Vesipisara aiheuttaa veden pinnalle väreitä. Veteen heijastuu sateenkaaren värit.

How Turku School of Economics is building a more sustainable future

TSE for Sustainable Futures. As we have summed up in our slogan, we want to be part of building a better future and sustainable society.

Explore the different examples of what we have done to make the world a better place – near and far.

We train responsible experts

The need for experts and leaders who can take responsibility and sustainability into account in their decisions is increasing globally. Every year, 300–400 Masters of Business Administration graduate from the Turku School of Economics, equipped with the awareness to take the responsibility and sustainability of their activities into account.

We offer more than 30 courses on responsibility and sustainability themes to our Bachelor’s and Master’s students. In our courses, students can deepen their knowledge of sustainable development, globalisation and corporate responsibility and CSR reporting, ethical questions related to finance and responsible investment, responsibility issues related to marketing law and marketing communication, social entrepreneurship, or environmental economics and natural resources.

The alumni of the Turku School of Economics understand in depth the role of responsibility in practical business and economic life. Moreover, they are able to identify and analyse links between business or economic practices and social welfare and environmental responsibility.

We are committed to complying with the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), which is a UN-supported initiative. See the 2022 report (pdf)

We take responsibility for the well-being of our students so that they can take care of others in the future

Student well-being issues and various mental health problems are regrettably common. Particularly challenging is the fact that individuals suffering from mental health problems may not recognise their problem and need for help themselves.

The student peer support and training practices of the Terve Mieli project, which was developed by the Association of the Economic Students in Turku (TuKY), have become an established part of our operations.

In addition, we encourage all staff members to acquire training on how to encounter students with well-being issues. Our goal is to build a support network of teachers with knowledge of mental health problems for all students. In this way, there would always be some adult contact who is able to identify students with problems and guide them to receive the necessary help.

Loneliness has also increased, especially during the years with exceptional arrangements. We bridge the gap between students and adults who have followed the same study path in the same discipline through volunteer work.

The Adult Friend project is part of the broader Terve Mieli peer support model. The aim is that the Adult Friend will be present for the economics student at the start of their studies and share their life experience. Alongside the social support that alleviates loneliness and instructions for life, the career advice provided by alumni who are already in working life are valuable and highly appreciated by many students who are facing difficulties. The project is implemented in cooperation with TuKY, Turun Seudun Ekonomit (TSE) and the Turku Chamber of Commerce.

The underlying idea of the TSE-Mentor programme, which was launched in 2022, is “you are enough.”  The students received personal mentoring. The mentor supported the student especially with performance-related stress, career planning and coping.

When students receive support for their well-being, they will be able to take into account their own coping challenges and those of others in their future work tasks.

Our experts take a stand on topical phenomena and support decision-making

Our experts are featured in national and local media as well as in various important social institutions, and they offer their opinions on pressing themes.

Kari Liuhto, Director of the Pan-European Institute, professor of international business, has strong expertise in, for example, the changed trade relations between Finland and Russia, and he has become a frequent commentator in both domestic and international media in recent years. Thanks to his extensive experience with Russia, Liuhto has been able to comment on the crisis in Ukraine and its global effects in a very versatile manner; for example, references to Liuhto in domestic online media quadrupled in 2022, compared to 2021.

Mika Kortelainen, professor of health economics, who has studied the effectiveness of public services, the impact of health care reforms and the effects of school choices, led the health economics working group of the Tilannehuone research group. Tilannehuone was a research group on the COVID-19 pandemic and economics, founded in spring 2020 by the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics and VATT Institute for Economic Research and comprising more than 20 researchers from different fields of economics. Tilannehuone combined the register data produced by various authorities extensively and in real time in an unprecedented way. The reports produced by Tilannehuone helped decision-makers to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic and its countermeasures affected society. Tilannehuone ended its operations at the end of 2021.

Our professor of business law, Reijo Knuutinen, has studied, among other things, the boundaries of acceptable tax planning and the relationship between corporate responsibility and taxation. Knuutinen has participated in legislation drafting, for example, by giving opinions to the Tax Division of the Finance Committee in Parliament and participating in the expert groups of the Ministry of Finance.

Antti Fredriksson, Head of Subject of Accounting and Finance, is a member of the Government Audit Committee. In addition, Fredriksson was a deputy member of the accounting board operating within the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in 2019–2021.

In addition, the Turku School of Economics has had representatives in the Finnish Economic Policy Council. The Council’s task is to provide an independent assessment of the state of the economy and the appropriateness of the current economic policy. Our professor Jouko Vilmunen served as the Chairperson of the Council in 2019–2023.

Accelerating the transformation towards an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable world

We participate in several multidisciplinary projects focusing on sustainability.

The CICAT2025 project examines the drivers of the circular economy. Factors driving the transition from a linear economy to a circular economy can be, for example, legislative, technological or agency-related. The project has produced, among other things, several policy recommendations to support decision-makers.

The BIODIFUL project asks what kinds of leadership the transition to more nature-friendly business practices and consumption requires. The project provides understanding and information to different levels of society on how everyone as consumers, citizens and employees can contribute to the sustainability transition. The effectiveness of the project is built on strong stakeholder co-operation and active collaboration between researchers and the extensive interaction network.

The STYLE project, which studies the prerequisites for sustainable growth by means of everyday physical activity, aims to solve the problems caused by inactivity and promote activity, as well as to identify business growth opportunities in the promotion of an physically active lifestyle. STYLE has also published policy recommendations. The project included an intervention study on the recreational voucher pilot launched by the City of Turku. The intervention examined the impact of the voucher on children’s participation in recreational activities and on their physical activity. The city decided to implement the voucher for young people aged 7–19 in 2025.

CLIMATE-NUDGE studies climate nudging, that is, how people can be nudged to make more sustainable choices. Nudges developed during the first research period have already been piloted in school and commuting traffic and forest management!

The transition to a more sustainable economy also requires market transformation. Traditionally, the market is thought of as an unchanging entity to which the operators must adapt. The MarketVision project generates new information on the concrete measures and choices that companies need to make in relation to the market in order to contribute to the social sustainability goals.

Energy solutions have long-term impacts on the environment, the economy, and society. The Sustainable Development Futures research group has over 15 years of experience in research and education projects in Southeast Asia. In particular, the research group has designed and promoted the deployment of sustainable energy solutions in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. SDF has already completed more than 20 different research and training projects around the world!

We explore futures so that our stakeholders are always one step ahead

Futures research as an academic discipline is quite rare on a global scale.

The Finland Futures Research Centre provides visionary information, tools and methods to support future activities and decision-making. We are interested in the sustainability of people’s everyday activities, in paritcular, sustainable food consumption and climate-friendly energy consumption.

We have a permanent expert representative in the Committee for the Future in Parliament. Our representative’s core task is to ensure that the committee has access to the best possible expertise on the matters at hand. This takes place, for example, by identifying the experts most relevant to the areas at different research institutes and communities and making them heard at the committee.

The Futures Knowledge Distillery foresight service combines our strong futures expertise with the University’s multidisciplinary expertise. The service helps organisations to develop foresight skills and preparedness for changes in the operating environment. The unique service combines futures research with the expertise of eight different faculties.

We develop business technologies and responsible interaction between people and technology

Finnish companies want to ensure the ethics, reliability and safety of their AI systems. The Artificial Intelligence Governance and Auditing (AIGA) project developed an AI governance model that enables companies to put responsible AI into practice. The management model provides AI developers and users with clear checkpoints.

We were involved in the EU project to develop methods and tools for the Business MakeOver platform. The platform is freely accessible and supports European SMEs in matters related to business model innovation. The e-learning community has 47,000 participants from all over the world!

We export our expertise – on land and at sea

We invest strongly in research on economics, which supports the understanding of the dynamics of the transition phases of the marine sector and produces information to support companies’ business strategies. Shipping is a vital sector for Finland’s economy and security of supply, as the majority of the country’s imports and exports take place by sea.

Our unique maritime research platform, Maritime@TSE, acts as an interface between maritime operators and economic research. The platform helps to find perspectives that support co-operation or, for example, experts to coach and promote development work.

The World Bank’s Logistics Performance Index report originates from the Turku School of Economics. The data of the first LPI report, published in 2007, was collected at the Turku School of Economics under the leadership of professor Lauri Ojala. The report has had a significant global impact on raising awareness and establishing logistics as a cross-cutting political concern. Over the years, LPI results have been cited in more than 2,000 research articles and policy reports. The results are also widely used as an important indicator in the development of foreign trade, transport, and logistics.

In the Future Fairway Navigation project, we explored two elements related to the future of navigation: smart fairways and remote pilotage. The aim of the multidisciplinary project was to study the prerequisites and new opportunities of the digital infrastructure in waterways and the services they provide. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom) and Finnpilot Pilotage Oy utilised the results to identify a roadmap for further development and research.