Success for JU Sustainability Festival

This year Jönköping University Sustainability Festival (JUSF) was held digitally due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that did not stop it being a great success.

- We did it again, says Guénola Nonet, chairperson of the JU Sustainability Network.

JU Sustainability Festival and SSA (Students for Sustainable Action).

JU Sustainability Network and Students for Sustainable Action (SSA) can look back on a well-organized JU Sustainability Festival.

JU's Sustainability Festival began on 5th October with Innovation Race, where students from Jönköping International Business School and, for the first time, the School of Engineering were set sustainability challenges from sex local companies. The students were given a time limit of 24 hours to present their solutions. Using the UN's global Sustainable Development Goals as a reference point, the students were tasking with reducing the company´s production and carbon dioxide emissions while still maintaining the company´s profit margin.

The winners of the competition were JIBS students: Cajsa Ljungberg, Sofia Lindström, Lovisa Lindgren, Dana Cruz André and Philip Kaburek.

“It was a great victory and a good experience for us,” says Dana Cruz André.

The students' challenge was to help the company Flintab develop their business model to attract customers to their products and services while focusing on sustainability. The group proposed, among other things, that Flintab should lease their products and recycle them when they were worn out.

The winning team agreed that the Innovation Race really pushed them to think outside the box and to cooperate in a stressful and competitive environment.

“We received good help from the group of experts at Jönköping Science Park, who helped us develop our project,” says Philip Kaburek.

“It was a great confidence boost for all of us,” says Sofia Lindström.

"Together we can make a difference"

Guénola Nonet, chair of the JU Sustainability Network (JUSN), is very pleased with how the festival went.  

"Given the technical challenges and the newness of doing everything online, we are proud of this achievement," she says.

She was the moderator for Sustainability Day on the Thursday, were the program included topics such as urban farming, health and well-being and circular economy. Representatives of Region Jönköping County spoke about their vision to be the best county in Sweden in terms of sustainability and Guénola Nonet emphasized that JUSN also has a regional focus.

“Everyone, and I really mean everyone, is welcome to join the JU Sustinability Network. Together we can make a difference,” says Guénola Nonet.

JU Sustainability Network sees great potential in the students and staff at JU to do more for a societal transition for a sustainable future. During the last hour of Sustainability Day, three JU students gave their views on sustainability in a conversation with Assistant Professor Mark Edwards. Lenka Hélová, chair of Students for Sustainable Action (SSA) spoke about cooperation as the key to success and that there are no excuses for not opting for change.

“Being inspiring and showing others that things are possible is the best way to make them follow your path”, she says.

Another JU student, Jonathan Angel, emphasized that man's greatest ally is nature and that we must be a part of nature instead of separate from it.

“It all starts with us and if we start talking more about sustainability in our everyday lives, we will actively have it in our consciousness. It can just be about small tips on how to live more sustainably,” says Jonathan Angel.

More than saving whales

Anton Lindberg talked about sustainability being much more than saving whales or choosing a bike instead of a car. He pointed out that for every answer about sustainability, there are ten more questions.

“Many people are aware of the problem but zone out when you are talking about it because it is so overwhelming. I think we need to talk more about how change can have a positive impact on people, without stepping on anyone's toes”, says Anton Lindberg.

Guénola Nonet thinks that the students offered a lot of wisdom and inspiration.

“Adults would gain a lot from listening to children and young adults on these issues. A child would say exactly what we have said here today: That everyone on earth belongs together and that we must do so that everyone can be happy here and so that trees can grow, she says.

During the sustainability week, the public was invited on urban farming tours in Jönköping. One of them was around the urban farm on the roof terrace of the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University. Lenka Hélová, chairman of SSA, that looks after the roof garden thinks it is very relaxing to be up there and that it is a nice place to study or have a cup of coffee.

JU students Malin Dahlström and Rebecka Markinge were there for the first time.

“It is nice with all the plants here and the greenhouse is cozy,” says Malin Dahlström.Both of them believe that they will spend more time in JU’s urbarn farm in the spring.

JU Sustainability Network Board members (Andreas Friberg, Inger Ahlstrand, Jonelija Zelic, Xiaoli De Nordenankar, Marija Ilikj and Guénola Nonet) thank all contributors, guest speakers and participants for this years Sustainability Festival.

This year Jönköping University Enterprise, the School of Engineering, the School of Education and Communication, the School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping International Business School, University Services and Students for Sustainable Action (SSA) collaborated to create the Sustainability Festival and Sustainability Day.