HELSUS evaluation report is published

The HELSUS evaluation was carried out during 2022–2023 and considers the first years of HELSUS’s operations (2018–2023). Not only looking back, but the evaluation also focused on what should HELSUS be doing next and how could the institute be there for the sustainability researchers and sustainability science.

Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) was established in 2018 as a response to a global demand for the universities and research institutions to find pathways towards sustainability transformations. By the year 2023, HELSUS has become a joint action unit of nine member faculties within the University of Helsinki (UH): Agriculture and Forestry, Arts, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Educational Sciences, Law, Pharmacy, Science, Social Sciences and Theology. HELSUS is a scientific community for +625 sustainability researchers.

HELSUS advances research and education on sustainability science at the University of Helsinki and collaborates with other universities and research organizations as well as non-academic stakeholders to contribute to sustainability transformations in the society. The institute develops inter- and transdisciplinary research and sustainability education to increase systems thinking within and beyond academia. The institute advances scientific understanding of the conditions, limits, and processes of sustainability transformations.

HELSUS has created a lot of added value for its members, UH and for the society at large. A separate sustainability science institute is considered crucial, if UH wants to be an internationally recognized leader and develop methods and theories of sustainability science. HELSUS supports UH to achieve its strategic sustainability objectives.

For the members, HELSUS provides a possibility to identify oneself as a transdisciplinary sustainability scientist, and to build a network with other sustainability scientists. HELSUS makes it possible to develop and advance sustainability science, which would not be possible without the community, events, and the physical office space where sustainability scientists may network with each other and organize meetings with societal stakeholders.

Research with sustainability viewpoints can be conducted at faculties, but the development of sustainability science requires an institution dedicated to it. With the help of HELSUS community and broader network, the sustainability research already done at UH faculties can develop into strong sustainability science.