Futures Work as a Mode of Academic Engagement: Assembling Smart Energy Futures for Finland

Mikko Jalas, Mikko Rask, Tatu Marttila, Tero Ahonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Strategic research indicates a problem-oriented, collaborative process of knowledge creation. Analysing a Finnish research project Smart Energy Transition and a related Delphi survey, we conceptualize strategic research as ‘futures work’ and as translations of technologies, time frames and narratives into a future vision. We ask 1) What is the role of the notion of disruption in strategic research and in the acts of translation? 2) What are the available means of articulating “disruption” in a Delphi survey? and 3) How do academics carrying out strategic research align themselves as part of actor networks? We find that the notion of disruption mediates the boundaries between science, business and policy. Moreover, plural time frames of short-term changes in actor networks and long-term speculative visions enable boundary work. Alignment between actors hinges on methodology, specific academic backgrounds and expertize, public energy discourses, national and industry interests, as well as neoliberal policy approaches that see futures as business opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-61
Number of pages18
JournalScience & Technology Studies
Volume32
Issue number3
Early online date2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Sep 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • smart energy
  • disruption
  • visioneering
  • strategic research

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