Topic outline

  • Learning Outcomes

    Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

    • Present, challenge and defend solutions to real-life sustainability issues faced by companies and organizations
    • Organize arguments clearly, cohesively and concisely in speaking and in writing
    • Collaborate in interdisciplinary teams

    Teacher: Susan Gamache, 

    Weekly class time: Fridays 9.30-11.45 in  U401 (regular attendance required)


    In preparation for Friday’s Communicating Sustainable Solutions class, each team will familiarize themselves with a different sustainability dimension (this does not mean that you will work with this particular sustainability dimension throughout the course). Knowledge of the different dimensions is important when you start to work on your problem-based scenarios, so we're simply building the base with this activity. In the first class, you will have to explain the sustainability dimension to the other teams (you will have time to prepare in class, but make sure you do the reading beforehand).  

    The reading material is on the open access course, which offers a thorough package of basic knowledge on the different dimensions of sustainability. You can access the material with your Aalto credentials (choose: Login with HAKA- account)  at:

    Team 1 (Arttu, Jenni, Joel, Julius, Riikka)

    Read Section 1 The concept of ecological sustainability under "Ecological sustainability"

    Team 2 ( Eero, Emma, Linus, Mikael, Veikko)

    Read Section 1 The concept of economical sustainability under "Economical sustainability"

    Team 3 (Akseli, Jesper, Kia, Victor, Samu)

    Read Section 1 The concept of social sustainability under "Social sustainability"

    Team 4 (Aleksi, Ilmari, Joni, Laura, Matilda)

    Read Section 1 The concept of cultural sustainability under "Cultural sustainability"

    • resource icon
      Course schedule (Spring 2023) File
      Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
    • url icon
      Team 1 (Arttu, Jenni, Joel, Julius, Riikka) URL
      Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
    • url icon
      Team 2 (Eero, Emma, Linus, Mikael, Veikko) URL
      Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
    • url icon
      Team 3 (Akseli, Jesper, Kia, Victor, Samu) URL
      Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
    • url icon
      Team 4 (Aleksi, Ilmari, Joni, Laura, Matilda) URL
      Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
  • Since some of the collaborative learning during this course obviously occurs outside our face-to-face sessions, the following digital tools enable you to reach out to your teammates as well as many resources available on the net. Whereas some of these tools (Google Drive and Zoom) you need to use, others (Padlet, Prezi, Canva, Pictochart, Pixl) you may freely choose to use during this course.

    If you are currently using some other digital tools, please share them with your teammates/ other course participants, so that we can all learn from one another.

    Google Drive:

    A handy online space for uploading, creating, working with and sharing folders, documents, spreadsheets and presentations!

    Since documents and folders in Google Drive can be edited by many at the same time, use it as your repository and online working space with your team (and why not also on your own :).

    • Instructions on how to share documents in Google Drive

    Zoom meeting/ video conferencing tool:

    To connect and work with your teammates outside our face-to-face sessions, use Zoom. It is rather user-friendly and reliable.

    You can find instructions on how to use zoom here.

    Other collaborative tools for working on and presenting your team efforts:

    Padlet for presentations

    Prezi for presentations

    Canva for visualizations & infographics

    Pictochart for creating infographics

    Pixlr for editing images online

    Places to look for free images for your presentations:

    Creative commons search

    Make sure you attribute the creators of any media you use! See these instructions explaining Creative Commons.

    • Course introduction: learning outcomes, assessment
    • Gettting to know you: sustainability dimensions
    • Problem-based learning
    • Identifying your team's problem
    • Sharing your research question / key terms
    • Sharing your lifeline/ What you will bring to the team
    • Team values & guidelines
    • Team agreement/ Establishing the ground rules
  • Not available unless: You are a(n) Student

    • Oral progress report (pass/fail 4 pts)
    • Argumentation
    • Reliable Sources
    • Intro to Problem-Solution pattern
    • Recommendation report
    • Synthesizing FISH information in teams in class
    • Team discussion about the Reflection Cards

    • Homework:
    • Investigate and contribute to FISH (2%)
    • Fill in the planning your individual part handout
    • Referencing videos and quiz
  • This week there is no class. Instead, you'll be working on an online module.  In addition, you need to meet with your team to

    • Discuss your FISH info with your team and  how your individual writing parts fit together 
    • Plan your introduction.

    This online module consists of short (2-7 min each) videos and related online exercises covering the following topics:

    • Text genres
    • The genre of academic writing
    • Formalizing your writing
    • Paragraph structure & topic sentence
    • Readability: Familiar before new
    • Readability: Light before heavy
    • Readability: Connectives
    • Writing definitions
    You should complete them in the given order.

    1. Fish Document version 4 
    2. .'Me as a team member'. Bring your reflections with you to the following class on Feb 17. 
    3. Fill in your likes and wishes for each team member as well as your whole team using the "I like, I wish" document. "Likes" are the strengths seen in a team member / team and "wishes" are the potential seen in a team member / team that has not yet been fully utilized.

    • Recap of online modules
    • Strategies for effective presentations
    • I like/ I wish

    • Homework:
    • Continue to work on your presentation
    • Watch the materials on intros & conclusions; transitions; ethos, pathos & logos available below.
    • Before you prepare your presentation slides, acquaint yourselves with some of the materials on designing visuals below
    • Write your part (1 page) of the recommendation including an extended definition and bring it to class next week.
    • Going through the individual parts of your recommendation report
    • Planning / writing your conclusion together with your team
    • Fixing your intro as needed
    • Working on your presentation outline

    • Homework:
    • Submit rehearsal presentation outline (4%) & continue to work on your presentation including slides
    • Write and submit your recommendation draft to peers (4%)
    • Peer review of recommendation drafts in class 
    • Preparing to be an opponent
    • Giving feedback on each other's presentations in class
    • Preparing to be an opponent

    Note the schedule
    9.30-10.35 Teams 1 & 3

    10.40-11.45 Teams 2 & 4

    • Homework:
    • Submit your recommendation draft to the teacher
    • Prepare for final presentations.  
    • Be ready to act as
     1) an opponent for the same team whose paper you have commented. Your responsibility is to ask questions about the content and challenge the arguments of the presenting team.
    2) an audience member giving general feedback on the performance (style, structure, etc.) and asking general questions.
  • Not available unless: You are a(n) Student
    • Final presentations (graded 30%) & Being an opponent (pass/fail 4%)

    • Homework:
    • Submit your self-evaluation of the final presentation
    • Book a 30-minute slot for your team from the scheduler under Week 12. Note that you should all be on campus.
    • Prepare for the I like / I wish session on April 14 by writing 1) for each of your team members their greatest strength in terms of teamwork.; 2) for your entire team, your likes (= the things that you succeeded in during the course) and wishes (=the things that you could've done better); and 3) your likes and wishes for this course.
    • I like, I wish
    • Course feedback