Aalto Sustainability Day

Tackling complex sustainability challenges by co-creating disruptive innovations

Aalto Sustainability Day is the inaugural event of Aalto Sustainability Hub and part of Sustainability Science Days 2018 and Aalto Festival. It aims to advance sustainable development through interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, teaching and impact. The days bring together science, technology, arts, business and many other voices. Welcome to co-create disruptive sustainability knowledge with leading experts and young challengers!

Aalto Sustainability Day will be preceded by HELSUS Sustainability Science Day 16-17 May 2018 which is organized by University of Helsinki (requires a separate registration).




Program Friday 18.5.2018

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

08.30 Coffee, tea & registration

Fair trade tea and coffee with vegan snack served at 1st floor lobby

09.00-09.15 Exhibition opening, Sustainability revolutions

09.30-11.45 Key notes and panel

Minna Halme, Professor of Sustainability Management and Director of Sustainability Hub: Co-creating new paradigms for sustainability: From knowledge to impact

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, MEP 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 Maze, 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

A vegan conference lunch is served in 2nd floor lobby and participants are asked to reclaim a lunch ticket 8,20€ on spot. Student discounts and other options available at the restaurant.

12.45-15.00 Parallel sessions

Choose your session from a variety of programme.

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

Theme 2. Sustainability in materials choices and design

Theme 3. Regenerative sustainability

Theme 4. Digitalisation, sharing and sustainability


Other sessions

Doctoral students meeting practitioners

For CLC members: Disruption - Climate Leadership Coalition´s annual spring meeting


15:00-15:30 Vegan & fair refreshments at 2nd floor lobby

Open exhibition in Dipoli, students presenting the posters 15-16: Student showcase on global impact

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


The event is open to all, and we invite warmly all our internal and external stakeholders. There is no participation fee but participants are expected to reclaim the lunch ticket on spot. Registration is open until 2nd of May 2018.

Warmly 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 is 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

Page content by: | Last updated: 19.03.2018.