From an alumnus: “DEEP Challenge helped me recognize my strengths and got me a job”

Application to DEEP – Water Well-being Challenge 16–18 November is now open for students, researchers, entrepreneurs and all other innovators interested in blue well-being. An alumnus from DEEP’s round one in February 2018 shares his experience from the water-themed challenge competition.

A plastic replacement from algae, nutrient-eating drones, and a platform to unite all stakeholders around the Baltic Sea – these are just a few of the impactful ideas that were born in DEEP – Baltic Sea Challenge organized for the first time in February 2018 in Helsinki. We organizers were in awe with the solutions. So impactful, so innovative. As we also witnessed people having a great time and forming new valuable connections, it was a no-brainer that we wanted to make DEEP happen again. But this time, with the emphasis on people.

Last spring, DEEP – Baltic Sea Challenge searched for new sustainable businesses and policies for a healthier Baltic Sea. This time in 16–18 November 2018, we’re searching for sustainable solutions related to any Baltic waters for healthier human beings. How can we make better use of our wonderful Baltic Sea, lakes, rivers, ponds, springs and streams as a source of well-being? We organizers at Helsinki Think Company, Luke (Natural Resources Institute Finland), SYKE (Finnish Environment Institute) and HELSUS (Helsinki Institute of Sustainable Science) can’t wait to get started already.

“Taking part was a no-brainer”

Solving ecological sustainability issues of the Baltic Sea through policies was the thing that got Teemu Vaarakallio to jump into the challenge and apply to DEEP last spring. As a self-confessed ecofascist and a student of political sciences, Teemu found the program a wonderful opportunity to solve the environmental as well as political challenges in a tangible manner.

Together with his team, they decided to tackle the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. With a monetized environmental performance instrument that favors practices such as innovative farming, diversification of production and novel food practice, their goal was to encourage sustainability in farming.

“Luckily, my team members were enlightened professionals with a substantial understanding of environmental issues, and even in simulation we weren’t ready to make market-based compromises“, Teemu praises.

DEEP led to an internship at the government

According to Teemu, among the best things in DEEP was the inspirational company during the weekend. As Teemu summarizes:

“Whether your goal is to create new interdisciplinary contacts, develop and recognize your own professional strengths or to spend quality time with smart, motivated and compassionate people, DEEP is a fine way to spend a weekend.”

The contacts created during the weekend with the partners and other participants have turned out to be valuable. In addition to new acquaintances, Teemu gained an internship regarding sustainable use of natural resources from the government.

Read more and apply to DEEP – Water Well-being Challenge by October 23.

Want to see more of DEEP’s round one? Check out the aftermovie below!