Notable guests visited Metropolia to discuss climate change


From left: Antti Tohka, Riitta Lehtinen, Dennis McGinn, Bruce J. Oreck, Antti Piironen, Kevin McIntire

Photos: Tuomas Hellman, U.S. Embassy Helsinki Press

U.S. Ambassador to Finland Bruce J. Oreck and Assistant Secretary of U.S. Navy Dennis McGinn visited Metropolia’s Myyrmäki Campus on Monday 22nd of September in order to discuss the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change.

The event was organized and hosted by Antti Tohka, Head of the Environmental Engineering degree programme, and Kevin McIntire, Senior Lecturer at Metropolia Business School.

Tohka and McIntire decided to co-host the event because of the significant challenges and opportunities that climate change has for both the fields of technology and business. The most pressing issues of our time all require a broad-based approach and serve as strong motivation to explicitly develop cooperation between degree programmes and to develop brand new, multidisciplinary degree programmes within Metropolia.

At the event, the guests of honor were first welcomed by Kevin McIntire. The first speaker was Bruce J. Oreck, who shared a few of the many accomplishments of the featured speaker, Dennis McGinn, Assistant Secretary of U.S. Navy for Energy, Environment and Installations.

Mr. McGinn began by discussing the many ways in which the U.S. military is mounting its response to climate change and related issues. He noted that the U.S. Navy is not only on the front lines of the challenges posed by climate change, but it is probably the world's single largest consumer of bio-fuels and energy efficiency solutions and is actively working to develop these markets. More than half of the event was devoted to answering questions from the very lively, 250-person audience of technology and business students.

A recurring theme in Assistant Secretary McGinn’s message was the clear need for broad-based, multidisciplinary approaches to mitigating and/or adapting to climate change. He also emphasized that the challenges are accompanied by opportunities and that businesses and environmentalists need to recognize that their interests are aligned and that cooperation is an imperative.

“The event was a great success. The speaker was incredible and our students asked thoughtful, informed questions about the technology, business, and politics of climate change”, says Senior Lecturer Kevin McIntire and shares also the future co-operation plans with the U.S Embassy:

“Plans are already in the works for the next joint events between the Embassy and Metropolia. Business students and lecturers will be heading to the U.S. Embassy to learn more about U.S.-EU trade policies, while Environmental Engineering students and lecturers will have the opportunity to visit the newly renovated Innovation Center, which has transformed the Embassy into one of the greenest U.S. embassies on the planet.”

For more information, please contact

Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Senior Lecturer Kevin McIntire
p. +358 40 735 8691

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