TLDR: Master’s in Theology in 2005, majored in Comparative Religion. Studied religions and cultures in Kathmandu, Nepal. Many RDI processes in higher education, see About > CV for publications. PhD student in Education with the topic of understanding blockchain.
This section is closely linked with several others in My Work, but I thought to have a more general space for this topic.
The little scholar
You can say I have a scholar’s heart, as I’ve always wanted to scrutinize things and understand them properly. When I wanted to learn about electrical work at home from my father who is a certified professional, I was slow to learn the practicalities because I always wanted to go the depths and ask:
What is electricity?
He used to kindly mock me for that but that’s just me and how I learn things. It may take a bit more time but at the end I know quite a lot about the subject.
And that goes for any subject matter in the world. I may not go down in history like Leonardo da Vinci but I definitely have that Renaissance Man attitude in me. Whether it’s philosophy, human sciences, engineering or poetry, highly abstract rational stuff or very practical skills like doing a brake job for your car, you can’t stop me from wanting to learn!
Beginning my path as a researcher
I was always a good student in High School and College. In the Finnish system you get grades from 4 to 10. My average upon graduation from what was considered an elite institution was 9.6.
But I wanted to learn about human beings and went on to study a degree as Child and Youth Welfare Worker (college-level social services). Me and my partner studied child protection issues using qualitative methods and it went really well.
After some years I did the Master’s degree in Theology. I was supposed to major at Dogmatics but at the last minute decided to go for Comparative Religion. The seminar group by Prof. René Gothóni was about understanding religious rituals, myths and symbols, and I decided to follow his example and do my Master’s thesis using an ethnographic approach in South Asia.
I went to Nepal to do field work and got to learn a lot about Newar Buddhism in the Kathmandu Valley. The completed thesis called the Sacred Hilltop was awarded as the best one at the Faculty in 2005, but I never managed to start a proper career at University. We did have a research group on South Asian rituals (Måns Broo, Riikka Uuksulainen and Maija Butters) and we applied for funding with the kind assistance by Prof. Gothóni, but the time was not right then.
Years of applied research
The years 2005-2018 were all about doing applied research. That’s the legal obligation of Universities of Applied Sciences and I gradually built my professional profile in that field.
In late 2014 I did two external evaluations on: 1) the organizational process of a Finnish NGO empowering freed criminals after imprisonment and 2) the strategies of the Lutheran Church in Finland and Finn Church Aid. Especially the first one, working with KRIS-Suomi ry, was important as I had the chance to be in good dialogue with former convicted criminals and learn a lot about their experiences in life.
A few years later I did a quantitative evaluation of support measures for youth without a permanent place to stay. This was a good process too and brought me experience with SPSS and quantitative research.
Between 2010 and 2016 I was involved in many research processes in development cooperation and sustainable development. Together with my colleagues we co-authored research publications, one of which was first printed in Nepal. I learned to be the main editor of a large final publication during the GLORE project (see more at Sustainability).
Finally towards the PhD
In 2017 I finally decided to begin a journey towards my PhD. As described elsewhere, the search for a topic was extensive and I finally landed on the Ethereum blockchain platform. I began the process already in mid-2017 and officially got the study right at the University of Lapland, Finland at the beginning of 2018.
It started out quite well but then life had other plans. I became nearly exhausted at work and wanted to pursue my vision as an entrepreneur. Starting the company was time-consuming and meant the PhD needed to be delayed. At the time of writing (March 2019) I have to give more resources to other necessities, but I’m sure the PhD will come back sooner or later.
Whether it’s the same topic or not, time will tell.
See the publications
To see my research and development profile and publications, please see About > CV.