Ground and Growth: Creating useful information

Finnish farmers are having a hard time. Their income is small and requirements for their production are getting stricter all the time. Cross-scientific research is needed to build ecologically, economically, socially and culturally more sustainable agriculture.

Team Ground and Growth wants to create an interactive website and communication platform where farmers can bring out their experience on sustainable production methods and as a result greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture could decrease, new ecologically sustainable farming methods would make their way into use, and consumers’ shopping habits would steer towards more sustainable products. All this will lead to co-creating several alternative future scenarios, as well as a vision and a strategy towards a more sustainable agriculture.

Team leader Kristina Lindström, what is the benefit of Helsinki Challenge to your team?
“It has been very useful to organize events and meet people and communicate our idea to them. We had a fruitful breakfast occasion a while back and met artists, consumers and decision makers. It gives you reinforcement that your idea is worth something. Without Challenge it wouldn’t have been possible to meet all the people we have met and talked to throughout the journey. Cross-scientific team work together with ethnographers, social psychologists and microbiologists has been very beneficial.”

Have there been challenges on the journey?

“There is a lot of talk about putting up a startup and this is perhaps not suitable for all the teams. For us, the advantage is necessarily not financial, but the information itself that is created through our solution. Making science and creating knowledge is a slower process than the competition. We could have used a small start money to create something visual to show potential partners. On the other hand, Helsinki Challenge has given us benefits also for future projects. There is a lot I have learned from the Challenge way of working.”

Come hear Ground and Growth pitch their competition idea on stage at PitchNight on Thursday, September 3rd. The announcement of the winner of Helsinki Challenge (and 375000€) is announced on Friday, November 13th.

TEAM: Team leader Kristina Lindström, Professor (UH, Department of Environmental Sciences), Katriina Siivonen, Professor (UH, European Ethnology, Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies), Annukka Vainio, Senior scientist (MTT Agrifood Finland), Maria Höyssä, PhD (University of Turku, Economic Geography/Department of Marketing and International Business), Petri Penttinen, PhD (University of Helsinki, Department of Environmental Sciences), Arto Sivonen (Måndag