Sustainability, Power, and Profits

The sustainability of the world's ecosystem is coming under increased scrutiny in the face of increasing levels of extreme climatic events. Part and parcel of this discourse is a re-examination of the world's energy trade. The oil and gas fields, pipelines, power plants and feeling stations which lit, heated, cooled and drove the 20th century are now being challenged by a new generation of technological and business logics touting a cleaner and more sustainable future when compared to older generation fuels.

What this class sets out to examine is the degree to which windmills, solar farms, smart cities, flexible grids and other green solutions can lead to a more sustainable society when the underlying logic for these value chains remains couched in the language of economic responsibility and dependent upon vast amounts of political consensus in an age when both are seemingly hard to come by.

Beyond the standard set of lectures, students will be offered the unique opportunity to tackle these issues in a real world context by meeting and discussing various perspectives on the meaning of sustainability with relevant stakeholders, energy companies and representatives of the regional administration here in Tyumen.

David Dusseault:

David Dusseault, (PhD / MA University of Helsinki) is a political scientist by training and a policy analyst by trade. David’s Master’s work focused on International Relations and normative theories of Democracy. Later on, his doctoral research homed in on elite risk assessments as keys to regime consolidation when applied to the political economy of Russia’s regions and federal institutions during the Yeltsin period (1992–2000).

Out of his PhD research grew an interest in various structures which define the hydrocarbon business, the drivers behind energy policy formation, and the practical knock-on effects produced by the energy trade. By 2011, David was hired as Senior Market Analyst for the Finnish natural gas distribution company Gasum OY. There, he covered structural changes in the energy trade related to making hydrocarbons greener, more sustainable and yet commercially profitable.