Let’s focus on the partners! – University of Turku (UTU)

The University of Turku (UTU) was the first Finnish-language university in the world. By now, the university covers more than 130 subjects in 7 faculties.

Finland Futures Research Centre (FFRC) is one of the few university departments in the world which is fully devoted to futures research. Jointly founded by three universities in 1992, FFRC is currently a department within the Turku School of Economics. FFRC staff consists of 60–70 experts coming from several disciplines: geography, economics, sociology, policy sciences, engineering, environmental sciences etc.

FFRC works with a transdisciplinary approach. The main fields of activity include academic interdisciplinary futures research, futures education, strategic and business foresight and dissemination of futures consciousness. The main research areas include theoretical and methodological foundations of futures studies and foresight, large scale societal and sector-specific transitions and empirical futures research in numerous contexts: energy and the environment; agriculture and food; urban, rural and regional development; private consumption; education.

All FFRC’s activities promote futures that follow multidimensional sustainable development (economic, environmental, social and cultural).

FFRC has been credited with national special task to develop futures research and foresight in Finland. In addition, it serves as the permanent advisor of the Committee for the Future of the Finnish Parliament. This provides an excellent way to keep in touch with decision-makers. The established annual Futures Conference organised by the FFRC brings together world-renowned futurists and researchers as well as Finnish stakeholders.

 

Research Director, Adjunct Professor Tuomas Kuhmonen has Ph.D. in Business Administration and Economics and M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics. He has been working in the research business for 30 years. Before his current position, he has been Professor of Entrepreneurship in the University of Jyväskylä and Professor of Agricultural Policy in the University of Helsinki. Tuomas has experience in various disciplines (e.g. agricultural and rural policy, business economics, futures studies, systems studies, regional studies) and he likes interdisciplinary research projects. He has been running about 100 projects and lectured to about 30,000 people. He has published both articles in high-rank journals and research reports serving policy design and decision-making.

Project researcher Pertti Ruuska has M.Sc in Agricultural Economics and M.Sc. in Corporate Environmental Management. In his early working career he worked about five years in sosio-economic research of Finnish Forest Research Institute. Before his current position in University of Turku he has been working about two decades in advisory and specialist tasks in NGOs of farmers and private forest owners with many issues including e.g. Common Agricultural Policy, rural development, land use and environment policy. During these years he has also worked as a specialist and project manager in various EU funded rural development projects.