Our overreaching mission is to integrate the latest research on global environmental and resource pressures, and to study their effects on the Finnish society. In addition, we are developing tools for anticipating these effects. This work results in scientific articles, public reports and applied information for the use of public and private organisations.

In the WISE project we develop society’s creative adaptation to wicked socio-environmental disruptions.

BIOS is also part of the WISE consortium, funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland. The subprojects within the WISE consortium are led by Janne I. Hukkinen (University of Helsinki, consortium leader), Turo-Kimmo Lehtonen (University of Tampere, deputy consortium leader), Sakari Kuikka (University of Helsinki), Peter Lund (Aalto University), Markku Wilenius (University of Turku), and Paavo Järvensivu (BIOS Research Unit, stakeholder interaction). The project started on January 1, 2018.

WISE aims to improve decision making over wicked socio-environmental disruptions and to increase Finland’s resilience and adaptation to such disruptions. The project develops and tests an integrated national level policy mechanism, the Policy Operations Room (POR). It creates rapid and evidence based adaptation approaches to unexpected socio-environmental disruptions, such as simultaneous climate refugees, energy crises, and political instabilities.

We produce scientific background research for the use of universities, artistic production and media.

Our latest lectures on various courses and events have dealt with:
– population growth, food safety, famine and poverty, fishing and hydroponics, environmental migration, the dwindling of natural resources, and conflicts
– sustainable work, the relationship between economics and environment, the management of natural resources, business beyond the fossil economy, the possibilities of political economy to kickstart and steer ecological reconstruction
– environmental education
– the anthropocene as a natural scientific, social and cultural phenomenon
– an extended conception of security
– nature conservation, the present state of natural systems, the development of climate in the past and in our time, the conditions of the climate and ecosystems in the future and the societal challenges they pose
– post-fossil fuel culture

In addition to lectures, we have collaborated in multiple ways with different actors, including Sitra (The Finnish Innovation Fund), The Finnish Science Centre Heureka, Dodo, Kehys, and the Smart Energy Transition project.

In early 2017 we began a collaboration with Visiting Professor Hanna Nikkanen’s team at the University of Tampere’s Department of Journalism. We arranged a workshop day and have taken part in the book project Hyvän sään aikana both as interviewees and advisors. The book will be published in autumn 2017.

We engage in multidisciplinary dialogue with the scientific community.

Excerpts from dialogues we have had so far, in addition to academic articles and other texts:

We helped organise the 32nd Nordic Geological Winter Meeting symposium in Helsinki, with the theme “What is the Anthropocene”. We talked about BIOS’s activities at the annual conference of the Westermarck Society in Jyväskylä in 2016. We organised a work group “Mielen tila: ympäristökatastrofin politiikka, talous ja kulttuuri” [State of mind: the politics, economy and culture of the environmental catastrophe] at the Conference of Cultural Studies in Jyväskylä in May 2017. This year, we also organised a work group “Post-COP21: Transition to sustainable well-being in Nordic welfare states” together with Tuuli Hirvilammi and Pernilla Hagbert at the Nordic Environmental Social Sciences conference in Tampere.

In March 2017 a manifesto signed by 68 Finnish researchers was published, clarifying the stance of scientific research on the effects of Finland’s bioeconomy plans on climate change and biodiversity. BIOS facilitated the writing and communication of the manifesto.

In April 2017 BIOS organised in collaboration with the University of Tampere and Yliopisto magazine (University of Helsinki) journalist and researcher Nafeez Ahmed’s visit to Finland.

In June, professor Anthony Barnosky visited Finland. BIOS organised his performance at the University of Helsinki and took part in the event on ecological compensation organised by the Kone Foundation together with Barnosky.

The researchers of BIOS have actively taken part in the Think Corner events organized by the University of Helsinki: in the “Ilmasto muuttaa kaiken” [Climate changes everything] series, in Researcher’s Night 2017’s “Vapauden tulevaisuus” [The future of freedom] discussion and in the “Kestävä planeetta” [Sustainable planet] series in spring 2017.

In our pilot project (2015–2017) we developed journalism dealing with environmental and resource factors together with the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE).

The pilot project of BIOS was a collaboration with YLE News and Current Affairs. It aimed to develop new kinds of environmental journalism. We met with the team of journalists regularly, starting from autumn 2015, and produced extensive background reports on themes such as population growth, food production, water crises and economy. Based on our research, YLE published articles on e.g. environmental refugees, sequestration of carbon in soil, and forests as carbon sinks.

During autumn 2017, the main outcome of the collaboration, a multimedia project on the prospects of the future Finnish society, was published with YLE’s News and Current Affairs and Drama editorial teams. The material was based on scientific research and varies between dramatic forms and traditional journalism. The pilot project ended in December 2017.