The theme for this conference was "Systemic transformations to sustainable futures", highlighting the urgency to act now. "The urgency for systemic sustainability transformations has been here for a long time. Transformations in multiple systems have been ongoing for a while; however, pace of change has been much slower than previously foreseen. We need more understanding of the interlinkages between sectors, actors, geographies, markets, practices and lifestyles as these have significant relevance for the impact and pace of change." Read more below.
The theme for this conference was "Destruction and Creativity?". "Amidst our current global crisis, key obstacles preventing a sustainable future are the persistent attitudes, perceptions, technologies and (infra)structures that hinder the radical change into new ways of doing and making living on the planet sustainable. Inspired by, yet not limited to Joseph Schumpeter's concept of creative destruction, the Sustainability Science Days 2021 focuses on the current detrimental structures and behaviours that need to be destructed and eradicated in order to create opportunities for profoundly sustainable solutions, technologies and social innovations to emerge."
The thematic focus of this conference was "making use of sustainability science", especially on the topic of sustainable consumption and production. This is the Sustainable Development Goal # 12 (SDG) and a goal where Finland’s performance needs to be considerably improved. The Sustainability Science Days 2019 addressed the questions of science-based decision-making and the practical uses of insights from sustainability science in consumption and production. The focus of the days was on the usefulness of sustainability science for decision making on various arenas – the political sphere, companies, and institutions of higher education.
The thematic focus for this conference was "Sustainability solutions – Partnerships in science and beyond". The scientific program of the event focused on the disciplinary status of sustainability science and the trans- and interdisciplinarity within sustainability research. In addition to invited talks by renowned scholars, the issues were jointly developed in workshops that were organized around the HELSUS core themes (Arctic, Consumption and Production, Global South, Urban, and Theories and methodologies). Besides the academic program, the Sustainability Science Days hosted a participatory event for researchers and stakeholders, which aimed to introduce and develop best practices on how to partner effectively the latest academic knowledge with innovations for concrete solutions to sustainability challenges.
The thematic focus for this year was "What are the pathways that lead to a more sustainable world?". The Pathways to Sustainability Transformation Science Day provided a discussion forum for researchers, students, policy makers, companies and other interest groups. It aimed to support dialogue between science and the society as well as served as a platform for sustainability scientists to present their latest research findings. To increase the societal impact of the event, a policy brief was formed from the findings discussed in the event.