“CS Meets” is a series of events, organised by Creative Sustainability students, which explore the practical implications of sustainability in different professional disciplines. It was first held in February 2012.
The main idea of the events is to invite practitioners from outside the academic centres to discuss their professional experiences in the field of sustainability. “CS Meets” usually starts with a short presentation by the guest to introduce her/himself as well as her/his work. This works as an ice-breaker, and is followed by a discussion which takes place around the table in Media Factory kitchen with tea, coffee, juice, fruits and cookies. The aim is to create a friendly atmosphere where students and the guest feel more comfortable and have a casual, pleasant conversation. We believe that free discussions can help us to dive more into personal experiences and thoughts, rather than widely-known theories.
Organising these events provides the students with the opportunity to participate indirectly in designing the content of the CS program, and add more fresh ideas to it, as well as widening its scope. Furthermore, participation in these events provides the students with the opportunity to widen their sustainability network among both professionals and students within and beyond Aalto University.
The events are held on average twice per semester; there have been 6 of them so far. We started our meetings by inviting a talented young architect, Emma Johansson, who brought to us inspiring examples of her architecture projects, where she always followed principles of sustainability, whatever obstacles she had to overcome.
After architecture, we decided to investigate the topic of design for sustainability and invited sustainability designer Jussi Hiltunen, who shared his experiences of working in this new field of design.
Degrowth — the sociopolitical movement whose goal is to devalue the idea of the importance of economic growth in achieving social wellbeing — was introduced by Business School professor and degrowth activist Timo Järvensivu.
In a second event Timo discussed work-time degrowth, an alternative way to achieve this wellbeing.
Theatre researcher Tuija Kokkonen shared her experiences in depicting and communicating the relationship between humans and non-humans through the medium of theatrical performance.
David Gamrasni, a former creative director at Taivas, brought us the story behind the creation of the first Baltic Sea Summit – a great example of an environmentally responsible advertising campaign which culminated in an international summit, bringing together the heads of all the countries around the Baltic Sea.
“CS Meets” is inspired by the freedom and novelty of Aalto University’s approach to education, which supports students’ initiatives. We believe this tradition will continue and we will have even more great student-organised events.