Patrick Shulist

Assistant Professor of Sustainability in Business

  • Institution Aalto University
  • Department/faculty Business School, Entrepreneurship

My research has two main streams, both of which focus on international development and poverty alleviation in sub-Saharan Africa. First, I take a qualitative approach to understanding the “natural” course of entrepreneurship in Ghana; that is, how entrepreneurship happens in the absence of international development efforts. This research stream grew out of my frustration with seeing development organizations consistently teaching entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa in much the same way it is taught in Canada, or Finland. My second research stream focuses on collaboratively working with international development organizations to solve their pressing challenges. This generally involves using randomized field experiments to test designed solutions under real-world characteristics. The goal here is to bridge the gap between producing work that is theoretically interesting, and producing work that is practically important. Two ongoing projects of this nature are happening in Ghana and Tanzania.

Mika Sillanpää


  • Institution University of Southern Queensland
  • Department/faculty School of Civil Engineering and Surveying, Faculty of Health

Mika Sillanpää’s research work centers on chemical treatment in environmental engineering and environmental monitoring and analysis. More specifically, he has worked extensively with adsorption, photocatalysis, electrochemical treatment, membrane biological processes and advanced oxidation processes as well as chromatographic methods, electrochemical sensor development and real-time monitoring. Mika Sillanpää received his M.Sc. (Eng.) and D. Sc. (Eng.) degrees from the Aalto University, where he also completed an MBA degree in 2013. He has published more than 700 articles in peer-reviewed international journals, including Chemical Society Reviews, Advanced Materials, Environmental Science & Technology, Water Research, Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, Green Chemistry, Journal of Catalysis, Bioresource Technology, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Analytical Chemistry, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Mass Spectrometry Reviews, Chemical Engineering Journal and Coordination Chemistry Reviews. Having an h-index of 78, his publications have been cited over 30 000 times (Google Scholar). Also, he has been invited as an external examiner and opponent of several adjunct professorships and doctoral degrees and participated in the evaluation of research proposals in over 10 countries. He has supervised 45 PhDs and been a reviewer in over 240 academic journals, many of which are top-ranked in their fields. Mika Sillanpää has received numerous awards for research and innovation. For example, he is the first Laureate of Scientific Committee on the Problems of the Environment (SCOPE)’s Young Investigator Award, which was delivered at the UNESCO Conference in Shanghai 2010 for his “significant contributions, outstanding achievements and research leadership in Environmental Technological Innovations to address present water pollution problems worldwide, especially with regard to wastewater treatment and reuse”. In 2011, he was invited to act as a Principal Scientific Reviewer in the GEO-5 report of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP). In 2012, he received Tapani Järvinen Environmental Technology Award and Publication Award of the University. In 2014, he received the Science Award of the Lappeenranta University of Technology and Pro Mikkeli Award. In 2018, he was invited as a Member of the Finnish Academy of Sciences and Letters and Academy of Technical Sciences. He also received Literature award from the Water Association of Finland in 2018. In 2017, 2018 and 2019, he was listed as a Highly Cited Researcher by Thomson Reuters.

Jeremy Smith

Principal Investigator

  • Institution University of Eastern Finland
  • Department/faculty Karelian Institute

Laura Stark

project leader

  • Institution University of Jyväskylä
  • Department/faculty Department of History and Ethnology

Sini Suomalainen

Communications manager

  • Institution Aalto University

Evangelos Thiani

PhD Student

  • Institution University of Eastern Finland
  • Department/faculty Theology/ Philosophical Faculty

Studies and publishes on religion and development; more specifically diakonia and development in the Global South and the Orthodox Churches

Vilma Timonen

Senior Lecturer, Researcher

  • Institution University of the Arts, Helsinki, Sibelius Academy
  • Department/faculty Folk Music Department

Timonen, V. (in review). Lessons from a Finnish and Nepali collaboration: Co-constructing an intercultural professional learning community in music education. Timonen, V., Juntunen M-L., Westerlund H. (in review). Colonialism or an invitation for utopian life-projects? On politics of reflexivity in Nepali and Finnish music teachers’ intercultural dialogue. In Kallio, A., Karlsen, S., Marsh, K., Saether, E., Westerlund, H. (Eds.), The Politics of Diversity in Music Education. Treacy D.S., Timonen V., Kallio A. A., Shah, I. (2019). Imagining Beyond Ends-in-view: The Ethics of Assessment as Valuation in Nepali Music Education. In D.J. Elliott, M. Silvermann & G. McPhearson (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophical and Qualitative Assessment in Music Education. Oxford University Press. Timonen, V., Houmann, A., Sether, E. (2020). The reinvented music teacher-researcher in the making: Conducting educational development through intercultural collaboration. In Westerlund, H., Karlsen, S., Partti, H. (Eds.) Visions for intercultural music teacher education. Springer.

Danielle Treacy

Doctoral researcher

  • Institution University of the Arts Helsinki
  • Department/faculty Sibelius Academy

Danielle Treacy's doctoral research aims to examine how the process of co-constructing visions with musician-teachers in the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal could contribute to the development of ethically engaged music teacher education and music education research.

Husen Tura

Postdoctoral Researcher

  • Institution University of Eastern Finland
  • Department/faculty Law School

Dr Tura graduated with Doctor of Law (LLD) from the University of Eastern Finland Law School in March 2020. He specializes in Socio-economic Rights (in particular the Right to Food), Law and Development, Business Law and Land Law. He has attended advanced courses on Human Rights, International Environmental Law, Food Law and Policy and Research Methods and Advanced Legal Writing at top law schools such as Harvard Law School, University of Helsinki, University of Oslo, University of Copenhagen and the University of Pretoria. Moreover, he has published several papers addressing socio-legal issues like land rights and land grabbing, the right to adequate food, corporate governance, access to justice and women's rights to property with reference to Ethiopia. Tura adopts mixed research methods involving doctrinal and empirical research to analyze the content of laws but also their implementation. He is particularly interested in how law facilitates social and economic development in Africa.

Liisa Varumo


  • Institution Finnish Environment Institute
  • Department/faculty Environmental Policy Centre

I have both work and research experience in cross-cultural and indigenous communities work in the Latin American region. I have also worked at the Finnish Embassy in Peru and gotten to know the types of projects our ministry funds as cooperation for development and I have also worked in a collaborative project in Nicaragua with local communities and environmental education. Experience in funding applications and reporting.