Open University course Sustainability in Business begins in February 2021
The course explores the complex relationships between business and sustainability. It deepens understanding of how business operations impact society and the environment, and what kind of roles organizations can play in addressing sustainability challenges. It focuses on the tensions between making profitable business and ensuring a livable planet for humans and other species. These tensions may relate to e.g. conflicting interests among the company’s stakeholders, or managing costs in the supply chain while ensuring a decent living for employees. Businesses also face difficult decisions when trying to reconcile their business models with circular economy, sustainability transitions and degrowth. Teachers Meri Jalonen, D.Sc. (Technology) and Allu Pyhälammi, M.Sc. (Economics) provide students with conceptual tools and analytical abilities to understand the nature of these tensions as well as with creative capabilities to develop sustainable business strategies and operations. Through the process of progressive inquiry and different online learning methods, the course encourages students to engage with and question different perspectives of the topic.
Meri Jalonen, D.Sc. studies the development of sustainable innovations. Her PhD followed the innovation process of a novel food package that involved the parallel development of the product, manufacturing technology and production practices. Her current research explores real-life experiments with sustainable innovations that aim to promote transformations towards sustainable production and consumption practices. Her research focuses on the change of collective activities rather than on individual understandings or behaviours. Through several research collaborations with especially manufacturing companies she has developed an understanding of business operations and their trade-offs. She believes that sustainable transformations call for re-arrangements of people’s everyday lives and companies’ operations along with political and financial systems.
Allu Pyhälammi, M.Sc. is interested in the role of sustainability in people’s everyday lives, and how that relates to emotions and wellbeing. After a recently published M.Sc. thesis dovetailing talent management in energy businesses, Allu continues with an ongoing Ph.D. study on emotions and wellbeing in consultancy work. As a graduate in communication, as well as an experienced worker of the energy field, Allu also relates to sustainability communication as well as transitions towards a more sustainable society.
Registration for the course Sustainability in Business is open until 25.1.2021. More information and registration: