Progress or Perish

Progress or Perish, edited by Aini Linjakumpu and Sandra Wallenius-Korkalo, researchers at the University of Lapland, opens up the debate on the potential for socially sustainable development in the North.

The volume sheds light on the opportunities for alternative development available to northern regions and the people living there. Drawing on case studies from Finland, Sweden and Norway, the work highlights the roles that art, culture and academic research play alongside technology and economics as bearers of change, approaching the study of progress from the human level.

By turning attention towards communities and the everyday social activities of individuals in their sociocultural and microhistorical contexts, the volume reveals the social construction of progress and links the idea of progress to the emancipation and empowerment of collectives.

Multidisciplinary in nature, Progress or Perish brings together the work of several scholars to explore the changes that individual and social agency can effect.


It engages with the wider theoretical and methodological debates to be of key interest to sociologists, geographers and anthropologists, as well as those with interests in gender studies, cultural and environmental history, literary studies and political science.

The volume has been written as part of the Voluntas Polaris research project, which ran from 2006 to 2009 and which studied communities, identities, emancipation and actors in the North.

Linjakumpu, A., Wallenius-Korkalo, S. (eds.), 2010, Progress or Perish: Northern Perspectives on Social Change, Ashgate, 200 pp.


Play and creativity for the school of the future

Marjaana Kangas’s doctoral thesis in education examines creative and playful learning and the learning environments that best enable it.

Creative and playful learning environments serve many educational aims and contribute to meeting the requirements made of the learning environments of the future.

“Schools stress pencil-and-paper activities and listening although outside the school the children use intel­ligent media tools and produce knowledge communally – on the Internet and in virtual games, for example”, Kangas points out.

“In creative and playful learning environments, pupils work together to produce knowledge and content through creative activity and play and by using novel technologies and environments. Such learning environments do much to promote many of the skills crucial in today’s society, such as creativity, collaboration and the acquisition of media skills”, Kangas notes.

The pedagogical model elabor­ated as part of the research allows creative and playful learning to be applied in the school curriculum.

Kangas, M., 2010, The School of the Future: Theoretical and Pedagogical Approaches fro Creative and Playful Learning Environments, Acta Universitatis Lapponiensis 188, Lapin yliopisto, Rovaniemi, 299 pp.


Putting diversity to work in academia

Making Inclusion Work reflects on how academic research, teaching and administration can be made more polyphonic than it is today.

The volume highlights daily work practices found to be robust and successful in enhancing academic diversity in curricula, teaching and research.

The book is particularly well suited for those developing academic institutions and administration. It will also inspire ideas among the researcher and student commu­nities. The work contains articles by over twenty re­searchers from around the world.

Making Inclusion Work was edited by Susan Meriläinen, Professor of Management, University of Lapland; Saija Katila, Professor of Innovation Management, University of Eastern Finland, and Janne Tienari, Professor of Management and Organization, Aalto University School of Economics.

Katila, S., Meriläinen, S., Tienari, J. (eds.) 2010, Making Inclusion Work, Edward Elgar Publishing, 224 pp.


Mining data

Data Mining in Public and Private Sectors, a work edited by professors of administration Antti Syväjärvi and Jari Stenvall, illustrates the importance of data mining for organisations and how they are manage.

“In management, data mining means the uncovering of information crucial to the operation of the organisation – making what is often an unwieldy mass of data visible and accessible. 'Mined' data can be classified and clustered, whereby it serves, for example, as the foundation of innovative management and decision making”, Syväjärvi observes.

The need to create, collect, exploit and manage data in the operation of organisations has mushroomed. Well-mined data has thus become a key resource for successful organisations.

The volume comprises contributions by 40 experts in the field from sixteen different countries.

Syväjärvi, A., Stenvall, J., 2010, Data Mining in Public and Private Sectors: Organizational and Government Applications, Premier Reference Source, IGI Global, Hershey, PA, USA, 428 pp.