Sustainable Development Goals – (how) can performance be measured?

WHEN: Thursday 11 October 2018 at 13:00–15:30

WHERE: Think Lounge, Think Corner 2nd floor, Yliopistonkatu 4

WHAT: The realization of the 2030 Agenda's 17 goals and 169 targets is monitored by roughly 230 global indicators. The UN uses this data to compile the annual SDG Progress Report for the purposes of global follow-up. Global indicators help also individual countries in their efforts to reach the SDG’s. However, the global indicators alone do not often provide sufficient information to address countries’ national sustainable development challenges, and an additional set of national indicators is needed. This is the case also in Finland. The crucial question is the selection of appropriate and relevant national indicators to measure national performance.

WHY: Understanding about the implementation and monitoring of SDG’s is vital in achieving sustainability on global and local levels and accordingly this is an important part of a sustainability experts skills and knowledge. In the event you will learn and discuss SDGs, Finland’s performance and evaluation of SD policies with visiting experts from Bertelsmann foundation and International Institute for Environment and Development.

FOR: Researchers, doctoral students, master students, all other interested. No registration required.




13.00 Welcome by HELSUS and Aalto Sustainability Hub

  • Janna Pietikäinen, Vice dean, Educational affairs, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki and Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science
  • Meri Löyttyniemi, Senior Advisor for Sustainability, Aalto University

13.15 Introduction to SDGs and assessing the progress on SDG implementation

  • Sami Pirkkala, Counsellor, Prime Minister’s Office


Evaluation of national sustainable development policies – what is it about and why should countries bother?

  • Stefano D'Errico, International Institute for Environment and Development

Measuring sustainability on country level – what makes it challenging, how to measure spillovers, and how is Finland performing?

  • Dr. Christian Kroll, Bertelsmann Stiftung

14.45 Discussion: Measuring performance – how about SDG´s in higher education?

  • Facilitated by Sami Pirkkala

15.30 End of the seminar

Stefano D'Errico works as a Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning Manager in the International Institute for Environment and Development. His current work includes, for example, designing and operationalizing the IIED's monitoring evaluation and learning system, leading on the delivery of internal capacity building, strengthening the capacity of projects and programmes to design and implement robust and appropriate MEL plans, supporting project proposal authors in the development of appropriate monitoring and evaluation systems and leading IIED's monitoring and evaluation working group and implementation of its agreed work plan across the organization.

Dr. Christian Kroll works as Senior Expert for Sustainable Development at Bertelsmann Stiftung. Dr. Christian Kroll is the Scientific Co-Director of the SDG Index and Dashboards to measure country performance on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (annual report produced with UN Special Advisor Jeffrey Sachs). He authored numerous articles in scientific journals and policy-oriented reports, including "Sustainable Development Goals: Are the rich countries ready".

Sami Pirkkala works as a Counsellor on Sustainable Development and the 2030 Agenda at the Prime Minister’s Office. His main fields of work include national SD monitoring, follow-up and evaluation issues, EU’s sustainable development policy and the further development of national SD governance structures.


HELSUS, University of Helsinki 

Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science is new cross-faculty research unit in sustainability science within the University of Helsinki. The mission of the institute is to contribute to sustainability transformations of societies by means of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research and education.

Aalto Sustainability Hub

The Aalto Sustainability Hub aims to solve the diverse societal challenges through multidisciplinary research and to increase dialogue between different disciplines and social actors. Sustainability Hub brings together researchers from all fields of Aalto University and promotes sustainable development as part of teaching, campus development and other Aalto University activities.

Prime Minister’s Office and

UArctic Congress

The UArctic Congress 2018 will bring together key UArctic meetings and a science conference into one single gathering, including business meetings of the Council of UArctic, Rectors’ Forum, and Thematic Networks & UArctic Institutes Leadership Team.

The Congress is an integral part of Finland’s Arctic Council chairmanship program, and open to the public. The event will highlight the themes and priorities of the Finnish chairmanship, including the goals of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, supporting gender equality, and the Paris Agreement under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

With the aim to foster contacts and enhance networking, the biennial UArctic Congress brings together institutional leaders, indigenous representatives, academics, scientists and students from around the circumpolar north and beyond. Together with partners, policy makers, and other actors, the Congress strives to take the Arctic agenda forward by creating and strengthening collaborations that produce new findings and solutions for the future of the Arctic region.

The UArctic Congress 2018 will feature Science and Meeting sections, including:

  • Sessions aligned with the four priorities of Finland’s chairmanship; i.e. environmental protection, connectivity, meteorological cooperation, and education
  • Acclaimed keynote speakers and scientific experts presenting their views and latest research
  • Formal meetings for representatives of the Council of UArctic and UArctic Rectors’ Forum
  • Side-meetings and events
  • Student events
  • An exciting cultural and social program


University of Helsinki & University of Oulu


From September 3rd to September 7th



More information

Welcome to the Seminar on Arctic Indigenous and Local Knowledge & Sustainability on June 8th 2018 at 9.00 – 15.00.

The aim of this seminar is to foster critical, interdisciplinary and evidence-based discussion on the importance of bridging diverse knowledge systems for Arctic sustainability. This seminar will bring together researchers, policymakers, and representatives from five Arctic indigenous communities to discuss the crucial role of Indigenous and Local Knowledge (ILK) on Arctic environmental governance.

The seminar will combine keynote speeches and panel discussions, covering topics such as the ability of Arctic indigenous peoples to manage and conserve transboundary biodiversity, evidence of effective management strategies involving Arctic indigenous peoples, as well as the contributions of Arctic indigenous peoples in reaching the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals.

This seminar is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Finnish Ministry of the Environment, with support from the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the University of Helsinki and the Helmoltz-Centre for Environmental Research (UfZ, Germany). 


8th June, 9.00 - 15.00


Think Corner (Stage), Yliopistonkatu 4, Helsinki


Álvaro Fernández-Llamazares & Jari Niemelä, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki.


9.00 Opening
René Söderman, Senior Arctic Official for Finland
Henna Haapala, Ministerial Adviser at the Ministry of the Environment of Finland
Carolina Behe, Indigenous Knowledge/Science Advisor at the Inuit Circumpolar Council

9.15 Indigenous Peoples and Arctic Biodiversity
Anne Nuorgam, Vice-Chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, University of Lapland

9.45 Coffee Break

10.15 Welcoming words
Jari Niemelä, Director of the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and newly-appointed Rector of the University of Helsinki

10.20 Multiple natures, one planet: Advancing Indigenous and Local Knowledge in the IPBES Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystems
Eduardo S. Brondizio, Co-Chair of the IPBES Global Assessment, Indiana University Bloomington

10.45 Meanings and Significance of Indigenous and Local Knowledge
Fikret Berkes, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Manitoba

11.15 Panel Discussion with Arctic Indigenous Peoples representatives  and researchers–
Whose knowledge counts in biodiversity conservation concepts and practice?
Facilitator: Aili Pyhälä, Council Member of the ICCA Consortium and Lecturer in Development Studies, University of Helsinki
Participants: Carolina Behe (Inuit Circumpolar Council), Liza Mack (Aleut International Association), and Svein Matthiesen (Association of World Reindeer Herders)

12.00 Lunch break

13.15 Panel Discussion with Arctic Indigenous Peoples representatives and researchers–
Inclusive conservation in the Arctic for the benefit of all
Facilitator: Lisa Rohweder, Chair of WWF’s Global Arctic Program
Participants: Gunn-Britt Retter (Saami Council) and Yury Khatanzeyskiy (Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North)

14.00 Session on Finnish Arctic research

The role of ILK in understanding reindeer herding-forestry interactions in Finnish Upper Lapland | Heli Saarikoski, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

Revitalizing the connection to/with the Earth: An emerging (auto)ethnography in Sápmi | Hanna Guttorm, Sámi University of Applied Sciences & Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), University of Helsinki

Developing local environmental observations in the Arctic | Mika Aromäki and Saku Anttila, Sámi Education Institute (SKK) & Finnish Environment Institute.

14.45 Short film on Saami observations of climate change
Mika Aromäki and Erkki Feodoroff, Sámi Education Institute (SKK)

14.50 Closing remarks
Gunn-Britt Retter, Head of the Arctic and Environment Unit of the Saami Council

Logos of the organizers of the seminar

The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS) presents:
The Annual Collegium Lecture 2018 by

Dipesh Chakrabarty

Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor of History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College at the University of Chicago

“The Difficulty of Being Modern: Thoughts on Our Time”

The Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies invites you to attend the Annual Collegium Lecture 2018, which will be given by Dipesh Chakrabarty (University of Chicago) on May 17 at 5 pm (Metsätalo, Lecture Hall 1).

Professor Chakrabarty's lecture "The Difficulty of Being Modern: Thoughts on Our Time" tracks some of the ethical difficulties of being modern at a time when collective human aspirations carry planetary implications. In the process, the lecture brings into conversation some post-human and post-colonial perspectives on modernity.

Professor Dipesh Chakrabarty became known for his research on working-class history, for the Subaltern Studies Collective in which he was a founding member, and the book Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (2000), an important contribution to postcolonial theory and the study of modernity and globalization. His recent writings deal with the conditions of historiography and historical thought in the age of climate change.

The Collegium Lecture is the main annual event of the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies and takes place every spring. The speakers are well-known global academic figures. The lecture is free and open to the public.


Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40), Lecture Hall 1


17 May, 2018, 5-7 pm


Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies

More information:

Solutions Initiative Forum Integration

Together, we are joining forces to promote innovative solutions to meet the challenge of segregation! On 14 May 2018 we will gather social entrepreneurs, business representatives, investors, researchers and decision-makers to promote solutions for a more inclusive society. We will launch the Integration Solutions Report, showcasing some examples of Nordic solutions to create a more open, inclusive and sustainable society.

Get inspired to act! In a well-functioning society, integration of different groups of people is key to end poverty, ensure healthier lives, reach education for everyone, gender equality, and an inclusive labour market. Let’s turn segregation into integration and together create a more inclusive and sustainable society.
Join us at SIF Integration!

What is Solutions Initiative Forum (SIF)?

SIF is an action-oriented one-day event where entrepreneurs, innovators, investors, businesses, civil society, policy makers and academia come together to promote solutions for a challenge connected to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

What is SIF Integration?

SIF Integration provides an interactive meeting arena to promote
available Nordic solutions focusing on how to reach a more integrated
and inclusive society. At SIF Integration, we will launch the Integration
Solutions Report. The report show-cases some examples of Nordic
solutions to show that an inclusive and sustainable society is possible.

What’s in it for me?

  • You learn about new innovations for a more integrated and inclusive society
  • It is an opportunity to meet integration projects that seek funding to scale up
  • You build networks with various stakeholders working with similar challenges
  • You share insights and experiences with others
  • Join forces to identify the next steps to implement solutions

Register before 4 May 2018


Sida, Valhallavägen 199, Stockholm, Sweden


14 May 2018


SDSN Northern Europe in collaboration with GU Ventures and Forum for Social Innovation Sweden

More information

The yearly Sustainability Science Days were held on May 16-17. This years theme was Sustainability Solutions - Partnerships in Science and Beyond.

Check the event webpage to learn more. The materials of the key note lectures are also available. 

Cooperatives and Sustainability - A Legal Perspective

Discussion on corporate social responsibility (CSR) has focused primarily on corporations, which are undeniably the most significant non-state market actors. There are, however, several other business forms, which also deserve attention and especially cooperatives have shown great potential as platforms for sustainable business operations.

The purpose of the cooperative is to promote the aggregate welfare of its members as consumers, providers and/or workers and simultaneously to carry concern for the community within which it operates. Therefore, one can argue that cooperatives, unlike corporations, truly support sustainable development and researchers should pay much more attention towards them.

The purpose of LL.D., Docent Ville Pönkä’s presentation is to introduce the cooperative form from a lawyer’s perspective and to describe how they differ from corporations. In addition he focuses on the question of how cooperatives facilitate sustainable development – in theory and practice. Pönkä’s presentation is based on his book chapter titled “The Cooperative as a Driver for Change”, which will be published later this year in the “Cambridge Handbook of Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Sustainability”.


LL.D., Docent of Civil Law and Commercial Law Ville Pönkä is a Senior Lecturer and a MDP Director at the UH’s Faculty of Law. Pönkä’s main fields of research include company law, cooperative law, contract law and arbitration. Pönkä has also a strong focus on sustainable development and currently he is studying the cooperative business form as a “driver for change”. Pönkä is a member of several international scholarly communities such as the European Corporate Governance Institute, the European Consortium for Political Research, the Nordic Company Law Network, the UK Society for Co-operative Studies – and the HELSUS.

About Arctic Dreams and Realities

HELSUS Brown Bag Lunch seminar series for spring 2018 is starting on Fri March 16th, at 11.30-12.30 o’clock in HELSUS Hub, Porthania 2nd floor!

The series begins with the presentation of the new HELSUS professor on Indigenous Sustainabilities, Reetta Toivanen, whose talk is titled ”About Arctic dreams and realities”. 

Join us for lively discussions and an opportunity to meet colleagues!


Reetta Toivanen (PhD 2000 at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) has been just recently nominated as the professor of sustainability sciences (indigenous sustainabilities). She is the consortium leader of ALL-YOUTH research funded by the Strategic research council at the Academy of Finland and the vice-director of the Academy of Finland’s Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives (EuroStorie). She is docent in social and cultural anthropology at the Universities of Helsinki and Eastern Finland and a non-resident research fellow at the European Centre for Minority Issues (ECMI). Outside of academia, she is the president of the Finnish Human Rights League and member of European Commission against Racism and Intolerance in respect of Finland. Her recent books include Towards Openly Multilingual Policies and Practices Assessing Minority Language Maintenance Across Europe, Multilingual Matters 2016 (written together with J. Laakson, S. Spiliopoulou-Åkermarkin & A. Sarhimaa,  and Linguistic Genocide or Superdiversity? Multilingual Matters 2016, (edited together with J. Saarikivi).

The new dynamics of deforestation in Brazil

In the second seminar Associate Professor Markus Kröger presents the current dynamics of deforestation, forest degradation, and sustainability of forest and forestry policies in different parts of Brazil. The focus is at presenting the findings from fresh field research in 2017-2018 on the different causes of rising deforestation in different regions. 

The example of the iconic Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve in Acre illustrates the power of cattle-ranching as the key driver of deforestation, even inside conservation areas. The politics of the rapidly expanding "sustainable logging cooperatives" - which have serious impacts on forest degradation, and do not typically deliver their promises - in the multiple-use conservation areas of the Santarém region in Pará are discussed to illustrate how the powerful illegal loggers still operate and take over many developmental schemes.

Finally, the role of Finnish and Brazilian forestry industry in continuing deforestation and expansion of eucalyptus plantations through practices that include illegal land grabbing and violence in Bahia are discussed based on field research in the area since 2004. The politics that aim to create sustainable forest policies, and offer alternatives, are also discussed.


Markus Kröger is an Associate Professor and Docent in Development Studies at the University of Helsinki, the focus area of the tenure track position being the study of the political economy of development and natural resource extraction. Most of his research has focused on investment politics around large-scale projects in the forestry and metal industries, including the study of state-corporate-civil society relations, particularly in South America and India. He is the author of Contentious Agency and Natural Resource Politics (2013), and has published several papers on the sustainability of forest and forestry policies in different countries.