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Researcher Sanna Ketonen-Oksi: “Anticipating the future in innovation ecosystems”

Futurist Sanna Ketonen-Oksi has started working as a researcher at Laurea.

Laurea University of Applied Sciences has launched a researcher career track this year. The recruitment of ten researchers began in the spring. Positions have been opened in all Laurea research programmes.

Sanna Ketonen-Oksi started working as a researcher in early summer. She works in Laurea's Service Business and Circular Economy research programme.

Ketonen-Oksi defended her doctoral dissertation at the University of Tampere in the field of knowledge management in 2019. She has been particularly interested in different multi-actor ecosystems, how people interact in them, and how they act as platforms for creating innovations (see article in Technology Innovation Management Review).

In addition to innovation ecosystems, Sanna Ketonen-Oksi is familiar with future research and strategic anticipation. Before starting at Laurea, she worked as a futurist in a consulting and coaching company focused on strategic management. At the moment, she operates in the board of directors of the Finnish Society for Futures Studies and in the editorial council of the Futura magazine.

- These two entities – ecosystems and anticipation for the future – are combined with the need for a more perseverance in to the ecosystemic approach.  High-quality anticipation is based on competent planning and extensive network cooperation, says Ketonen-Oksi.
- Right now, I am interested in researching different approaches and methods to strengthen our ability to think about the future in broad interaction between companies, public and third sector actors; what kind of future do we want to build, and from what kind of elements do we want to build it. 

Future-proofness was also touched upon in the Futura magazine issue published in the summer and edited by Ketonen-Oksi, and in an article published in Laurea Journal, in which future-proofness was examined from the perspective of SMEs.

- The ability of companies to respond to future challenges is not only a problem for HR. I would therefore emphasise that competence renewal should be seen in companies as a strategic development target integrated into all operations. This specifically involves the concept of future-proofness, Ketonen-Oksi continues.