Sessions that did not participation in the open call

Here is more information about the wonderful sessions that are part of SSD2023, but did not participate directly in the open call for abstracts, which closed on 22.2.23. Please note that more details about the speakers and structure of these sessions will published soon!
Sessions Not in Hybrid Mode

Conveners: Sanna Ahvenharju, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku; Ville Lauttamäki, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku

One Liner: Join a Delphi panel to assess and discuss new policies and practices to promote radical transformation towards biodiversity respectful agriculture!

Keywords: biodiversity, policy instruments, institutions, agriculture, Finland

Session Description: Resolving the biodiversity crisis requires systemic sustainability transformation in different areas of society. Societal institutions and practices play a key role in bringing about systemic change.  In this workshop the focus is on the institutional opportunities and obstacles for radical systemic change in Finnish agricultural production towards more biodiversity respectful food system.  Institutional practices here refer to societal processes, norms and political instruments that guide these processes. These include, for example, legislation, economic and policy instruments, planning and information measures.

In the workshop the participants will act as members of a Delphi panel that will assess, evaluate, criticise and develop further a set of policies and practices that are being presented to them in the workshop. These suggestions are based on the work that is being done in the BIODIFUL research project (

Key questions to be addressed during the workshop are:

1) What new (or old) policy instruments would be best suitable to promote radical sustainability transformation in institutional and societal practices that cause biodiversity loss?

2) What instruments or interventions might have a significant effect on a rather short timeframe (about 5 years)?

No specific expertise is required from the participants, but understanding or experience of any of the following fields can be useful: agriculture, food production, biodiversity, consumption, policy instruments or policy planning and development. The participants should have computers or smart phones available in order to participate in the panel work.

Max 25 participants.

Conveners: Anna Krzywoszynska, University of Oulu; Galina Kallio, Helsinki University

One Liner: How are carbon knowledges and practices relevant and controversial for achieving sustainability in Finland?

Keywords: carbon practices, carbon sequestration, environmental management, carbon farming, climate and environmental policy, ecological knowledge

Session Description: As the urgency around climate change intensifies, carbon knowledges are taking an important role in shaping societies, landscapes, and ecologies. Carbon knowledges include the practices of conceptualizing, investigating, modelling, governing, and intervening in carbon cycles. These knowledges and the discourses they invoke are fast becoming part of societal practice at many scales and in many contexts. Carbon knowledges connect science, governance, business, and local land practice. The questions they raise are especially pertinent to Finland, where high-level political debates have been concerned with the relationship between land use and carbon management.

This workshop is a facilitated dialogue and concept mapping, involving scholars and members of various communities of practice to explore:

  • What forms of carbon knowledge are becoming important in Finland and in the Nordics, and how?
  • How, by whom and where are carbon knowledges being produced, and with what consequences?
  • How do carbon knowledges intersect with climate and environmental governance, especially through models and modelling?
  • How are knowledges of carbon being constructed and encountered “on the ground” in a diversity of contexts?

The session is open to scholars in the fields of soil sciences, conservation research, and environmental social sciences, as well as land managers, farmers, activists and members of other environmental, grass-roots, and agrarian groups.

Conveners: Laura Ruotsalainen, University of Helsinki and Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence

One Liner: Benefits and challenges in using Artificial Intelligence for achieving the sustainability goals.

Keywords: artificial intelligence, climate change, bias, power consumption

Session Description: According to a perspective in Nature (Vinuesa et al. 2020), artificial intelligence has the potential to advance all of the Sustainable Development Goals. Large data mining and simulations are especially promising for goals such as smart cities, climate action, quality education, health, and decent work and economic growth.

Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence (FCAI) has a program that is focused on identifying and supporting FCAI’s innovations that are relevant for sustainability. The aim of this session is to gather the representatives of academic community and decision makers to discuss the potential and challenges of using AI for systemic changes. The aim is also to brainstorm how to include the whole society in the development and move from scattered, small-scale activities to significant AI enabled transformations.

The session will include four keynote speeches (4 x 15 minutes) followed by a panel. The speakers will come from both AI and sustainability communities and include both scientists and decision makers.

Conveners: Jari Lyytimäki, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE); Katriina Soini, Finnish Natural Resource Institute (LUKE); Nina Janasik, University of Helsinki

One Liner: What is the place and significance of science communication and science brokering in making sense of and solving critical sustainability challenges?

Keywords: sustainability, scientific communication, knowledge brokering, scientific panels, sensemaking

Session Description: In recent years the term "polycrisis" as coined by historian of economics Adam Tooze has gained prominence also in Finnish discussions on sustainability. The term refers to a situation in which multiple different crises occur simultaneously; are interlinked; and strengthen each other in a way that from the point of view of human experience is even more overwhelming than the sum of its parts. The term has found its way also into political science. For instance, it has been claimed that the polycrisis effects ruptures in the European political system in ways that amount to a situation of bewildering "polycleavage". This term refers to a situation in which different topics are highlighted simultaneously; polarize actors in various ways; and mobilize general opinions on each topic separately thus producing new temporary and surprising coalitions. At worst, the polycrisis and the resulting polycleavage give rise to cognitive as well as action-related dead ends.

In this panel discussion, we ask:

  • What do these disconcerting "poly"-phenomena mean for Finnish science brokering activities, more specifically for the activities of Finnish science panels?
  • What is the place and significance of science communication and science brokering in making sense of and solving critical sustainability challenges?
  • How could the science panels work together in polychallenging environments?

Conveners: Stefan Baumeister, University of Jyväskylä; Abraham Leung, Griffith University

One Liner: What are the possibilities and challenges of developing sustainable travel and tourism in the era of Anthropocene and global upheavals – is there a glimpse of hope from behavioral and technological changes?

Keywords: tourism, mobility, sustainable travel, transport, decarbonisation technology

Session Description: In a globalized world, mobility is highly desired, but this also creates travel demand that relies heavily on energy and carbon intensive transportation modes. Tourism is an important sector, bringing in many benefits such as economic, cultural, and also well-being. It is a challenge to reduce carbon emissions whilst maintaining the need for travel. With new developments in technology and also post-COVID adjustments – we are now in an era of uncertainty but perhaps also hope. It is important to rethink how we should travel without costing the planet.  In the workshop, we will cover the knowledge, actions, and solutions in the following topics:

  • Impact assessment of travel – what are the methodological advances?
  • The link between travel behavior and land use planning – how can we promote sustainable travel?
  • Digitization (such as Mobility-as-a-Service) – informing users of their travel impact or enabling new sustainable travel options.
  • Electrification – does it reduce emissions, or just “greenwashing”?
  • Autonomous travel – is it a hype or a promising solution?
  • Small devices, big changes – can micromobility replace vehicle trips?
  • Green aviation – are electrification or green fuels enough to decarbonise aviation?
  • Post-pandemic futures – travelling slower, staying longer or being digital nomads?
  • Equity – higher income economies are disproportionately more mobile, is this fair?
  • Virtual reality, metaverse and digital twinning – can it really replace actual travel?
  • Water transport – is there a role for water transport? What is the potential of electrification or using sails?

Conveners: Rosa Rantanen, University of Helsinki/INAR; Taneli Saari, Tunne ry. The session is organized in collaboration with the Finnish Death Studies Association.

One Liner: This session invites perspectives from research, civil society and arts on the relation of death and climate change. How can we deal with climate change-related death and loss in a way that maintains hope?

Keywords: climate change, death, eco-emotions, grief, loss

Session Description: Climate change and death overlap in many areas, such as extreme weather, air quality, health & well-being, security, ethics and culture. This session invites perspectives from researchers, civil society representatives and artists on the relation of death and climate change. Our main question is: how to deal with climate change-related death and loss in a way that maintains hope? Climate change, extreme weather phenomena and poor air quality contribute to global mortality. For example, according to WHO, the effects of air pollution are associated with 7 million premature deaths annually, making it one of the leading causes of mortality globally. Climate change directly and indirectly effects human and non-human (psychosocial) well-being, as well as the environment; it can also contribute to loss of cultures, communities or ecosystems. The effects are often most destructive for marginalized communities and individuals.

The theme of the session is strongly connected to eco-emotions; especially to grief experienced in the face of existential threads such as climate-related natural disasters, conflicts, mass extinction and loss of biodiversity, clean air and water. While these feelings/themes are mostly seen as negative, climate research and discussion can also create hope by providing tools for climate action and for dealing with the inevitable loss.


Conveners: Ákos Gosztonyi, University of Helsinki; Linda Karjalainen, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and Aalto University

One Liner: Understandings of the systemic interplay of housing, transportation and energy use – what’s driving just transition?

Keywords: sustainable transportation, sustainable energy use, environmental inequality, energy poverty, transport poverty, housing inequality

Session Description: Our homes, transportation options and energy use are systemically interrelated. They are, at the same time, inherently embedded in and intertwined with the socio-spatial reality of everyday life, often creating and/or reinforcing various forms of vulnerabilities related to health, the (unjust) distribution of space and resources, as well as to the accessibility of services. In order to achieve a healthier, more just and sustainable future, current issues of energy use, transportation and housing require solutions beyond siloed remedies and technological advancements: without recognizing the need to put people and their lived socio-economic realities at the center, systemic change may be undermined. We reside, use energy, and get around differently that also affect our surroundings, and so do our surroundings affect our residential, energy use and transportation choices. These are, however, not free choices for all, but determined by socio-economic and socio-spatial constraints to various degrees. For example, while carless households are perceived as more environmentally sustainable, (involuntary) carlessness can create socio-economic vulnerabilities due to restricted mobility at times. In this session, with the input of invited researchers and experts from different fields we explore how housing, transportation and energy use are interwoven, and how cross-cutting approaches may facilitate a just transition. Through deploying state of the art interdisciplinary knowledge, we expect to touch upon current dilemmas of e.g. environmental inequalities and energy vulnerability, of what is sufficient and sustainable in terms of energy use and transportation as well as of amplifying residents’ voices in creating change.

The session will consist of short presentations from invited researchers summarizing their recent work and pinpointing a key challenge they have faced while conducting it in light of the session’s aims. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion in which pinpointed challenges will be put into dialogue and potential directions for positive change will be mapped. The audience will be invited and encouraged to contribute to the panel discussion.

Conveners: Annika Lonkila, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE); Minna Kaljonen, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE); Iryna Herzon, Univeristy of Helsinki; Helena Hansson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences; Malin Jonell, Stockholm University

One Liner: Dialogue for mobilizing leverage points for food system transformation in Finland and Sweden

Keywords: leverage points, sustainability transformation, food system, dialogue

Session Description: We invite researchers and stakeholders to participate in a dialogue session to discuss leverage points for food system transformation. Leverage points are defined as places to intervene in complex systems to bring about transformative change (Fischer & Riechers 2018, Meadows 1999). To date, many sustainability interventions have focused on weak leverage points, such as subsidies, with limited potential for transformational change (Abson et al. 2017). To bring about systemic transformation, more focus needs to be paid to deep leverage points, such as the rules, values, goals, and paradigms defining how the system functions.

In two research projects, SustAnimalFood and Mistra Food Futures, we have identified leverage points for food system transformation in the context of Finnish and Swedish food systems. In SustAnimalFood, we have created an understanding of the existing livestock production system, and identified leverage points for transformation towards a more sustainable niche for farmed animals in the Finnish food system. In Mistra Food Futures we have identified entry points for action at food system level to enable change. 

We host an open dialogue session to discuss and examine the identified leverage points for food system transformation through transdisciplinary research in the two research projects. We focus on specific deep leverage points, such as an underlying goal in the food system, to verify and enrich the understanding of the turning points. We will deliberate potential solutions for changing that lever, as well as the impacts of such change on the system level.

Key questions to be addressed in the session:

  • The external validity of the leverage and entry points already identified and how they can be generalized towards other settings.
  • How leverages towards sustainability transformation can be mobilized in the Finnish and Swedish food systems?
  • Next steps and knowledge gaps regarding leverage points to enable food system sustainability transformation.

Convenor: Saija Hollmén, Professor of Practice in Humanitarian Architecture, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture 

Keywords: Higher education partnerships, equal knowledge base, North-South, Sub-Saharan Africa, 
South Asia 

This session invites the core researchers from the EDUCase projects in the network member institutions. First, we have approximately 2 presentation from our Global South partners. After these presentations, we will transition to a moderated "fireside chat". This will allow participants to gain insights into the speaker’s personal stories and thoughts. The audience in the session is actively encouraged to participate in the fireside chat.

Background on the EDUCase Platform

EDUCase Platform is a pilot initiative of the Finnish Ministry for Education and Culture’s Global Programme 2021-2024. With a network of 11 universities and 15 universities of applied sciences, it represents the majority of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Finland. The network is coordinated by Aalto University. 

The platform facilitates joint learning and research activities and aims to scale up collaboration with 
partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. 

EDUCase Platform focus areas are: 
• Multicultural and multidisciplinary academic cooperation 
• Academic activities that connect to innovation ecosystems for sustainable development 
• North- South higher education partnerships 

The network promotes practical case collaborations for education, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship skills development between Finnish and partner country HEIs. Case studies offer a tangible modality of cooperation to address intersecting sustainable development challenges, with stakeholders representing various cultures, institutions, and areas of expertise.  

Conveners: Julia Sundman, Doctoral Candidate, Aalto University School of Engineering, Water & 
Development Research Group  and Yong Se Kim, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Turku

Keywords: Problem-based learning, sustainability transformation, experience design, North-South, 
Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia 

This session invites researchers (post-docs and doctoral candidates) and teachers (lecturers) who work as mentors for the multicultural inter- and transdisciplinary student cases to join in an active workshop and facilitated dialogue with students. The session will focus on the global PBL (problem-based learning) educational model and experience design education as an instrument of equal engagement and a means to achieve structural change in inter-university and inter cultural knowledge creation setting, overcoming North-South barriers.

Background on the EDUCase Platform

EDUCase Platform is a pilot initiative of the Finnish Ministry for Education and Culture’s Global Programme 2021-2024. With a network of 11 universities and 15 universities of applied sciences, it represents the majority of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Finland. The network is coordinated by Aalto University. 

The platform facilitates joint learning and research activities and aims to scale up collaboration with 
partner countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. 

EDUCase Platform focus areas are: 
• Multicultural and multidisciplinary academic cooperation 
• Academic activities that connect to innovation ecosystems for sustainable development 
• North- South higher education partnerships 

The network promotes practical case collaborations for education, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship skills development between Finnish and partner country HEIs. Case studies offer a tangible modality of cooperation to address intersecting sustainable development challenges, with stakeholders representing various cultures, institutions, and areas of expertise.  


Sessions in Hybrid Mode

Conveners: Friederike Lüpke, University of Helsinki; Jules Mansaly, University of the Gambia; Eeva Sippola, University of Helsinki

One Liner: This session focuses on innovative methods for multilingual education that overcome exclusion created through the selection of a small number of languages and create sustainable multilingual societies through incorporating decolonial ideas of language pro

Keywords: sustainable multilingual societies, (trans)languaging, inclusive multilingual education, decolonisation of language

Session Description: Inclusive and democratic societies can only function if their members can communicate successfully and feel valued. Creating inclusive societies thriving in and sustaining diversity is thus one of the greatest and most complicated tasks facing the world today. Education systems based on a selection of languages and on teaching languages in standard languages only systematically exclude many members of society from access to education and civic participation. This holds in particular for postcolonial societies, in which the former colonial languages still occupy the monopoly but also applies to nation states in the Global North in which internal diversity in indigenous languages and languages of migration is not reflected in language policies. Attempts at incorporating multilingual policies across the globe so far have been focused on selecting additional languages per region, locality or school. These approaches do not result in truly inclusive multilingual practices, since they fail to do justice to the full linguistic and cultural complexity of spaces. In addition, they face complex problems of implementation and lacking social, linguistic and economic resources.

In this session, we focus on sustainable methods to enrich multilingual teaching programmes in the formal and informal educational sectors that are not based on a selection of languages but aim at nurturing learners’ full linguistic repertoires. Many of these programmes endorse (trans)languaging visions of language inspired by decolonial philosophy in Latin America and South Africa.

Key questions:

  • How can sustainable multilingual societies be supported through inclusive educational programmes? What alternatives to multilingual programmes based on the selection of a small number of languages exist?
  • What are the challenges in integrating (trans)languaging programmes and methods into standard-language based education?
  • Which approaches originating in the Global South can be transferred to multilingual societies in the Global North?

Conveners: Janne Halme, Aalto University; Hanna Paulomäki, Aalto University; Mika Järvinen, Aalto University; Karri Liikkanen, Aalto University

One Liner: Can we imagine a future where energy production is restoring nature?

Keywords: nature inclusive design, nature-based solutions, wildlife friendly, conservation compatible, ecocentrism, eco-restorative energy systems

Session Description: Nature is facing an unprecedented challenge, as our current systems of energy production and consumption are causing a decline in biodiversity and natural systems. This forces us to question the current way of living and re-imagine, for instance, our energy systems and create a future where energy production not only meets our needs but also restores and enhances nature.

In this student-led session, participants will have the opportunity to hear from three student groups from Aalto University's Multidisciplinary Energy Perspectives course, as they present their innovative solutions and pathways towards nature-positive energy systems. These presentations will provide a fresh perspective on the topic, and inspire the audience to think about energy production in a new way.

Nature-positive in the context of designing future energy systems means creating systems that not only meet our energy needs but also enhance and restore the natural environment. It involves considering the impacts of energy production on biodiversity and natural systems and actively working to minimize negative impacts and promote positive ones. It also involves valuing and comparing the different effects, considering environmental ethics and multispecies perspectives, and envisioning a future where energy production has a positive impact on nature. The ultimate goal is to create an energy system that enables us to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while also promoting the restoration and enhancement of nature.

The session will be divided into two parts. First, the student groups will present on the following topics:

  • The effects of energy production on nature and biodiversity and how these impacts are assessed and evaluated. How big are the effects and can the methods evaluate positive effects?
  • The values and significance of different effects, including ethical considerations and multispecies perspectives. What is acceptable harm and what is not? How to design for other species?
  • Nature-positive energy technology, including current solutions and potential future developments. Can we imagine it? What might exist now, in 10 years, or 100 years from now?

The second part of the session will be a panel discussion led by the students, featuring invited experts in the field. This will be an opportunity for participants to engage in a deeper discussion, ask questions and gain a new perspective on the topic. Don't miss this unique opportunity to hear from the next generation of leaders in the field, and be inspired by their innovative solutions to create a more sustainable future. Join us and be a part of shaping a future where energy production restores and enhances nature.

Conveners: Stinne Vognæs, University of Helsinki; Laura Riuttanen, University of Helsinki; Janne Salovaara, University of Helsinki; Elina Alatalo, Tampere University; Eija Syrjämäki, Tampere University; Joula Siponen, University of Helsinki, and others associated with Climate University

One Liner: Join us for coffee and a discussion on the insights and inquiries of the practised and imagined themes, solutions, and issues in sustainability education and learning!

Keywords: sustainability education, science, collaboration, making, co-creation

Session Description: The Sustainability Learning Café is a meeting place for all academics, practitioners, activists, students, and staff interested and involved in all levels of sustainability education and learning in general. In a nutshell, we see a need for an in-depth conversation, focusing on the current and future themes, issues, and solutions of learning sustainability—thus creating a culture in which sustainability transformation can truly happen. The collaborators for this session (like those working with Climate University and Una Europa) will host, and invite their networks to lead conversations for the Sustainability Science Days audience on several themes of sustainability learning from formal higher education to gamification of youth sustainability teaching.

The Sustainability Learning Café is planned as an open space for the full two days, running parallel with the conference programme on Wednesday and Thursday (excluding the main keynotes and other joint sessions) because of the diversity under the broad umbrella of sustainability learning, and also for the wide audience working on these topics to have their turn in both hosting and contributing to the conversations. Our aim is to record the conversations and share the accumulated knowledge later on with the SSD audience interested in the themes discussed in the café. Our aim is to conclude the event into a rich description of the current state and future of sustainability learning in such a format, for example, as practice and research recommendations.

The aim is to create a space for conversation utilising the learning cafe methodology, and revolving around the theme of learning. We will serve specialty coffees, sponsored by Oatly and Cafetoria roastery, for the price of active conversation participation. Rather than competing with the conference sessions, or session contributions on sustainability education, we offer our café as a complementary function. For example, the cafe will welcome SSD participants working with the café themes to extend their presentations to an open conversation. Thus, the Café can also function as a lobby and a meeting spot of sorts for all conference participants.

Conveners: Tuulia Kiilavuori, JAMK University of Applied Science; Kaija Peuna-Korpioja, JAMK University of Applied Science

One Liner: Insights into managerial practices of sustainable multinational capacity building projects in HE.

Keywords: capacity building, mangerial practices, education ecosystem

Session Description: The expertise of Finnish higher education (HE) institutions is currently in demand in capacity building projects that aim to develop educational institutions and eventually the sustainability of entire educational ecosystems in Asian and African countries. Such projects require that higher education institutions and experts from diverse national education systems join multinational ecosystems to co-develop the sustainability of a country's education ecosystem. They align with Finland’s goals to offer its expertise in education to jointly solve the global learning crisis with other countries.   It is important to evaluate how multinational capacity building projects can contribute to systemic transformations of education in local education ecosystems to create a sustainable future. This workshop focuses on the managerial practices that facilitate multinational collaboration aiming for a sustainable development of the education ecosystems of countries that are severely hit by the learning crisis.  We are practitioners with experience of five large capacity building projects in HE in African and Asian countries, including a structural project with actors from different levels of a local education system. In the workshop we invite participants to reflect on the impact of multinational capacity projects’ managerial practices on a sustainable development of a local education system. We explore the roles of the actors in multinational ecosystems aiming for structural change in a country’s education ecosystem and hope to gain fresh insights into the approaches of higher education institutions to sustainable multinational collaboration.

Conveners: Antti Belinskij, University of Eastern Finland; Saija Koljonen, Finnish Environmental Institute (SYKE); Janne Artell, Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE)

One Liner: This session discusses sustainability transformation in hydropower production from inter- and transdisciplinary perspective.

Keywords: sustainability, hydropower, ecology, economics, law, governance

Session Description: This session discusses sustainability transformation in hydropower production from inter- and transdisciplinary perspective. While hydropower is an important source of renewable energy, it causes severe disruption in river flows, habitats, and biota. Global biodiversity loss is an alarming concern, especially, in freshwaters and river ecosystems. EU policy instruments such as the Water Framework Directive, Biodiversity Strategy, Taxonomy Regulation, and proposal for a Regulation on Nature Restoration highlight the need to enhance river connectivity and restore aquatic ecosystems. Interdisciplinary research is needed to consider the feasibility of hydropower system and transdisciplinarity to map out and support governance solutions.  The session is inspired by the SusHydro project (funded by the Academy of Finland) that covers ecologic, economic, and legal aspects of sustainable hydropower system.

While hydropower must be approached from a systemic perspective, hydropower facilities are different and should be divided into three categories:

  1. large facilities in which electricity generation and balancing the electricity grid should remain as their main focus
  2. small facilities in which dam removal and full-scale river restoration measures can be taken
  3. medium facilities where benefits and trade-offs associated with alternative paths should be analyzed case-by-case.

The session aims to enhance 1) understanding of the hydropower system with the help of scientific knowledge, 2) understanding how to generate actionable knowledge, and 3) identifying solutions to systemic issues in hydropower through transdisciplinary cooperation.

Conveners: Riccardo Mereu, Politecnico di Milano; Margaret Koli, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management; Antti Autio, University of Helsinki; Chakib Seladji, Pan African University Institute of Water and Energy Sciences (PAUWES); Stefan A. Haffner, German Aerospace Center- DLR

One Liner: The Energy-Development nexus and the value of scientific cooperation in the AU-EU Region to unveil sustainable pathways in an era of unpredictable uncertainties

Keywords: Renewable Energy; Sustainable Energy, AU-EU Partnership; Management methods; Multi-lateral cooperation; Energy-Development Nexus

Session Description: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN for the 2015-2030 period intends to shift the world onto a sustainable path. The Goal 7 of the agenda is dedicated to energy, with the objective of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all. However, a recent study (Alova, 2021) estimates that in Africa only a 10% share of energy will come from renewable sources by 2030 unless immediate action is taken. A paradigm shift is required to trigger the energy-development nexus.

One way to support this shift is to promote a pathway for empowering local research and innovation through bi-continental cooperation. The Long-Term Joint European Union – African Union Research and Innovation Partnership on Renewable Energy (LEAP-RE) programme (2020-2025) seeks to create a partnership of African and European stakeholders in a quadruple helix: government, research and academia, private sector, and civil society. LEAP-RE establishes and implements research, innovation, and capacity-building activities on themes such as innovation priorities, smart-grid and off-grid systems, productive and domestic uses, access to energy, recycling, etc. Furthermore, the establishment of a long-term AU-EU coordination platform for research and innovation and capacity building on renewable energies is envisaged.

In this session we present the proceedings from the 21 research projects in the LEAP-RE consortium with a reflection of their resonance with the conference subtheme on technical, business or social solutions and innovations for promoting sustainability transformations. The session begins with a keynote presentation describing the overall programme, followed by selected summaries of the research project proceedings.

The session will end on a brief discussion and Q&A on the potential role of an impact-oriented method for the AU-EU member states towards a long-term partnership in renewable energy. This will attempt to identify long-term impact-oriented management methods in a multi-lateral cooperation and address the effectiveness of these methods in building sustainable networks to leverage sustainability transformations. The discussion is rooted in the conference theme of understanding systems with the help of scientific knowledge and specifically on the notion of what impact pathways do we have for better futures.