Working groups

See the list of sessions here below and send your abstract suggestion directly to the chairs of the session.

Call for abstracts is closed.


1. Just transition: a pathway to future or just another buzzword?

Just transition has gained increasing attention in research and public arenas. The interest in just transitions has emerged from the need to consider and reflect upon the issues of social and economic justice in the context of sustainability transitions. The meaning of just transition has expanded enormously from the initial just transition call made by labour unions as well as from the energy transition focused openings in sustainability transition studies.

In this workshop, we welcome both the works that reprecent new theoretical and empirical advancements in just transition research, as well as critical works that can challenge the contents or directions of just transition discourse, policy developments, or research. We are inclusive to all research perspectives on the matter.

This session will be held in Päätalo A05, Thursday 13:30-17:30 and Friday in Pinni B 4117, 9:00-11:00


Teea Kortetmäki, University of Jyväskylä, teea.kortetmaki[at]

Minna Kaljonen, Finnish Environment Institute, minna.kaljonen[at]

Suvi Huttunen, Finnish Environment Institute, suvi.huttunen[at]

Thursday 13.30-14.45

Jukka Similä and Tomi Tuominen: Law, justice and sustainability transitions

Seita Romppanen: Leaving no one behind? Legal avenues for climate citizenship in Finland

Kaisa Huhta: Conceptualizing Energy Justice in the Context of Human Rights Law

[10 min break]


Annika Lonkila and Jani Lukkarinen: Just destabilisation? Lessons on justice in the destabilisation of peat

Johanna Leino and Eerika Albrecht: Steering just transition from energy peat to carbon neutral land use

[10 min break]


Eugenia Castellazzi: Intergenerational justice: reflections and applications of a contested concept

Suvisanna Correia and Laura Sokka: Wind power development and citizens’ concerns of distributional justice in Northern Finland. Case studies in Simo and Pyhäntä – two municipalities in transition

Simone Maxand and Franziska Dorn: Measuring and analyzing social sustainability

Friday, Pinni B 4117, 9.00-11.05

Teea Kortetmäki: What’s the point of just transition? (Introductory talk)

Ari Paloviita et al.: Policy mixes for transition: justice perspectives broadened for food system change

Paavo Järvensivu et al.: Mind the whole: Science-driven planning for industrial transformation at national level

Eeva Houtbeckers: Transformative work practices in just transition

Saari: Making for a more just transition: Global maker movement and its potential for societal changes

2. Sustainable practices in food and energy transitions

It is widely accepted that new forms of organization are needed for sustainability. Social practices have a significant role in transitions of sustainability, as they—for example—affect the ways in which consumers and other practitioners can respond to policy initiatives.

This workshop reflects what ‘sustainable’ practices and their limits in the context of food and energy provision could be. What are the necessary and still missing elements of practice for sustainability? How do, for example, skills develop and diffuse, and what affects inclusion and exclusion in change processes for sustainability? Related to cultural understandings of social practices, we are curious about how material interactions develop in sustainability transitions, and how possible tensions arise.

The workshop gathers empirical and conceptual insights on the advances of food and energy related sustainability issues. Examples could include, but are not limited to, food self-provisioning, regenerative agriculture, smart buildings, community energy etc.

This session will be held in Pinni B 3109, Thursday 13:30-17:30


Jenny Rinkinen, University of Helsinki, jenny.rinkinen[at]

Pasi Heikkurinen, University of Helsinki, pasi.heikkurinen[at]

Kaisa Matschoss, University of Helsinki, kaisa.matschoss[at]

Thursday 13.30-15.00

Session 1. Sustainable practices in food and energy transitions: Communities and consumers for social change

Heini Salonen and Milla Suomalainen: Learning and skill formation in creating communities of practice around local food provisioning

Sini Numminen, Salvatore Ruggiero and Mikko Jalas: Locked in flat tariffs? An analysis of electricity retailers’ dynamic price offerings and attitudes to consumer engagement in demand response

Tuija Kajoskoski and Senja Laakso: Examining homeowner decision-making on switching heating systems from an everyday life perspective: a qualitative study of Finnish oil heaters

[30 min break]


Session 2. Sustainable practices in food and energy transitions: Technologies for social change

Mariana G. Lyra, Joel Gordon and Gregory Poelzer: Potential conditions for green hydrogen acceptance: how social acceptance literature can help

Johanna Hohenthal, Pasi Heikkurinen and Toni Ruuska: Disclosing “the sacred” in technological practices


3. Exploring policy innovations for sectoral transitions

Policy and regulation are important drivers of transition to a circular economy. A growing body of research has examined the role of policy for circularity, but a large share of this work has focused only on public forms of regulation, such as legislation. Research concerning other forms of policy and especially the dynamics and potential of regulatory/policy innovations remains scarce. By regulatory/policy innovations, we mean arrangements that combine different forms of regulation, for example policies and practices simultaneously implemented by both public and private sector actors. This workshop aims to enrich research on regulatory/policy innovations.

We welcome both conceptual and empirical papers dealing with the development and implementation of such innovations in different sectors and scales. For example, in the textile industry value chains are global making the operational environment particularly complex from the policy perspective. Therefore, innovative solutions are needed and finding efficient ways for their implementation is critical. In the best-case scenario, regulatory/policy innovations may enable sectoral transitions toward circular economy and empower diverse stakeholders at the same time.

This session will be held in Päätalo A35, Thursday 13:30-17:30


Kaisa Sorsa, Turku University of Applied Sciences, kaisa.sorsa[at]

Jarkko Levänen, LUT University, jarkko.levanen[at]

Thursday 13:30-17:30

Erkki Jussi Nylén: The ramifications of the circular economy as a strategic urban policy objective -The source of creative solutions or just ticking the policy box?

Suvi Huttunen*, Riina Toivanen, Riku Lumiaro, Minna Pappila and Minna Pekkonen: Biodiversity offsetting as a policy innovation in nature conservation.

Anu Lähteenmäki-Uutela and Kaisa Sorsa: Verifying production areas for protecting biodiversity in the coffee sector.


4. What have we (un)learned? The ways and spaces for radical change in times of multiple socio-environmental crises

The intertwined socio-environmental crises of our time call for more sustainable and just ways to organize the human economic, social, and political spheres. However, coming up with and finding places for alternatives to slow down and reverse the adverse development trajectories is often a messy and a non-linear process. Sometimes it may also be difficult to foresee or avoid environmentally or socially unsustainable or unjust consequences.

This workshop focuses on the messy processes of anti-capitalist resistance, organizing, and actions that seek to challenge the status quo. We invite people to discuss what kind of uncertainties, problems, and seeds of change are related to these processes of alternative organizing, and how and what we can (un)learn from them? How do we find our way towards ecological sustainability and social justice? We welcome contributions from researchers, educators, practitioners, activists, and all those willing to critically engage with the uncertainties and possibilities of our time.

This session will be held in Päätalo A06, Thursday 13:30-17:30 (joint session with WS5)


Johanna Hohenthal, University of Helsinki, johanna.hohenthal[at]

Toni Ruuska, University of Helsinki, toni.ruuska[at]

Teppo Eskelinen, University of Eastern Finland, teppo.eskelinen[at]

Jarkko Pyysiäinen, University of Helsinki, jarkko.pyysiainen[at]

Thursday 13:30-15:30 (WG4)

Teppo Eskelinen: Radical spaces: Interaction and expansion

Kirsi Pauliina Kallio: Critical pedagogies of climate mobility

Kaisa J. Raatikainen: Pathways towards a sustainable future envisioned by early-career conservation researchers: is strong sustainability the key?

Minna Käyrä and Irene Kuhmonen: Social change in the form of degrowth? PESTE analysis of the literature

15:30-17:30 (WG4+WG5)

Olli Herranen and Tere Vadén: Conditions of possibility for alternative futures – attitudes towards radical self-sufficiency in the public sphere

Toni Ruuska: Radical rural: Alternative organizing and enskilment for wellbeing and freedom

Galina Kallio and William LaFleur: Knowing ecologically? Regenerative agriculture through more-than-representational landscape analysis

Essi Nuorivaara: Sufficiency in everyday life: A Finnish policy perspective


5. Policies for sufficiency

Sufficiency is increasingly being brought up as a necessary strategy complementing efficiency efforts to reduce human pressure on the environment. Sufficiency is closely connected to ideas of environmental limits, what is ‘enough’, needs versus ‘wants’, and what is a ‘good life’. Sufficiency has been defined as ‘a set of measures and daily practices that avoid demand for energy, materials, land and water while delivering human wellbeing for all within planetary boundaries’ (IPCC 2022). Public policies are crucial for the implementation of sufficiency (Lorek & Fuchs 2013, Nyfors et al. 2020).

We welcome presentations related to implementing policies for sufficiency on a broad scale in affluent societies. Contributions could include, but are not limited to: How to translate sufficiency ideas into concrete policies? What type of sufficiency policies are there, already implemented or suggestions? How can these be strengthened, enabled, and made politically feasible? Which are the barriers and drivers?

This session will be held in Päätalo A06, Thursday 15:30-17:30 (joint session with WS4) and Friday 9:00-11:00 in Pinni B4116.


Tina Nyfors, University of Helsinki,tina.nyfors[at] 

Kristoffer Wilén, Hanken School of Economics, kristoffer.wilen[at]

Senja Laakso, Tampere University, senja.laakso[at]

Maria Sandberg, Hanken School of Economics, maria.sandberg[at]

Thursday 15:30-17:30 (WG4+WG5)

Olli Herranen and Tere Vadén: Conditions of possibility for alternative futures – attitudes towards radical self-sufficiency in the public sphere

Toni Ruuska: Radical rural: Alternative organizing and enskilment for wellbeing and freedom

Galina Kallio and William LaFleur: Knowing ecologically? Regenerative agriculture through more-than-representational landscape analysis

Essi Nuorivaara: Sufficiency in everyday life: A Finnish policy perspective

Friday 9:00-11:00, Room: Pinni B4116

Éloi Laurent and Tuuli Hirvilammi: Toward a sufficiency state: saving welfare states from economic growth

Marja Salo et al.: Policies to decrease carbon footprint of household consumption in Finland – How to integrate the sufficiency perspective

Teemu Koskimäki: Finland beyond growth addiction

6. Toward sustainability education through narratives, arts-based methods and embodied learning

Sustainability has become a must in the contemporary world. The work led, for instance, by the United Nations on Sustainable Development Goals builds up a framework towards a sustainability-oriented society. In policy, education is an essential dimension for a sustainable society. And yet, the objectives of universities promoting education and sustainability and the objectives of faculties are contradictory. Interpretations vary from context to context.
In this messy situation, the pathway to sustainability education remains ambiguous. Considering these, we propose a dynamic framework for Higher Education and Teacher Education aiming for pedagogical action through awareness raising and a deep, transformative understanding of sustainability-related issues. The proposed workshop aims to involve participants in discussions and activities that draw from aesthetics (narratives and video storytelling), arts-based education and embodied learning as well as insights from diverse learning experiences.
Based on these, the workshop will conclude with possible recommendations for renewed Higher Education policies for sustainability education.

This session will be held in Pinni A3112, Thursday 13:30-17:30


Lili-Ann Wolff, University of Helsinki, lili-ann.wolff[at]

Marianna Vivitsou, University of Helsinki, marianna.vivitsou[at]

Kirsi Aarbakke, University of Lapland, kirsi.aarbakke[at]

Emma Heikkilä, University of Helsinki, emma.heikkila[at]

Thursday 13.30-15.30

Katerina Velentza and Marianna Vivitsou: Pursuing social and environmental sustainability through maritime heritage

Emma Heikkilä: The role of emotions on sustainability matters in teacher education – towards a doctoral thesis

Pippa Hemsley: Somatic Learning and Eco-Anxiety in Environmental Education Teacher Preparation

Kirsi Aarbakke: Embodied learning developing interaction with surroundings and other people

Maria Hofman-Bergholm: Storytelling: The Ancient Tool of Using Stories to Communicate Knowledge for a Sustainable Future

Samar Darwish Kirresh, Ayman Abdul Majeed Rezeqallah and Hille Janhonen-Abruquah: Coupling sustainability and resilience to transfer power to learners


7. Watering down policy? Emerging trends in water-related policy implementation

To respond to the multitude of environmental and societal water-related challenges, the EU has adopted regulations that aim simultaneously to accomplish multiple goals: e.g., protect marine and freshwaters, improve water availability for the people and the economy as well as to provide sufficient management for water-related risks such as floods and droughts. Together, such aims can be seen as promoting sustainability – yet their implementation is complex and contested due to the diversity of scales, sectors and actors, with different approaches leading to varying results.

This workshop focuses on the implementation of water-related policies, including EU directives and other policy initiatives such as water vision processes. Of particular interest are contributions that focus on the linkages between different policies and policy levels (EU, national, river basin), while acknowledging the interconnections between the marine and freshwater systems.

This session will be held in Päätalo A07, Thursday 13:30-17:30 and Friday 9:00-11:00 in Pinni B 4114


Mia Pihlajamäki, Aalto University, mia.pihlajamaki[at]

Irina Mancheva, Umeå University, irina.mancheva[at]

Marko Keskinen, Aalto University, marko.keskinen[at]

Niko Soininen, University of Eastern Finland, niko.soininen[at]

Thursday 13.30-17.30

Session 1

Lasse Peltonen: Collaborative processes, partnerships and platforms – the role of local voluntary collaboration complementing legally mandated water governance, case Iijoki Finland

Thomas Banafa, Mia Pihlajamäki and Susa Eräranta: Social network analysis of collaborative processes: case of three Finnish river basins

Francesco Venuti: Governing Nature-based Solutions (NbS) for Urban Flood Management in Finland and Italy: A Legal Perspective on Sustainable Transitions


Session 2

Eerika Albrecht, Jani Lukkarinen, Miikka Hakkarainen and Niko Soininen: Hydropowering sustainability transformation: Policy frames on river use and restoration in Finland

Irina Mancheva, Mia Pihlajamäki, Matilda Miljand and Marko Keskinen: Differentiated implementation of EU water policy goals: the use of different types of knowledge in collaborative decision-making in Finland and Sweden

Matias Sivonen and Lasse Peltonen:  Working through or around conflict? The role of working groups in the integration of fisheries and the protection of the Saimaa Ringed seal


Session 3

Varvara Lahtinen:  Exploring the Ecosystem based Approach (EBA) in the Finnish marine planning

Nina Tynkkynen: EU marine policy implementation in a multilevel context: The Baltic Sea

Mia Pihlajamäki, Nina Tynkkynen and Marko Keskinen: Implications of the EU Water Framework Directive and Marine Strategy Framework Directive to Baltic Sea eutrophication governance: case Finland


8. The intertwinement of nature to the politics, practices and infrastructures of urban development

In this session we will explore how nature is intertwined in to the politics, practices and infrastructures of urban development. As cities are increasingly committed to adopting international and national environmental, conservation, and biodiversity policy agreements, we want to focus on the implementation side of this phenomenon. Our aim is to understand how different interpretations of nature take place locally for example when enhancing biodiversity, creating nature-based solutions or protecting nature. What is the role of nature and who are the other actors in these processes?

We welcome diverse studies that examine the dynamics of policy implementation and their outcomes. Theoretically and methodologically, we welcome papers applying diverse conceptual approaches, for example urban infrastructures, ethnography approach, experimenting, practice theory, Science and Technology Studies and policy change.

This session will be held in Päätalo A33, Thursday 13:30-15:30


Helena Leino, Tampere University, helena.leino[at]

Jere Nieminen, Wild Zone, jere.nieminen[at]

Thursday 13:30-15:30

Lampinen J, García-Antúnez O, Olafsson AS, Kavanagh KC, Gulsrud NM, Raymond CM: Navigating diverse perceptions of co-benefits and trade-offs of managing urban green infrastructure (UGI) for carbon neutrality, biodiversity, and well-being

Helena Leino and Jere Nieminen: Embedding nature vegetation into living urban infrastructure: study on the diversity of practice


9. Messy research communication – alternative, art-based, affective?

“Impact” is increasingly emphasized in research funding. Researchers are expected to speak to multiple audiences and master various means of communication. Publishing research results in the form of a scholarly article often feels like shouting alone in the woods – it is uncertain who reads the paper and whether it will have any impact. Communicating information alone is not enough to achieve change. Alternative, art-based, affective methods of research communication, making use of e.g. fiction, poetry, crafts, games, and video, can complement traditional methods and help in increasing research impact.

For researchers dealing with sustainability matters, contributing to positive environmental and social changes is an important motivator. The other side of the coin may be anxiety and the feeling of powerlessness in the face of the crises of the world. Creative research communication methods can feel revitalizing. Addressing a different public may allow more freedom in expression but experimenting with alternative forms of communication often requires time, new skills, and risk-taking related to career development and reputation.

In this working group, our aim is to explore alternative ways of research communication and to learn from each other. We welcome free-form presentations and reflections on diverse, alternative means of research communication. What can be achieved by various creative methods? What have you learned? What does creative research communication require from the researcher? How to fit creative communication with other research duties and goals? The group convenors will discuss their own experiences in “alternative” research communication: Nina has developed a board game on biodiversity offsetting and Minna has written a self-published children’s book on living with wasps.

This session will be held in Pinni A4060, Thursday 13:30-16:00


Nina V. Nygren, Tampere University, nina.nygren[at]

Minna Santaoja, University of Eastern Finland, minna.santaoja[at]

Thursday 13.30-16.00

Ossi I. Ollinaho: Social phenomenology and games: Outlining “Save the world” game

Nina V. Nygren, Tampere University: Facilitated framings, frustration and fun. Stakeholders playing tabletop game on biodiversity offsetting.

Anna Mustonen: Environmental monologue

Minna Santaoja: A self-published children’s book as science communication

Friday 9:00-11:00, Pinni B 3110

Offsetting game session (Kompensaatiopeli) , max 12 players

Chair: Nina V. Nygren, Tampere University


10. Visions of the city: Politics of visualisation framing (sustainable) urban development and planning

In this session we will explore How are images used to advance particular political visions of the city? Visualisations are crucial in conveying messages about urban planning and spatial development. Maps visualising data and plans describing, and prescribing, land uses have traditionally been a central part of the planning process. Moreover, schematic and thematic maps are used to convey spatial relations and envisioned changes. Policy documents are enriched by images, digital renderings and symbols, while videos tell persuasive stories about cities, urban development and possible (sustainable) futures. While images are presented as neutral visualisations, they play an integral role in political debate and in the planning process. Despite this abundance of visualisations, scholarly debate on cartographic representations in planning is still rare, and there is even less research on the role of other visual elements such as images or videos.

We welcome diverse studies that examine the politics of visualisation framing (sustainable) urban development and planning. Theoretically and methodologically, we welcome papers applying diverse conceptual approaches, for example planning studies, visual studies, ethnography approach, experimenting, practice theory, Science and Technology Studies and interpretative policy analyses.

This session will be held in Päätalo A34, Thursday 13:30-16:00


Markus Laine, Tampere University, markus.laine[at]

Asko Lehmuskallio, Tampere University, asko.lehmuskallio[at]

Thursday 13:30-16:00

Janne I. Hukkinen, Peeter Vihma, Carlos Lamuela Orta, Antti Mäkelä, Nina Janasik, Johan Munck af Rosenschöld, Roope Kaaronen, Tapio Reinekoski, Kelsey LaMere, Liina-Maija Quist, Onerva Aula: Facilitating strategic environmental crisis decisions with videos that affectively amplify the cognitive dissonance between urban risks and plans

Petteri Repo and Päivi Timonen: Meanings attributed to #urban in Tumblr

Markus Laine and Asko Lehmuskallio: Visions of the City: persuasive visual storytelling in urban development, a case study