Keynote Speakers & Plenary Panelists

Keynote speakers at Sustainability Science Days 2023. Keep checking back as we confirm additional keynotes! Our keynotes are an important aspect of SSD2023 and in support of wide accessibility, all keynotes will be held in hybrid mode. The keynotes speakers in the list below appear in the order of their respective sessions in the conference.
Sakari Tolppanen

Sakari Tolppanen is a Senior Researcher on Climate Change Education at the University of Eastern Finland. His research and teaching focuses on understanding how climate action develops by examining the links between environmental action, knowledge, attitudes, values and emotions. Together with collaborators, Sakari has developed a Holistic Climate Change Education Model, called the bicycle model, which has guided the development of climate change education research and policy around the world. He is currently working on several international projects to map out students’ climate change competencies. In addition to working in academia, Sakari is the Chairman of the Board of Materialisting Oy, a start-up advancing sustainable construction.

Pre-Conference, Tuesday, May 23, 14:00-14:45 EEST

Minna Halme

Minna Halme is professor of Sustainability Management at Aalto University School of Business, where she heads Sustainability in Business Research. Her research focuses on co-creation of sustainability innovations, sustainable business models and frugal innovation for poverty alleviation. She has participated in several European projects and heads large-scale multi-disciplinary research projects on sustainability. She teaches Sustainability Management at Aalto’s Master programmes, and executive education. She is Associate Editor of Organization & Environment, and member of multiple editorial boards.

She is member of Finland’s Sustainable Development Expert Panel advising the Finnish Government and of Advisory Boards of Finland’s largest retailer SOK, the Central Chamber of Commerce, and Sustainability Centres of University of Helsinki and Stockholm School of Economics. She is co-founder of Aalto University’s cross-disciplinary Creative Sustainability master programme and Aalto Global Impact. Academy of Management has acknowledged her research with All-Academy Best International Paper award, the ONE Unorthodox Paper award and three Best Paper awards. She has received the Academy of Finland and Kordelin Foundation awards for the societal impact of her research.

Plenary Session 1, Wednesday, May 24, 9:15-10:30 EEST

Andy Stirling

Andy Stirling is Professor of Science and Technology Policy in the Science Policy Research Unit at Sussex University where he co-directed the ESRC STEPS Centre for 16 years. Focusing especially on issues of power, uncertainty and diversity in science and society, he’s sat on UK and EU regulatory bodies on energy policy, toxic substances, GM Crops, science advice and public engagement. Formerly a campaigner and boardmember for Greenpeace, he’s also advised the Royal Society, Nuffield Council and European Science Foundation. A fellow of the UK Academy of Social Sciences, he’s served on the ESRC Research Committee, in the 2021 UK ‘Research Excellence Framework’ and as an IPBES assessment lead author.

Plenary Session 1, Wednesday, May 24, 9:15-10:30 EEST (joining online) 

Talk Title - 'Taking Sustainability Transformations Seriously’

Lassi Linnanen

Lassi Linnanen is Professor of Environmental Economics and Management at Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, Department of Sustainability Science, and a chair of the Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development 2023-25. He has over 30 years of international experience in solving sustainability challenges in academia, within the start-up business community and in the policy domain. His research covers a wide range of topics, including sustainability transitions of energy and food systems, sustainable innovations, corporate responsibility strategies, life cycle assessment, as well as environmental and energy policy.

Plenary Session 2, Wednesday, May 24, 17:00-17:45 EEST

Tuuli Mattelmäki

Tuuli Mattelmäki is associate professor in Design at Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Finland and acts as the head of Department of Design. She is expert in service design and co-design with a special interest in experimenting with and implementing creative design approaches for supporting change. Tuuli has published articles on empathic design and design’s role and impact in public sector. Her recent work focuses on transformative creative practices that are engaged with positive eco-social change in EU funded project CreaTures (

Plenary Session 3, Thursday, May 25 9:15-10:30 EEST

Ioan Fazey

Ioan Fazey is Professor of the Social Dimensions of Environment and Change and Director of Strategy for the Department of Environment and Geography at the University of York, UK. His research, teaching and action focuses on stewarding transformations to regenerative futures and learning how we can bring about the deep kinds of changes in individuals, organisations and society for better alignment to our rapidly changing world. Ioan has been instrumental internationally in leading and supporting academics, corporations, students and practitioners in developing knowledge and capacities. This includes over 75 research publications in resilience, transformation, change and sustainability and on how our knowledge systems – universities, research institutes, and how we learn in complex environments – can transform to support wider societal change. Ioan supports and facilitates the system change work on a large transdisciplinary action and research project seeking to transform the Yorkshire food system in the UK. He is a co-founder of the Transformations Community and conference series ( and trustee of an action oriented organisation promoting transformative thinking and capacity building for working within a rapidly changing world. 

Plenary Session 3, Thursday, May 25 9:15-10:30 EEST

Stephan Hauser

Stephan Hauser completed a PhD in Architecture and Urban Planning in 2022 at TU Delft’s Faculty of Architecture in the Netherlands. Coming from a legal background, his transdisciplinary research focused on the impact of oil companies on the development of port cities and on the creation and application of regulations linked to spatial planning, and the protection of health and the environment. His publications focus mostly on the port cities of Dunkirk in France and Rotterdam in the Netherlands as two extreme examples of oil industry’s influences and evolutions. Through the analysis of a wide variety of sources and archival materials, his research and his collaboration in the PortCityFutures group aimed at highlighting the origins of regulations and policies’ inefficiency in answering contemporary environmental challenges.

This topic relates to his current position as a post-doctoral researcher in the project ‘forging sustainability science for societal change’ funded by HELSUS, and where questions around the notions of transitions and justice are of particular importance. The aim of this research project is to find ways to improve the impact of sustainability science in decision-making processes. Thus, the objectives are to engage with researchers from different disciplines, as well as with communities and stakeholders; to promote co-production and co-dissemination methods; and to link sustainability science to better regulatory tools.

Plenary Dialogue, Thursday, May 25 17:00-17:45 EEST

Elif Erdoğan Öztekin

Elif Erdoğan Öztekin is a postdoctoral researcher at Aalto University Department of Architecture and is a member of the Urban Academy platform. 

Elif has a background in architecture and design. Her expertise is in the field of design for sustainability transitions. In her doctoral research, she tackled the agencies of design in leading sustainability transitions and societal change processes, by examining how and to what extent design practices facilitate learning. She did field research in several community initiatives across Europe that designed, built and managed their settlements with sustainability targets. In her current research, she focuses on the practices of participatory urban planning and transition governance, adopts transdisciplinary research principles and utilizes an experimental approach.

Plenary Dialogue, Thursday, May 25 17:00-17:45 EEST

Tuuli Kaskinen

Tuuli Kaskinen is a newly appointed CEO of Climate Leadership Coalition. She has developed 1,5 strategies with corporations and has been actively shaping climate policies for 20 years. Prior to CLC Kaskinen worked at think tank Demos Helsinki in several positions, including chief executive. In addition to her duties at CLC, Kaskinen is vice chair of the board at University of Turku and technology construction company Fira.

  • Sustainable Cities Discussion Forum, Friday, May 26, 9:00-10:30 EEST

  • Action Oriented Workshop, Friday, May 26, 10:45-12:15  EEST

  • Plenary Panel Session at ThinkCorner, Friday, May 26, 13:15-14:45 EEST


Edwin “Moses” Sitati

Acting Team Lead for Partnerships, Office of Economic Growth and Integration

USAID/Kenya and East Africa

Moses works as a partnerships specialist supporting private sector development and innovation efforts at USAID Kenya and East Africa. He provides assistance to various technical teams (Agriculture, Finance, WASH, Energy, Resilience, and Trade) in the economic growth office to foster productive partnerships across sectoral actors.

He has previously worked as Data Lab Manager for East Africa at the Humanitarian Data Exchange (UNOCHA); Innovation and Developer Lead for Microsoft East Africa; Economist/R&D Specialist at Nokia Research Centre; and as Project Officer at the Millennium Development Goals project unit in the Government of Kenya.

He holds an MA (2006) in Sustainable International Development from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, MA and a BA (2003) in Economics and International Development from McGill University, Canada.

  • Sustainable Cities Discussion Forum, Friday, May 26, 9:00-10:30 EEST

  • Plenary Panel Session at ThinkCorner, Friday, May 26, 13:15-14:45 EEST

Mariko Frame

Mariko Frame is an international political economist and Assistant Professor of Economics at Merrimack College. Her research focuses on development, globalization, and the political economy of the environment, particularly for Asia and Africa. She is interested in how dynamics of neo-colonialism and global capitalism perpetuate environmental injustices and socioecological crises, and has published on topics ranging from ecological imperialism, ecologically unequal exchange, sustainable development, to degrowth from a world-systems perspective. She is currently researching environmental movements and the potential for grassroots-driven systemic change, with a focus on Southeast Asia. She holds a PhD in International Studies from the University of Denver. 

  • Plenary Panel Session at ThinkCorner, Friday, May 26, 13:15-14:45 EEST