Social Scientific Biosociety Research Network (SOBIO)

Our multidisciplinary research network demonstrates how the circulation of bioeconomy innovations, policies and natural resources governance in different societal spheres and levels needs and benefits from interdisciplinary, cross-sectoral and collaborative multi-actor approaches in order to avoid conflicts and create synergies in sustainable circular bioeconomy solutions.

Our research draws on social scientific theories, methods and practices of governance, justice, and foresight in dealing with the environment, society and natural resource use. We aim to raise discussions about the possibilities and limitations of collaborative responsive governance and the environmental capabilities of citizens in bioeconomy.

In addition, we produce science-based knowledge about natural resources and the environment, scenario analyses and futures studies, and tools for decision-making. Sustainable well-being and the required social and institutional innovations are advanced by enabling the versatile potential of citizens who are willing to participate.

One way of engaging citizens in the science-policy nexus is through participatory action research and citizen science. However, regulatory means for supporting the use of deliberative governance in the bioeconomy transition are also needed for responsive governance and decision-making.

We seize the lacunae of impact assessments and participation in drafting processes of inclusive bioeconomy strategies and strive to develop systematic impact assessment and responsive means for governance. Thus, our interdisciplinary, future-oriented research responds to EU challenges by focusing on citizen involvement –  especially youth  –  multi-actor governance, informed dialogue with society, regional and community socio-ecological resilience, and openness to science and innovation.

SOBIO constitutes one of the research networks of UEF Bioeconomy Research Networks  and it is a vital part of the LYY network: The Institute for Natural Resources, Environment and Society (LYY).

UEF contact persons in this network:

The email addresses for the contact persons are: firstname.lastname@uef.fi

Network Coordinator, Postdoctoral Researcher Moritz Albrecht (bioeconomy assemblages, policy translation, relational environmental governance)

Professor Irmeli Mustalahti (environmental policy; responsive natural resources governance; participation)

Professor Jarmo Kortelainen (human geography; local and regional development; renewable energy governance)

Professor Teppo Hujala (forest bioeconomy foresight;  family forest owners' decision-making; co-design of new businesses)

Professor Raija Komppula (tourism studies; customer oriented service development; tourism marketing)

Professor Ismo Pölönen (environmental law; environmental impact assessment; natural resource law)