New Global is an interdisciplinary innovation and action research project aiming to find pathways to solve global sustainability challenges. It is a Big Strategic Opening, funded by the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation. To maintain competitiveness in the future, Finland needs to improve its capacity to innovate and collaborate in new ways, to provide holistic and sustainable solutions to global challenges, both in emerging markets as well as disruptive new approaches to service provision in Europe.

New Global studies and develops frugal and reverse innovations globally through action research, experimentation, co-creation, and rapid prototyping in the field. The project takes a pragmatic approach to fostering the necessary capabilities for co-creating frugal and reverse innovations in complex global systems. Together with companies, social enterprises, authorities, local universities, and non-governmental organisations, the team works on different innovation cases in emerging markets and facilitates the development of impact business ecosystem between Finland and emerging markets.

Related research within Aalto

School of Business

Sustainability in Business

The mission of the Sustainability in Business research group is is to produce knowledge about and solution proposals for business models and consumption practices that enhance sustainable development.

School of Engineering

Water and Development

Water & Development Research Group seeks to look at the interconnections between water and development with a comprehensive view. The group’s research builds on multi- and cross-disciplinarity and on close cooperation with other universities and research institutes both in Finland and abroad.

School of Science

New Energy Technologies

Originally initiated at the Department of Engineering Physics in 1979, early work of the New Energy Technologies research group included solar energy and energy storage. At present, the interest of the New Energy Technologies Group at the Department of Applied Physics is on advanced and renewable energy technologies and systems, in particular issues related to large-scale use of new energy technologies.

For students


How to change the world course

Students can best familiarize themselves with New Global’s themes at Aalto’s course “How to Change the World”. At this course the students gain understanding of wicked societal problems related to sustainability: what they are, how they can be approached, and why it is important to tackle them. And more importantly, the course aims at exploring alternative paths for creative and innovative responses to sustainability challenges. The emphasis will be on entrepreneurial solutions within the business sector, but emphasis is also put on collaboration with other actors such as non-governmental organizations and the public in the pursuit of systemic solutions.

Other courses

New Global collaborates with several courses offered in Aalto. Student groups from these courses will work with New Global innovation cases and partners, and are supported by our researchers. Project courses that we have been collaborating with include: Sustainable Global Technologies, IDBM, City in Transition, Capstone course in Creative Sustainability, Multi-disciplinary Energy Perspectives. It will differ from year to year which courses have a New Global related project. Please check with us or with the course coordinator.
Some examples of previous student projects:
• Nanomaji, IDBM and SGT programmes
• Alshain, Creative Sustainability
• Energy Frugality, Multi-disciplinary Energy Perspectives
• Moskito, Creative Sustainability

Master’s thesis

You can join our team by doing your masters thesis in a related topic. Often students who have participated in a New Global related project course want to continue with their master’s thesis on the topic. If you have not taken part in a project course but are interested in doing a thesis on a New Global related theme, below is a list of topic that we’d love to have someone do their master’s thesis on:
• Impact funding
• Frugal innovation
• Reverse innovation
• Community engagement
• Inclusive business

If you are interested, please contact jarkko.levanen@aalto.fi