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Personal profile

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.

Education/Academic qualification

Environmental social sciences, Ph.D., Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences


  • 1172 Environmental sciences
  • Environmental social science
  • Sustainability transition
  • 5142 Social policy
  • Consumption studies
  • Energy consumption
  • Food systems

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Publications 2011 2019

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

Laakso, S., Jun 2019, In : Sociological Research Online. 24, 2, p. 235-250 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Finnish Energy Policy in Transition

Heiskanen, E., Laakso, S. & Matschoss, K., 10 Jun 2019, Energy Demand Challenges in Europe : Implications for policy, planning and practice. Fahy, F., Goggins, G. & Jensen, C. (eds.). Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, p. 127-136 10 p. 12

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientific

Open Access

Online tools and user community for scaling up ENERGISE Living Labs: Deliverable 3.6

Laakso, S., Matschoss, K. & Heiskanen, E., 5 Dec 2019, ENERGISE project. 23 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportProfessional

Open Access

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

Open Access

Projects 2015 2022

Activities 2011 2019

Nordic Science and Technology Studies Conference 2019

Senja Laakso (Speaker: Presenter)
12 Jun 201914 Jun 2019

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

Ilmastonmuutos: sanoista teoiksi

Senja Laakso (Invited speaker)
10 Jan 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Sustainability Science Days 2019

Senja Laakso (Speaker: Chair)
9 May 201910 May 2019

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

13th International Conference of the European Society for Ecological Economics

Senja Laakso (Speaker: Presenter)
20 Jun 2019

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

International journal of sustainable transportation (Journal)

Senja Laakso (Reviewer)
2019 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Press / Media


Senja Laakso


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media