Sustainable Cities Discussion Forum

SDG 13: Climate Action

Sustainable cities discussion forum: SDG 13

UNU-WIDER and the City of Helsinki have teamed up to create and host a series of inspirational discussion forums that highlight key UN Sustainable Development Goals and work being done to make these goals a reality.

Watch the recorded event here

Join us for the third event in our Sustainable Cities Discussion Forum series, as we discuss SDG 13: Climate Action. Hosted by the City of Helsinki and UNU-WIDER, this event organized in collaboration with Sustainability Science Days, an international conference organized jointly by Aalto University and the University of Helsinki’s Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS).

Speakers include leading climate resilience researcher Aditya Bahadur and many other top experts in the climate action field on the local, national and global level. UNU-WIDER Director Kunal Sen and Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen co-host the event.

Time: 26 May 2023 at 9.00-10.30 UTC+3
Place: Join us at Helsinki City Hall or follow the livestream on Helsinki-kanava, registration for in-person attendance has closed.

The event will be livestreamed and available for later viewing on the city’s video service, Helsinki-kanava.


08:30 Welcome and coffee
09:00 Opening words from Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen & UNU-WIDER Director Kunal Sen
  Keynote address: Reimagining climate resilience: Creating thriving cities in the global South from Aditya Bahadur, Chair of the Research Strategy Team, Principal Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development, UK
  Panel discussion on How do we drive effective SDG implementation? with Aditya Bahadur, Tuuli Kaskinen, CEO of the Climate Leadership Coalition, Edwin Moses Sitati, Project Management Specialist in Private Sector Development and Innovation, USAID, Iina Oilinki, Project Director of the City of Helsinki’s Climate Unit
  Brief presentation on the city’s role in SDG work by Mia Malin, the City of Helsinki’s Sustainability and Strategy Advisor
10:25 Closing words

The Sustainability Science Days programme continues after the close of the event.


Aditya V. BahadurAditya Bahadur has worked at the intersection of urbanisation, climate change adaptation and sustainable development for over 15 years. He has written on these issues extensively, for example, contributing to the IPCC AR6 WG2 report and writing a treatise on urban resilience ‘Resilience Reset: Creating Resilient Cities in the Global South’ that was published by Routledge in 2022. Currently, he serves as the Chair of the Research Strategy Team and Principal Researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development, UK. Dr Bahadur has previously worked with Oxford Policy Management, the Overseas Development Institute, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and in the private sector.  He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Delhi, India, his PhD at the University of Sussex, UK and a postdoctoral programme as a Fulbright scholar at Columbia University, USA.

Juhana VartiainenJuhana Vartiainen has been the Mayor of Helsinki since 2021. He holds a doctorate in Economics from the University of Helsinki and has many years of experience leading economic research institutes in both Finland and Sweden. In 2003, Vartiainen was the named the Director of Stockholm’s Trade Union Institute for Economic Research (FIEF), moving in 2005 to become Research Director of the Swedish National Institute for Economic Research. In 2012, he became the Director General of Finland’s VATT Institute for Economic Research. Mayor Vartiainen served as a Member of the Finnish Parliament from 2015 to 2021.

Kunal SenKunal Sen has over three decades of experience in academic and applied development economics research. He is the author of eight books and the editor of five volumes on the economics and political economy of development. Sen has been the Director of UNU-WIDER since 2019, and he is also a professor of development economics at the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. He is a leading international expert on the political economy of growth and development, with extensive research on international finance, the political economy determinants of inclusive growth, the dynamics of poverty, social exclusion, female labour force participation, and the informal sector in developing economies. His research has focused on India, East Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa.

Tuuli KaskinenTuuli Kaskinen is CEO of the Climate Leadership Coalition, the largest non-profit climate business network in Europe promoting the transition to sustainability. Her work has allowed her to develop strategies with corporations and actively shape climate policies for 20 years. Prior to CLC, Kaskinen worked at Demos Helsinki in several positions, including that of chief executive. In addition to her duties at CLC, Kaskinen is Vice Chair of the board at University of Turku and the technology construction company Fira.

Edwin Moses SitatiEdwin Moses Sitati is a Project Management Specialist in Private Sector Development and Innovation at the US Agency for International Development. He has broad technology industry experience across Sub Saharan Africa, focusing on the development of locally relevant technology innovations to drive positive social and economic impact.


Iina OilinkiIina OilinkiIina Oilinki is a project director at the City of Helsinki’s Climate Unit, which implements the city’s ambitious Climate-Neutral Helsinki Action Plan. Oilinki has a master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki. She has previously worked as a Chief Innovation Officer at Helsinki Metropolitan Smart & Clean Foundation, as a senior advisor at Dark Matter Labs and as a team leader, chief advisor and project manager for the City of Helsinki, Aalto University and University of Helsinki.


Mia MalinMia Malin works as a sustainability and strategy advisor for the City of Helsinki and coordinates the city's SDG work. Malin has a long experience in the city's strategic sustainability management, especially environmental and climate issues and sustainable procurements. Her interests lie in co-development and urban research and how these approaches can be used to promote global sustainable development.


Denise WallDenise Wall is a journalist who has spent nearly 25 years working in print, radio, television and online news and podcasts. She has reported on a range of social issues at media organisations such as the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yle, the Paris-based AFP and DowJones Newswires/The Wall Street Journal. Wall has also held senior roles in corporate and marketing communications with Finnish firms operating globally. She currently works as an independent consultant and has her own multimedia communications company Wallcomms.