Event information: From research-based knowledge to sustainable societies

CILAC 2021 Side-event: From research-based knowledge to sustainable societies - How to best advance researchers’ cooperation with decision makers, private sector and civil society?

The sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda call for evidence-based decision making and practice at global, regional, national and local levels. Universities are increasingly redirecting their research strategies towards finding solutions for global challenges. However, too often relevant research knowledge still stays in academic discussions and does not find its way to benefit the societies at large. Concluding research with policy recommendations, writing policy briefs and doing commissioned studies based on research is a good start, but also actual encounters are needed to efficiently advance the use of research for common good. An important part of the production of knowledge that is based on research, but relevant to policy or practice, can happen in the reciprocal dialogue between the actors, which at the same time offers opportunities for meaningful mutual learning.

The aim of this panel is to discuss how the research uptake by non-academic actors and the cooperation between researchers and the public sector, private companies and civil society could be best encouraged and advanced, specifically to reach sustainable development. How to find common understanding and match the expectations for relevant knowledge between different actors of society? How to guarantee academic freedom and objectivity when the collaboration includes political or business interests? How to foster the use of diverse and inclusive research knowledge in the cooperation? The discussion is expected to offer inspiration and also practical advice for creating more neutral spaces for bridging research to policy and practice with reciprocity and respect to each other's knowledge and viewpoints. This panel brings together representatives of Finnish and Latin American research community, as well as public and private sector actors to discuss the use of research-based knowledge in Latin America and Finland, aligned with the thematic focus of CILAC 2021 on inclusive science.


In Finland, the year 2021 has been declared as the Year of Research-Based Knowledge by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Academy of Finland and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies. This CILAC side-event is organized as part of the theme year programme in cooperation between the Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID) and the Team Finland knowledge network (TFK - Latin America).

UniPID is a network of Finnish universities to strengthen global perspectives in research, education and social interaction, and to advance universities’ international cooperation in support of sustainable development pathways. UniPID undertakes a variety of policy activities advancing dialogue and cooperation between researchers and public officials to strengthen research-based policy and practice. In 2018, UniPID participated in CILAC by organizing a session on advancing collaboration between academia and local actors, specifically civil society, to promote sustainable cities and territories.

Team Finland Knowledge is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. It promotes international collaboration of Finnish actors in the field of Higher Education and Research for sharing knowledge, expertise and educational innovation. The TFK Science and Education specialist for Latin America is located in Buenos Aires.


Opening words:

Francesc Pedró, PhD, Director, IESALC, UNESCO


  • Ofelia Ángulo Guerrero, PhD, Undersecretary of Science, Technology and Innovation, Mexico City
  • Jussi Pakkasvirta, PhD, Professor of Area and Cultural Studies, Vice Dean, Head of Department of World Cultures, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Rodolfo Tecchi, Rector, University of Jujuy, President of the National Interuniversity Council (CIN), Argentina
  • Melina Masnatta, Executive director, Chicas en Tecnología, Argentina
  • Eija Asmi, PhD, Researcher, Finnish Meterological Institute, Finland

Find the speakers' introductions here.


  • Johanna Kivimäki, Director, Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID)
  • Emilia Ahvenjärvi, Counsellor, Team Finland Knowledge Network, Embassy of Finland in Buenos Aires


The event was organized online on 27 April, 2021. The interpreted English recording of the event is available below. The original Spanish recording is available on the Spanish event website here.