• Allmänt

    Welcome to SGT online lecture series of State of the World and Development 2020!

    Note that course is online. Lectures include discussion and dialogue. Sessions are not recorded.

    This lecture series gives an introduction to the state of the world and development. It highlights the environmental, social and economic aspects of sustainable development and explores the dilemma of development from different perspectives. Lecture series is open for all. For those aiming to gain 2 credits; register in weboodi. 80% attendance & assignment completion required to pass the course. See course Syllabus for further information.

    • Mondays & Wednesdays 10:00 - 11:30 (5 weeks)
    • Period: I *First lecture on Monday 14 September 2020 at 10:00
    • 2 ECTS (pass/fail)
    • 10 guest lectures & reflection assignment
    • Course coordinator: Julia Renko (julia.renko@aalto.fi)


    LECTURES 2020

    Note students: Zoom-link to all the sessions will be found after this section

    WEEK 1

    Monday 14 Sep | 10-12

    Lecture 1 - "Dilemma of Development" 
    Distinguished Prof. Olli Varis, Aalto ENG
    Olli Varis is professor of Water Resources Management with a focus on water, environment and development research and consultation. His research concentrates on sustainable development and water resources management in developing and emerging economies, particularly in Asia. His interests are global water resources and their interrelations to sectors such as agriculture and energy, and in relation to drivers such as climate change, urbanization, poverty, environment and economic development. Prof. Varis has been active in several international organizations including UNESCO, WMO, IWRA (Vice President 2007-2009), IWA, IIASA and UNU/WIDER. He was the Vice Dean of Research and Innovation of Aalto School of Engineering in 2013-2018, Counsellor at the Supreme Administrational Court of Finland in 2006-2015, and he is Distinguished Adjunct Professor at Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand.

    Wednesday 16 Sep | 10-12

    Lecture 2 - "Aalto Lab Mexico - A Longitudinal Collaboration Process"
    Dr. Claudia Garduño Garcia, Associate Professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
    Dr. Garduño is the research director of the Mexican NGO DYA Design Your Action, and an associate professor at the Master's Programme in Industrial Design at UNAM.  During her MA studies in Aalto University, she participated in Aalto LAB Shanghai, belonging to the very first team of LABBERS. She saw so much potential in it that got the idea of taking Aalto LAB to Mexico, and making it the case study of her doctoral work "Design as Freedom”. The dissertation explores freedom as an alternative driving principle for design and develops a co-design process that aims for the mutual empowerment of participant end-users and designers. Aalto LAB Mexico is an ongoing project and has been part of SGT since 2015.

    WEEK 2

    Monday 21 Sep | 10-12

    Lecture 3 - "Climate Change & Adaptation"
     Dr. Philipp Schmidt-Thomé, GTK
    Dr. Philipp Schmidt-Thomé is a researcher and ‎International Operations Director at the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK). Schmidt-Thomé is a German geographer (MSc. with minor subjects in geology and soil science) and a postgraduate in hydrogeology and engineering geology. He came to the Geological Survey of Finland in 1998. He was born in El Salvador, raised in Germany, Sudan and Colombia and completed parts of his studies in Chile and Thailand. Apart from Aalto University he actively lectures for instance in the University of Alicante in Spain.

    Wednesday 23 Sep | 10-12

    Lecture 4 - "How Public Demand for Clean Air is Reshaping Energy and Emissions Trends"

    Lauri MyllyvirtaCenter for Research on Energy and Clean Air

    Myllyvirta has worked for the past seven years as an energy and air pollution analyst covering air pollution issues across Asia. His research covers sources, drivers and health impacts of air pollution. Myllyvirta has published studies on the health impacts of coal-fired power generation in Southeast, South and East Asia, Europe, Turkey and South Africa. He has also done research on China's coal consumption and CO2 trends and the overcapacity situation in coal-fired power and steel industry. Myllyvirta has degrees in economics from Helsinki University and in environmental science from University of Jyväskylä. 

    Recommended pre-reading:


    WEEK 3

    Monday 28 Sep | 10-12

    Lecture 5 - "Development Policy and Global Goals"

    Suvi Virkkunen, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Suvi Virkkunen works as Team leader for Quality and Results at the Department for Development Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. She has more than 20 years work experience in development policy and cooperation both with civil society organisations at national, EU and global level as well as with the EU and the Government of Finland. Within the MFA she has been the pen-holder in the preparations of all key policy documents for Finland’s development policy during the last 7 years. She has been involved with the negotiations of the Agenda 2030 in the UN as well as the national policy guiding and national methodology monitoring Finland’s implementation. Ms. Virkkunen holds a Masters degree from the University of Tampere, majoring in international politics. Her thesis studied how poverty eradication steered the development policy of the European Union.

    The Sustainable Development Agenda

    United Nations: The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2020

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Development policy and development cooperation


    Wednesday 30 Sep | 10-12

    Lecture 6 - “The Role of Innovation, Technology, and Entrepreneurship in Developing Asia. CASE: Vietnam’s Emerging Technology Industry”
    Tomi Särkioja, Private Sector Development Specialist, Asian Development Bank
    Tomi Särkioja is Private Sector Development Specialist in ADB’s Vietnam Resident Mission leading operations in innovation and technology. Tomi has more than 15 years of experience in private sector development and innovation in frontier markets in Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America. Previously, he led the risk management and technology development team in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland Department of Development Policy and served as Counsellor and Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Finland in Vietnam and Tanzania. He is a former member of Finland’s National Anti-Corruption Network. He has contributed as an expert to OECD and EU.
    Required pre-materials (please watch before lecture):

    WEEK 4

    Monday 5 Oct | 10-12

    Lecture 7 - “The implications of COVID-19 for growth and employment in developing countries” 
    Prof. Kunal SenDirector, UNU-WIDER

    Kunal Sen is Director of UNU-WIDER and Professor of Development Economics in the Global Development Institute at The University of Manchester. Previously he has been Joint Research Director for the Effective States and Inclusive Development Research Centre. In addition, Professor Sen has substantial experience serving in advisory roles with national governments and bilateral and multilateral development agencies including the UK Department for International Development (DFID), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and International Development Research Centre (IDRC). He has worked extensively in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and South-east Asia. 

    Professor Sen holds a PhD degree in Economics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and is the co-editor of Deals and Development: The Political Dynamics of Growth Episodes (2018; co-author of The Political Economy of India’s Growth Episodes (2016) and Out of the Shadows: The Informal Sector in Post-Reform India (2016); and author of Trade Policy, Inequality and Performance in Indian Manufacturing (2008). He has been awarded the Sanjaya Lall Memorial Prize and the Dudley Seers Memorial Prize for the excellence of his research. Professor Sen’s research is in the interface of international development and political economy. His principal areas of research have been on inclusive growth, political economy, and the analysis of poverty and social exclusion in developing countries. His research in each of these areas has been internationally recognized and has had a strong impact on both academic research and on policy.

    Recommended pre-readings:


    Wednesday 7 Oct | 10-12
    Lecture 8 - "Global Food Challenges and Opportunities"

    Matti Kummu, Associate Professor, Aalto ENG, Water and Development Research Group

    The main focus of Prof. Kummu's research is the interaction between human population and water resources. He has been working extensively on assessing the global water scarcity and how it has impacted on food production and availability. To ease the ever-growing pressure on water and land resources, his team, Water and Development Research Group, is working actively in quantifying the potential of different measures, such as diet change, food loss reduction, emerging non-meat protein sources, and yield gap closure, to sustainably increase the food availability globally. Finally, his team also focuses on a more local scale challenges and opportunities on water-energy-food nexus, particularly in Southeast Asian context.

    WEEK 5

    Monday 12 Oct | 10-12

    Lecture 9 - “Decolonizing Development: Africentric Perspective”
    Dr. Faith Mkwesha, Post-Doctoral Researcher, Swedish School of Social Sciences & Founder, SahWira Africa International

    Dr. Faith Mkwesha is a literature and culture scholar from a post-colonial, decolonial, intersectional feminism and gender perspectives. She is a researcher and lecturer at Helsinki University, Swedish School of Social Sciences, CEREN Department. She is the founder and director of Sahwira Africa International NGO where she does her activism on racism, anti-racism and representation campaigns. She is also co-ordinating a multicultural and multiracial youth project. They also conduct workshops and seminars on African literature and culture, Decolonising the mind, Diversity and inclusion, Race and racism and Gender in Africa. In the past, she has worked in Zimbabwe and South Africa Universities.

    Wednesday 14 Oct | 10-12

    Lecture 10 - "Urban Inequalities in the Global South - Latin America and Covid-19: Challenges and Responses in Urban Settings"

    Dr. Florencia Quesada, Docent, University of Helsinki 

    Quesada is adjunct Professor in World Cultures, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki (UH). She is also affiliated at the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) and the Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (Urbaria), UH. Her research interests include urban cultural history, sustainable tourism, urban planning and social segregation. Previously, she was a researcher in Development Studies and the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, UH. She has more than twenty years of experience as a researcher and lecturer. She has carried out primary research in Guatemala, Honduras, and Costa Rica, and in archives in France, Spain, and the United States.


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      Course Zoom URL
      • The same link will be used for all lectures.
      • The host will admit you from the waiting room until 10:20. After that new participants are not admitted. Note that course has attendance requirement.