Survey – Doing research on and collecting data from the private sector

The FuturEd – Interrupting Future Trajectories of Precision Education Governance research project ( invites you to participate in an international survey about the interactions between researchers and the private sector (e.g., for-profit organisations, people working at and representing these organisations).

The survey focuses on encounters, data gatherings and methods in research that involves the private sector as data source, participant, and object of the study. We are interested in the possible ethical dilemmas and challenges researchers might face when doing research on and collecting data from the private sector, and publishing research originated from such data.

We aim to analyse the outreach and scope of possible ethical dilemmas and challenges faced by researchers when interacting with the private sector, as well as recommendations on how to minimize risks and pitfalls in those interactions. Our research contributes to debates on research ethics, research design and methods.

We are eager to hear your experience concerning these matters. Here is the link to the survey: .

The questionnaire will be open until October 28th, 2022. Your participation is voluntary and answering the survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes. Your responses will remain confidential and anonymous. For detailed Privary Notice please visit:  Privacy Notice for Scientific Research FuturEd.pdf

The survey and further studies based on these data are conducted by researchers from multidisciplinary fields working together in the abovementioned FuturEd research project, led by Professor Kristiina Brunila at the AGORA for the study of Social Justice and Equality in Education -research centre (, University of Helsinki.

We highly appreciate to have your contribution to our study, and we thank you in advance for participating in the survey.

Please circulate this invitation with your colleagues and networks. We wish to reach researchers from all continents, different career stages, and from diverse disciplines.

Thank you for your collaboration!

If you have further questions about the survey, please contact Dr. Katariina Mertanen (


FuturEd researcher Saara Vainio interviewed by AGORA

The AGORA Research Centre recently interviewed FuturEd researcher Saara Vainio, who examines how does behavioural governance shape and enable youth education, and with what consequences. In the interview, Vainio discusses about her PhD research topics, how her research relates to issues of social justice and equality, and how she wishes to introduce new perspectives to the ongoing discussion about changing education governance with her research.

Read the interview on AGORA’s website:

Discussion with Tom Popkewitz in Policy Futures International Webinar -series

Professor Brunila acted as a discussant for professor Tom Popkewitz in an international webinar arranged by the Aarhus University, on March 9th, 2022.

Professor Popkewitz gave an interesting and thought-provoking talk “Desires, Calculations, and Making Kinds of People: The Modern University Has Never Been “An Ivory Tower”. In the talk professor Popkewitz examined both rational and affective folds of educational assessments and calculations and suggested that the education should be considered from a point of view of populations, and what kinds of people are “made” through education.

Another discussant in the webinar was professor Luis Miguel Carvalho.

More information about Policy Futures international webinar series and upcoming lectures can be found here!


Helsingin yliopisto tiedottaa tuoreesta julkaisustamme!

Helsingin yliopiston tiedotus julkaisi “Tutkijan ääni”-jutun koskien tutkijoidemme Katariina Mertasen, Saara Vainion ja Kristiina Brunilan hiljattain julkaistua artikkelia koulutuksen tulevaisuuden suuntaviivoista. Jutun mukaan

Koulutuksen tulevaisuuden nimissä ajetaan läpi merkittäviä muutoksia, joissa yksilöllistyminen, markkinakelpoisuus, työllistettävyys ja elämän- ja tunteiden hallinta uhkaavat syrjäyttää sivistyksen, demokratian ja koulutuksen yhteiskunnallisen roolin. Uusi teoreettinen malli auttaa havainnoimaan muutosta.

Pääset lukemaan koko jutun täältä!

New coordinator of the AGORA centre and FuturEd

WInka Tähkäe are happy to announce that we have a new assistant coordinator of the AGORA centre and FuturEd for the year 2022, Inka Tähkä. 

Inka is a Master’s Student at the Changing Education programme at the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. She has been an active member of the CRISP seminar  since autumn 2020 and is currently finalising her master’s thesis about men, masculinity, and mental health, in which she critically examines gender norms limiting the behaviour and wellbeing of individuals.

For any questions about AGORA, you can contact Inka by email inka.tahka(a)

New publication theorising the concept of precision education governance

We are very happy to announce a new publication in Policy Futures in Education -journal by our researchers Katariina Mertanen, Saara Vainio and Kristiina Brunila.  In the article “Educating for the Future? Mapping the Emerging Lines of Precision Education Governance”, Mertanen and colleagues explore changing education governance with the help of three previously distinctly studied “lines”: Global governance of education, digitalisation, marketisation and datafication of education, and introduction of behavioural and life sciences as knowledge-base for education.

The abstract for the article is:

Managing the future has become one of the major focuses of global governance in education. In its current mode, education seems unable to answer the needs and interests of the market and future megatrends, such as globalisation and digitalisation. Calls for precision education to introduce the usage of digital platforms, artificial intelligence in education, and knowledge from the behavioural and life sciences are getting a foothold in widening powerful networks of strengthening global governance and EdTech business. By bringing together some of the emerging changes in education governance, in this article we argue for a new constitution of governance, precision education governance. Precision education governance combines three overlapping and strengthening lines of governance: (i) global governance of education, (ii) marketisation, privatisation and digitalisation, and (iii) behavioural and life sciences as the basis for managing the future education. In the article, we highlight the importance in bringing these so far separately studied lines together to understand how they shape the aims and outcomes of education, knowledge and understanding of human subjectivity more thoroughly than before.

The article is Open Access, and can be found here.

New article about the importance of changing academic habits as a response to Earth crises

An important new article from FuturEd researcher Birgit Schaffar (University of Helsinki) and Eevi Beck (University of Oslo): Means and Meanings of Research Collaboration in the Face of a Suffering Earth: A Landscape of Questions. (Open Access)

The abstract for the article:

The Earth is speaking to us in its own language of suffering—rising average temperatures, increasingly extreme weather conditions, mass extinction of species and so on. Academic habits of travelling long distances and/or frequently, as many of us have, affect the Earth and its inhabitants. This chapter argues the need for changing habits not just by developing technical infrastructure but through developing awareness among academics of the issues involved including the dynamics that may be slowing down change. The chapter contributes by discussing the means and meanings of research collaboration in this context. We explore the role of collaboration across distance in scholarship (Erkenntnis), various ways (technical and otherwise) that materialities can affect remote collaboration and reflect on the ethics of commitments intrinsic to academic work. The challenge facing academics is to integrate these three aspects—sharing, the material/technical and the ethical—in developing ways of working which are responsive to the Earth crises. To support this, we indicate a set of questions which can be helpful to consider when, as scholars, we make decisions about why and how to collaborate.

You can find the article in the open access book “Academic Flying and the Means of Communication”, edited by Kristian Bjørkdahl and Adrian Santiago Franco Duharte.

Winter news from the FuturEd –project!


It has been an exceptional year for everyone, again. FuturEd –project wants to thank everyone, and especially our great colleagues all around the world! Here are some highlights to share:

Publication news

The yearbook of Education Sociology in Finland is out soon! In the yearbook “Koulutuksen politiikat”, edited by Janne Varjo, Jaakko Kauko and Heikki Silvennoinen, you can find two brilliant articles by our FuturEd-members! First is an article by Katariina Mertanen, Katariina Tiainen, Elina Ikävalko, Tuuli Kurki, Anniina Leiviskä, and Kristiina Brunila exploring the global and local youth policy discourses, and how young people’s participation and citizenship are constructed. The second is an article by Janne Säntti, Petteri Hansen and Antti Saari exploring the future imaginary in Finnish education policies. More information about the book can be found here:

Petteri Hansen and colleagues published an article titled “Managing expectations by projecting the future school: Observing the Nordic future school reports via temporal topologies” in the European Education Research Journal. The abstract and full-text can be found here:

Events and public speeches 

Professor Kristiina Brunila has been presenting research results in multiple arenas and public events. To mention a few, she was invited as a panellist to the Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education CELE’s discussion about the latest UNESCO’s Futures of Education -report. The presentations from professor Brunila and other esteemed panellists are here:

Also, she gave a presentation at a two-day conference arranged by the National Board of Education about the future trajectories of education, and how the FuturEd -projects research results might affect questions of equality and social justice.

Our brilliant university lecturer Satu Valkonen gave an interview to “Lastentarha” -magazine about her research on the marketisation and privatisation of early childhood education and care in Finland. She has also participated actively in public discussions on the issues concerning Finnish early childhood education in multiple op-eds in the biggest magazines in Finland. One of the latest op-ed’s can be read here:

The lecture series “Future Education and the Emergence of precision education governance” is coming to end. In this lecture series, we had four great presentations from Malin Ideland (Malmö University), Deborah Youdell (University of Birmingham, UK), Gita Stainer-Khamsi (Columbia University, New York), and Sam Sellar (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK)

The last lecture on Friday, December 10th was a panel discussion with our FuturEd-research project’s four brilliant scholars: Dr Helena Hinke Dobrochinski Candido, Dr Katariina Mertanen and Dr Petteri Hansen from our Faculty and Dr Antti Saari from the Uni of Tampere – all focusing on future trajectories of education in the Finnish context. At the panel discussion, we had a chance to learn about the future changes in education in the Finnish context, and discuss who gets to imagine education and for who. You can read about the panellists on our website:

FERA Conference on Education had a strong FuturEd -presence! Our FuturEd-project arranged as symposium titled “Future trajectories of changing education governance”, where speakers Kristiina Brunila, Katariina Mertanen, Helena Dobrochinski-Candido, Satu Valkonen and Saara Vainio presented their latest research results about future trajectories of early childhood education, Finnish education export, EU youth policies and global trajectories of youth education. Also, Katariina Mertanen presented her latest research in a paper session, where she discussed her paper “Fragile utopias and dystopias? Governing the Future(s) in the OECD Youth Education Policies”

Funding news:

Saara Vainio received four-year funding from the Faculty of Educational Sciences Doctoral School on School, Society, Education and Culture (SEDUCE) for her PhD research concerning future trajectories of education and changing education governance towards neo-behaviorism. Congratulation Saara! This is great news for all in our projects and especially to supervisors Kristiina Brunila, Katariina Mertanen and Antti Saari. Also, PhD-researcher Anni Hirsaho got into the SEDUCE -doctoral programme for her research about psychologization of secondary education in Finland.

On the behalf of the FuturEd project, we wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year 2022!


Last sessions of Future Education and the Emergence of Precision Education Governance -lecture series!

We have two interesting sessions coming up at the Future Education and the Emergence of Precision Education Governance -lecture series!

Friday, 3.12.2021, 12.15-13.45 UTC+2, Deborah Youdell

Professor Deborah Youdell will give a lecture titled: Professor Deborah Youdell from the University of Birmingham: “The teacher and the brain: navigating the ascendance of ‘learning science’ in education.”

Friday, 10.12.2021, 10.15-11.45 UTC+2, Panel discussion

Panel discussion Future of Education – to whom and for what?”, focusing on topical questions about future trajectories of education in the Finnish context, with scholars from Finnish universities.


Please find more information about the lecture series here:


Fall news from the FuturEd -project!

The FuturEd-project wishes everyone a lovely fall! We have some very interesting news regarding our research results, events and publications.

Publication news:

 An article about privatization and marketisation of early childhood education and care in Finland by Jaana Pesonen, Satu Valkonen, and Kristiina Brunila is published in Kasvatus-journal. The article titled “Markets of Early Childhood Education” [Varhaiskasvatuksen markkinat – Näkökulmana yksityistyvät palvelut] shows how marketisation and privatisation of early childhood education and care in Finland has developed, and how changing governance of education can help to understand shifts from public to private in the Nordic welfare state. The full text can be found here:

Also, an article titled “Educating for the Future? Mapping the Lines of Precision Education Governance” by Katariina Mertanen, Saara Vainio and Kristiina Brunila has been accepted for publication in Policy Futures in Education – journal. This theoretical article shows how three ‘lines’ of changing education governance (globalization of education; marketisation, privatization and digitalization of education, and the emergence of behavioural and life sciences to education) can be explored together with the concept of Precision Education Governance.

A book called “Therapeutic Power: Tensions of Happiness and Wellbeing in 21st century” [Terapeuttinen valta: Onnellisuuden ja hyvinvoinnin jännitteitä 2000-luvun Suomessa] edited by Kristiina Brunila, Esko Harni, Antti Saari and Hanna Ylöstalo is now published. Bringing together the latest research about therapeutic power in Finnish society, this book has already attracted wide interest in both academic and public spheres. The book can be found here:

Kristiina Brunila, Saara Vainio and Sanna Toiviainen analyse the positivity imperative in youth education and training in the article “The Positivity Imperative in Youth Education as a Form of Cruel Optimism” published in the Journal of Applied Youth Studies. The article explores how youth education promotes the therapeutic ethos especially in relation to young people considered as vulnerable or ‘at risk’. Full text for the article can be found here:

Last but not least, an article titled “Emerging Multi-Professional Assemblages of Youth Guidance and Support Producing the Resilient and Future-Oriented Citizen” by Sanna Toiviainen and Kristiina Brunila was published in the Nordic Journal of Transitions, Careers and Guidance. In the article Toiviainen and Brunila analyse the youth guidance systems in Finland as multi-professional assemblages and ask what kind of citizenship young people are governed towards in these assemblages. Full article can be found here:

Events and public speeches

The lecture series Future Education and the Emergence of Precision Education Governance has started! The first lecture by professor Malin Ideland titled “Problem-solving, future-making and a source of joy. A look on the bright side of neoliberalized education” was held at the beginning of September. In the lecture, professor Ideland discussed the allure and joy brought by neoliberalism in the light of the results of Ideland’s Education INC -research project results. Read more about Malin’s lecture, and other upcoming lectures in the series from:

Katariina Mertanen presented a paper “Mapping the Emerging Lines of Precision Education Governance in the ECER 2021 conference in a paper session “Sociologies of Learning: Expertise, Datafication and the Governance of Education”.

Upcoming events

A lecture by Reader Sam Sellar will be held October 7th, 10-12 UTC +3. In the lecture “Synthetic governance: The emergence of new cognitive infrastructures in education policy.” Sellar will discuss the blurring lines between rationalities, governance and algorithms in education. Read more at: