Aalto Global Impact promotes and facilitates Aalto University´s research and educational programmes for societal impact globally.

Aalto Global Impact promotes and facilitates Aalto University´s research and educational programmes for societal impact globally.

Aalto Global Impact


Foster new settings for students to develop their capabilities in real-life environments and create opportunities for in-depth learning in Africa, Asia and Latin America in collaboration with various Aalto University educational master’s level programmes and courses.


Initiate and mobilize funding for new multidisciplinary research and innovation projects in the field of frugal and sustainable innovations, inclusive businesses, renewable energy, water and sanitation, ICT and digitalisation, new media and design thinking.


Create awareness and inspire students and early stage entrepreneurs to start businesses with impact through Impact Iglu which is a community and platform for value-based entrepreneurial activities.

IIT Bombay campus
01 February 2016
Digital Design and Construction, Education collaboration between IIT Bombay and Aalto
Aalto University is taking the lead in a cooperation project on Digital Design and Construction Technology, with Indian university IIT Bombay. The project is part of CIMO’s Asia Programme 2015 for education cooperation with China and India. Digital design is taking a more and more prominent role in construction technologies, to which the global construction Read more >

united nations
26 January 2016
United Nations JPO positions through CIMO
CIMO, the Finnish Centre for International Mobility, is advertising 6 JPO positions with different departments of the UN. The positions are advertised through Suomen YK Liitto, as well as through CIMO‘s pages. You can find more information and the experiences of Kaisa Antikainen, who started her UN career as a JPO for the World Food Read more >

What design can do challenge_
22 January 2016
What design can do & IKEA foundation announce global design challenge to help refugees
Design platform What Design Can Do is partnering with IKEA Foundation on a global design challenge aimed at improving the lives of refugee families in urban areas. Designers, artists and imaginative trouble-shooters from all countries and disciplines are invited to take part. The challenge will launch in early 2016 and conclude with the awarding of Read more >


Teija Lehtonen

Aalto Global Impact’s Director

Teija Lehtonen is a director at Aalto Global Impact. She is passionate about co-creation and building inclusive innovation ecosystems together with people in low-income communities. Her vision for Aalto Global Impact is to find new sustainable ways to create wealth and reduce poverty.

Riina Subra

Senior Manager

Riina Subra is responsible for building partnerships and scaling up best practices for international collaboration. She has specialized in management work with international organisations, designing projects, strategies and partnerships for UNESCO and the UNDP.


Makeda Yohannes

Impact Iglu Lead

Makeda Yohannes is the lead in Impact Iglu. Makeda has been actively involved in entrepreneurship societies to advocate learning and working in multinational & multidisciplinary teams. She is passionate about motivating students to harness their creativity for sustainable solutions.


Caroline Knappers


Caroline Knappers is the designer for Aalto Global Impact. She has been working on different graphic, web and spatial design projects in the Netherlands, India and currently Finland. She’s a Bachelor of Design, and holds an MA in Creative Sustainability from Aalto University.



Educational Programmes
International Design Business Management

IDBM master’s program comprises international and multidisciplinary courses accompanied by a yearlong industry project in collaboration with companies and other clients from all over the world.

Sustainable Global Technologies

SGT is a multidisciplinary elective educational programme that takes students to different locations in the world to give their input in development. Projects have been focusing on community participation, technological solutions and urban planning. SGT also offers background theory courses about state of the world and development.

Creative Sustainability

CS master’s program is a multidisciplinary learning platform in the fields of architecture, business, design, landscape planning, real estate and urban planning.

Aalto-IITB DiDaCTiC Collaboration

Digital Design and Construction Technology in Coursework is a collaboration project between Aalto University and IIT Bombay. The project aims to initiate a long term educational collaboration between both universities, especially around topics of digitalization in construction and its potential role in improving the quality and performance of built environments across different parameters, e.g. affordability, sustainability, finish, comfort and air quality, etc.

Research and Innovation Projects
New Global

The “New Global: Co-creating Frugal and Reverse Innovations in Complex Global Systems” project integrates multidisciplinary academic research and private sector’s business development.

Digital Opportunities

Digital Namibia is a new collaborative project run by the School of Science and Namibia University of Science and Technology. It aims to define and develop a digital platform for bringing digital services to informal and resource-constrained communities in emerging markets.

Impact Iglu

Impact Iglu supports entrepreneurs who do business to solve societal challenges. It provides real business opportunities and connections to African, Asian and Latin American markets.