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Creative Sustainability included in Financial Times’ list of best practices for sustainability in business schools

School of Business was included among the best practices for sustainability in teaching and student projects.
Creative sustainability students brainstorming
Photo credit: Creative Sustainability / Abigail Garbett

Business activities have a complicated role in many societies. They can bring wealth and development but also ecological degradation and inequality. The role of business in society is increasingly being re-evaluated, leading to the question: Can commerce be a force for good? To understand this, the Financial Times compiled the best practices in sustainability, social impact and ethics research and teaching in business schools around the world.

Aalto University School of Business was included among the best practices for sustainability in teaching. Aalto’s ranking was boosted by the wide range of sustainability-related courses available, particularly in the Creative Sustainability master’s programme. The programme is co-taught by Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture and School of Chemical Engineering, offering perspectives from each of the disciplines on wicked sustainability problems. Students have the opportunity to learn multidisciplinary teamwork and innovation, and these skills leave them ready to take on big challenges. The School of Business’ Creative Sustainability courses are led by Sustainability in Business (SUB) researchers and touch on topics like sustainable entrepreneurship, innovating in emerging markets, and innovation in the energy sector.

Additionally, Aalto University was listed in the student projects category. This was due largely to the strength of the Capstone in Creative Sustainability, a course that all Creative Sustainability students are required to take at the end of their studies. During the Capstone course, students work in multidisciplinary teams to tackle sustainability challenges in real-world organisations. These projects cover a diversity of topics, from renewable energy and circular economy to sustainable agriculture and water use. They can also take students to a variety of locations outside of Helsinki to learn in different contexts. The course has had a particularly strong ongoing relationship with the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. In recent years, Capstone students have travelled there to co-create solutions for local partners with their Tanzanian peers.

Also mentioned in the student project best practices was Slush, a start-up event in Helsinki founded by Aalto students that attracts around 20 000 participants each year. The event has grown to include programming on the sustainable development goals, such as the Global Impact Accelerator, which supports entrepreneurs from emerging markets. 

For the full list of the Financial Times’ sustainability in business schools best practices, see: https://www.ft.com/content/b6bcfa02-ef37-11e9-ad1e-4367d8281195

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