SRI/SSD2024 Open Day



On Wednesday 12 June 2024, the Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress / Sustainability Science Days will open its doors to the local audience in Helsinki and Espoo, while offering Congress participants the opportunity to engage with the community onsite. The Open Day is organized in collaboration with various local and global partners. It will celebrate a wide array of sustainability efforts and innovation, increase public awareness of sustainability challenges and solutions, and build new connections between research and action. The Open Day will take place all around the Cities of Helsinki and Espoo, with some activities at the University of Helsinki and Aalto University campuses.

There will be no fee to participate in the majority of Open Day activities but some activities will require a registration.



The State and Future of Sustainable Development in Finland

Host: The Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development and the Committee for the Future of the Parliament of Finland
When: 9:00 – 11:00
Where: Auditorium of the Little Parliament (Arkadiankatu 3, Helsinki)
How to participate: Submit an expression of interest form to receive an invitation.

The Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development and the Committee for the Future of the Parliament of Finland will organize the annual seminar on the State and Future of Sustainable Development in Finland on 12 June 2024 at 9.00-11.00. The seminar is also a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee for the Future.

The seminar will contribute to Finland’s preparations for the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) to be held at the UN Headquarters in New York on 8-17 July 2024. This year’s HLPF will focus on the Sustainable Development Goals related to poverty eradication, food security, climate action, peace, good governance and democracy, and international partnerships and these topics will be reflected in an interactive high-level panel discussion.

At the seminar, Finland’s scientific Expert Panel for Sustainable Development will present their policy paper on the future of the welfare state. We will also award the best sustainability commitments made on the digital Commitment2050 platform during the year 2023.

The speakers of the seminar include Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee for the Future, Kai Mykkänen, Minister of Climate and the Environment of Finland and Deputy Chair of the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development, as well as Lassi Linnanen, Chair of the Expert Panel for Sustainable Development.

The seminar is held mainly in English, with simultaneous interpretation between Finnish and English.

Role of community participation and engagement in energy citizenship and local energy communities

Host: City of Espoo
When: 10:00 – 12:00
Where: Otaniemi Upper Secondary School, 1st floor, room 1520 /1519
How to participate: Register beloW. Space is limited.

The City of Espoo will host a workshop that will include two working group sessions. The group work focuses on discussions and knowledge exchange on the drivers and barriers, best practices, and learnings related to community participation and engagement in energy citizenship and energy communities’ topics, based on the experiences of the participants.

The goal of the workshop is to exchange experiences and knowledge on the role of community participation and engagement on developing the topics of local energy citizenship and energy communities.

Agenda2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) analysis workshop

Host: City of Espoo
WHEN: 14:00 – 16:00
Where: Otaniemi Upper Secondary School, 1st floor, room 1520 /1519
How to participate: Register below. Limited to 20 people.

This event will consist of a workshop in which you will analyze how holistic sustainability is embedded in your chosen plan, theme and document and reflect how it could be further developed by using 2030 UN Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework, metrics and vocabulary.

Participants go through a facilitated and participatory workshop process through using an SDG-canvas and analyze how holistic sustainability is present in the chosen context. The workshop includes a short introduction and group work.

Hyytiälä Forest Research Station Excursion

When: 7:45 – 19:00
Where: A bus will leave from the City Center near UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI’s Main Building at 7:45 and will return at the end of the excursion.
How to participate: The excursion costs $50, which includes lunch, coffee break, and transportation.

This excursion is perfect for those interested in seeing a bit of Finland outside of the metropolitan region, forest enthusiasts, and those who love to measure everything around us.

The Hyytiälä Forest Station is a good example of the strategy of the University of Helsinki in terms of multidisciplinarity, internationality, innovation, and sustainable development. Hyytiälä has acted as a lively Field Station for over one hundred years, first, it served as a base for forestry students and researchers and later became a playground for atmospheric scientists as well.

This tour will be guided by scientists who will tell a story of how Hyytiälä Forest Station and its measurements became one of the cornerstones of Climate research in Finland and the world.

Radical Creativity Workshop

When: 14:00 – 16:00
Where: Aalto A-grid building, Otakaari 5. Room: “Mordor”
Participation: Register below.

Dive into the enabling world of radical creativity! Experiment with cross- and transdisciplinary methods with which we can break boundaries and create desirable futures. How can this kind of method help us in sustainability science work for higher societal impact?

Food Systems Solutions Summit: Startup pitches & 3 Plenary talks

Viikki Food Design Factory is organizing the first Food Systems Solutions Summit on the 11th and 12th of June in Helsinki.

Viikki Food Design Factory is the home of a new type of food innovation activity on the Viikki Campus at the University of Helsinki. It brings together food and innovation experts and facilitates the creation of new sustainable solutions related to primary production, processing, distribution and consumption of food.

The goals of the summit are:

  1. To showcase world’s most interesting teams and solutions aiming at the systemic sustainability transformation of the food system to the global SRI/SSD2024 audience.
  2. To invite world’s most interesting teams with food system solutions to acquaint with the vibrant agrifood startup ecosystem (orchestrators, investors, piloting partners) in Helsinki for future collaboration.
  3. To select 4 top solutions to come back to Helsinki in Nov. 2024 on stage at the Y Science @Slush (official side event at the Slush venue), including paid tickets to Slush + travel + accommodation.
The panel of jurors selecting the 4 winning teams includes high-level experts in sustainable food systems investment, systemic investing, and food systems startup acceleration. They also deliver 3 talks on their perspectives on the topics.

Alternet Day at the 2024 Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress

When: 10:00 – 13:00
Where: Studium 1, University of Helsinki Main Building
How to participate: Sessions are Open Access.

Alternet will host a special day of free conference sessions as part of SRI/SSD2024 Open Day. The program will include three sessions focused on the theme of nature restoration.

Through its sessions, Alternet invites you to explore key discussions centered around:
Ecosystem restoration for increased biodiversity and multiple ecosystem benefits
The science-policy interface in nature restoration
The governance of nature restoration

Alternet’s sessions are Open Access, but seating is limited. You can find details on their sessions in the SRI/SSD2024 program.

Science, nature and architecture at the University of Helsinki on Helsinki Day

On Helsinki Day you can visit several sites of the University of Helsinki free of charge. Visit the Kumpula Botanic Garden, the exhibitions in the Helsinki University Museum Liekki, the guided art historical tour or the nature-themed pub quiz at Think Corner! Vegan soup lunch and other delicacies are also available all day at the Think Corner café.

Attractions at the University of Helsinki:
8:00 – 21:30 pm Café open
17:30 – 19:00 Helsinki Day Pub Quiz (in English). More details below.
19:30 – 21:30 Sustainability Story Night (in English)

HELSINKI UNIVERSITY MUSEUM LIEKKI: Free admission to the exhibitions Passion for Knowledge and Food for All from 12 to 4 pm, guided tours.

GUIDED ART HISTORICAL TOUR: Introduces visitors to the architecture and history of the main building of the University of Helsinki from 5 to 6 pm, starting at the Senate Square, the statue of Alexander II (no advance booking required). (In Finnish)

KUMPULA BOTANIC GARDEN: free admission and free guided tours (opening hours to be announced)

Pub quiz: Climate Night at Think Corner

When: 17:30-19:00
Where: THINK Corner (Tiedekulma) Yliopistonkatu 4, University of Helsinki
How to participate: Show up with your teammates!

Do you know a lot about science and nature? Join Think Corner’s nature-themed, science-y pub quiz.

Teams of 3 to 5 people can compete in the quiz. The winning team will receive a prize.

The Think Corner Cafe will be open throughout the evening, offering refreshments and snacks for science enthusiasts. Form your own quiz team and join us at the University of Helsinki’s Think Corner on Helsinki Day!

Sustainable Storytelling: SRI Sustainability Story Night at Think Corner

“Maybe stories are just data, with a soul.”  –   Brené Brown

When: 19:30-21:30
Where: THINK corner (Tiedekulma) Yliopistonkatu 4, Helsinki
How to participate: Register below to attend as a listener or storyteller.

The work we all do – the research, the projects, the knowledge-sharing – it all comes down to how we convey to others what we’ve learned and what we know. Telling stories is the best way to help people make sense, and make meaning, out of the knowledge we want and need to share. Storytelling is at the heart of human civilization, how we connect, create and maintain community.

The SRI Sustainable Story night is an evening of inspiring tales of sustainability, an open-mic event filled with stories about the successes and the challenges that researchers, project leaders and advocates have worked hard to overcome to understand and create sustainable impact.

Book release: Avenues to Sustainability

When: 16:00 – 17.30
Where: University of Helsinki, Urbaria-room, Porthania, Yliopistonkatu 3, Helsinki
How to participate: Just show up, no registration required.

Human activities are pushing the ecological boundaries of Earth. Rapid changes in climate and the environment create a complex, intertwined tangle of wicked problems. Sustainability science, whose focus is the interactions between humankind and nature, is the academic world’s response to the call to solve these problems. “The Avenues to Sustainability – Key Lessons from Sustainability Science” is a comprehensive introduction to the concepts and theories of sustainability science, as well as to the ways in which the sustainability transformation of society could be accomplished. It also discusses how daily life, learning, cultural heritage, and art can foster a sustainable way of life.

A timely guide to sustainability science and theory both to policymakers and ordinary citizens, The Avenues to Sustainability can also be used as a university textbook. In addition to research-based knowledge, the book includes contributions from actors in the public sector, businesses, NGOs, and others in Finland.


  • Opening, Dr. Janna Pietikäinen and Dr. Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki and (editors), University of Helsinki and Finnish Environment Institute
  • Background of the book, President Tarja Halonen (editor)
  • Why we need this book in global sustainability education?  Prof Markku Kulmala, University of Helsinki
  • Discussion on the book – Adj. Prof Katriina Soini (writer), Natural Resource Institute, Finland, and Monica Contestabile (commentator) Chief Editor, Nature Sustainability PhD, Springer Nature, Germany
  • Questions and discussion
  • A toast

Introduction to University of Helsinki Research Stations

When: 10:00 – 14:00
Where: Tiedekulma, THINK CORNER, University of helsinki
How to participate: Open to everyone, no registration required.

Discover the diversity of research and education opportunities at the research field stations of the University of Helsinki that increase and broaden our understanding of system dynamics and changes to guide solutions for more sustainable futures.