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Who we are

Business acumen meets sustainability innovation.

Pure Growth was started by Anna Pakkala and Liz Miller during their time in Aalto University's Creative Sustainability master's program, where they honed their design thinking, systems thinking, and sustainability innovation expertise. They have a diverse ecosystem of experts, business professionals, academics and startups from across three continents, and cumulatively over a decade of experience in sales and marketing. Learn more about our founders or see what some of our past clients have to say.

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anna pakkala, co-founder

Known for: Getting people to understand each other in multidisciplinary settings, insanely effective project management, creative business and solution development, and a knack for sales and partnership-building. Loves deadlines, Excel and high-pace environments.

Past experience: Before setting on her mission to change the world through business, Anna honed her business skills in the Canadian entertainment industry for nearly a decade, including:

  • Managing the sales and distribution department at a production house

  • Sponsorship sales and production for TV, short films and corporate video

  • As an assistant in the high-pace talent agency game

  • Accumulating over a decade of behind-the-scenes, sales and customer service experience at film festivals and events.

Since turning her attention to sustainability, Anna worked her way up to become Head of Sustainability at Slush, having also acted as a Team Lead for the Slush Global Impact Accelerator program and a Group Lead for Team Sustainability. She wrote her master’s thesis on renewable energy adoption strategies of businesses.

Education:
Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration, Creative Sustainability, Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki
• Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing and Film Studies, Concordia University, Montreal, degree awarded with Great Distinction

Awards/honors:
Business Incubator Competition Finalist, Climate Launchpad Finland, 2017
• Innovation Lab Talent and Semi-Finalist, Energy Track, UNLEASH, 2017
• Baccalaureate Member, Beta Gamma Sigma International Honour Society, 2012

Currently obsessed with: Impact investing and how to make impact startups the new normal as well as the specific challenges of energy system transitions

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Liz miller, co-founder

Known for: Critical and creative thinking, asking big questions, telling stories, and finding hidden insights in qualitative data. Loves reading anything and everything, the Adobe Creative Suite and building this website.

Past experience: Liz’s career has been centered around sustainability, and she has worked on sustainability issues in a variety of settings, including:

  • Working for several years at an urban sustainability think tank in Chicago

  • Leading various campaigns to reduce waste and energy use

  • Making a documentary film about the quality-of-life impacts of waste that is still screened in its subject community

  • Using human-centered design to help develop a sustainable tourism project in a rural Mexican village

Along with Pure Growth, Liz also works as a circular economy researcher at Aalto University School of Business. She wrote her master’s thesis on the barriers and enablers of creating products from waste in a circular economy. In her spare time, she leads the tech side of a project by a Kenyan youth organization to help teens access sexual health information through an interactive chatbot.

Education:
Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration, Creative Sustainability, Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki, degree awarded with distinction
• Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, graduated cum laude

Awards/honors:
Association for Environmental Management (YJY ry) University Thesis Award, 2018
Business Incubator Competition Finalist, Climate Launchpad Finland, 2017
• Innovation Lab Talent and Semi-Finalist, Sustainable Production and Consumption Track, UNLEASH, 2017

Currently obsessed with: The sociological side of circular economy and the evolution of socio-economic systems throughout history

Here’s what a few of our clients have to say:

Maria 01

“Working with Pure Growth opened my eyes and helped me understand how every business is part of a system. Coming to those realisations are key to any business if they want to become more sustainable and run their business efficiently. I recommend Pure Growth if you want new perspectives and the best dynamic duo out there to teach you about sustainability & impact.” –Kim Oguilve, Chief Marketing Officer, Maria 01


Aalto University

"Working with Pure Growth was easy and rewarding. The process was well-managed, with midterm checkpoints and materials, which were helpful in guiding the final results of the project. Our guiding comments were well taken into account throughout the process. The project results were based on data the Pure Growth team collected from stakeholder interviews along with other background research, and the report contained practical tools that we will be using in the future. Best of all, the tools were delivered in a format that we can use straightaway as they are.

Overall, Pure Growth provided valuable insights into our systems, which were presented in a clear manner, and provided an actionable roadmap and tools to continue the work. We will also be sharing these insights with other departments in our organization." –Armi Temmes, Professor of Practice, Aalto University


Springboard Afro-Nordic business platform oy

“I was very satisfied with the outcomes of our work with Pure Growth. They delivered according to what was promised and the timing was spot on. And we are happy to continue the collaboration with Pure Growth.” –Kingsley Ify, CEO,
Springboard Afro-Nordic Business Platform Oy


Everfells

“Anna & Liz are obviously passionate and knowledgeable about business impact – I highly recommend working with them!” –Robert Nuorteva, CEO, Everfells

 
I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.
— John Cage
 
 
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