Aims of BioEcoJust

BioEcoJust is a research project that aims at exploring the next 100 years of bioeconomy. The aims of the project are to explore the potential impacts on society of a developed bioeconomy while identifying key ethical challenges. The project is funded by Academy of Finland’s research programme BioFuture 2025, and combines the fields of Futures Studies (University of Turku) and Practical Philosophy (Aalto University).

Research Team

The consortium has two research groups:  the Bioeconomy and Responsibility group led by Professor Matti Häyry at Aalto University and the Futures of the Bioeconomy group led by Professor Markku Wilenius at  University of Turku.
Meet the research team

Foresight & Ethics

Futures research methods are used to develop scenarios of possible futures of the bioeconomy in Finland and the world for the years 2025, 2075, and 2125. Based on these scenarios, future ethical questions are identified, and we discuss the consequences and responsibilities related to bioeconomic decisions. We shall dive deep into understanding the moral aspects of emerging bioeconomy scheme for the next hundred years, and even further.

Bioeconomy is a hot topic in a lot of debates that concern how Finland will develop new strengths for its economy and society. We hope to enrich this debate with our scenarios and ethical considerations.

Involvement of private and public decision-makers, experts and citizens

As we define and assess the responsibilities falling on various agents for their decisions to promote or not to promote advances on bioeconomy, we analyse political choices and different rationalities and ideologies of how the future should be. This can only be meaningful if we involve private and public decision-makers, experts and citizens in the research process.

The Bioeconomy and the Future team involve these actors on various stages of the research project: first, a panel of experts and stakeholders participate in a Delphi survey. There, panelists participate in multiple inquiries and feedbacks enabling learning from each-other and providing anonymous argumentation to avoid group-think effects.

The data gathered in the Delphi survey will be used to develop a first draft of scenarios of possible futures for the years 2025, 2075, and 2125. The draft version of scenarios will then be used as background material for a Futures Cliniques, where a different set of actors and stakeholders will discuss the societal effects of technology in these scenarios. Participants of the futures cliniques are encouraged to think about effects that biotechnology may have on social systems.

The results of the Futures Cliniques will enrich the scenarios developed earlier. In effect, scenarios are co-created with various actors, experts and decision makers. This is the material that the Bioeconomy and Responsibility team will use to make their philosophical findings.