This site is a collection of musings about my research, work and other passions, most of which are related to social justice, communities, people, life, diversity, the future of our societies and far away lands. I aim to keep the writings rigorous, adding references and sources where needed. All opinions are my own and are aimed at opening conversations, rather than stopping ongoing debates, embracing challenging views and conflicts in order to see the many shades of various phenomena.
I am currently working as a PhD researcher at the University of Sheffield, studying the post-disaster community recovery in the Tohoku region in Japan. The research project is focusing on how community development, particularly the more radical form of grassroots oriented bottom-up processes, can support the recovery efforts in this socially challenged region of Japan.
Before embarking on the (somewhat masochistic) path of doctorhood, I completed a degree in East Asian Studies in Finland researching the utilisation of Family Friendly Policies in Japan, particularly from the perspective of fathers. During this time I travelled to Japan and worked for an organisation called Fathering Japan for 3 months, which sparked my interest in the Japanese civil society sector.
Upon returning from Japan my life took a detour when I spotted a job in Sheffield, UK, and decided to put the thesis on hold for a bit to gain some work experience. After my initial stint at consultancy in Sheffield, I landed a place at the National Community Organisers Programme in 2012, which turned out to be a turning point for my imagined career path. I ended up being hosted by Sharrow Community Forum in Sheffield for 3 years as a community organiser, falling in love with the crazy neighbourhood and launching me on a completely new path in life. Community organising pretty much summed up my passions and enabled me to focus on things that I cared about, but had not really been able to put into words before.
I finally picked up my thesis again in 2013 and managed to pull it together, graduate and start an application for a PhD in the autumn of the same year. I was unsure at first whether I would want to take on such a laborious task but it seemed like the best way to play on my strengths, combine my passions, and hopefully do something worthwhile with my life (yes, I believe academic research can, and definitely SHOULD, have a real life impact on and basis in people’s real life experiences).
So here I am, working on this project, thinking about life, our society, the state of the world and what the future holds. Putting these thoughts into words and sharing them with you. I will also shamelessly use Wikipedia…so make your own judgements on that.