ECOSOS ­ - Contribution of Social Work and Systems of Income Security to the Ecosocial Transformation of Society

The ECOSOS-project studies how social work and systems of income security can inhibit or support ecosocially sustainable sources of income that are not based on constant economic growth and unsustainable exploitation of nature. The research project is funded by the Academy of Finland (2015–2019).  It connects both the quest for ecosocial transformation and the challenge of participation of young people into the labour market. We are assuming that individual and collective solutions created by and with young people who are already living in de-growth circumstances are worth investigation as potential sustainable models of income. The research project will study what kinds of concrete experiments towards ecosocial transformation there exist in Europe, collecting empirical data from four European countries: Finland, Germany, Belgium and Italy. Identified cases will be contrasted with the systems of income security in the four respected countries in order to see how they either enable or prevent the development of ecosocial models of income. In addition, Finnish social workers working with young unemployed people are going to be interviewed to understand how social workers could support the ecosocial transformation. The research will afford a scientifically proved “to-do- list” of factors to be changed in the systems of social income security and in social work practice to enable young people to create sustainable solutions of income.

The Team of ECOSOS –research project at its kick-off.


  • Principal investigator of the project: Aila-Leena Matthies, Professor, Kokkola University Consortium,
  • Kati Närhi, Professor, University of Jyväskylä
  • Tuuli Hirvilammi, post-doc researcher, Kokkola University Consortium, tuuli.hirvilammi(at)
  • Ingo Stamm, post-doc researcher, Kokkola University Consortium, ingo.stamm(at)