A genuine question I received when explaining my new project and role (yes, EINST4INE is intended to be pronounced Einstein). I simply laughed and dismissed the comment.. of course I am not the next Einstein.

But, it did make me think.

Collectively, our projects will embrace the major challenges of future industrial systems. That’s pretty big. While this is certainly a daunting prospect as the imposter syndrome starts to creep in, I remind myself that I was selected to embark on this journey alongside other brilliant young researchers, so why shouldn’t we aim for such an impact with our research projects?

Impact really drives me. Graduating only in 2020 and 2021, I completed both my Bachelors in Business and Master of Research in Sustainable Futures at the University of Exeter, Cornwall. During my studies, I interned for a social enterprise that trains and supports entrepreneurs to innovate social and environmental challenges through purpose-led businesses, as well as co-founding and leading my own venture of a ‘Women in Business’ society to empower young women to pursue their dream careers. Further to this, I have worked on several projects providing consultancy and freelance support to start-ups and research projects addressing various business and sustainability challenges.

Despite a rather naïve and potentially even immodest notion to believe that a group of PhDs will contribute groundbreaking science, I also believe that if you are not striving for something you will never come close to achieving it. So, we must dream big.

The main expectations I have for my EINST4INE journey is to make connections and build my network, receive high-level research training with great support from colleagues, and be exposed to a number of multicultural and practical experiences which all help deliver impact and enhance employability. At current, my research topic is broadly focussed on orchestrating innovation ecosystems. I’m really interested in investigating how things work, what challenges are being faced, and how they can be improved or resolved. As a result, I hope that my research will explore and develop mechanisms to successfully orchestrate ecosystems and the challenges they face. From an industrial perspective, I would like to explore ecosystems applied in circular innovation as I find it very applicable and an area that faces its own unique challenges. Above this, digital transformation has created opportunity to accelerate both the emergence and management of innovation ecosystems and the sustainable transition to a Circular Economy, areas that need development of understanding and best practices. And of course, being part of Gen Z, life before technology is pretty incomprehensible to me so curiosity into the digital phenomenon is almost second nature.

With these big dreams, how did I end up here in the first place? And another funny remark I have received…why Finland?!

Well, I am extremely pleased that LUT University is my host institution. It was my hope to pursue a career in research, and with a strong academic background, I was seeking opportunities that would give me international and industrial experience whilst still gaining PhD research training. The Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action presented the perfect opportunity to enable this. I am still in disbelief to be in such a fortunate position and am extremely honoured. I feel very grateful that I get to be located in such a beautiful place with such high quality of life and connected to incredible expertise through the institution and EINST4INE; I believe these factors will make all the difference on this learning and development journey.

So, you think you are the new EINST4INE?

Our view from the office. Source: Jessica Fishburn.

I feel I align quite well with Finnish culture and ways of conducting business; quiet, relaxed, resilient, and respectful. While this has helped me settle here, it also excites me for working with our industry partners here with whom I have begun exciting conversations about orchestrating innovation ecosystems addressing sustainability challenges. Beyond this, I cannot wait to learn and explore other cultures as part of my EINST4INE journey and the amazing research opportunities we have!

Looking forward to seeing what the future holds and I hope others will be inspired to follow along the way 😊

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