Corporate collaboration

SGT - Sustainable Global Technologies Studio Course

SGT – Sustainable Global Technologies Studio is a project-based course for Master’s and Doctoral students at Aalto University. SGT Studio combines engineering, architecture, science, design and business to contribute to sustainable development and global challenges.
Student Business projects, photo by Mark Rujumba

Each year, multidisciplinary student teams take part in real-life projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America to study the diverse connections between sustainability, technology, cultural and societal challenges. Student projects are implemented with partners from academia, industries, governmental and civil society organizations, and communities in developing and transition countries.

The SGT studio course includes project planning and management, several co-learning workshops and presentations. The project teams, usually consisting of 5 students, take responsibility of their projects, supervised by mentors from the faculty or partnering organizations. During the course, the students do not only learn project management and teamwork skills, but also to work in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams as well as practice crucial presentation and communication skills. The course pulls students out from their professional comfort zone and encourages them to integrate their different background knowledge into the project. The students have the freedom to be creative and a right to be critical. The pedagogy and teaching methods draw from design thinking and human centered design.

The final output can take various forms from technical reports to product ideas or service prototypes and business plans – or something completely different. On a longer term, the collaborations have the opportunity of leading to project partnerships or product implementation.

Course details 

  • Contacts: Programme coordinator Matleena Muhonen, [email protected], Professor Olli Varis, [email protected]
  • Duration of the project: 5 months (January - May), 10 ECTS
  • Number of students per project: 5
  • Project fee for the company: Negotiable
  • Application period for companies: Anytime
  • Website:
Student Business Projects

Project examples

  • Sustainable reconstruction after earthquake in Nepal.
  • Sanitation systems in Dar es Salaam informal settlements.
  • Business development planning of water utilities in rural Kenya.
  • Plastic waste up-cycling in Kampala and locally built water filter prototype and community led development in Mayan villages in Mexico.
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