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International students organized sustainable development events in Espoo and Helsinki

Last week, a unique project kicked off at Laurea University of Applied Sciences' Leppävaara campus as 108 students from across Europe began working on the Spring 2024 SDG Action Festival. This event follows last year's inaugural edition, which originated from the collaboration of five European universities of applied sciences, with Laurea taking the lead this time.

The aim of the event was to promote the United Nations' Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and provide students with practical experience in event production and management. The UN's Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development targets the eradication of extreme poverty and advocates for sustainable development that equally considers the environment, economy, and people (Finnish UN Association 2023).

This year, seven non-profit organizations were involved, for whom students organized events on Wednesday, April 24, in Espoo and Helsinki. Participating students committed to various sustainable development themes and organized inspiring events at various locations, including Laurea's Leppävaara campus, Oodi Library, Sello Library, Mall of Tripla, Orion Cinema, The English School, Manna-apu restaurant, K-market Mankkaa, and McDonald's Paciuksenkatu. Project week partners included Väylä ry, Finnish Association for Nature Conservation, Unicef, Helsinki Allergy and Asthma Association, Manna-apu, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare. Additionally, Hartwall, Kespro, Bonne Juomat, and Nordqvist ensured students remained energized throughout the project week by providing their products to the students' workspace at Laurea campus.

The responsible teachers for the project from Laurea's Hospitality Management program, Heidi Vähänikkilä and Kaija Meriläinen, were excited about the students' commitment and the diverse range of events. They believe that such projects offer valuable learning opportunities in event organization within a multicultural environment and highlight important goals of sustainable development. Moreover, it provides students with invaluable networking opportunities.

Visiting students and faculty from the following institutions were hosted at Laurea University of Applied Sciences:

  • BUAS, Breda, Netherlands
  • InHolland, Rotterdam, and Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Kemi-Tornio, Finland
  • Vives Hogesshool, Kortrijk, Belgium

The 2025 event will be hosted in Breda, Netherlands. More information about the event and its program can be found at

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