Browsing by Subject "TRANSFORMATION"

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  • Wuokko, Maiju Marjaana (2021)
    This article addresses the apparent paradox of simultaneous neoliberal change and welfare-statist, corporatist continuity by presenting an empirical case study of the advent of neoliberal ideas in Finland in the 1970s and 1980s. The article focuses on the attempts of a free-market think tank, EVA, and the employers’ association, STK, to advance policies such as economic deregulation, international competitiveness, welfare retrenchment, and active social and labour market policies through the neoliberal retasking of the corporatist Finnish welfare state. EVA and the STK utilised seemingly non-neoliberal means, that is an economic policy consensus and tripartite corporatist arrangements, and reformulated their content to better correspond with business interests. Instead of demolition, the outcome has been the redefinition and incremental transformation of the state from a provider of welfare to a promoter of competitiveness, productivity, and employment.
  • D'amato, Dalia; Droste, Nils; Winkler, Klara; Toppinen, Anne (2019)
    The continuous emergence of new ideas and terms simultaneously enables and impedes the advancement of sustainability, because of an increasingly complex conceptual landscape. This study aims at highlighting combinations of sustainability concepts (circular, green and bioeconomy) and of development models (growth, steady-state, degrowth) which selected researchers have considered priorities for pursuing sustainability transformations. Thirteen leading scholars working on sustainability issues were asked to rank 36 statements describing activities related to either circular, green, bio, growth, steady-state or degrowth economy. Using Q methodology, an exploratory approach to the identification of shared or diverging opinions, three archetypical perspectives were identified across the respondents: 1. circular solutions towards economic-environmental decoupling in a degrowth perspective; 2. a mix of circular and green economy solutions; 3. a green economy perspective, with an emphasis on natural capital and ecosystem services, and critical towards growth. Economic growth was perceived negatively across all perspectives, in contrast to the current lack of political and societal support for degrowth ideas. Neither did bioeconomy-oriented activities have support among the participating researchers, even though half of the respondents were working with bioeconomy issues, which are currently high on the political agenda. The lack of support for pro-growth and bioeconomy solutions are unexpected results given the current political discourses. While the results are not to be generalised beyond the sample, they provide valuable orientation for emerging and under-investigated research and policy directions. If bioeconomy policies are to be implemented on a broader scale, it seems worthwhile evaluating the acceptability of the bioeconomy agenda among various societal actors. Furthermore, our results point to the (still under-explored) potential of formulating synergic circular, green and bioeconomy policies, possibly without a focus on economic growth.
  • Lam, David P.M.; Horcea-Milcu, Andra I.; Fischer, Joern; Peukert, Daniela; Lang, Daniel J. (2020)
    Transformational research frameworks provide understanding and guidance for fostering change towards sustainability. They comprise stages of system understanding, visioning and co-designing intervention strategies to foster change. Guidance and empirical examples for how to facilitate the process of co-designing intervention strategies in real-world contexts remain scarce, especially with regard to integrating local initiatives. We suggest three principles to facilitate the process of co-designing intervention strategies that integrate local initiatives: (1) Explore existing and envisioned initiatives fostering change towards the desired future; (2) Frame the intervention strategy to bridge the gap between the present state and desired future state(s), building on, strengthening and complementing existing initiatives; (3) Identify drivers, barriers and potential leverage points for how to accelerate progress towards sustainability. We illustrate our approach via a case study on sustainable development in Southern Transylvania. We conclude that our principles were useful in the case study, especially with regards to integrating initiatives, and could also be applied in other real-world contexts.
  • Saarimäki, Laura A.; Kinaret, Pia A. S.; Scala, Giovanni; del Giudice, Giusy; Federico, Antonio; Serra, Angela; Greco, Dario (2020)
    Toxicogenomics approaches are increasingly used to gain mechanistic insight into the toxicity of engineered nanomaterials (ENMs). These emerging technologies have been shown to aid the translation of in vitro experimentation into relevant information on real-life exposures. Furthermore, integrating multiple layers of molecular alteration can provide a broader understanding of the toxicological insult. While there is growing evidence of the immunotoxic effects of several ENMs, the mechanisms are less characterized, and the dynamics of the molecular adaptation of the immune cells are still largely unknown. Here, we hypothesized that a multi-omics investigation of dynamic dose-dependent (DDD) molecular alterations could be used to retrieve relevant information concerning possible long-term consequences of the exposure. To this end, we applied this approach on a model of human macrophages to investigate the effects of rigid multi-walled carbon nanotubes (rCNTs). THP-1 macrophages were exposed to increasing concentrations of rCNTs and the genome-wide transcription and gene promoter methylation were assessed at three consecutive time points. The results suggest dynamic molecular adaptation with a rapid response in the gene expression and contribution of DNA methylation in the long-term adaptation. Moreover, our analytical approach is able to highlight patterns of molecular alteration in vitro that are relevant for the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis, a known long-term effect of rCNTs exposure in vivo.
  • Soini, Katriina; Jurgilevich, Alexandra; Pietikainen, Janna; Korhonen-Kurki, Kaisa (2018)
    Universities worldwide are experiencing a growing trend to respond to the need for sustainability. Sustainability centres are one key aspect in the sustainability transitions of universities. Until currently, these centres have been relatively neglected by research. This exploratory study makes a solid contribution to the scholarship and understanding of the various means by which universities are responding to the societal challenge of sustainability by analysing a sample of 44 sustainability centres across the world to increase understanding of the characteristics and roles of these centres in contributing to sustainability. Furthermore, the study identifies four types of centres differing in their goals, objects, scope and scale of research, knowledge production and outreach activities. The typology of the centres can be applied for example when new centres are established or when centres identify or redefine their profiles. The authors suggest further research concerning sustainability centres, given their central role as nodes of sustainability research, education and co-creation in sustainability transformation. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.