Call for Sessions

Sustainability Science Days 2020, 6-7 May, Finland

The Sustainability Science Days is a two-day conference organized jointly by Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and Aalto Sustainability Hub (ASH). The next Sustainability Science Days are held through Wed 6th – Thu 7th May 2020 and the conference will concentrate on radical changes that are indispensable for creative solutions to the present sustainability crisis.

The overarching title of the conference is Destruction & 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 2020 focuses on the current detrimental structures and behaviours that need to be destructed and eradicated in order to create opportunities for profoundly novel sustainable solutions, technologies and social innovations to emerge.

In the conference, the underlying premise of creative destruction is discussed especially in the context of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals 9 and 11. This comprises building resilient infrastructures, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization and fostering innovation (#9) with special emphasis on cities and other kinds of human settlements (#11). Creativity and destruction are indispensable to make communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

As part of the academic program, the Sustainability Science Days 2020 will host a science track with four scheduled time slots, each with 3-4 parallel sessions. The individual sessions, 90 minutes each, are held on Wednesday 6th May afternoon at Helsinki city centre campus and Thursday 7th May afternoon at Otaniemi campus, Espoo. The sessions include scientific presentations from researchers and participatory elements for constructive debate with the audience. In addition to this, the SSD2020 offers a new possibility of including creative and/or artistic sessions to the program. We invite session proposals including papers dealing with creativity and/or presentations including works of art related to the theme of this conference. The presenters of the individual sessions are invited through an open Call for Papers that will be opened in early December 2019.

The sessions are to be convened by pairs of scientific leaders, with one from Aalto University, and one from the University of Helsinki. The conveners of the session will decide independently on the acceptance of presentations to their session. There will be a meeting of conveners to discuss on their choices and possibility to allocate papers from one session to another, if necessary. This gives also a possibility for conveners to share ideas and give peer-support on ways to organize the sessions. 

While the ways in which the proposed session addresses Destruction & Creativity is open to different approaches, the session should be thematically linked to the SDG’s #9 and #11. Apart from inviting for the scientific content of the session, the session leaders need to include participatory elements in their session in order to ensure dialogue and interaction with the audience. As the schedule for the conference will be finalized in March 2020, the session conveners need to be available for both days of the conference. All session conveners are expected to participate in two joint meetings in preparation and finalization of the program for the scientific tracks of the conference. The first meeting will take place on Nov 20th, 2019 afternoon, and the second in early February.

 We now invite interested scientific leaders to propose parallel sessions including:

  • A short and catching title for the session (max 10 words)
  • A description of the proposed session with an elaboration on the specific approach and the scientific aims of the session within the overall thematic focus of the Days (max. 400 words)
  • A “one-liner” description (of the session (used especially for communication purposes, max 30 words)
  • A brief description of the session format including an explication on the method(s) that enable the engagement of the audience in discussion
  • The name of at least one of the conveners (HELSUS and ASH will provide assistance in seeking a partner, if needed)
  • Description and information if you plan to organize a creative and/or artistic session and a brief explanation of a possible need for an exhibition space.
    • In this case please provide a separate description of the artwork/creative idea (80 words max.) and visual material such as photographs or video (digital formats only, up to 10 MB in total).
    • The submission should also entail explanation of the related equipment required to display this material. Please note that the transportation of the artwork(s) is the author’s responsibility. The exhibition will be curated by the organisers of this conference and Aalto University’s curators.

Please send your proposal by email to both helsus@helsinki.fi, HELSUS and taru.henriksson@aalto.fi, ASH by Thu 31st October, 2019.