I’m an interdisciplinary scholar specializing in circular economy and consumer behavior. Starting from August 2021, I work as a Senior researcher in circular economy and consumer citizenship at Laurea University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland. Prior to that, in 2016-2021, I worked first as an Assistant professor and then as an Associate professor in consumption studies and intercultural encounters at Aalborg University in Denmark. In addition, since 2017, I hold a title of docent in sociology from the University of Helsinki in Finland. Before that, I worked at the University of Helsinki at a prestigious position of the Academy of Finland fellow. Also, I was employed as a docent at the National Research University — Higher School of Economics in St. Petersburg, Russia. Working as a visiting researcher at universities across the world — The New School — Parsons School of Design (USA), Aalto University (Finland), University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (USA), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA), Central European University (Hungary) and University of Genova (Italy) – has broadened my international experience.
I was trained as a sociologist, but have worked in interdisciplinary teams as well as with industry actors. In addition to social scientists, I collaborated with fashion and textile designers, UX designers and service designers. Passionate about fashion and textile, I have closely followed these industries for many years. I’m interested in consumer insights, consumer behavior, nudging consumers to be more sustainable, consumer behavior towards textile waste, sustainable business models and entrepreneurship. I’m also interested in a broader set of issues related to social and cultural sustainability in creative industries, such as diversity, equity and inclusion, social justice and human rights.
I’m curious about methods of social research. I use interpretive methodologies and ethnographic methods that gain deeper understanding of why things happen the way they do. I’ve worked with visual ethnography, research-based film-making and social network analysis in addition to other methods. I’m also curious about methods and tools associated with service design and used in applied research. While working with business and non-profit organizations, I rely on the user-centered and open innovation concept of the Living Lab that allows me to be creative and utilize a multiplicity of methods from both social sciences and service design.
I’ve been the principle investigator on a number of large- and small-scale academic projects, supported by various funding bodies, including the Academy of Finland, Finnish Cultural Foundation, Fulbright and Carnegie Corporation of New York, among others. At the moment, I enjoy working with large-scale European and local projects that engage research institutions, industry and municipalities in the fields of circular economy, consumer behavior, and textile and fashion. For instance, I’m working on the project titled “A village of sustainable clothing – bringing together educators, young consumers and companies” (VISU), supported by the Regional Council Uudenmaan liitto and implemented together with the Finnish Textile and Fashion. Another of my major projects BALTIC2HAND is supported by Interreg and aimed at enhancing business and behavioral change in the second-hand industry of the Baltic Sea region. It’s implemented together with four other stakeholders in Finland, Latvia, Estonia and Sweden.
Photo (c): Be in open 2018