UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


IGP appoints Dr Tuukka Toivonen as Senior Lecturer

1 April 2016

Tuukka Toivonen

The UCL Institute for Global Prosperity is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Tuukka Toivonen (PhD, Oxford) as a permanent member of staff. An organisational sociologist with a background in the study of social entrepreneurship, youth and social policy, he will formally join IGP on 1 April 2016.

Taking up the post of Senior Lecturer in Social & Economic Innovation, Dr Toivonen will direct IGP’s flagship Masters and PhD programmes, and develop the wider suite of IGP teaching programmes, while co-developing the Institute’s exciting portfolio of transdisciplinary research.

Dr Toivonen says he looks forward to the opportunity to collaborate closely with UCL colleagues, students and external partners on a variety of projects aiming to realise global prosperity. In particular, he is keen to develop several inquiries into collective problem-solving processes, or what he calls “economic creativity”. He brings to IGP an ESRC-funded project that investigates how personal interactions within London’s collaborative hub organisations (e.g., the Impact Hubs, university-related hubs) can shape—and possibly enhance—the business models of social and environmental entrepreneurs.

“We are delighted that Dr Toivonen is joining us and we expect him to animate our teaching and research in the area of social innovation”, says Director Henrietta Moore. She adds: “Dr Toivonen’s expertise on how knowledge can be fruitfully combined across considerable social, cultural and disciplinary distances—in the pursuit of solutions to complex problems—will be absolutely vital to the development of IGP. He will no doubt make a lasting contribution to our core mission, which is to open up new pathways to prosperity, while serving as an inspiring mentor to our entrepreneurial students in particular.”

Previously, Dr Toivonen has held lectureships at SOAS and Goldsmiths, as well as postdoctoral positions at Green Templeton College (University of Oxford) and Kyoto University. At Goldsmiths he directed the university’s MA programme in Social Entrepreneurship, teaching and supervising students with considerable real-world experience. Dr Toivonen maintains strong links with the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies and the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, both at the University of Oxford, which have in the past supported his research into youth unemployment and social entrepreneurship in Japan. He is the co-founder of ESCies, the independent research network on entrepreneurial spaces and collectivities.

Twitter users are invited to follow Dr Toivonen via @Tuukka_T. Personal enquiries may be sent to t.toivonen (at) ucl.ac.uk.

*Further information about the MSc in Global Prosperity and the IGP PhD programme will be made available in April. Those interested in entering these programmes are encouraged to email enquiries to George Burridge, IGP’s departmental administrator, via george.burridge@ucl.ac.uk.


Selected publications

Toivonen, T. (2016). What is the Social Innovation Community? Conceptualizing an emergent collaborative organization. Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, 7(1), 49–73. http://doi.org/10.1080/19420676.2014.997779
Toivonen, T., & Friederici, N. (2015). Time to define what a “hub” really is. Stanford Social Innovation Review, 14 April 2015.
Toivonen, T. (2014). Success of Angry Birds reflects growth of young entrepreneurship in Finland. Guardian Sustainable Business, 8 September 2014.
Toivonen, T. (2013). Japan’s Emerging Youth Policy: Getting Young Adults Back to Work. Abingdon: Routledge.
Toivonen, T. (2011). Japanese youth after the triple disaster: How entrepreneurial students are overcoming barriers to volunteering and changing Japan. Harvard Asian Quarterly, 8(4), 53–62.
Toivonen, T., Norasakkunkit, V., & Uchida, Y. (2011). Unable to conform, unwilling to rebel? Youth, culture, and motivation in globalizing Japan. Frontiers in Psychology, 2. http://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00207
Toivonen, T. (2011). “Don’t let your child become a NEET!’ The strategic foundations of a Japanese youth scare. Japan Forum, 23(3), 407–429. http://doi.org/10.1080/09555803.2011.597055

Image credit: Päivyt Toivonen