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Schoolchildren were asked to brainstorm futuristic solutions from the perspective of the circular economy


Where will people get water, food and energy from in the future?


It is believed that the circular economy will radically transform the entire business sector in the next few years. Climate change will make our living conditions more challenging, and mankind will need to develop new ways to both conserve and produce resources such as water, food, energy and consumables. VTT asked schoolchildren to draw sketches of a fictional futuristic spaceship aboard which all waste and by-products of life need to be minimised and reused as efficiently as possible.

One of VTT's current research projects involves envisioning a circular economy scenario for the future. The aim is to understand the limitations and laws of the circular economy in a confined and restricted environment. The goal is to find solutions to the challenges identified, as well as commercial applications for these solutions in future research projects.

Worst-case scenarios can be used to identify bottlenecks and implications for people and life in general. This is why the project is based on the premise that phenomena such as climate change and the melting of glaciers will force humans to abandon Earth and move to a kind of survival spaceship. 


Primary school pupils were asked to draw sketches of the futuristic spaceship and describe what life aboard the ship could be like. To give them ideas, they were told a fictional story about what life could be like in the future.

The children produced a total of 86 fantastic sketches. They described the appearance of the ship, its various departments and the routes between them, as well as different methods of producing energy and rearing various kinds of animals and plants aboard the ship. VTT will use the children's ideas for inspiration for the project.

Six primary school classes from different parts of Finland took part in the project: Aurinkorinne School in Kuopio, Hansakallio School in Espoo, Kaukajärvi School in Tampere, Martinkallio School in Espoo, Metsokangas School in Oulu, and Puuppola School in Jyväskylä.