Professor Luana Dessbesell works on bridging the gap between academia and industry. Her research group Sustainable Bioproducts Innovation is a multidisciplinary group of people who seek to support the development and commercialization of new forest-based innovations.
Donation is a consumption choice
How to spend money
Spending money is always a choice: do you buy new or second-hand; do you invest in quality or go for convenience? Do you buy often and on a whim, or rarely and deliberately? Do you give gifts in the form of goods or experiences? Do you make your purchase choices in favor of domesticity, craftsmanship, recyclability, aesthetics, convenience, affordability?
For some of us, beautiful things around us add to our joy of life, for others it's minimalism. Some prefer to make their own furniture, others prefer to spend their time with friends. We have a shared responsibility for our planet, but we also have different preferences and values. Different things bring added value to each individual's life.
It is likely that each of us acts slightly differently when it comes to different purchases. And not all decisions are so carefully thought through – and even when you do think carefully about your consumption choices, it is very difficult to define and examine a set of criteria.
Donation is a consumption choice alike any other purchase you make.
The university's role in society is to educate and conduct research. All of us make our own consumption decisions every day, but as a university, Aalto aspires to be active social actor and provide society with sustainable alternatives. Every purchase, of any kind, is a consumption choice – including donations to charities, for example.
Giving is a personal decision and no one cause is absolutely better than another. Everyone makes decisions based on their own values and current financial situation.
Donation as an investment?
Many invest in shares and funds, but have you considered that you could equally invest in the future, in education, research, science and the arts? Giving is always charitable in one way or another, but what if you thought of giving as investing. What if, instead of index-linked interest rates, you invested in future technologists, hard decision makers and innovators who will make such things reality we can't even imagine yet?
Donations to the university are not reported as a percentage return on individual contributions. Instead, investment in higher education and research yields returns over the long term in terms of Finland's competitiveness, solutions to skills shortages, the functioning of society and the well-being of young adults.
Pay it forward
Each of us can do our part. If you feel that your education has helped you get ahead in life and prepared you well for the world of work, consider donating.
Equally, you can give back by volunteering, mentoring or even just sharing your experiences with students who are still looking for a career.
Science and creativity as our tools, together we make strides towards more sustainable future.
Towards a more sustainable future
Take a look at some examples we are working at Aalto to make future more sustainable.
The aim is to create a new micromechanical tool to better understand how root mechanics arise from cells and how living materials like plant roots adapt to external stresses
The Master's Programme in Hydrogen and Electric Systems meets the most pressing needs of working life, says head of the programme Matti Lehtonen.
Sustainable Entrepreneurship programme aims to educate next generation of sustainable business leaders
Sustainable entrepreneurs are visionaries focused on creating profitable businesses that benefit society and the environment
Learn more about donating
Did you know, that only 60 % of our expenses are covered from the Ministry of Education's annual budget. Donations are one of the other sources of financing.
Education and research cannot be spared. New talent and innovation are needed to solve the world's big problems. We are in this together.