Science-Policy Dialogue in Ecological Sustainability Crises: Case Finland

Join us for a discussion on science-policy interactions in addressing ecological sustainability crises, with a specific focus on best practices from Finland. This open session at the Sustainability, Research and Innovation Congress 2024 is hosted by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment and the Forum for Environmental Information.

SRI VERKKOSIVUT (1024 x 600 px) UUSI

What: Science-Policy Dialogue in Ecological Sustainability Crises, Open session at SRI Congress 2024
10 June 2024 at 1:30 - 3:00 PM 
Otakaari 1, M232 (Undergraduate Centre, Aalto University) (Location on campus)

Our open session explores Finland's approach to science-policy interactions amidst ecological sustainability crises and transitions. The session is part of the 2024 Sustainability, Research & Innovation (SRI) Congress, which will be held in Helsinki and Espoo, Finland, from June 10-14. Read more about the Congress here.

Agenda Highlights

  • Keynote Presentation: Science-Policy Landscape for Sustainability Transition

Laura Höijer, Research Director, Ministry of the Environment

  • Panel Discussion: Reflections and Future Directions for Science-Policy Dialogue

Riyong Kim, Head of Programme, Sustainability Transitions, European Environment Agency
Salla Saastamoinen, Deputy Director General, Joint Research Centre, European Comission
Markku Ollikainen, Professor Emeritus, former Chair, Finnish Climate Science Panel
Eeva Primmer, Research Director, Finnish Environment Institute
Donald J. Wuebbles, Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois

This session is not only an opportunity to gain insights into Finland's science-policy interface in ecological sustainability but also a platform for exchanging ideas and best practices in science-policy collaborations. The session is designed for policy representatives, professionals in boundary organizations, and researchers interested in ecological sustainability and science-policy dialogues.

How to participate?

This session is part of the SRI Congress and is available both online and in person. There is no paid Congress registration required to attend; however, please note the following revised instructions for in-person and online attendance.

In-Person Attendance:

  • Visit the registration desk on-site to sign up.
  • You will be asked to provide your name, affiliation, and the sessions you wish to attend.
  • Upon registration, you will receive a badge that grants you access to this session as well as other open-access sessions within the Congress.

Online Attendance:

  • Access the session by clicking the link provided in the Congress website below
  • No prior account setup is required for online participants.

If you have already signed up previously via the website, rest assured that no further action is required on your part.


We look forward to your participation in this essential dialogue on advancing science-policy interactions in the face of ecological sustainability challenges.

SRI Puhujat (1024 x 600 px)

Laura Höijer

Research Director (Finnish Ministry of the Environment)

Laura Höijer works in the Management support of the ministry, directly under the Permanent Secretary. Her duties include coordinating the ministry’s foresight and research activities. During her almost thirty years in the environmental field she has worked as a researcher, research funder, in business, in NGO and in administration. She holds a PhD in soil microbiology and is a Docent in microbial ecology.

Salla Saastamoinen
Deputy Director-General (Directorate-General Joint Research Centre (JRC))

She oversees five scientific directorates, including Fair and Sustainable Economy, Energy, Mobility, and Climate, Sustainable Resources, Space, Security, and Migration, and Health and Food. Since joining the European Commission in 1996, Saastamoinen has worked in DG Environment and DG Justice and Consumers. She served as acting Director-General of DG Justice, covering civil and criminal justice, fundamental rights, rule of law, equality, and Union citizenship, and consumers. Additionally, she was Director for Civil and Commercial Justice and previously Director for Equality and Non-Discrimination. Previously, she was a partner at a law firm in Helsinki. She holds a licentiate degree in law from the University of Helsinki and has authored several books on environmental and EU law.

Markku Ollikainen
Professor Emeritus (Finnish Climate Science Panel)

Markku Ollikainen is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Economics and Research Director at the University of Helsinki. He has extensive scientific experience on designing economic instruments and mechanisms to improve the state of the environment. He has studied a wide range of environmentally related market mechanisms such as emissions trading, water quality trading and offsetting, and environmental auctioning. Thematically, he has focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity conservation and water protection issues. Ollikainen has published more than 300 research reports, two international textbooks and more than 100 original research articles in peer reviewed journals. His H-index is 37 with more than 5700 citations to his work (Google scholar). He was the Chair of the Finnish Climate Change Panel 2014-2023, and a member since 2012. He has been deeply involved in the policy advice for the Finnish Government on climate issues.

Don Wuebbels
Professor Emeritus of Atmospheric Science (University of Illinois) Director of Climate Science (Earth Knowledge)

Previously, he was Assistant Director at the Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Obama from 2015 to 2017. Dr. Wuebbles began his tenure at the University of Illinois in 1994 after 20 years at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. A leading atmospheric physicist and chemist, he has over 500 publications on climate, air quality, and ozone layer issues. He has played significant roles in international climate assessments for the IPCC, contributing to their Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, and co-led the 4th U.S. National Climate Assessment in 2017. Dr. Wuebbles has received several prestigious awards and is a Fellow of three major scientific societies. He has also authored influential climate reports and plans, including regional assessments and action plans for Illinois and the Chicago area. Currently, he is organizing the international Sustainability Research and Innovation Congress in Chicago for 2025.

Riyong Kim
Head of Sustainability Transitions (European Environment Agency)

Riyong Kim is Head of Sustainability Transitions (STR) at the European Environment Agency, responsible for the flagship State and Outlook of Europe’s Environment Report (SOER) and knowledge on foresight, system transitions, just transitions, and social justice, environmental economics and sustainable finance, and governance relating to sustainability transitions. Prior to joining EEA, Riyong led the programme on Decision Metrics and Finance at EIT Climate KIC, working on systems innovation to tackle short-termism and mainstream climate in financial markets in the EU. She has also worked in global environmental and climate policy with UN Environment and UNFCCC, UN FAO, CIFOR, World Bank PROFOR, and for the regional ENPI-FLEG program with IUCN. Riyong has an interdisciplinary background in environmental science (B.A, B.Sc., M.Sc.) and Ph.D. In Natural Resource Economics from University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She started her career leading international development efforts in Timor Leste and Aceh, Indonesia, with the Australian Labour Unions, and brings experience from the Brazilian Amazon, and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as EU and CEE countries.

Eeva Primmer
Research Director, Professor (Finnish Environment Institute, IPBES)

Eeva Primmer is responsible for the quality, integrity, and impact of Syke's research. She is a Bureau Member in the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and a Panel member of the United Nations International Resource Panel (UN-IRP). She is an adjunct professor (Docent) of Environmental Policy at the University of Helsinki and has always worked in science-policy interfaces in different roles, ranging from an analyst to a communicator and a broker.

Johanna Riitakorpi
Executive Director, Forum for Environmental Information

Johanna Riitakorpi leads the Forum for Environmental Information (FEI), a knowledge-broker organisation that promotes the use of scientific environmental information in societal decision-making. She holds a master’s degree in marine biology from the University of Helsinki. Prior to her current position, she worked as a political assistant in the Parliament of Finland. Johanna has experience in bridging the gap between science and policy, ensuring that essential environmental research informs sustainable decision-making. Her background also includes active roles in various NGOs, and she has served as a board member at the University of Helsinki.

More information

Johanna Riitakorpi
Executive Director, Forum for Environmental Information

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