Aalto Sustainable Business Club hosted the 3rd On the Couch –night 16th of October at Helsinki Think Company in Kaisaniemi. On the Couch is an event series where opinion leaders and students get together to discuss and debate about critically acclaimed issues. Instead of lecturing, the event is informal and challenges all kinds of opinions and students from different fields of expertise. Just like in the previous events, also this time we had very diverse and international group of students from all Aalto Schools, who were interested in the night’s theme of “Socially sustainable human-centered development and prevailing paradigm”.
Discussing the theme with the students were two expert guests, Mikko Jalas and Timo Voipio. Mikko is the head of Creative Sustainability master’s degree business program at the Aalto’s Department of management and international business and Timo works as Senior Adviser for Global Social Policy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, dedicated to promoting Comprehensive Social and Employment Polices for All. These two combined to a very broad knowledge and understanding of development issues from the academic and government perspectives.
The discussion was lively through the whole two hours that the official event lasted, ranging from several different areas of the theme and plenty of different viewpoints were raised. Topics like social protection and its ties to the economic growth of the current paradigm along with prevailing ideas of economy ruling over other parts of life were discussed. These were also compared to other options like slow lifestyles, where Mikko Jalas gave interesting insights. Timo Voipio made good points about how spending resources on social structures, protection, and policies is understood nowadays in addition to touching the debate whether they should be seen more as investments rather than expenditures. Also, the experts were challenged by students on their views on issues such as technological development and it’s feasibility for example. Concepts of shared work, how important is meaningful engagement for individuals, and being active participant in the civil society and in its development were few of the last remarks made.