Keynote speakers

The Sustainability Science Days Conference 2021 will include two online keynote sessions, with talks by invited international scholars and stakeholder representatives, along with panel discussions. The online keynote sessions are organized on both conference days, Tuesday 18th and Wednesday 19th May 2021.

Registered participants can join all sessions of the conference in the Conference Online Lobby found in this link. Please log in using the password you have received by e-mail.

Professor Luis M. Bettencourt

Professor Luis M. Bettencourt - Pritzker Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation and a Professor of Ecology and Evolution

Professor Luis M. Bettencourt will be presenting the keynote "Localizing Sustainable Development: How the creative transformation of cities can lead the way" on Tuesday 18th May at 9.00-11.15. See programme for details

Luis M. A. Bettencourt is the Inaugural Director of the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation at the University of Chicago and Professor of Ecology and Evolution at the College. He is also Associate Faculty and Special Friend of the Department of Sociology and External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute. He conducts interdisciplinary research on complex adaptive systems and leads efforts in the areas of the science of cities. This research focuses on the identification of cities’ systemic processes and properties, as well as their local histories and contexts in identifying paths for a better quality of life, economic growth, and sustainable development. He works with international networks of researchers, local governments and NGOs to understand and systematise urban knowledge, and to create solutions to urban issues. His work is well-known academically and has been influential in developing new theory and empirical perspectives on cities and urbanisation worldwide.

Professor Nancy Bocken

Nancy Bocken - Professor of Sustainable Business

Professor Nancy Bocken will be presenting the keynote "Boosting circular economy – Sustainable business models, innovation and experimentation" on Wednesday 19th May at 9.00-11.15. See programme for details

Nancy Bocken is Professor in Sustainable Business at Maastricht University, Maastricht Sustainability Institute (MSI). She is also visiting professor The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics (IIIEE) at Lund University, Sweden and Lappeenranta Lahti University of Technology (LUT), and Fellow at the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).

Prof. Bocken's research revolves around the broad field of Sustainable Business Management and Practice. Within this, she is exploring the areas of sustainable business models, business experiments for sustainability, sustainable innovation, Circular Economy, scaling up sustainable business, and closing the 'idea-action' gap in sustainability, through development, testing and application of novel tools, methods and approaches. Her recently awarded European Research Council (ERC) grant CIRCULAR X, focuses on ‘experimenting with circular service business models’. 

Interwoven with her academic work, Prof. Bocken regularly advises various organisations and sustainability start-up initiatives. She is a co-founder of HOMIE, a company operating at the forefront of the circular economy by proposing, developing and testing new circular business models with consumers by offering pay-per-use home appliances in the Netherlands.

Before going into academia, Prof. Bocken held positions in the logistics, banking and consulting sectors. Originally from the Netherlands, she has also lived and worked in France, the UK, the USA and Sweden. Prof. Bocken holds a PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge.

Professor Marc Wolfram

Professor Marc Wolfram - Director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development , Professor of Spatial Development and Transformation at Technische Universität Dresden

Professor Marc Wolfram will be presenting the keynote "Catalyzing transformations: Missions, places and the role of transformative capacity" on Wednesday 19th May at 9.00-11.15. See programme for details

Marc Wolfram is the Director of the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) - a non-university science center conducting fundamental, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research, and member of the Leibniz Association. He is also full professor of spatial development and transformation at Technische Universität Dresden (TUD), and the chair of the Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS).

Prof. Wolfram's own research deals with the dynamics of urban and regional change, and the strategies and approaches for steering such change towards sustainability, focusing on the role of governance, policy, planning and design, and the spatial and physical dimensions involved. He has an interdisciplinary academic background including studies and resident research at the University of Stuttgart, BarcelonaTech, ENTPE (Lyon) and Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris). He also has extensive professional experience as a consultant and senior investigator in Europe, doing collaborative research with stakeholders at all levels. Before joining IOER he worked as an associate professor at Yonsei University and Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, pioneering research on urban transformative capacity, and advising global city networks and UN bodies.

Prof. Wolfram's research has been published widely in leading journals and books related to urban sustainability. Prof. Wolfram is also co-founder and editor-in-chief of the open access journal Urban Transformations, a board member of the International Sustainable Development Research Society (ISDRS), and co-founder of the thematic group on Urban Transitions and Transformations within the Sustainability Transitions Research Network (STRN).

Academic Directors of SSD2021, Presidents of UH & Aalto
  • Anne Toppinen, Professor, Director of HELSUS
  • Minna Halme, Professor, Aalto School of Business
  • Jari Niemelä, Rector (Special Duties) of the University of Helsinki, welcoming words
  • Ilkka Niemelä, President of Aalto University, welcoming words