University of Helsinki

Globalization, Sustainability and the War in Ukraine - How does sustainability science explain past and future trajectories?


In February 2022, the global peace was shattered by the Russo-Ukrainian conflict that escalated into aggressive Russian invasion into Ukraine. While the situation is widely discussed in the media, not much attention has been given to the perspectives of sustainability science.

Photo: Samuel F. Johanns
Photo: Samuel F. Johanns

To bring the views of sustainability science into the discussion, the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS) is organising a panel discussion that creates multidisciplinary discussion with sustainability experts at Think Corner (Yliopistonkatu 4, Helsinki)  on June, 3rd at 13:00-15:00. The panel engages voices of sustainability science to understand the history of the events, global and local dependencies and what we can learn.

The long and shared history between Ukraine and Russia connects to thepresent day war. Since this is connected to the global sustainability challenges, we are facing new challenges in social and ecological systems while combating ongoing climate and biodiversity crises. 

Sustainability science has tools and expertise to recognise these connections and to utilize the knowledge in enhancing global sustainability and peace.

The crisis has revealed instances of fakes and injustice while it also may make us question global relations; are they powerful enough in maintaining peace? Global dependencies are reflected in, among many other things, food security, security of supply and energy transition that touches the everyday life of people. How does sustainability science recognise these?

To understand the connectivity between globalization, security and the crisis that we are facing, the following panelists will be discussing how sustainability science explains historical pathways that have led to the escalation of the crisis in Ukraine and how the events intertwine with future global sustainability pathways

  • Professor.Marianna Muravyeva and Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen from The Aleksanteri Institute,
  • Associate Professor Olena Maslyukivska from the Department of Environmental Studies of the National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Kyiv,
  • journalist and lecturer at the Ukrainian Studies program of the University of Helsinki Nataliya Teramae and
  • Associate professor Hanna Tuomisto from Department of Agricultural Sciences.

Programme of the event:

13:00-13.10: Welcome and introduction  

13:10-13:40: Interpreting and explaining the crisis in Ukraine through the lenses of sustainability science. Can sustainability science help in foreseeing and preventing similar future crisis? What has sustainability science overlooked?

13:40-14:10: The role of globalization and dependencies in sustaining global peace. What important aspects of gender equality, connectedness, peace, trade and sanctions can sustainability science reveal?  

14:10-14:40: The security of supply, food security, environment and energy transition.

14:40-14:50: General discussion and questions from the audience

14:50-15:00 Closing question

See more information about the event on HELSUS webpage

Contact information:

Nina Janasik
Research coordinator
+358 400 936 693




Photo: Samuel F. Johanns
Photo: Samuel F. Johanns

About University of Helsinki

University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki
P.O. Box 4 (Yliopistonkatu 3)
00014 University of Helsinki, Finland

The University of Helsinki is one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary research universities, renowned for its high-quality teaching, research and innovation. It is proud to be constantly ranked among the top one hundred best universities in the world.

The university has an enrollment of over 35 000 students and it offers a wide range of Master’s programmes taught in English. Established in 1640, the University of Helsinki is the oldest university in Finland.

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