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University of Turku Pentti Malaska Futures Award 2019

12 April 2019

We are looking for research-based, visionary solutions for global challenges.

Today, our planet is facing increasingly complex ecological, politico-economic and socio-cultural challenges. In order to ensure a fair future for the coming generations on this planet, we are in urgent need of innovations that will help to restore the balance between humankind, technology and nature.

University of Turku grants a €30,000 Pentti Malaska Futures Award for a visionary, boundary-crossing, research-based solution that supports the building of more sustainable global futures.

The main criteria for the innovations participating in the competition are the following:

  • sustainable mindset
  • visionary thinking
  • academia-business collaboration
  • boundary-crossing approach

The competition is open to Nordic futures researchers and multidisciplinary research teams with a future-oriented research approach. The new and innovative solutions we are looking for should be based on academic research or be in some other way closely linked to the academic world. To be eligible, the solution has to be already developed, a prototype, tested or patented, or the solution’s innovation potential has been proven in some other way. Solutions that are only at the idea stage cannot be entered into the competition.

The members of the panel deciding the winner are: Toni Ahlqvist (Research Director, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku), Sirkka Heinonen (Professor, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku), Kaisa Leiwo (Research Director, Turku Chamber of Commerce), Saara-Sofia Sirén (Member of Parliament), Kalervo Väänänen (Rector, University of Turku), Thomas Westerholm (Director, Centre for Collaborative Research, University of Turku).

The Award honours Professor Pentti Malaska’s (1934–2012) lifework in futures research. Pentti Malaska was a professor of financial mathematics and statistics at Turku School of Economics and established the Finland Futures Research Centre in 1992. Malaska was a radical, visionary thinker whose research interests crossed a wide range of academic disciplines from mathematics and electrical engineering to philosophy, ecology and strategic management. His work boldly crossed sectoral boundaries between the academic world, business world and societal influencing.



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The Finland Futures Research Centre of the University of Turku founded in 1992 is the largest Nordic research centre focusing on futures research and foresight. Futures research is a multidisciplinary field that studies a variety of topics extensively, and brings together the approaches and research results of the more traditional disciplines. The cornerstone of the Finland Futures Research Centre’s philosophy is to promote sustainable, i.e. ecologically balanced, economically efficient, socially equal, and multicultural future.