From dreams to action! Stories from Sustainable Global Technologies Programme

An interactive exhibition captures the spirit of student experiences in real-world learning, tackling sustainable challenges with partners from the Global South.
Nine students wearing bright colours carrying notebooks walking down a street with buildings in the background
Students from Aalto's SGT and Jigme Namgyel Engineering College, Royal University of Bhutan. Photo by Helmi Korhonen

For more than 15 years, students of Sustainable Global Technologies (SGT) Studio Course have been taking part in real-life challenges in collaboration with partners from academia, industries, governmental and civil society organizations, as well as communities in various parts of the world.

The course is part of the multidisciplinary SGT Programme, organised within the Water and Environmental Engineering Master's Programme, Aalto School of Engineering. The student cases touch upon various development themes, ranging from community-led sanitation solutions to humanitarian reconstruction after crises.

Experiences of working within multidisciplinary and multicultural environments, both in class and in the field, form a core part of the students’ learning journey. The exhibition From Dreams to Action! showcases the spirit of this journey over the years.

  • Photography exhibition Showcases selected student photography from the different SGT project locations, mainly East Africa, South Asia and Latin America. The photography captures the many feelings, environments, experiences and people involved in the students' journeys.
  • Dream Tree Invites visitors to anonymously write their hopes and fears on small notes at the exhibition site. Through participation, visitors get a glimpse into the types of conversations SGT students and project partners have when developing a project together to gain a deeper understanding of where we are each coming from.

Read more about the Sustainable Global Technologies (SGT) Programme

Photograph of a person reading a hand-drawn process map written with blue and red marker
Action Lab Mexico 2015. Photo by Jan Ahlstedt
Photograph shows two graduate students with clipboards and notebooks talking with three local people in Uganda
SGT students discuss with East Africa project participants in Uganda 2020. Photo by Stephanie Kluz

The exhibition is designed by Zhuoying Ren (M.A. Interior Architecture).

External partners include many academic institutions in East Africa, South Asia and Mexico, for example: Makerere University in Uganda, Royal University of Bhutan, National University of Mexico and Egerton University in Kenya.

Photograph shows a rocky riverbed on the left and a village on the right, nestled in a green valley
SGT PBL South Asia Bhutan-Nepal 2022. Photo by Csongor Hőnich

Through real-life projects, students get the opportunity to experience the challenges and possibilities of working in multidisciplinary and multicultural settings to contribute to local and global sustainability. In SGT projects, students learn to recognize their own strengths in a multidisciplinary context and realize ways to integrate diverse knowledge from different disciplines to form a solid result that contributes to sustainability locally and globally.

Learn more about the SGT Programme and courses


 Julia Renko

Julia Renko


Olli Varis

Aalto Distinguished Professor and Academic Leader

Matleena Muhonen

Programme manager, pedagogical expert
Student Business projects, photo by Mark Rujumba

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.

Corporate collaboration
SGT 2019 - Editorial Final Presentation, Exhibited photo by Prithivi Jung Thapa, photography by Luis Alfonso Monje

Lifelong experiences from Sustainable Global Technologies course: Researching sustainable reconstruction after a natural disaster in Nepal

Course project story by Creative Sustainability Master's students from Sustainable Global Technologies Programme 2019 at Aalto University

Creative Sustainability
Aalto Ice Tank / photo by Juha Juvonen

School of Engineering

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Life 1.5 in black font and Designs for a Cooler Planet logo on a white, fragmented background.

Life 1.5 – an exhibition of planet-friendly materials, fashion and food

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Black font stating "What's the future made of?" and Designs for a Cooler Planet logo on a white, fragmented background.

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Planet-friendly alternatives for materials, mindsets and architecture.

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