From 4th to 10th of February 2013 the two Finish ESTIEM Local Groups Helsinki and Tampere were organizing the 4th part of this year’s Vision Seminar series.
The event started on Monday at the student campus of Aalto University in Otaniemi with an international welcome night. The participants brought food and drinks from their countries and some of them even dressed up in traditional clothes or would teach us some songs from their countries. After a great international evening where we could get to know each other we started the academic program with an introduction to sustainable freight transport. Ulla Tapinen an expert in international logistics (and former ESTIEMer) gave a good overview over the subtopic of freight transport and combined it very well with the general topic of green supply chain. The second lecture was held by SE Makinen a company who is specialized in vehicle transport on road and rail for either contract or private customers within Finland and its surrounding countries. After the company presentation the lecturer would share his ideas how to increase energy efficiency and tell us about the current problem in his business sector.
On the next day we were visiting the Port of Helsinki. The ports marketing manager Antti Saarinen was telling us about the history of the port, its social influence for the region and all the facts and figures (it is actually one of the highest frequented ports in Europe and mainly used for costumer goods shipping as well as passenger transportation to Sweden and Estonia). In the afternoon we had a debate workshop held by the Helsinki debate Society and Aalto Debate society. For most of us it was a totally new experience to be introduced to formal debating called “British Parliament style”. After an introduction to the arts of debating and a lot of practical exercises we had a final debate on the question if current incentives for sustainable energy are enough. On Tuesday we also had an interactive city tour in the Centre of Helsinki and the possibility to get to know the local bars.
Next morning we took the bus to Tampere where the rest of the event would take place. Our first agenda point in Tampere was a company visit at Metso, a global supplier of technology and services to customers in the process industries, including mining, construction, pulp and paper, power, and oil and gas. The location near Tampere is specialized in automation. We got a good impression of the company and could learn about the importance of new sustainable technology solutions in order to fulfill directives and stay competitive if your goal is to be the technology leader within the industry.
After taking a short trip to Hervanta where the Technical University of Tampere is located we had an intense workshop on how to reduce road freight transport until 2050. Therefore we already got two papers that we had to read before joining the event in order to be prepared for the workshop. Heikki Liimatainen, who is working for Verne – the Transport Research Center, gave as an overview over the used model and divided us into 8 groups. Each of the groups had to work on one indicator who is responsible for the CO2 emission model, the aim was to forecast how the indicator would behave until 2050 and to come up with reasons why it would do so. At the end of the workshop Mr. Liimatainen combined our outcome in the model and showed us what our forecast would actually result to. Mainly we can say that although GDP is constantly growing we can reduce the total amount of CO2 emission a lot by only influencing every indicator a little until 2050.
After that we left to a cottage to join the guys of Local Group Tampere for a relaxing evening. After going to sauna those who were brave enough would join the Finnish guys to cool down by swimming for some seconds in an icy lake nearby the sauna. On Friday we finished the academic part of the event by summarizing the academic outcome and discussing the outcome of the seminar. After that it was time to prepare for the Gala Dinner, which took place in the city center of Tampere.
We are very glad that we were able to join this fantastic event where we met so many great people, were able to try out Finnish food such as reindeer meat and learn a lot about Finnish culture as well.
In high ESTIEM,
Robert (LG Vienna) & Ingrid (LG Graz)