Innovations and Creativity in Climate Education seminar was held in Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland 2.-3.3.2020 as a part of the Climate University project. Climate University is a collaborative project of eleven Finnish universities developing open access online courses to foster climate change and sustainability education in universities. The seminar attracted huge interest with 100+ participants gathering to Aalto University´s main building Dipoli.
During day one, the theme of innovations and creativity was discussed through sustainability & climate-related showcases from Aalto University. For instance, Aalto School of ARTS has already incorporated sustainability issues thoroughly. SDG labels are being introduced to Aalto´s upcoming 2020-22 courses and appr. 10% of ~3000 courses include climate-related content, SDG#13.
The concept of social intrapreneurship – acting entrepreneurially inside a large organization to achieve social or environmental aims – was easily recognized by many participants.
Monday morning at Aalto University included several hands-on workshops. Participants got a safe space to discuss their anxieties related to climate change, or they learned how awareness-based approach can help in empowering us to transform the higher education, or they analyzed the significance of personal climate actions using D-mat’s 1.5 degree puzzle.
Monday breaks were utilised for Climate Challenges filming as a continuum to the campaign started at Metropolia workshop last fall. We filmed all together 13 challenges for various actors including Aalto Student Union AYY, Aalto University and Aalto Campus and Real Estate. Follow the climate challenge campaign on Twitter or YouTube.
During day two participant had the chance to explore climate actions in Otaniemi high school, play sustainability board games and participate in piloting and developing Climate University course materials. Development concentrated on the following courses:
- Sustainable.now – a Bachelor-level course for sustainable development and climate challenges and solutions
- Solutions.now – a Master level project course for solving climate and sustainability challenges of companies and organisations
- SystemsChange.now – a Master-level course on using systems thinking and multidisciplinary approaches to contribute in societal change
- Climate.now for high schools
The next steps for the Climate University project community include finalising course materials, piloting courses, and most importantly promoting active integration of courses to current curricula, including lifelong learning for all stakeholders and executive education as well. Hopefully this will proceed as smoothly as the Dominante quartet at Fat Lizard restaurant.
The conference organising team was proud about serving fully vegan food at the conference. Besides, food waste was successfully avoided during the conference by informing Aalto students of leftovers through a student held telegram group.
To conclude, hopefully the current corona epidemic will improve our behavior and actions drastically to fight the climate crisis as efficiently. Sincere thanks for all participants and colleagues involved in this joint effort!
Speeches from Dipoli auditorium and all seminar materials are available at https://www.aalto.fi/en/events/innovations-and-creativity-in-climate-education
Read more about the seminar in a more extensive blog post.
Text: Emma Sairanen, Sanna-Liisa Sihto-Nissilä & Meri Löyttyniemi, Aalto University
Photos: Cvijeta Miljak