Solution Hack for Journalists

Helsinki, 26-27 March 2019

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What Systemic Change Do We Need for a Sustainable Future? 
In Depth in Finland


What is ‘Solution Hack for Journalists’?

The Solution Hack for Journalists is a free 2-day masterclass on a method that helps journalists get a big picture of climate and global challenges, and assess green solutions at the business, industrial and city levels.

In partnership with Disrupt Design founded by Leyla Acaroglu, the UNEP Champion of the Earth, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the City of Joensuu, our Helsinki edition offers a masterclass for 16 journalists to dig deeper into how Finland, a leading innovation country, is tackling climate and global challenges to build a sustainable future. Held on 26-27 March 2019 in Helsinki, the masterclass will not only explore the Finnish model of sustainability, but also offer training on the Disruptive Design Method (DDM), a new method for journalistic research and reporting.

In a nutshell:

  • Theme: 'Building a Sustainable Future: In Depth in Finland'
  • Date: 26-27 March 2019
  • Location: Helsinki, Finland
  • Participants: 16 journalists covering environment, science, sustainability, economy, business, urban planning, lifestyle, and consumer products
  • Fee: Free-of-charge. Flights, accommodation and most meals are covered and paid by the organisers.
  • Powered by: The Lookout Station, Disrupt Design, Sitra, and City of Joensuu
  • Application Deadline: 26 February 2019 (at 15pm CET)

The DDM helps journalists look at climate and global challenges through the lenses of systems thinking and life cycle thinking, and equip them to critically assess eco-friendly practices, identify best practices and spot greenwashing. To achieve that, the masterclass will take the journalists on a journey of circular economy and life cycle stages to understand how the product is made, and how it can be used, reused and disposed. The Hack in Helsinki is particularly relevant for journalists who are covering: environment, science, economy, business, urban lifestyle and green products. 



In our everyday life, we use objects and products made out of plastic, aluminum, steel or cement. Starting from our cars or our homes, to deodorants, make-up, sodas or salads, or all sorts of objects that come with parts and packaging that uses great amount of oil, water, chemicals. Depending on the type of materials we use, it can be highly polluting and damage our environment. It is up to us to decide what materials we use and how, in order to build a sustainable future.

Our current model for addressing climate change is not sustainable in the long run. According to the group of 1,300 scientific experts in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, our human activities over the past 50 years have accelerated climate change. The current growth-based economy is not working, and our lifestyle is clearly not sustainable:

Our natural resources are becoming scarce, but we are living in a throw-away society. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s report, the fashion industry's current disposal-based system causes greenhouse gas emissions of 1.2 billion tonnes a year, and it’s also the second biggest polluter of freshwater resources on the planet due to the chemicals used in the production process.

We use too many single-use objects made out of heavy fossil fuel materials. In 2014, heavy industry was responsible for 40% of the global CO2 emissions. Today it is even more as it is a growing industry. So how do we go from a heavy fossil fuel product that will only have one limited life to the bio-based or sustainably produced material that will be reused before the end of its life? How can the materials we use help reduce CO2 emissions?

We need a new paradigm and change only happens when society is informed with knowledge and facts. If we want to see a better world, we need to revisit the way we consume and start to reuse, recycle and reduce - transition towards a circular economy. We need ‘out of the box’ solutions to tackle sustainability challenges and a new method to look at the whole picture. Journalists have a role to play. The way they tell the world’s problems and report on the possible solutions is what can make an impact on society and drive change.

What systemic change do we need for a sustainable future?

The Disruptive Design Method (DDM)

The Disruptive Design Method (DDM) helps journalists understand how systems work to see the big picture. It applies systems thinking, life cycle and sustainability sciences along with design methodologies to enable complex problem exploration and solutions. Journalists can greatly benefit from this approach as it enables a rapid dissection of the cause and effect relationships that often reinforce critical global issues.

The method is about:

  • Mining: dive deep into the problem and explore its elements
  • Landscaping: map the system to see how its elements interact
  • Building: generate disruptive ideas, test them and prototype them

This innovative approach helps to get the whole picture of any situation. And only when you understand the whole picture can you ask the right questions. Our Solution Hack will give you the tools to think differently, to have a systematic approach and look into how interconnected systems are.

"Disruptive Design is a design with an intent, to intervene in a system to make positive change."
Leyla Acaroglu
Founder of Disrupt Design and UNEP Champion of the Earth


Through the Solution Hack for Journalists, you will:

  • Get a free training on the Disruptive Design Method (DDM) incl. an online group call with Leyla Acaroglu, the UNEP Champion of the Earth
  • Visit local innovation companies that are rethinking life cycles of their products 
  • Learn new tools and methods to better report on sustainable and eco-friendly practices
  • Meet and engage with practioners and innovators who are making a difference
  • Become part of a community of international journalists with shared interests



The Solution Hack for Journalists is for all journalists who are interested in the Disruptive Design Method and willing to apply in their day-to-day reporting. The Hack in Helsinki is particularly relevant for journalists who are covering: environment, sustainablity, economy, business, lifestyle, and consumer products.


The Lookout Station logoThe Lookout Station logo
Disrupt Design  logoDisrupt Design  logo
Sitra  logoSitra  logo
European Forest Institute logoEuropean Forest Institute logo
City of Joensuu logoCity of Joensuu logo

Marcus Wendin

Marcus has the mission to contribute to sustainable development by making people and competences meet across boundaries of culture and disciplines. The common goals of sustainability are used to create cooperation. Most often that is in product development. 

Since 1998, Marcus has worked with environmental assessments through the Life Cycle Assessment method. At the beginning at Volvo Technology and since 2003 in his own company Miljögiraff. With a lifecycle perspective on the product systems, Miljögiraff helps organizations to develop sustainable solutions. Marcus subscribes to the message of Disruptive design and shares much of the experience that it is high time to "get things done".

Imagine new ways of finding solutions and redesign the future.

Coming Soon!

The selected participants will have an opportunity to meet and engage with the following experts and speakers:

  • Kari Herlevi, Project Director, Circular Economy, Sitra
  • Mika Sulkinoja, Leading Specialist, Carbon-neutral Circular Economy, Sitra
  • Janne Peljo, Project Director, Climate Solutions, Sitra
  • Markus Terho, Project Director, Resource-wise Citizen, Sitra
  • Nani Pajunen, Leading Specialist, Circular Economy, Sitra 
  • Krista Huhtala-Jenks, Head of Go to Market, MaaS Global
  • Kaisa Koistinen and Päivi Kosunen, Yrityskylä 
  • Pirkko Melville, City of Jyväskylä 
  • Fredrick von Schoultz, Mayor of Porvoo
  • Timo Kaivonen, Sales Director, Piiroinen Oy Apply Now
  • Juuso Joona, Agronomist and co-founder of Soilfood; Member of the steering group and carbon farmer at Carbon Action Pilot
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What did journalists think about the Solution Hack?

To be alongside journalists from almost every continent was a privilege and I think really enhanced the conversations and expanded our minds beyond a European perspective. Fascinating programme, fascinating people!

Richard Fisher, Managing Editor, BBC Future