The author of the text: Arunima Jain
We first year CS students began our Autumn 2019 semester with the CS Kick-off, where we were introduced to the faculty, some of the events and courses that would be coming up during the year, the various clubs and groups including the Sustainable Business Club and the Aalto Test Site, and of course each other. The evening ended in getting to know and relaxing with the rest of the CS community at the Test Site.
I would say our semester truly began on Särkkä Island with a bunch of hopeful sustainable creatives getting to know each other during the Creative Teamwork course. We worked with themes about systems and systems thinking to create workshops for each other; the group work and constant interaction helped us in building a safe space amongst ourselves for discussion, ideation and collaboration. It was a good three days, not just as an introduction to what we could look forward to during our time in Creative Sustainability but also as a simple means for social cohesion.
The semester went on to discuss topics such as the planetary boundaries, carbon emissions and footprints, social sustainability, eco-feminism, consumption, circular economies and sustainability in business, to name a few. We spoke about design thinking and co-creating, and the need for a collaborative and participatory approach to problem-solving, looking at various cases, studies and movements in Finland and around the world. There are events that are global phenomena, and there are changes we incorporated in our own lives. Sustainability is vast and complex – sometimes it feels like we barely scratch the surface – but there are conscious decisions we can make on a daily basis to effect change. With a multi-disciplinary approach, the semester brought together lenses from the fields of design, business, the built environment and engineering, through which we could better understand the interconnectedness of the systems.
This autumn, it also brought together another family to the CS community.