campus development and other Aalto University activities.

Prime Minister’s Office www.vnk.fi and www.kestavakehitys.fi

UArctic Congress

The UArctic Congress 2018 will bring together key UArctic meetings and a science conference into one single gathering, including business meetings of the Council of UArctic, Rectors’ Forum, and Thematic Networks & UArctic Institutes Leadership Team.

The Congress is an integral part of Finland’s Arctic Council chairmanship program, and open to the public. The event will highlight the themes and priorities of the Finnish chairmanship, including the goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, supporting gender equality, and the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

With the aim to foster contacts and enhance networking, the biennial UArctic Congress brings together institutional leaders, indigenous representatives, academics, scientists and students from around the circumpolar north and beyond. Together with partners, policy makers, and other actors, the Congress strives to take the Arctic agenda forward by creating and strengthening collaborations that produce new findings and solutions for the future of the Arctic region.

The UArctic Congress 2018 will feature Science and Meeting sections, including:

  • Sessions aligned with the four priorities of Finland’s chairmanship; i.e. environmental protection, connectivity, meteorological cooperation, and education
  • Acclaimed keynote speakers and scientific experts presenting their views and latest research
  • Formal meetings for representatives of the Council of UArctic and UArctic Rectors’ Forum
  • Side-meetings and events
  • Student events
  • An exciting cultural and social program


University of Helsinki & University of Oulu


From September 3rd to September 7th



More information


Helsinki Environmental Humanities Forum is a relaxed atmosphere event, that combines scientific presentations of environmental humanities projects (broadly interpreted), collegian discussion and networking. Its a good place to meet, talk and collect impulses. The event is open for everybody but requires RSVP. More on the HUH


Autumn 2018 Schedule will be published later


Forum 4.
Presentations by Vesa Matteo Piludu, University of Helsinki, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Humanities and Viktor Pál, University of Helsinki and Next Generation Coordinator of the European Environmental History Association.

Forum 3.
Presentations by Ulrike Plath, Tallinn University, TBA and Julia Tofantšuk Tallinn University, TBA.

Forum 2.
Dr. Paula Schönach, Research Coordinator for the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), will introduce the brand new institute. Together we’ll explore for various possibilities for cooperation and discuss the role of environmental humanities at HELSUS.

Forum 1.
Organizational meeting

Welcome to the Seminar on Arctic Indigenous and Local Knowledge & Sustainability on June 8th 2018 at 9.00 – 15.00.

The aim of this seminar is to foster critical, interdisciplinary and evidence-based discussion on the importance of bridging diverse knowledge systems for Arctic sustainability. This seminar will bring together researchers, policymakers, and representatives from five Arctic indigenous communities to discuss the crucial role of Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) on Arctic environmental governance.

The seminar will combine keynote speeches and panel discussions, covering topics such as the ability of Arctic indigenous peoples to manage and conserve transboundary biodiversity, evidence of effective management strategies involving Arctic indigenous peoples, as well as the contributions of Arctic indigenous peoples in reaching the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals.

This seminar is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, with support from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the University of Helsinki and the Helmoltz-Centre for Environmental Research (UfZ, Germany). 


8th June, 9.00 - 15.00


Think Corner (Stage), Yliopistonkatu 4, Helsinki


Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares & Jari Niemelä, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki.


9.00 Opening
René Söderman, Senior Arctic Official for Finland
Henna Haapala, Ministerial Adviser at the Ministry of the Environment of Finland
Carolina Behe, Indigenous Knowledge/Science Advisor at the Inuit Circumpolar Council

9.15 Indigenous Peoples and Arctic Biodiversity
Anne Nuorgam, Vice-Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, University of Lapland

9.45 Coffee Break

10.15 Welcoming words
Jari Niemelä, Director of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and newly-appointed Rector of the University of Helsinki

10.20 Multiple natures, one planet: Advancing Indigenous and Local Knowledge in the IPBES Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystems
Eduardo S. Brondizio, Co-Chair of the IPBES Global Assessment, Indiana University Bloomington

10.45 Meanings and Significance of Indigenous and Local Knowledge
Fikret Berkes, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba

11.15 Panel Discussion with Arctic Indigenous Peoples representatives  and researchers–
Whose knowledge counts in biodiversity conservation concepts and practice?
Facilitator: Aili Pyhälä, Council Member of the ICCA Consortium and Lecturer in Development Studies, University of Helsinki
Participants: Carolina Behe (Inuit Circumpolar Council), Liza Mack (Aleut International Association), and Svein Matthiesen (Association of World Reindeer Herders)

12.00 Lunch break

13.15 Panel Discussion with Arctic Indigenous Peoples representatives and researchers–
Inclusive conservation in the Arctic for the benefit of all
Facilitator: Lisa Rohweder, Chair of WWF’s Global Arctic Program
Participants: Gunn-Britt Retter (Saami Council) and Yury Khatanzeyskiy (Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North)

14.00 Session on Finnish Arctic research

The role of ILK in understanding reindeer herding-forestry interactions in Finnish Upper Lapland | Heli Saarikoski, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

Revitalizing the connection to/with the Earth: An emerging (auto)ethnography in Sápmi | Hanna Guttorm, Sámi University of Applied Sciences & Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki

Developing local environmental observations in the Arctic | Mika Aromäki and Saku Anttila, Sámi Education Institute (SKK) & Finnish Environment Institute.

14.45 Short film on Saami observations of climate change
Mika Aromäki and Erkki Feodoroff, Sámi Education Institute (SKK)

14.50 Closing remarks
Gunn-Britt Retter, Head of the Arctic and Environment Unit of the Saami Council

Logos of the organizers of the seminar

Solutions Initiative Forum Integration

Together, we are joining forces to promote innovative solutions to meet the challenge of segregation! On 14 May 2018 we will gather social entrepreneurs, business representatives, investors, researchers and decision-makers to promote solutions for a more inclusive society. We will launch the Integration Solutions Report, showcasing some examples of Nordic solutions to create a more open, inclusive and sustainable society.

Get inspired to act! In a well-functioning society, integration of different groups of people is key to end poverty, ensure healthier lives, reach education for everyone, gender equality, and an inclusive labour market. Let’s turn segregation into integration and together create a more inclusive and sustainable society.
Join us at SIF Integration!

What is Solutions Initiative Forum (SIF)?

SIF is an action-oriented one-day event where entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, businesses, civil society, policy makers and academia come together to promote solutions for a challenge connected to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What is SIF Integration?

SIF Integration provides an interactive meeting arena to promote
available Nordic solutions focusing on how to reach a more integrated
and inclusive society. At SIF Integration, we will launch the Integration
Solutions Report. The report show-cases some examples of Nordic
solutions to show that an inclusive and sustainable society is possible.

What’s in it for me?

  • You learn about new innovations for a more integrated and inclusive society
  • It is an opportunity to meet integration projects that seek funding to scale up
  • You build networks with various stakeholders working with similar challenges
  • You share insights and experiences with others
  • Join forces to identify the next steps to implement solutions

Register before 4 May 2018


Sida, Valhallavägen 199, Stockholm, Sweden


14 May 2018


SDSN Northern Europe in collaboration with GU Ventures and Forum for Social Innovation Sweden

More information