Creating the Mindset… is one of the core Creative Sustainability courses, taken by all the incoming CS students to create a common ground for sustainability studies. This year, the course was run by Susu Nousala, and the students worked closely with guests from the areas of governance, business, and NGO, to understand the similarities, differences, and relationships between these.
Society’s commitment to sustainable development
Sauli Rouhinen and Marja Innanen from the Ministry of the Environment joined to discuss policies and commitments to sustainability at government level, and to take students through a scenario session on the Finland we want by 2050.
The recently-completed Sustainable Development Strategy Group draft proposal for society’s commitment to sustainability was presented, and students were tasked with examining the draft, critiquing it, and proposing changes for the final document.
Business perspectives on sustainability
Tapio Peltonen led a lively discussion on sustainablity in business, the problems of the corporate view of innovation and the myths surrounding it, what’s required to get to market and what to do with ideas, global standards of living, and the conflict between the modern world and the way artisans work.
Sustainable innovation challenge
Jussi Alaputto of Greenfain joined Tapio for a second session, which started with a quick recap, considering the issues around reversing the course of development, slowing down, changing course, trust, and social capital. They then went deeper into the Greenfain case, discussing benefits, end users, implications, and stakeholders. The students developed a variety of ideas around the company and the product, such as identifying different markets, connecting with sporting activities, education, climate variety, partners, and new product opportunities.
Example of NGO approach
The class was joined by Jouni Nissinen, of the Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (Suomen Luonnonsuojeluliitto), who, under the topic of structural change and local action, discussed the role of environmental NGOs in society, how co-decision procedures work at EU level, and the gap between policy work and local action.
Susu then led the students through a perception-shifting task, to find relationships between the various topics discussed during the course, at two different points in time.
The final task for the students was to gather their thoughts on all the issues introduced, and individually describe their own experiences and perspectives. Here’s how it went: