European Society for Ecological Economics Conference | ESEE2019

Keynote Speakers

Ioan Fazey

Ioan Fazey is Professor at the department of Environment and Geography, University of York. He has over 60 research publications in knowledge, learning, resilience, vulnerability and sustainability and how to achieve impact from research. His work has included innovative projects on community resilience in the South Pacific and Scotland and co-creative projects to build flood resilient floating homes in Bangladesh and he is currently working with the Centre for Planning Excellence in Louisiana to help facilitate conversations about how to transform responses to rapidly rising sea levels. He is actively involved in helping support and facilitates emergence of a growing field of research on action on Transformations to Sustainability. This includes convening the Transformations 2017 Conference Series and being a co-founder of the SDG Transformation Forum, and trustee of H3Uni, an action oriented organisation that seeks to promote transformative thinking and capacity for working within a changing world. To find solace from a turbulent world and help him foster inspiration and support he spends time connecting with the non-human world, including with his dog.

Co-creation is more than just the co-production of knowledge – it is also about how to achieve action through collective endeavours. Such an approach requires engaging heavily in creative, forward looking and embodied forms of knowledge beyond those typically produced through evidence and epistemic based approaches that dominate many current forms of knowledge production. A shift towards co-creation of new futures, actions, solutions and knowledge about how to implement those solutions is critical for the turbulent and transforming world of the 21st Century.

Niki Frantzeskaki

Dr. Niki Frantzeskaki is Professor at the Centre for Urban Transitions, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia.​ Niki has published close to 100 peer-reviewed articles and in 2017 and 2018 released three books on urban sustainability transitions. She has also edited 12 special issues in top-ranked journals about sustainability and sustainability transitions. She is coordinating research on environmental governance, and urban sustainability transitions by leading and being involved in a portfolio of research projects with research institutes across Europe. She is actively contributing as an author in CBO, GEO-5, GEO-6 and IPBES assessments.

“Co-production is a new form of collaborative governance that actively involves different stakeholders in the production of knowledge-based outputs targeting specific (urban) challenges. Co-creation is an ensuite of process settings that allows for creativity and imagination in governance.”

Carsten Herrmann-Pillath

Professor Carsten Herrmann-Pillath (*1959) is Permanent Fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies, University of Erfurt. After completing education in economics, linguistics and Chinese studies at the University of Cologne, he assumed Professorships in economics, evolutionary and institutional economics and Chinese economic studies at Duisburg University, Witten/Herdecke University and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management and taught at many universities, including Universities of Bonn, Tübingen, St. Gallen, ETH Zürich, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University and others. His major fields of research are Economics and philosophy, institutional change and economic development, international economics and Chinese economic studies. His magnum opus on China was published in 2017, building on three decades of research into culture and political economy of China: China’s Economic Culture: The Ritual Order of State and Markets (Routledge). Written in German, his new book ‘Fundamentals of Critical Economics’ (2018) develops a conceptual framework for a comprehensive disciplinary transformation of the field, which builds on previous work, especially ‘Foundations of Economic Evolution: A Treatise on the Natural Philosophy of Economics’ (Elgar, 2013).

In economics, policies are designed according to principles of socio-technological engineering. The blind spot in this approach is ignoring the performativity of economic theories. I think that this has fatal consequences: We cannot see that our agency, both individual and collective, is co-created by the systems in which we live. In the age of the Anthropocene, this system is the technosphere which evolves according to its own logic and dynamics. Building on recent debates about the technosphere in the Earth Sciences, the social sciences and philosophy, I extend the concept of the technosphere by the complementary notion of the semiosphere, in which semiosis mediates agency. This allows for developing principles of co-creation that take the performativity of economics seriously and approach policy design as an act of artistic creation.”

Carsten Herrmann-Pillath

Background paper for Keynote Lecture

Janne I. Hukkinen

Janne I. Hukkinen (PhD, University of California Berkeley, 1990) is Professor of environmental policy at the University of Helsinki. He studies the cognitive aspects of sustainability assessment and strategy, with empirical applications in participation, expertise and risk. Hukkinen is a Member of The Finnish Society of Sciences and Letters, the Editor of the journal Ecological Economics, and Expert Counsellor on the Environment for the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland. In addition to over 90 peer-reviewed scientific articles or book chapters, he is the author of Sustainability Networks (2008) and Institutions in Environmental Management (1999), both published by Routledge.

“Science-policy interaction in environmental issues offers ample opportunities for knowledge co-creation between researchers and policy makers. However, an overlooked aspect of this interaction is the extent to which participants in science-policy interaction know how knowledge performs in environmental policy. A simplified typology illustrates how knowledge of the performativity of knowledge in science-policy interaction can enable or limit effective science-policy interaction.”


Jussi Mälkiä

Jussi Mälkiä (Sea Captain, Master Mariner 1990, Turku) is the Chairman and founder of Meriaura Group. He has studied environmental and circular economy at the University of Turku. He started his career by working for the environmental and fair trade NGOs, including the Greenpeace. He founded Meriaura Group in 1986 to show in practice how to connect business and sustainable development. After the maritime transport business became profitable and large enough, he has concentrated on environmentally friendly businesses, such as developing marine fuels from the waste and closed circulation food and energy production. The main motive in his work and business has been to find profitable businesses that also decelerate climate change.

“Circular and sharing economies are becoming a normal part of human and business life. Confrontations between businesses, NGOs and consumers are slowly changing towards interaction and collaboration. In my view, businesses need to become environmentally and socially more transparent, the selfish pursuit of economic profit can no more be the only driver. In a near future, consumers will become the producers of raw materials and for instance energy, so the holistic understanding about how things come sustainably together, i.e. co-creation, is essential. Current inflexible top-down environmental and natural resource policies must be rethought and reorganized.”

Eeva Primmer

Professor Eeva Primmer is the Research Director of the Finnish Environment Institute,  a multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary research and development organization.  Eeva’s research on institutions, policy implementation and organizational adaptation across public and private sectors, and governance levels, has focused on ecosystem services and biodiversity conservation.  Combining empirical research with conceptual analyses she is interested in the ways in which values, arguments and governance mechanisms interact. She is a member of the United Nations International Resources Panel (UN-IRP) and involved in the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). Eeva is also an Adjunct Professor (Docent) in Environmental Policy at the University of Helsinki, and a Mercator Professor at the University of Freiburg. She has been an Associate Editor in the journal Ecosystem Services and a member of the Finnish Forest Council.

”Co-creation for me is about securing real-world relevance and impact of the work of both the scientific community and the decision-makers who govern the environment. To this end, and to facilitate dialogue,  my talk calls for explicit assumptions coined with different policy and governance mechanisms.”


Graham Smith

Graham Smith is Professor of Politics and Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster, UK. He is a specialist in democratic theory and practice and the politics of sustainability. His publications include the influential monograph Democratic Innovations: Designing Institutions for Citizen Participation (2009). Amongst a number of ongoing projects, Graham is currently working on a book on how democracies can protect future generations. Beyond academia, Graham is Chair of the Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development.

“Citizen participation in all aspects of political decision-making is critical for legitimate sustainability transformation. Such participation can be understood as a form of co-creation of policy between citizens and between citizens and public authorities. But the nature of that co-creation is affected profoundly by the design of participatory institutions. My contribution will reflect on how democratic design can foster and at times undermine co-creation for sustainability policy.”


Liisa Tyrväinen

Liisa Tyrväinen is a Research Professor at the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) with long experience in inter- and transdisciplinary work regarding amenity benefits and values of nature. With a strong focus on cultural ecosystem benefits, she has conducted empirical studies on economic and social values of outdoor recreation and developed approaches to include these values in planning and decision-making. She has studied health and well-being impacts of nature in several national and international collaboration projects. Moreover, she has worked intensively on the policy-science interface. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed publications, in all over 230 scientific publications. Tyrväinen is a member of editorial boards of Urban Forestry and Urban Greening and International Journal of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism journals.  She is also member of board of directors at Metsähallitus leading management and utilization of state-owned lands in Finland.

“Nature is suggested to have considerable potential in public health promotion and disease prevention. The received benefits, however, differ to some extent depending of individual preferences and needs, activities performed as well as the quality of the nature areas. More scientific evidence is needed about the varieties of nature’s health benefits. Policy-wise, co-creation with natural features, stakeholders and citizens is essential in striving towards development of new types of inter-sectorial policies and enhanced health-beneficial environments for various groups of people.”