May 27-31 2024, Helsinki, Finland 

Global society is facing great challenges as we have entered the Anthropocene epoch in which human activity fundamentally and detrimentally affects the Earth’s ecosystem. Many of us live under socio-economic assumptions that endless economic growth, endless population growth, and endless technological development are inherently good and desirable things. Evidence, however, strongly suggests that policies and doctrines from past centuries are no longer viable in the current circumstances. We need to re-think our core assumptions.

As a contrasting approach, we propose sufficiency: the idea that there exists sufficient (e.g., optimal) scales of production and consumption, or levels of social complexity, or technological infrastructure, or demographics, such that these levels ought not be exceeded. In lay terms, sufficiency relates to the concept of ‘enoughness’—of identifying acceptable and sustainable processes, or ranges, or limits, of various socio-political-economic metrics.

Up to now, such concepts have been largely ignored, both by academia and society at large. But in the new epoch characterized by ecological limits, sufficiency will inevitably become a topic of vital importance. The field of Organization and Management Studies (OMT) has much to contribute to this matter, both in terms of theory and practice, with an end-goal of achieving strongly sustainable societies.

In this doctoral course, we take a wide approach to the question of how future researchers in various disciplines might contribute to constructing “sufficiency solutions” to contemporary challenges. In this course, we will focus on examining such questions as:

  • How can and should we understand various forms of management and governance in relation to the new rules of the game that arise from sufficiency demands?
  • How should business and society be (re)organized to avert, or to deal with, future crises?
  • What are the ethics of sufficiency?
  • What values are at stake, how should they be prioritized, and what needs to be left behind when dealing with sufficiency?
  • What does it mean for scholars to conduct research in a sufficiency context?
  • How can organizational performance be understood in the light of sufficiency?
  • How should we engage with stakeholders in our research about sufficiency?

Who can participate: All doctoral students are welcome. You do not need to have sufficiency as your research topic, in your project title, or have extensive knowledge of scholarship on sufficiency. The course aims at situating and relating your doctoral project to such scholarship, regardless of your topic, project, or level of knowledge.

Priority: Students enrolled at NFF member institutions have priority. All other doctoral students have second priority. Maximum of 20 students.

When and where: The course is a one-week intensive course held in Helsinki, Finland on 27-31 May 2024. The course includes writing a short introductory paper in preparation of the course as well as a longer final paper after the course.

How:  To apply, prepare (1) a short one-page motivation letter, detailing your interest in sufficiency and how it relates to your PhD project, and (2) a short CV. Send your application to Heini Salonen at heini.a.salonen@helsinki.fi by 16. February 2024. If you have any questions, please contact Heini. Final notification of acceptance is given by 2 March 2024. Costs for travel and accommodation will be arranged and paid by the doctoral students. There is no cost for course-participation.

Teachers: The course is organized by LUT Business School in cooperation with the University of Helsinki, Department of Economics and Management, and University of Michigan, along with faculty from several regional universities:

  • Dr Pasi Heikkurinen, LUT University (co-lead)
  • Dr David Skrbina, University of Helsinki (co-lead)
  • Prof Thomas Princen, University of Michigan (co-lead)
  • Prof Martin Fougere, Hanken School of Economics
  • Dr Maria Sandberg, Hanken School of Economics
  • Prof Karin Bradley, KTH The Royal Institute of Technology
  • Dr Andreas Roos, Lund University
  • Dr Jenny Rinkinen, LUT University
  • Prof Marius Korsnes, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Dr Iana Nesterova, Roskilde University
  • Dr Jarkko Pyysiäinen, University of Helsinki
  • Dr Åsa Callmer, Örebro University
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