Ecological macroeconomic model

The SISU project will develop an ecological macroeconomic FINGREEN model to simulate sufficiency solutions, creating a basis for their secure and just implementation in Finnish social policy. Our macroeconomic model builds on the Eurogreen model developed in the context of France and Italy, which will be adapted for the Finnish context and further developed to include major biodiversity impacts. In this way, the model can be used to evaluate the ecological, social and economic outcomes and transition dynamics of various future scenarios.

The development and application of the FINGREEN model takes place in cooperation with the project’s stakeholders. This joint development is realized especially through the Transition Arenas implemented during the project.

The head of the work package, Professor Lassi Linnanen, and the SISU project deputy-PI Teemu Koskimäki are responsible for the development of the ecological macroeconomic model.


Attitudes to the future of vulnerable groups

The effects of the green transition on vulnerable groups and especially the way they envision their future selves, plans, possibilities and agency are studied in the SISU project with the help of register data, survey materials, interviews and citizen dialogues. The goal is to identify existing and emerging forms of vulnerability that may be exacerbated by a green transition that is based on the principles of sufficiency, and which change factors possibly narrow vulnerable groups’ experience of their own agency.

Based on this, the project develops methods that strengthen belief in the future, agency and resilience of those in a vulnerable position.

Groups in a vulnerable position include, for example, people who are living with long-term economic uncertainty, suffering from health and especially mental health problems, and/or have an immigration background.

A particular aspect of the research focuses on intergenerationally disadvantaged people and, more broadly, on the intergenerational effects of the green transition. By studying disadvantaged parent-child couples, a new perspective of the experience of different generations regarding the green transition, sufficiency solutions and their effects on one’s own agency will be explored.

To identify and recruit representatives of groups in a vulnerable position, we will cooperate with various organizations (e.g. EHYT ry, Setlementtiliitto ry). A new inclusive dialogue method is also developed with the organizations, with the aim to empower and strengthen the agency of vulnerable individuals during the societal transformation period.

Associate Professor Elina Kilpi-Jakonen from the University of Turku is responsible for the implementation of the research on the future attitudes of vulnerable groups.


Trust in institutions during a green transition

Uncertainty during a societal transformation / transition puts citizens’ trust in institutions to the test. At the same time, trust in institutions is a significant asset that helps strengthen justice in the midst of turbulent transition. The SISU project investigates the factors that maintain citizens’ trust in institutions during the green transition.

This is done by examining the levels and background factors of perceived trust in institutions in different European countries using international comparative surveys, which are supplemented, if necessary, with country-specific macro-level register data. The analyses will explore the connection between trust and the trends in attitudes regarding environmental policy.

The goal is to identify factors necessary to maintain trust, which would be important to consider in the planning of policy measures for a just green transition.

The role of institutions in the green transition is also assessed in the Delfi survey conducted with experts and decision makers. The survey, which includes three survey rounds built around future statements, tests how trust in institutions can be secured in future scenarios describing different implementation options for the green transition.

The goal is to identify processes by which the trust and resilience of Finnish society is maintained and strengthened in the progress of the green transition.

Adjunct professor Antti-Jussi Kouvo from the University of Eastern Finland is responsible for the implementation of the research on citizens’ trust in institutions during a green transition.


Heritage Futures for just transformation

The SISU research project organizes a series of heritage futures workshops, where future-aware sufficiency solutions are co-created. In the workshops, the participants identify their expectations and feelings related to a just green transition. They are then supported to explore new future beliefs and link them to essential skills and practices for a transformation.

A just green transition must necessarily be accompanied by a worldview change: the sustainable solutions of the future will be built on different knowledge based and ethical foundations than the current era. In order to understand this worldview change, it is important to study how expectations about the future are shaped. Heritage futures workshops offer an experimental environment for this.

Heritage Futures  workshops help the researchers and representatives of various stakeholders participating in the SISU project to understand the transformation to a just and green future as a cultural process. Such a process involves changes in meanings, affects and expectations. In this way, the workshops support the project’s other research and the transition arena process.

Heritage futures workshops are organized in cooperation with museums (e.g. Kymenlaakso Museum, Finnish Maritime Museum, Lapland Provincial Museum, Turku Museum of History and the Future) and liberal adult education organizations (e.g. The Finnish Adult Education Centre).

The goal is that museums and educational institutions could apply heritage futures workshops in the future and thus strengthen their role in a fair green transition and the adoption of transformative skills.

Adjunct professor Katriina Siivonen from the University of Turku is responsible for the implementation of the research on heritage futures for just transformation.


Transition arenas to create just and effective solutions

The SISU project will launch a transition arena in the spring of 2024, where different groups of societal actors co-create and refine sufficiency solutions. In the arena workshops organized throughout the duration of the project, feedback is collected about the background assumptions of the FINGREEN macroeconomic model and the preliminary research results of the different themes in the project. At a later stage, the transition arena will develop ways to utilize and apply sufficiency solutions in different areas of society.

SISU’s Project Interaction Director Aleksi Neuvonen from Demos Helsinki is responsible for the transition arenas and related research.