Environmental Research is Now Settling Into the Nest

On an April Monday at the Nessling Nest, you might spot a bunch of mining researchers, a reporter, or the solver of a food mystery. The workspace unites experts from different fields and gives thoughts room to breathe.

The workspace for researchers, Nessling Nest, has received its first inhabitants, all of whom are solving environmental challenges. Working at the Nest are, for example, a doctor of microbiology, an architect, a sociologist, a doctor of technology, an international politics researcher and a legal scholar. Now, some of the inhabitants tell us about their work and life at the Nest. How are environmental challenges being solved at the location?

Digging into the minds of mining researchers

A food mystery is solved

A nonfiction book grew into a thesis project

Pasi Toiviainen is working on two projects at once at the Nest. The projects are linked by the same topic: ecological construction. Toiviainen begun writing a book on the subject, but realized that the necessary background research for it did not exist. Thus he had to start researching it himself.”The history of ecological architecture has been poorly researched, so I applied to do a thesis on the topic as a postgraduate student. Now my thesis and nonfiction book project are coming together side by side,” Toiviainen reveals.His earlier projects have been completed in cafés. Eventually, the buzz of cafés became annoying and so the tranquillity of the Nest feels pleasant. One of the books Toiviainen has previously written is ‘Ilmastonmuutos. Nyt.’ (Climate Change. Now.) The subject still troubles him.”The climate crisis is so profound, that it demands a shift in values and attitudes from humans and the whole of society. I don’t think that the crisis will be solved with just technological solutions or magic tricks,” Toiviainen says.

A thesis that delves into climate politics

Johanna Kentala-Lehtonen works as the coordinator of the Forum for Environmental Information. What she finds alluring about the job is the Nest’s diverse group of researchers, all of whom are united by the environment. However, everyone has their own angle to approaching the environment.”People come from different fields and that is truly fascinating. You meet people here who you otherwise wouldn’t,” Kentala-Lehtonen says.She will soon be switching from the coordinator’s work to undertaking her thesis. So, work at the Nest will continue. In her research, she digs into how business influences climate politics.”Quite a big shift in values and norms is taking place in society with regards to climate change. Thankfully, because the change is happening at the last minute.”Kentala-Lehtonen is referring to how there is still time to react to climate change and alter our functioning to be more climate-friendly. If we do not react now, such massive changes will have to be made later that humankind may incapable of making them.”The Paris climate deal was already a significant and big step. Hopefully the direction we have chosen will remain,” hopes Kentala-Lehtonen.

Place for encounters