Other EXALT events

EXALT-presentation: "Global Extractivisms: Unpacking and broadening the concept"

The HELSUS Global South Encounters is a series of seminars and small talks intended to sharpen critical research in sustainability science. Recognizing the complexities and peculiarities of the Global South, these seminars engage  mainstream sustainability science in order to transcend it, among others by decolonizing nature, economy, society and methodologies. The seminars aim to open up space to get prior feedback on a forthcoming talk, an ongoing dissertation, a draft article, and a variety of research from students at all levels, academics, and members of the general public. Encounters also welcome discussions on giving conference papers and celebrate/publicize published papers.

April 15th, at 13.00-14.30

Join the online-seminar via this link.


  • Professor Barry Gills - professor of Development Studies at the University of Helsinki and a founding member of the EXALT Initiative
  • Saana Hokkanen - Research Assistant at EXALT

Presentation abstract:

The Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT) is a new international network of scholars, activists, and policymakers dedicated to collaboration and knowledge creation around the pressing crises stemming from extractivist policies and practices. This Initiative draws together diverse critical analyses of the phenomena of global extractivisms and the myriad alternatives being actively pursued in both theory and practice. This presentation aims to continue the discussion around extractivism and its alternatives, by offering a discussion-opener of critical and holistic understandings of extractivism as an organizing concept, beyond the conventional usage connected to natural resources. The presentation aims to explore the concept of “extractivism” via a range of social, cultural, and ecological perspectives.

Climate Emergency and Indigenous Peoples in the Arctic

March 12, 2020
13 – 15 at the Think Corner Stage

Climate emergency is accelerating in the Arctic region at an alarming rate. It is impacting the fragile ecosystems and diverse linguistic and cultural communities. Rampant extractivism and its consequent ecological destruction are eroding nature as well as the cultural fabric of local Indigenous communities. Intensive extraction of natural resources is fueling the scramble for the Arctic and tying the area tightly to the capitalist world-system.

This panel discussion will tackle the situations of Indigenous peoples in the changing Arctic, how livelihoods have started to alter and what roles does extractivism play with its myriad of direct and indirect consequences for the well-being of the Arctic. The panel offers a forum for Indigenous representatives and researchers to offer insights on the complex entanglement of climate emergency, Indigenous peoples' sovereignty and Arctic extractivism. It also addresses the questions of future generations and the Anthropocene from the perspective of Arctic Indigenous peoples.

In the context of changing ecosystems and neocolonial practices taking place in the North, there is an urgent need for radical new governance models for the whole of Arctic. As Indigenous peoples hold environmental knowledge crucial for producing sustainable practices in the region, their knowledge is vital in creating new governance models and offering already existing examples of sustainable resource management in the Arctic.


  • Leo Aikio - Elected Vice-president of the Finnish Sámi Parliament (saamelaiskäräjät) and a reindeer-herder from Inari, Sápmi
  • Hanna Guttorm - Postdoctoral researcher of Indigenous Studies at the University of Helsinki, member of INEQ and HELSUS

  • Dmitry Arzyutov - Researcher at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm

  • Atte Korhola - Professor of Environmental Change at the University of Helsinki

  • Panel host: Pirjo Kristiina Virtanen (Indigenous Studies, University of Helsinki)

The event is co-organized by The Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT), the Indigenous Studies programme and ALL-YOUTH -research project funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC).

The event is open for everyone, free of charge and you can also follow the discussion via live-stream.

Video-recording of the event.

January 16, 2020, 13 – 15 at the Think Corner Stage

Earth is currently facing an unprecedented climate emergency, which has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity. The need for deep and transformative action is urgent, and universities are in a key position to work as pioneers in sustainable climate action.

This brainstorming dialogue will feature 3 short talks (from a representative from the university management, a professor, and a student activist) and a facilitated panel discussion exploring questions such as: How could and should the University of Helsinki address the climate emergency? What can researchers, students and university governance do? What does a university as a climate actor look like?


University Management: Vice-Rector Tom Böhling

Professor: Dr. Barry Gills, Development Studies

Student Activist: Laura Kolehmainen, founder of Ilmastoveivi and Climate Move, student of politics and law

Facilitator: Dr. Ossi Ollinaho, HELSUS and EXALT

The aim of the event is to offer a forum to discuss and reflect on the university's own position as part of a currently unsustainable society, but also to tap into its potential in countering the climate emergency and finding solutions toward a sustainable future with a focus on developing the basis for concrete proposals for action by the University.

The event is co-organized by The Global Extractivisms and Alternatives Initiative (EXALT) and the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS).

The event at the Think Corner stage is open for all with no registration. If you are planning to join us from 15 – 16 for Coffee/Conversation at the HELSUS Hub Lounge (Porthania 2nd floor, Yliopistonkatu 3), please fill in this e-lomake to let us know.  We ask for registration so we can order an appropriate amount of coffee and reduce any potential waste.

Event’s Facebook-page

We hope to see you on January 16 to discuss this important and timely topic!

Professor Barry Gills' talk at the event "(Re)purposing the University to tackle the Climate Emergency" at the University of Helsinki, January 16th, 2020