Aalto Sustainability Day

Tackling complex sustainability challenges by co-creating disruptive innovations

Tackling complex ecological and social challenges calls for systemic disruptive innovations. How can such disruptions be created? What kind of research is effective for sustainability goals? Which forms of co-creation across different fields of society do we need to bring together groundbreaking sustainability solutions?

These and many more questions drive Aalto Sustainability Day that seeks new paths for interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary sustainability innovations. The events brings together experts, practitioners, students, and citizens to share their knowledge and experience on tackling complex sustainability challenges with novel approaches. Join us to co-create a better future in the inaugural event of Aalto Sustainability Hub!


Program Friday 18.5.2018

Conference location: Aalto University, Dipoli, Otakaari 24, FI- Espoo

Kindly note that some parts of the event will be videoed.

08.30 Coffee, tea & registration (Dipoli lobby, 1st floor)

Fair trade tea and coffee served with MÖ non-dairy oat yogu

09.00-09.15 Exhibition opening, Sustainability revolutions (Dipoli Gallery, 1st floor)

Opening words by Vice President Tuija Pulkkinen, Aalto University

Introduction by Curators Riikka Mäkikoskela and Taneli Tuovinen, Aalto ARTS

Musical intervention by Saija Hollmén & Tatu Pohjola

09.30-11.45 Key notes and panel (Kaleva Hall, 2nd floor)

Minna Halme, Director of Aalto Sustainability Hub and Professor of Sustainability Management: Tackling complex sustainability challenges by co-creating disruptive innovations

Dr. Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Environment
2010-2014, pioneer of EU's circular economy policy: Transition of the Economy - Role of the Circular Economy

Ilkka Herlin, Chairman of Cargotec corporation, Co-founder of Baltic Sea Action Group foundation, Soilfood And Qvidja Power: Disruptive combined to new, regenerative paradigm: killer combination

Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament and EP rapporteur for circular economy: The role of regulation to create disruption for change – how to create sustainable consumption and production patterns

Peter Lund, Professor of New Energy Technologies: Are disruptions paving the way towards energy & climate sustainability?

Panel 11-11:45, moderated by Ramia Mazé, Professor of Design Practices at Aalto ARTS:  How to co-create disruption for sustainability? Making sustainability our new normal.

11:45-12:45 Vegan lunch (Sief, 2nd floor)

A vegan conference lunch is served in 2nd floor lobby and participants are asked to reclaim a lunch ticket at own expense on the spot. Student discounts and other options available at the restaurant.

12.45-15.00 Parallel sessions

Choose your session from a variety of programme.

12.45-15.00 Interdisciplinary sustainability research sessions 

Contributions were selected in February 2018. Call for submissions and instructions for academic tracks can be found here

Theme 1. Sustainability-Oriented Innovation: Co-creating novel products, services and business models (Kaleva Hall, 2nd floor)

Theme 2. Sustainability in materials choices and design (Palaver, 1st floor)

Theme 3. Regenerative sustainability (Lumituuli, 1st floor)

Theme 4. Digitalisation, sharing and sustainability (Takka, 1st floor)

13.00-15.00 Other sessions

Doctoral students meeting practitioners (Alma Mater, 1st floor)

For CLC members: Disruption - Climate Leadership Coalition´s annual spring meeting (Restaurant Metso, 2nd floor)

15:00-15:30 Vegan & fair refreshments (Sief, 2nd floor)

Open exhibition in Dipoli, students presenting the posters 15-16: Student showcase on global impact (2nd floor lobby, Capitolium)

Pick up also your ash tree, sponsored by UPM.

15:30-17:00 Explore Otaniemi

Walk 1. Aalto Sustainability – exploring Otaniemi and St1 DeepHeat

Walk 2. ACRE Green campus, Otaniemi architecture and campus planning

Walk 3. Connect to A Grid: Business working for climate in Aalto entrepreneurship

Walk 4. Dipoli Sustainability Revolutions and Art walk in Otaniemi

Walk 5. For CLC members: St1 DeepHeat and Smart Mobility 

17.45 Opening of "Test-site for Practical Sustainability" at Ossinlampi pond

an area created by Aalto Creative Sustainability students for testing sustainability solutions outdoors.

18:00-21:00 Friday Night Live (A Grid, Otakaari 5)

Interesting in continuing your night with good music and interesting talks? Check Friday Night Live, part of Aalto Festival

18:30-21:30  Maamme Energia -opera (Savoy Theater in Helsinki)

17 and 18 May: lahienergia.org/tapahtumat/maamme-energia-ooppera/



Aalto Sustainability Day is fully booked with over 600 participants thus registration is no more possible. There is no participation fee but participants are expected to reclaim the lunch ticket on spot.

Welcome to Aalto Sustainability Day!

Speaker biographies



Dr. Janez Potočnik

Dr. Janez Potočnik (1958) graduated from the Faculty of Economics at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (Ph.D. degree 1993) . He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Science by London Imperial College and by Ghent University in 2008 and 2009 respectively, and Doctor of Science in Economics and Business Administration by Findland Aalto University in 2016. After a successful career starting in 1989 in Slovenia as a researcher at the Institute of Economic Research, Director of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (1994). He was appointed Head of Negotiating Team for Accession of Slovenia to the EU (1998). He was also Director of Government Office for European Affairs (2000), Minister Councillor at the Office of the Prime Minister (2001) and Minister responsible for European Affairs (2002). In 2004 he joined the European Commission, first as "shadow Commissionerfor Enlargement and then as Commissioner responsible for Science and Research. In 2010 Dr Potočnik became Commissioner for Environment. His term ended on November the 1st 2014. In November 2014 he was appointed for a three-year term as a member and Co-Chair of International resource Panel hosted by United Nations Environment Programme. In the same month he was also appointed as a Chairman of The Forum for the Future of Agriculture and RISE Foundation and a Member of the European Policy Centre's Advisory Council.


Ilkka Herlin

Chairman of Cargotec corporation, Co-founder of Baltic Sea Action Group foundation, Soilfood and Qvidja Power. Read more about Qvidja Power .


Sirpa Pietikäinen

Finnish Member of the European Parliament representing European People’s Party (EPP) since 2008. Pietikäinen was Finland’s Minister of Environment in between 1991 and 1995 and a Member of the Finnish Parliament from 1983 to 2003.

At the European Parliament, Pietikäinen is a substitute Member of the Environment and Public Health Committee (ENVI) and full Member in the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON), and in the Women’s Right and Gender Equality Committee (FEMM).

Sirpa Pietikäinen was a member of the high-level European Resource Efficiency Platform (EREP), contributing to the platform´s manifesto and final policy recommendations that were published in March 2014. She was also the European Parliament´s Rapporteur for the Report on Resource Efficiency: moving towards a circular economy, adopted in July 2015. She is a frequent key note speaker at various events on all aspects of the circular economy, with the emphasis on financing the transition (sustainable finance), on systemic chance and on product and ecodesign requirements. Sirpa has authored various articles on circular economy, both for domestic and international publications.


Peter Lund

Dr. Peter D. Lund is Professor in Advanced Energy Systems and Engineering Physics at Aalto University, Finland. He has soon 40 years of experience in energy technologies, systems, and policies, with visiting positions at Hubei University (Wuhan), Technical University of Dresden (Germany), Southeast University (Jiangsu), and Nanjing Xiaozhuang University. He led for 10 years the national programme on new energy technologies (Tekes/Nemo). Dr. Lund is active in senior roles with European Union initiatives in energy: he chaired the Advisory Group Energy of European Commission 2002-06 and the Energy Steering Panel of European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), member of Euro-CASE and European University Association’s energy platforms. He has served in advisory role for many energy programs worldwide and business, incl. IEA and EIT. He is member of the Swedish Engineering Academy in Finland. Dr. Lund is Editor for Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment and member of several editorial boards. He has given numerous invited talks and co-published 250 peer-reviewed science papers. He has been internationally awarded, lastly with the Jinling Award in 2016. His doctoral degree is from Helsinki University of Technology (1984); he is London Business School Alumni (1989).


Minna Halme

Minna Halme, Director of Aalto Sustainability Hub and professor of Sustainability Management at Aalto University School of Business. Her research focuses on sustainability innovations and co-creating sustainable business models. She has participated in several European research projects and heads a number of national ones. She teaches Sustainability Management at Aalto’s Master programmes, in executive MBA courses in Finland and South Korea and in the CEMS MIM program. She has published in several refereed journals such as Ecological Economics, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Ethics, Business Strategy and the Environment and Journal of Cleaner Production, and authored a number of books and reports. Her work has also been featured by the The Ecologist and The Newsweek.

She is member of Advisory Board of Finland’s largest retailer SOK and has held memberships in e.g. UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability, Finnish Government Foresight2030 group, Administrative Board of WWF Finland. She is co-founder of Aalto University’s cross-disciplinary Creative Sustainability master programme and Aalto Global Impact. She has received the Academy of Finland award for the social impact of her research (2008). She is Director of Aalto Sustainability Hub and honorary visiting professor at the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business, Lancaster University, UK.

Aalto Sustainability Day, contact: meri.loyttyniemi [at] aalto [dot] fi, tel. +358 50 313 7549

Aalto University, Dipoli-building, Otakaari 24, 02150 Espoo, Finland

+358 9 47001, www.aalto.fi/sustainability




Aalto Sustainability Day is organized in combination with HELSUS Sustainability Science Days 16-17 May 2018 (requires a separate registration).




Page content by: | Last updated: 16.05.2018.