The World Alliance for Low Carbon Cities (WALCC) was pleased to, once more, welcome a varied group of participants from the worlds of academia, business, and public government to its annual Autumn forum from October 5-7, 2016 in the historic, coastal city of Turku, Finland. As a leader in the fight to curb emissions, a major part of Finland’s thriving cleantech industry, and home to forward thinking initiatives on smart city development and establishing Mobility as a Service networks, Turku served as a natural host to the forum’s engaging discussions on the development of the low-carbon economy.
With a thematic focus on exploring the formation and function of business ecosystems in the pursuit of future-forward solutions, the forum’s keynote speakers and mini-workshop panelists explored the various ways in which cooperation between the public and private sectors could strengthen the pursuit of a sustainable, low-carbon future.
Opened by representatives from Aalto University and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Finland, the forum’s speakers and discussants included representatives from the City of Turku, Fortum, Valmet Automotive, the European Commission, Tsinghua University’s Shenzhen Graduate School, Brunel Business School, and Eksote.
In addition to these key-note speakers and panel discussants, the forum’s six, thematically focused mini-workshops brought a variety of panelists from both public and private sector organizations, including energy industry players and public sector officials such as Fortum; two of the Turku area’s energy companies, Turun Seudun Energia and Turku Energia; Pandia, The Liupanshui Development and Reform Commission, Enesoon, and Valmet. Offering their insights on the wellbeing and health field were representatives from Health Capital Helsinki, Tsinghua University, Aalto University, Planmeca, senior care provider Sipoon Palvelutalosäätiö, the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, and Finnair.
The second day’s mini-workshops included a discussion on China’s One Belt, One Road, or Belt and Road, Initiative, bringing perspectives from Tsinghua University, the China-Britain Business Council, the City of Turku, the Finnish Foreign Ministry, Cargotec, and the University of Edinburgh. Meanwhile, the Circular Economy themed mini-workshop explored an SME’s opportunities on global markets, with valued insight from Turku’s Smart Chemistry Park, Tsinghua University, Åbo Akademi University, CrisolteQ, Slush, Ekokem, and the Finnish Environment Institute.
Later that afternoon, two parallel mini-workshops shared, respectively, Smart City experiences from Malmö University, the China Low Carbon Development Foundation, the City of Tampere, Aalto University, the University of Tampere, and the City of Turku, while, the other, shared the latest in battery technologies and mobility transition, with its panel made up of representatives from Tsinghua University, Tuup, Valmet Automotive, and the City of Turku.
At the conclusion of the forum’s two days of enriching discussion, the Alliance’s Chairman Kang Feiyu expressed his enthusiastic gratitude for all those that took part in the forum and contributed to the engaging discussions therein. Prof. Kang closed the official program by announcing the next forum’s location in Sanya, China. The forum concluded with a day of site visits which offered participating guests an opportunity to gain further insight into the operations of some of the companies represented at the forum, as well as other leading players in the Turku region.
See photos from the forum.