Browsing by Subject "transformation"

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  • Hanspach, Jan; Haider, Lisbeth Jamila; Oteros-Rozas, Elisa; Olafsson, Anton Stahl; Gulsrud, Natalie M.; Raymond, Christopher M.; Torralba, Mario; Martin-Lopez, Berta; Bieling, Claudia; Garcia-Martin, Maria; Albert, Christian; Beery, Thomas H.; Fagerholm, Nora; Diaz-Reviriego, Isabel; Drews-Shambroom, Annika; Plieninger, Tobias (2020)
    Current sustainability challenges demand approaches that acknowledge a plurality of human-nature interactions and worldviews, for which biocultural approaches are considered appropriate and timely. This systematic review analyses the application of biocultural approaches to sustainability in scientific journal articles published between 1990 and 2018 through a mixed methods approach combining qualitative content analysis and quantitative multivariate methods. The study identifies seven distinct biocultural lenses, that is, different ways of understanding and applying biocultural approaches, which to different degrees consider the key aspects of sustainability science-inter- and transdisciplinarity, social justice and normativity. The review suggests that biocultural approaches in sustainability science need to move from describing how nature and culture are co-produced to co-producing knowledge for sustainability solutions, and in so doing, better account for questions of power, gender and transformations, which has been largely neglected thus far. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article. A free Plain Language Summary can be found within the Supporting Information of this article.
  • Helenius, Juha; Hagolani-Albov, Sophia; Koppelmäki, Kari (2020)
    Critics of modern food systems argue for the need to shift from a consolidated and concentrated, often monoculture based agro-industrial model toward diversified, post-fossil, and nutrient recycling food systems. The abundance of acute and obvious environmental problems in the agricultural sub-systems of the broader food system(s) have resulted in a focus on technological and natural scientific research into "solving" these point of production problems. Yet, there are many facets of food systems that are vital to sustainability which are not addressed even if the environmental problems were solved. In this article, we argue for agroecological symbiosis (AES) as a generic arrangement for re-configuring the primary production of food in agriculture, the processing of food, and development of a food community to work toward system-level sustainability. The guiding principle of this concept was the desire to base farming and food processing on renewable bioenergy, to close nutrient cycles, to break away from the consolidated food chain, to be more transparent and connected with consumers, and to revitalize the rural spaces where farms generally operate. Through a consistent and robust collaboration and co-creative process with transdisciplinary actors, ranging from food producers, and processers to policy actors, we designed a food system model based on networks of AES (NAES). The NAES would form place-based food networks, replacing the consolidated commodity chains. The NAES supports sustainable interactions from a biophysical and socio-cultural perspective. In this paper, we explain the AES concept, give an overview of the process of co-creating the pilot AES, and a proposal for the extension of the AES, as NAES, to create sustainable food systems. Overall, we conclude that the AES model holds potential for creating place-based food systems that further the sustainability agenda.
  • Lehtisaari, Katja Marleena; Villi, Mikko; Grönlund, Mikko; Linden, Tommy Carl-Gustav; Mierzejewska, Bozena; Picard, Robert; Röpnack, Axel (2018)
    The article focuses on innovation and social media strategies in newspaper companies in the US and three Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Norway and Denmark). Many previous studies have focused on the state of journalism and media industry in single countries, although media have distinct features in different countries. Through the comparative setting, it is possible to examine the differences in media innovation strategies and study what factors affect innovation in media production, business models, sources of funding, and social media strategies. The qualitative part of the paper consists of semi-structured in-depth interviews (N = 65) with media managers and experts, which were carried out in Scandinavia in 2016 and in the US in 2017. The quantitative market data covers the years 2006–2016; this timespan corresponds well with the accelerating digital transition in the newspaper business. According to the results, new business models are mostly new combinations of existing revenue streams, while adaptation of new technology is slow, with few exceptions.
  • Jokinen, Toni (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    In this thesis I focus on a novel disaster response and preparedness mechanism called forecast-based financing. The mechanism is linked to the changing paradigm of humanitarian response that calls for more localized and more resilience building solutions to addressing and preventing humanitarian crisis. It is also in the core of the anticipation agenda which argues that waiting for disasters to happen is not a sustainable option and that forecast data and pre-agreed triggers and actions should be used in order to prevent both loss of lives and mitigate the cost and impact of disasters. Main hypothesis is that climate related hazards to livelihoods and food security seems to be the sector where forecast-based financing could have most potential for increasing resilience and sustainability. Slow onset crises with long lead-time allow for better targeting and more variety of actions. As the lifetime of the action is longer, there is less chance of action which is in vain. Furthermore, the actions which are more localized, for example direct support to farmers, can decrease their vulnerabilities. I aim at taking a critical approach to assessing this potentiality associated with the forecast-based financing mechanism through case study. The three cases (Mongolia, Kenya, Zimbabwe) were selected from pilots implemented by the main actors: the Red Cross, World Food Programme (WFP) and Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Start Network. This thesis uses a combination of evaluative and heuristic approach to qualitative case study analysis. To answer the first research question, 1) is the forecast-based financing mechanism successful in prioritization of actions in a way that best address the needs and resources of vulnerable populations, I aim at finding out if mechanism is effective (or potentially effective) in delivering impact. For the second research question, 2) are the actions sustainable and do they bring socio-economic benefits that go beyond meeting acute humanitarian needs, I will see if new pathways are found for confirming the defined hypothesis. I am using heuristic approach in terms of finding new links e.g. between actions and needs of either donors, actors or beneficiaries. I asses and analyse available reports and evaluations (secondary data) of the selected operations. I conducted eleven (11) semi-structured key informant interviews (primary data) using practitioner’s perspective for retrieving qualitative data, for further understanding and for triangulation. All key informants were affiliated to the cases. My analysis show that the potentiality for development impacts and long-term transformation of the forecast-based financing is there but it is not utilized in the cases reviewed nor is it perceived in a same way across practitioners of different backgrounds. Currently the mechanism is used more for effective response, not for addressing the root causes of vulnerability. In general, the entitlement or empowering of a person who is affected by disaster currently does not go beyond securing bridge over lean season, avoiding negative coping mechanisms or e.g. better yield or survival of livestock. Sustainability potential of the forecast-based financing seems to be currently underutilized and international funding envelopes do not offer an alternative to the humanitarian funding launched case-by-case. Most of the practitioners interviewed were clearly in favour of linking and using forecast-based financing in some way to long-term programming, thinking outside of the framework of humanitarian response, extending lead time significantly and adding positive reinforcement inputs. I argue that with a lead time that goes long in advance, towards development actions, the mechanism needs to be reframed for the donors and the sources of funding might need to be reconsidered. To implement meaningful resilience actions in slow onset cases, triggers need to be early enough and actions in two phases: 1) anticipatory and benefiting from forecast and 2) early response. At beneficiary level the actions should be geared up to better address underlying socio-economic vulnerabilities and take advantage of the long lead time.
  • Numers, Nina von (University of Helsinki, 1998)
  • Markkula, Marita (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    The topic of this study is to explore how the senior business leaders construct their attitudes and describe the role of trust in the context of business transformations related to the company's business and organization, for example during mergers or acquisitions (M&A) and hyper-growth. The focus of the study is on attitudes constructed by these leaders and observed through their argumentation when talking about trust. These attitudes and argumentation are examined from the theoretic-methodological approach of qualitative attitude approach, offering a unique angle to trust research, widely dominated by quantitative research. The qualitative attitude approach relies on rhetorical social psychology and constructivist viewpoint, which draws attention to the socially constructed nature of argumentation when examining attitudes. In the qualitative attitude approach, attitude is seen as relationist, where attitude is viewed to be built in argumentation. Examining the argumentation of speech provides new insights into the role of trust in an organization. The research data consisted of five individual interviews of experienced corporate executives in top management positions (members of the company’s executive leadership team or the board of directors). The interviews were conducted in the spring and summer of 2019. These semi-structured interviews consisted of seven attitude prompts to which comments were requested. Five prompts addressed trust within the organization and two addressed leadership. In their speech, the interviewees formed statements and justifications to the questions and topics at hand, substantiating and negotiating their views. The study identified 20 different attitude constructs related to trust and two attitude constructs related to leadership overall. These attitudes were constructed from the classification of statements and justifications that emerged from the interview material. According to the qualitative attitude approach, analysis was conducted on two levels: through classifying and interpretative analysis. Attitudes were interpreted based on six evaluative argumentation patterns when talking about trust, forming six rhetoric versions of trust: Trust as a relational and interactional phenomenon across different organizational levels, Trust as an organizational catalyst, Trust as an outcome of multidimensional elements, Trust as an intentional act, Trust as a collective construct, and Trust-building as a leadership skill. The senior leaders formed these versions of trust from four subject positions - Trustor, Trustee, Observer and Evaluator of Trust, and Active Trust Builder. Positive, conditional, and negative justifications, subject positions, self-reflection, framing, and social influence were used as rhetoric and social resources to form attitudes related to trust. In the trust speech of senior business leaders, trust is described as an atmosphere of common trust, building material, and a bedrock of the company, that must be consciously and collectively built within organizations. Modern leadership was described as a school of fish with collective intelligence, a team jointly creating success. Trust-building needs to be contributed by the whole organization but it’s also seen as a leadership skill just like budgeting. The benefits of trust for organizations are empirically indisputable. Trust helps an organization to bear and share risks, creates psychological safety at all levels of the organization as well as supports risk-taking and decision-making in transformational situations.
  • Rosengren, L.M.; Raymond, C.M.; Sell, M.; Vihinen, H. (2020)
    Leverage points from systems research are increasingly important to understand how to support transformations towards sustainability, but few studies have considered leverage points in strengthening adaptive capacity to climate change. The existing literature mainly considers strengthening adaptive capacity as a steady and linear process. This article explores possibilities to fast track positive adaptive capacity trajectories of small-scale farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana. Leverage points were identified by triangulating data from semi-structured interviews with farmers (n=72), key informant interviews (n=7) and focus group discussions (FG1 n=17; FG2 n=20). The results present two ways to approach adaptation planning: 1) using four generic leverage points (gender equality, social learning, information and knowledge, and access to finance) or 2) combining the adaptive capacity and leverage point frameworks, thereby creating 15 associations. The generic points provide a set of topics as a starting point for policy and intervention planning activities, while the 15 associations support the identification of place-specific leverage points. Four benefits of using leverage points for adaptive capacity in adaptation planning were identified: guidance on where to intervene in a system, ability to deal with complex systems, inclusion of both causal and teleological decision-making, and a possibility to target deep, transformative change. © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
  • Heiskanen, Eva; Apajalahti, Eeva-Lotta; Matschoss, Kaisa Johanna; Lovio, Raimo (2018)
    The behaviour of incumbent energy companies is critical for a transition to a sustainable energy system. We address the recent call for closer conceptualisation of power and agency within transition studies by combining concepts of strategic action fields (Fligstein and McAdam, 2012) and the flat-ontology perspective of arenas of development (Jørgensen, 2012) to identify potential ruptures emerging on the micro scale in the field of sustainable energy. We investigate how new actor configurations in new experimental arenas open field rules for renegotiation. We provide a long-term analysis on how traditional energy field rules have emerged, how two of the most powerful energy companies in Finland have responded to the emergence of sustainable energy and how new forms of collaborations are emerging in the space created by new arenas of development that create ruptures within the incumbent energy coalition.
  • Jantunen, Siv (University of Helsinki, 1995)
  • Johansson, Julia (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This project focuses on development of novel split intein systems for selection of biological activities utilizing protein splicing. Protein splicing is phenomenon that occurs naturally inside the cell and the reaction is catalyzed by inteins, which connect C-terminal and N-terminal exteins with a peptide bond. The activity of the interrupted protein, consisting the exteins, can be restored after the intein is excised and the peptide bond links the exteins together. This occurrence can be used for selection of cells based on different activities including antibiotic resistance. The project aims to insert an intein in antibiotic resistance gene which could allow controlling the protein activity of the antibiotic resistance gene by protein splitting. This method is based on inserting an intein to the antibiotic resistance conferring enzyme which makes the protein inactive. Creating two separate plasmids that include the intein sequence can be transformed into bacterial cells. Other plasmid includes a deletion in the intein sequence and the cells that include this plasmid only, are not able to survive in the presence of an antibiotic. This is due to inactivity of the intein and thus the inactivity of the enzyme that confers the resistance. Incorporating a second plasmid that includes the corresponding sequence to the deletion, the intein activity can be recovered and thus the protein activity. By this method with cotransformation, both plasmids are transformed simultaneously which recovers the intein activity and further the antibiotic resistance. This could be used for the cell selection since only the cells that harbor both of the two complementary plasmids could restore the antibiotic resistance.
  • Ververis, Ermolaos (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    Cobalamin (vitamin B12) occurs naturally in some animal-derived foods and is produced exclusively by microorganisms. An optimised protocol was used for extraction of cobalamin from cheese matrixes. No pseudocobalamin was detected in any of the examined samples. Cobalamin levels (mg/100g FW) detected in commercial emmental cheeses of three ripening stages did not alter significantly (P>0.05). Similar results were observed during the ripening of experimental semi-hard cheeses with or without propionibacteria. Existence of propionibacteria as adjunct culture in experimental cheeses did not alter significantly contribution on cobalamin levels of the cheese (P>0.05). The findings indicate that in the studied cheese matrixes the presence of propionibacteria did not affect the amount of cobalamin. The conditions to which propionibacteria are subjected during cheese manufacture and ripening and the presence of adenosyl-cobalamin in milk may be factors that repress cobalamin synthesis in Swiss- type cheeses. To date, the only known food grade microorganism that can produce cobalamin is Propionibacterium freudenreichii. This microorganism can also produce small amounts of pseudocobalamin, a compound structurally similar to cobalamin. BluB/CobT2 fusion gene is the factor that differentiates the two compounds upon their biosynthesis, by synthesizing and binding 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole (DMBI) to the final molecule of cobalamin. In the present study, attempts to inactivate this gene were performed in order to investigate the existence of an alternative enzyme, capable of activating adenine for attachment as a lower ligand in pseudocobalamin, instead of DMBI. An electroporation protocol was implemented in order to transform plasmids containing bluB or cobT2 fragments and gene encoding erythromycin resistance in propionibacteria. Following transformation plasmid carrying bacteria were selected by cultivation in medium containing erythromycin. Homologous recombination of the bacterial genome and the non-replicative plasmid was expected to occur, leading to insertional mutagenesis. Colonies appeared after 7 and 11 days and were identified as propionibacteria but the disruption of bluB/cobT2 gene could not be verified. Inefficient transformation protocol, satellite colonies, low transformation efficiency, or choice essentiality of the bluB/cobT2 are among the possible explanations for the outcome of the experiment. Electroporation conditions should be optimized towards a more efficient P. freudenreichii transformation.
  • Modovan, Daniela (Helsingfors universitet, 2016)
    This Master’s thesis is an ethnographic study that focuses on Romanian transnational migrant families. It explores, from an anthropological perspective the transformations that have happened in the lives of the Romanian migrants in Spain, on how the context of migration influences people’s lives and on how the changes are perceived by the migrants. The fieldwork was conducted in 2014 in a Romanian Community situated in a small village near Roquetas del Mar, Almeria, in the Southern part of Spain. The collected material consists of 15 interviews, participant observation diary and a collection of photos and videos. The data was analyzed using micro-interpretive social constructionism. Through thematic analysis, three important changes were identified. The first theme concentrates on the changes that have happened in the perception of family and family life. Hence, the research examines how the concept of family has changed and how the family has been constructed in the migration context. The second theme explores the experiences of the migrants from a human security perspective. The manner in which migrants perceive their human security is reflected in their daily discourse and it has a significant influence on their behaviour. The third theme of this study focuses on the religious transformation. The aim of this section is to investigate how the everyday religion has been changing in the migration context and how people have been making sense of their religious experiences. This study is unable to encompass the entire complexity of the changes that have happened in the lives of the Romanian migrants. However, it sheds a new light on specific changes that are important for the migrants. Since this is a qualitative based research that draws on a limited number of participants, it is impossible to generalize the results. Nevertheless, this research provides new insights into subjects that previous studies have not dealt with in much detail.
  • Preda-Balanica, Bianca; Frinculeasa, Alin; Heyd, Volker (2020)
    This paper aims to provide an overview of the current understanding in Yamnaya burials from north of the Lower Danube, particularly focussing on their relationship with supposed local archaeological cultures/societies. Departing from a decades-long research history and latest archaeological finds from Romania, it addresses key research basics on the funerary archaeology of their kurgans and burials; their material culture and chronology; on steppe predecessors and Katakombnaya successors; and links with neighbouring regions as well as the wider southeast European context. Taking into account some reflections from latest ancient DNA revelations, there can be no doubt a substantial migration has taken place around 3000 BC, with Yamnaya populations originating from the Caspian-Pontic steppe pushing westwards. However already the question if such accounts for the term of 'Mass Migrations' cannot be satisfactorily answered, as we are only about to begin to understand the demographics in this process. A further complication is trying to assess who is a newcomer and who is a local in an interaction scenario that lasts for c. 500 years. Identities are not fixed, may indeed transform, as previous newcomers soon turn into locals, while others are just visitors. Nevertheless, this well-researched region of geographical transition from lowland eastern Europe to the hillier parts of temperate Europe provides an ideal starting point to address such questions, being currently also at the heart of the intense discussion about what is identity in the context of the emerging relationship of Archaeology and Genetics.