Sonja Nielsen

Sonja Nielsen

Doctoral Researcher
Doctoral Researcher

Sonja's research interests lie in the intersection(s) of transitions research, environmental policy, STS, participatory design, and transdisciplinary sustainability science. Her dissertation aims to investigate, evaluate, and develop participatory governance instruments for steering socio-technical transitions toward sustainability. More precisely, she explores the Transition arena method as a knowledge coproduction instrument in the Finnish political context. She conducts her research as part of Experimental environmental governance: coproduction and orchestration of transformative change consortium of Aalto University and the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke) funded by the Research Council of Finland. 

Before starting her doctoral studies, Sonja worked as a senior designer and sustainability specialist in several consultancies, collaborating with public and private sector organizations on various development projects. Sonja pursued her Master's degree in the transdisciplinary Creative Sustainability Master's program at Aalto University, before which she studied at Lund University, Emily Carr University of Art+Design, and the University of Helsinki. Sonja's educational background combines sustainability science, transitions research, service and industrial design, and environmental economics. 

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Sustainability science, Environmental policy, Sustainability transitions, Transdisciplinary research, Design for sustainability, Co-design, Science and technology studies, Experimental governance, Knowledge coproduction, Transition arena


  • Inuse, Doctoral Researcher