Research Team

Principal Investigator

Simo Häyrynen (PhD, Social Sciences), is University lecturer in Environmental Politics at the Department of Geographical and Historical studies, UEF and adjunct professor in Cultural Politics in UEF and Turku University. He is the author of 8 monographs and editor of 4 compilations, including Locality, Memory and Reconstruction (2012), and the author of several international referred articles on cultural identity construction. His field of interest includes the cultural variation of transitions in resource-based industries and communities, and political utilization of regional identities. Based on these themes he has directed, organised and participated in numerous transdisciplinary research projects, committees and seminars in recent years.



Fulvio Rizzo (PhD, Regional studies) is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies at the University of Eastern Finland. His fields of expertise include multi-level governance of rural development and policy, agricultural policy, agricultural multifunctionality, sociology of agriculture, methodological approaches for conducting research in international environments, and R&D skills in the education sector. In his doctoral dissertation he has investigated the co-evolution of agriculture and rural development in different regional institutional contexts, specifically in Italy and in Finland.  He has a proven track record at publishing in academic journals in his field. In the year 2016, he has published the article “Approaching multifunctionality by a ‘normative view’: Finnish farmers visions on contemporary agriculture” in the Journal European Countryside and co-authored the article “Identifying social innovations in European local rural development initiatives for the Journal Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research.


Jakob Donner-Amnell (M SocSc) is a Researcher at the Department of Historical and Geographical Studies, University of Eastern Finland. He has taken part in several multi-disciplinary research projects on a national and international level. He has made research on the forest-industrial sector in Finland and the Nordic countries, on Finland´s policies for sustainability, and on the prospects for bio-economy globally and in Finland. His research has been published in domestic and international journals, as book chapters, and he has co-edited several books and reports, for example “Politics of Forests. Northern Forest-industrial Regimes in the Age of Globalization” (Ashgate 2004), co-edited with Ari Lehtinen and Bjornar Saether. His main expertise concerns change dynamics of resource-based economic sectors, economic sectors in regional and national policies, and policies for sustainability transitions and bio economy.


Sari Tuuva-Hongisto ( PhD, Folklore studies) is a scholar of cultural studies. Her fields of expertise are in ethnography, cultural studies and science and technology studies (STS). Her dissertation investigated the experiments launched for developing the information society in North Karelia and the success stories that occurred in the remote areas and became an essential element in the national information society development.  She has published several international and national refereed articles and co-edited books (for example  Donner-Amnell, J. & Miina, S. & Pykäläinen, J. & Tuuva-Hongisto, S. (eds.) Maailma haastaa. Metsä tulevaisuuden ratkaisuissa, Talja, S. & Tuuva, S. (eds.), Tietotekniikkasuhteet – Kulttuurinen näkökulma.) She has combined cultural approach to various multi-disciplinary topics, including information technology and technological transformations, media culture, oral history, youth research, forest sector and foresight. She has taken part in several multi-disciplinary research and development projects and has worked at Karelian Institute and Forest Foresight Unit at UEF and Juvenia (Youth Research and Development Center) at Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences.  


Jussi Semi (Ph.D., geography) has worked as a researcher in the Department of Geographical and Historical Studies at the University of Eastern Finland. His research interests has been connected to local and political aspects of urban spaces and places and their changes. Semi has studied neighbour disputes and relations, well-being and happiness in the neighbourhoods, and the issues of participation in urban planning. His latest studies has concentrated on issues of urban planning in Vyborg in 1920s and 1930s. He finished his dissertation in geography on remembering and understanding places and spaces in the town of Joensuu, Finland, in 2010. His research interests include cultural aspects of space and place, and also biopolitics, biopower, and the theories of Henri Lefebvre and Michel Foucault.

Pilvi Hämeenaho, (PhD, Human Sciences, Ethnology), works as a researcher in Environmental Politics at the Department of Geographical and Historical studies. She studies the ideas and visions of sustainability from the perspective of residents living in remote rural areas in Finland. She is the author of two compilations, Moniulotteinen etnografia - Multifaceted Ethnography (2014) and Soveltava kulttuurintutkimus - Applied Cultural Studies (2018), one monograph, and the author of several journal articles. In her dissertation she studied families’ everyday life and well-being in remote rural areas in Central Finland. In her postdoctoral project, funded by the Academy of Finland (2015-2018), she explored multi-agency collaboration and special support in basic education. Her main research interests concern ethnography, rural studies, disability studies and collaborative methods.

Steering group Professor Maria Lähteenmäki, maria.lahteenmaki(at)
Professor Pertti Rannikko, pertti.rannikko(at)
Professor Seppo Knuuttila, seppo.knuuttila(at)
Professor Rauno Sairinen,r auno.sairinen(at)
Professor Markku Tykkyläinen, markku.tykkylainen(at)
Researcher Eero Vatanen, eero.vatanen(at)