Meet our group's internal and external researchers.
Head of the research group
Bodo Steiner is Professor of Food Economics & Business Management, Head of the research group Management & Organizations For Sustainable Food Systems, Deputy director at the Department of Economics and Management, University of Helsinki, and Coordinator of MATS, a research and innovation action project, funded by the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. He is affiliated with the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS), the Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (URBARIA), the Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ), the InterTran Research Group for Sustainable Law and Business at the University of Helsinki (INTERTRAN), the Sustainable Change Research Network (SUCH), the Finnish Organic Research Institute (FORI), the Task Force of the Finnish National Food Research Strategy, and serves as advisory board member for the Institute for the Economy for the Common Good, and as member of the Environmental Footprint Technical Advisory Board of the European Commission.
He earned his PhD from the University of Reading and has previously held faculty and visiting appointments at the University of California Berkeley, University of Alberta, University College Cork, University of Southern Denmark, University of Kiel, and Beijing Normal University.
His recent research and teaching interests focus on mixed methods to address organizational sustainability, in particular social capital, social sustainability in food systems and value chains, and circular economy strategies. His work has been published by MIT Press, The Economist, and journals including Ecological Economics, Journal of Cleaner Production, Regional Studies, European Journal of Political Economy, Food Policy, Economic Record, European Journal of Marketing, and the Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics.
- Member, Environmental Footprint Technical Advisory Board, European Commission.
- Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta, Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology
- Member of Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science (HELSUS)
- Member of Helsinki Institute of Urban and Regional Studies (URBARIA)
- Member of The InterTran Research Group for Sustainable Law and Business at the University of Helsinki
- Member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Food Products Marketing
- Affiliated Reseacher in Global Value Chains Initiative at Duke University
- Collaborating Researcher in ECOMAS Research Group for Economics, Environment, Sustainability and Tourism at TIDES Institute at the University of Las Palmas Gran Canaria
- Advisory Board Member for the Institute for the Economy for the Common Good
- Network Member of NanoFunDus research network for nanotechnology functionalizaiton for diagnosis and safety in food supply chain and health care
- Member of the Northern Research Network for Sustainable Change
Dr. Stefano Ghinoi is a Lecturer in Economic Sociology at the Department of Economics and International Business. Before joining the University of Greenwich, he worked as a post-doc researcher at the University of Helsinki (Finland) and the University of Bologna (Italy). He received a PhD in Economic Statistics from the University of Bologna, Department of Statistical Sciences, in 2016. He worked as a consultant for private companies and public authorities in Italy and other European countries, and he has teaching experience in Microeconomics, Statistics, and Social Network Analysis. His main research interests include economics of innovation, sustainability and climate change, organizational networks, and policy evaluation.
Dr. Heikkurinen’s research project is a phenomenology of sustainable organization and management. His main research interest is on questions concerning ethics and technique in relation to ecology and economy. Empirically, Dr. Heikkurinen is involved with food and agriculture, in particular the activity of ploughing.
- University Lecturer at the University of Helsinki, Department of Economics and Management
- Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Leeds, Sustainability Research Institute
- Docent in Sustainability and Organizations at the Aalto University School of Business, Department of Management Studies
- Member of the Northern Research Network for Sustainable Change
- Bonnedahl, K. J., Heikkurinen, P. (eds.) (2019). Strongly Sustainable Societies: Organising Human Activities on a Hot and Full Earth. Routledge: London and New York.
- Heikkurinen, P. (2018). Degrowth by means of technology? A treatise for an ethos of releasement. Journal of Cleaner Production, 197 (2), 1654-1665.
- Heikkurinen, P., & Mäkinen, J. (2018). Synthesising corporate responsibility on organisational and societal levels of analysis: An integrative perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 149(3), 589-607.
- Heikkurinen, P. (ed.) (2017). Sustainability and Peaceful Coexistence for the Anthropocene. Routledge: Oxon and New York.
Dr. Imbrogiano joined the Department of Economics and Management in summer of 2020, after finalizing his PhD thesis at the Sustainable Minerals Institute of the University of Queensland, Australia. His research interests lie in the sustainability performance in businesses, the governance of business sustainability (i.e. the practices of sustainability standard setters and sustainable supply chain managers, amongst others), and in social-cultural foundations of (un-)sustainable development. Before pursuing his research interests, Jean-Pierre worked for Intertek in Germany and for the German development cooperation (GIZ) in Mongolia.
- Imbrogiano, J.-P. (2020). Contingency in business sustainability research and in the sustainability service industry: A problematization and research agenda. Organization & Environment. doi: 10.1177/1086026619897532
Dr. Lombardini's research interest include food consumption and the pedagogy of economic education.
Helena Ponstein has a focus on the wine value chain and metrics-based sustainability. She holds a PhD on the avoidance of GHG emissions from global food value chains from the Faculty of Life Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
Dr. Pyysiäinen (DSocSc, Social Psychology) works as University Lecturer in Sustainable Entrepreneurship at the Department of Economics and Management. Before joining the Department, he worked as Research Scientist at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), focusing on social scientific aspects of natural resource management, farming, entrepreneurship, sustainability and community resilience. His disciplinary background is in social psychology and his research interests include social psychology of entrepreneurship, connections between entrepreneurship, sustainability and resilience, sustainable organizing, and questions and theories of agency and social change. Methodologically his expertise lies especially in qualitative methods.
He is currently involved as WP leader in Academy of Finland funded project VABARO: https://www.luke.fi/en/projektit/vabaro-sa-310205/
Dr. Ruuska’s research interests are located generally in political ecology and economy. In his post-doctoral research he is studying the politics of self-sufficiency in food production. The take on the subject is on one hand philosophical, i.e. trying to understand what ‘nature’ is and what kind knowledge a subject can have from it, but also personal and practical. This is because sustainable change in self-sufficient food production is approached through alternative actions and practices of individuals and communities by utilising an auto-ethnographic method.
- Post-doc Researcher at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, Department of Economics
- Member of Kammari Research Project (kammari.org)
- Ruuska, T. (2018). Reproduction Revisited: Capitalism, Higher Education and Ecological Crisis. Mayfly Books, mayflybooks.org.
- Ruuska, T. and Heikkurinen, P. (2018). Väkivalta ihmisen aikakaudella. Tieteessä tapahtuu 3: 11-16.
- Ruuska, T. (2017). Capitalism and the absolute contradiction in the Anthropocene. In Heikkurinen, P. (ed.). Sustainability and Peaceful Coexistence for the Anthropocene. New York and London: Routledge, 51-67.
- Heikkurinen, P., Rinkinen, J., Järvensivu, T., Wilén, K. and Ruuska, T. (2016). Organising in the Anthropocene: an ontological outline for ecocentric theorising. Journal of Cleaner Production 113: 705–714.
Fredrik Salenius is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Economics and Management. He currently works on topics in food economics, business management, and agriculture. His previous research has focused on questions in fisheries economics, especially in the context of international fisheries, which he has tackled by econometric methods and bioeconomic modeling. He holds an Msc in environmental economics from the University of Helsinki. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of Iceland in 2021.
Dr. Tuija Virtanen’s research interests cover wide areas of sustainability, especially sustainability measurement and management, sustainability reporting and responsible investments. Furthermore, she has interest in strategic accounting and education research areas. Her current research topics include: a) supply chains and integrated steps towards the Sustainable Development Goals reporting b) accountability and measurability in the practical context of sustainability and c) the drivers and impediments of responsible investments in the food industry.
- Member of the Board in the Mortgage Society of Finland
- Miihkinen, A. & Virtanen, T., (2018). Development and Application of Assessment Standards to Advanced Written Assignments. Accounting Education, 27(2), p. 121-159.
- Ojala, H., Penttinen, E., Collis, J. & Virtanen, T., (2018). Design principles for Standard Business Reporting (SBR) taxonomy development: Evidence from Finland. Nordic Journal of Business, 67(1), 4-26.
- Virtanen, T., Tuomaala, M. & Pentti, E., (2013). Energy efficiency complexities: a technical and managerial investigation. Management Accounting Research, 24(4), p. 401-416.
My research interests are related to sustainability transition in the food system. My disciplinary home can be found in the field of Ecological Economics. I have used a number of foresight methods (such as Delphi, scenarios and environmental scanning), to analyse past and future changes in the food system. I have published my research in journals such as Ecological Economics, Technological Forecasting and Societal Change as well as Journal of Cleaner Production. I have also published book chapters with Oxford University Press and Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.
I am currently involved and WP leader in a Academy of Finland funded project.
I also act as expert in a project “Sustainable School Meals - Unlocking the potential of the public plate towards a large-scale transition to plant-based meals in schools” funded by Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology
Dr. Riccardo De Vita is visiting scholar at the Centre for Business Network Analysis, University of Greenwich, London. After starting his career at Universita’ Carlo Cattaneo (LIUC) in Italy, Riccardo moved to the University of Greenwich in 2009 to join the Center for Business Network Analysis. Over the years he developed extensive teaching and managerial experience. He was appointed Head of Department in 2015, after having successfully led the largest post-graduate programme in the University. Riccardo employs Social Network Analysis, often in conjunction with other methodologies, to study organizations and innovation
generation. He is regularly involved in the delivery of methodological training and commissioned research, which he carries out in different countries in the world and in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders.
Dr. Waichman is a behavioral economist who is using controlled experiments to study issues mainly related to environmental economics and sustainability as well as to public economics and industrial organization.
Brian Wink is Head of Psychology (School of Sport, Health and Social Sciences), Southampton Solent University. He is interested in how our perception of the world and our beliefs about it influence our behaviour. He holds both an undergraduate degree and a PhD in psychology from the University of Reading. He lectured at the University of Wolverhampton for over 10 years before taking up his current position as head of psychology at Southampton Solent University. He has developed and delivers a positive psychology based programme, emphasising the importance of our perceptions, which has been shown to increase psychological wellbeing in the workplace. He also provides consultancy on Q methodology, a factor analysis based technique for identifying common perspectives from participants, which can be effectively employed in evaluation.
Common research interests with the Food Economics and Business Management research group: ecological worldview, evolved psychological mechanisms (biases), dual process model, self-determination theory, automatic/implicit/explicit processing, cultural values, attitudes and subjectivity
Leonie started as a doctoral student at the Dept. of Economics and Management in August 2021 as part of the Doctoral Programme in Food Chain and Health. In her research, she investigates social innovations and their impact on the sustainability performance of food systems in the context of peri-urban spaces in Finland. Previously to her doctoral studies, Leonie has worked for the German Raiffeisen Association in Berlin, at the Dept. of livestock production.
Khalid Al Matrushi has a master degree from the University of Hull, UK, and joined the University of Helsinki in summer 2020 as a doctoral student at the Department of Economics and Management. In his research, he explores the vulnerabilities in supply chains, and how synergies in supply chain management practices be best measured and utilized, especially in electricity sectors, to enhance the supply chain resilience and sustainability. Previously to his doctoral study, Khalid has worked for the Majan Electricity Company (Oman) as a Head of Procurement
Dr. Nuutila is completing a doctoral degree in the Doctoral Programme in Food Chain and Health, within the Dept. of Economics & Management (supervisor: Prof. Steiner). In his research, he explores the resilience of the Finnish food system, focusing on grains value chains and three events, the 2008 global financial crisis, the Russian embargo and COVID-19.
Hannele Suvanto is a doctoral student at the University of Helsinki's Ruralia Institute in Seinäjoki. Her research interests are in management of business relationships in food supply chains. Her current researches investigate trust and communication in business relationships, entrepreneurial orientation of farmers and short food supply chains in the rural areas. She aims to contribute toward a better understanding of managerial, economic and behavioural factors of actors in the food chains.
Narta Voca is completing a doctoral degree in the Doctoral Programme in Food Chain and Health, within the Dept. of Economics & Management (supervisor: Prof. Steiner). Her research interests focus on food quality and sustainability in agri-food value chains (food labeling and authentication practices in Balkan countries). Through her research, she intends to build bridges between academia and the food industry, to create further networks between agri-food chain actors, thereby contributing towards more sustainable food systems.