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Asian Studies Days 2018

Tackling sustainability challenges of runaway urbanization and water shortages

What can be done to make future megacities sustainable? How to guarantee resources like access to water for tens of millions urban dwellers? Asian Studies Days takes on sustainable development challenges of urbanization in Asia on October 17–18 at Aalto University.

The Finnish University Network for Asian Studies has organized Asian Studies Days annually since 2010. The event provides a national platform for discussions and networking in Asian studies. It brings together a wide community of people from the academia, business, public administration and civil society with a shared interest in Asia. In 2018, the Asian Studies Days will be arranged at Aalto University by Aalto Global Impact and Aalto Sustainability Hub. FinCEAL Plus project provides financial support for the event.


Please register to Asian Studies Days 2018 through this Webropol link.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Place: A Grid, Otakaari 5, Espoo

09:00-09:30 Yoga session

9:30-10:15 Breakfast

Moderator: Dr. Saija Hollmén, Vice Dean, Aalto School of Arts Design and Architecture

10:15-10:20 Welcoming words
Professor Ossi Naukkarinen, Vice President Research, Aalto University

10:20-10:30 Urbanisation in India – opportunities for collaboration
Ambassador Vani Rao, Embassy of India

10:30-12:00 Keynote session
Two keynote presentations with commentaries and Q&A.

• What can be done to make cities inclusive, safe and sustainable?
Professor K.N. Satyanarayana, Director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Tirupathi

• How to ensure water security in urban settlements?
Professor Olli Varis, Water resources management, Department of Built Environment, Aalto University School of Engineering

12:00-13:30 Lunch break

13:30-15:30 Panel Discussions
Two sessions related to the theme of “Sustainability and urban development in Asia: identifying business opportunities and gaps in research collaboration with India”

Group 1 participants:

– Professor K.N. Satyanarayana, Director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Tirupathi

– Dr. Heli Antila, Chief Technical Officer, Fortum

– Mr Juha-Erkki Mäntyniemi, Executive Director, Platform for Finnish civil society organizations, Kehys and Kepa

– Ms Silva Paananen, Managing Director and Partner of Kasvu Consulting Pvt Ltd

Group 2 participants:

– Professor Olli Varis, Water resources management, Department of Built Environment, Aalto University

University School of Engineering

-Professor Sirpa Tenhunen, Social and Cultural Anthoropology, University of Helsinki

-Assistant Professor Vishal Singh,  Building information modelling BIM

Department of Civil Engineering, Aalto School of Engineering

– Mr. Antti Rautavaara, Senior Water Adviser, Ministry for Foreign Affairs

15:30-17:00 Business opportunities in India –networking session
To be organized by Aalto Start-up Center and A Grid Impact.

Doctoral seminar

Thursday, October 18, 2018
Place: A Grid, Otakaari 5, Espoo

In connection with the Asian Studies Days, a doctoral seminar will be organized on October 18 at Aalto University. In addition to a general session in Asian studies, the doctoral seminar will have specific sessions focusing on India and on “Sustainable urban development in Asia”.

The general session in Asian studies is open to all PhD candidates in Finnish Universities whose thesis develops new knowledge about Asia or has strong connection to Asia as research context (society, politics, economy, business, technology, culture, history, law). Doctoral candidates from Nordic Countries are invited to attend the two special sessions.

The session “Sustainable urban development in Asia” provides the doctoral candidates an opportunity to reflect the applicability of their research to technology cooperation and transfer between the Nordic countries and Asia. In addition, discussants from practice are connected when possible to the current research themes of the doctoral candidates as additional practice oriented mentors. In all three sessions, doctoral candidates present an own paper, and receive comments and supervision from junior and senior experts in the field.

PhD candidates are encouraged to participate either with a research plan or with a full research paper.

The Asia Network will provide free accommodation for one night in a double room and a travel grant up to 40 euros for PhD candidates who fulfil the following qualifications:
– participate in both days of the event
– present a research paper or research plan at the seminar
– is registered in the Network’s members universities (Aalto, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Turku, Vaasa, Åbo Akademi)
– does not live in the greater Helsinki region.

In addition, six PhD candidate from other Nordic countries who attend both days of the event and present a paper at the seminar will receive a travel grant up to 100 euros and they will be provided free accommodation for one night in a double room.

Please submit your abstract by September 19 using this Webropol form.

Full papers are due October 7.

What Asian Studies Days?

Asian Studies Days aims to create constructive discussion and identification of new research agendas about the challenges and opportunities of technology and knowledge transfer between Nordic countries and Asia, especially with regard to the sustainable development of cities.

The program includes two keynote speeches, panel discussion, India business networking event, and a seminar for doctoral candidates. The keynote speeches will tackle the challenges of technology transfer in water sector as well as smart city concepts and technology. The participants of the panel discussion – business representatives and Asia experts – will address specific issues that Finnish companies have encountered during technology and knowledge transfer. Understanding of the Asian context is important both when transferring technology to Asia and from Asia. The key question is how to reconceptualize the technologies and innovations to the new environment. Based on the keynote speeches and on the insights of the discussants, the panel aims to identify some key themes for future research that support Finnish technology and knowledge transfer. The India business networking event will bring together companies, researchers and representatives from the Indian Embassy.

About the organizers

Aalto Global Impact promotes and facilitates Aalto University´s research and education for global sustainable development in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Aalto Sustainability Hub is committed to building a sustainable society driven by innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Finnish University Network for Asian Studies was established in 1996 and has provided e-learning courses on Asia since 1999. The main goal of the Network is to complement and strengthen teaching, doctoral education and expert activities on Asia at the Network’s member universities. The member universities are: Aalto University, Åbo Akademi University and the universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Tampere, Turku and Vaasa. Furthermore, the Network serves as an “Asia contact point” between academia, public administration, business, media and civic organizations.

UniPID is a network of Finnish universities, which supports the strategic global responsibility objectives these universities. UniPID strengthens and advances the interdisciplinary education, research, and societal impact of universities on global development. The FinCEAL Plus continuation project (2017-2018) aims to provide strategic support to maintain and enhance the cooperation between research and science policy communities in Finland, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The project is a continuation of the FinCEAL (2013-2014) and FinCEAL Plus (2015-2016) initiatives, all financed by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and hosted by UniPID.


This post was written by AGI

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