A green transition group was founded in Savonia in the fall. The group has representatives from each team and it is open, all members of the Savonia staff are welcome to join. The goal is to support the work of the Savonia to promote the green transition in all six fields of education and in the six areas of focus areas of RDI. Savonia does not work alone, but always with its partners. That’s why the green transition group is part of the development of Savonia’s partnerships.
The EU and member states such as Finland have initiated green transition measures that support the restructuring of the economy and the construction of a carbon-neutral welfare society. It accelerates solutions that reduce emissions both in Finland and elsewhere in the world. Finland aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and stop the depletion of biodiversity by 2030. The green transition means a systemic change and the sustainability transformation. New innovations and many kinds of experiments start the sustainability transformation. Innovations are repeated when technology, regulations, operating methods and trade change. In the end, the sustainability transformation will progress throughout society.
As a multidisciplinary university with expertise in, among other things, energy, food, water and health, Savonia has excellent conditions to support its partners in the green transition. But it requires a new kind of thinking and know-how from all of us. This is what we invest in in the green transition group. The group deals with themes such as ability to change, responsibility, interdependencies, circular economy and communication. We develop and introduce new methods to promote co-development and interaction. Practical measures include, for example, materials, discussions, workshops, guest lectures, events and mentoring.
An example of systems thinking. A traditional way of thinking based on analysis tackles complex phenomena by breaking them down into small parts. Systems thinking looks at things in relation to the whole, for example a car as part of the entire transport system. If our task were to design a new car model, with a traditional way of thinking, we might end up minimizing the air resistance of the car in order to improve fuel efficiency. With systems thinking, we try to understand the purpose of the car in its operating environment, and we may find that to realize the same purpose, we don’t need a new car, but a new service.
Several projects support the green transition group. For example, the Innovation Laboratories for Climate Actions (ILCA) project coordinated by Savonia provides resources for the group’s activities. The goal of the project is to improve entrepreneurship and innovation ability in climate action, which has proven to be a challenging systemic change, when approaches that cross-sector boundaries and also take into account social perspectives are needed. The Climate Security business network and the Universities for Sustainable Development (USD) projects also promote the group’s activities.