Senja Laakso

Person

Description of research and teaching

I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Consumer Society Research. My research focuses on sustainable consumption and the ways our consumption practices are shaped by established services, technologies and infrastructures, by shared norms and conventions, as well as by institutional and political rules

I am working mainly in two research projects. ENERGISE is a research initiative of ten European research partners to achieve a greater scientific understanding of the social and cultural influences on energy use in households. Funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme for three years (2016-2019), ENERGISE develops, tests and assesses options for a bottom-up transformation of energy use in households and communities across Europe. Based on a database of household and community energy initiatives from 30 European countries, ENERGISE develops a Living Labs approach to understand and challenge energy consumption practices in households and communities.

EE-TRANS (Eating and Energy Use Reconfigured) brings together sociotechnical transition and practice theories and connects them in a novel way with the analysis of institutional disruptions. We analyse and compare twotransitions-in-the-making: the reduction of meat consumption for a more sustainable food system and the development of novel technologies for a fossil-free energy system. EE-TRANS analyses the emerging transitions in these two systems, and pursues a strong empirical programme in taking the dialogue between sociotechnical transition and practice theories further. EE-TRANS is funded by the Academy of Finland for four years (2018-2022).

I hold a PhD on environmental social sciences. I was a doctoral researcher at the Department of Environmental Sciences and in DENVI (Doctoral Programme in Interdisciplinary Environmental Sciences) in 2014–16. My doctoral dissertation (2017) ‘A practice approach to experimental governance: Experiences from the intersection of everyday life and local experimentation’ examines local experimentation from a practice theoretical perspective. By doing this, the dissertation bridges the gap between two fields of research: one relating to the governance of experiments and the other to the dynamics of practices. The dissertation focuses on the role of participants in accommodating novel technologies and services into their everyday lives, and the role of social interplay between individuals and their collectives in supporting or opposing the change and diffusion of practices.

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Latest publications

  1. Scalable designs and best-practice ENERGISE Living Labs for European energy cultures: Policy brief and recommendations.

    Laakso, S., Heiskanen, E. & Matschoss, K. J., 2 Jan 2019, ENERGISE project. 6 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportProfessional

  2. E-pub ahead of print

    Experiments in Everyday Mobility: Social Dynamics of Achieving a Sustainable Lifestyle

    Laakso, S., 2019, In : Sociological Research Online.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

  3. Designing Real-World Laboratories for the Reduction of Residential Energy Use: Articulating Theories of Change

    Heiskanen, E., Laakso, S., Matschoss, K. J., Backhaus, J., Goggins, G. & Vadovics, E., 16 Mar 2018, In : Gaia. 27, S1, p. 60-67 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Latest activities

  1. Energise project's expert panel workshop on Energise living labs design

    Senja Laakso (Chair of organizing committee), Eva Heiskanen (Scientific Committee Chair), Kaisa Matschoss (Member of organizing committee)
    1 Dec 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  2. Consumption and Practices Workshop

    Senja Laakso (Speaker: Presenter)
    24 Nov 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

  3. ESA 2017

    Senja Laakso (Speaker: Presenter)
    29 Aug 20171 Sep 2017

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

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Education

Doctor of Philosophy

ID: 33711755