Laura Seppänen is a Senior Researcher at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (FIOH). She is also a docent of Agroecology at the University of Helsinki. She has studied change in work in many industries and has led a number of Finnish and international multidisciplinary research projects. Laura is especially interested in how significant changes are constructed locally, and how employees in the course of their everyday work interpret and affect these changes. Working in France and Brazil has strengthened Laura’s international research cooperation. Laura is also a head of sub project in the SWiPE-Consortium.
What are your strengths as a SWiPE researcher?
“My research on learning in work, service networks and their understanding of customers contribute directly to the SWiPE project as platforms create networks. The digital revolution and the platform economy will change the way work is done radically. Cooperation, interaction and trust building between markedly different actors is ever more important. I am a theoretically inclined researcher of work practices: workers face change in practices while those practices are the arena where they themselves affect change. It is wonderful to be able to study the challenges and opportunities that the platform economy poses to workers!”
What conversations would you like to see SWiPE raise in society?
“As a phenomenon, the platform economy is broad and remains hard to pin down. A society-wide conversation about organisational and worker experiences of platform economy solutions would support the construction of a working definition. Solutions and learning are grounded in practical needs in work and in companies. Development is rapid and learning and skills needs are difficult to know beforehand. Thus, it is important to have a conversation about what is a smart and sustainable platform economy, and how different actors can enable and support learning in it.”