HELSUS Sustainability Champion 2021

Rami Ratvio wins the HELSUS Sustainability Champion 2021 award for his work with the University of Helsinki Sustainability course.

HELSUS Sustainability Champion 2021 award was given out yesterday at the joint HELSUS & Urbaria Pre-Christmas Party. The award is voted on by colleagues within the HELSUS and Urbaria communities and given to a person who has, for example, promoted sustainable values and activities in their day-to-day work, made HELSUS to be a better community to be part of, or offered valuable help and insight to their colleagues, or by other grounds that colleagues see fit. This year the Sustainability Champion voting was very popular within our community and the number of votes was bigger than in other years.

This year the winner of the award is Dr. Rami Ratvio, a university lecturer from The Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HYPE) and HELSUS. Many people in the community have noticed Ratvio's contribution to the new sustainability course of the University of Helsinki. Voters praised Ratvio's supportive and patient work, and many mentioned the importance of the sustainability course, including Rami's valuable input to it.

...very hardworking in developing sustainability course. Our future depends on what we are able to teach 

to new generations. We need people like Rami who are continuously working for better future.

His amazing work with the Sustainability course and MOOC, an absolutely incredible achievement. I admire his diligence and patience with such a diverse crowd, and the way he gently pushed us to work and keep DLs, always with a wonderful encouraging spirit."

This year the award came with a special grant for the year 2022, which is meant for the advancement of sustainability science. The grant of 2500 euros was personally donated by the rector of the University of Helsinki, Jari Niemelä. Niemelä thinks that it’s very important to support activities of HELSUS by providing funding.  

Rector Niemelä and Anne Toppinen, the director of HELSUS, presented the award at the HELSUS and Urbaria Pre-Christmas Party on Thursday 18.11.2021 evening. Ratvio received the award gratefully.  

"This is, of course, a great honor, thank you everyone in HELSUS and Urbaria! And special thanks for this year to all the more than 160 members of the university community who participated in the development of the Sustainability Course", he said.

"Next, advancing sustainability will continue in curriculum design, as we want to make sustainability expertise part of all of the University's educational offerings. I'm looking forward to seeing all the different ways in which different disciplines can promote sustainability", Rami said.

In his speech at the Pre-Christmas Party, Niemelä emphasized the importance of sustainability education.  

I would like to emphasize students and overall young persons – youth and teenagers. It is important that we have teaching for young people because many of them are interested and worried about reaching sustainability, and thanks that you wanted to underline the teaching part of HELSUS as you ‘voted’ Rami to become the Champion!” 

Niemelä also highlighted HELSUS’s strategic and collaborative role for the University of Helsinki. 

One of the important issues for HELSUS is that sustainability is one of the themes of the university’s new strategy. This means that the university planners and public officers are also promoting sustainability and really work on how the university could and should become more sustainable.” 

Niemelä is happy about the development of the rather young HELSUS, since more faculties have joined the institute and more researchers are employed.  

Comparing young HELSUS with current more aged institute demonstrates clearly that at our university, sustainability is really improving by becoming more needed, interesting and stimulated theme.” 

If you are interested to see what Sustainability Champion Rami Ratvio and over 160 members of our University's community have been doing. Plese see the preview version of the sustainability course.