- Food systems
- Seed sovereignty and genetic diversity in agriculture
- Local ecological knowledge
- Political ecology
- Systems thinking
- Transformation and regime shifts
Hanna Nikkanen is interested in agroecological transformations, social movements, and seed sovereignty
Nikkanen chose SERSD because of the culture of transdisciplinary research and the opportunity to study transformations and regime shifts with methods and scenarios that acknowledge the profundity of the Anthropocene: that researchers cannot envision the future simply by extrapolating on the past. She sees the programme as an chance to dive deep into the complexity of human communities as well as the natural systems that support and encompass them.
Her research interests are connected to the social and political aspects of climate change adaptation and mitigation, with a focus on transformations in food production, ownership of / access to land and seeds, and genetic diversity in agriculture.
She is interested in utopian thinking, the good Anthropocene, and representations of the future in research and fiction.
Nikkanen has a BA in Communications from the University of Helsinki. She has worked as a journalist, starting out in news reporting and moving towards investigative journalism and longer formats. She is a founding member and former editor-in-chief of Long Play, an award-winning Finnish publication focused on slow journalism.
Nikkanen has published non-fiction books on the topics of corporate ethics, the Arab Spring, internet governance, and the history of HIV and AIDS. Recently her work has been focused on climate change and biodiversity.
During the academic year 2016–2017 she was the visiting professor of journalism (professor of practice) at the University of Tampere. She directed the work of a student team that produced a book on the effects of climate change in Finland. “Hyvän sään aikana” (“Calm Before The Storm”) won two major non-fiction awards and a photojournalism prize.
Throughout, Nikkanen has been active in NGOs and grassroots initiatives working with local land stewardship and the extractive industries.