Legal scholar Jukka Mähönen: "I'm inspired by the willingness of young people involved in cooperatives to make the world a better place"

Mähönen is Finland’s first professor of cooperative law.

What are your research topics?

I focus on the sustainability of business management, operations, financing and communications. I explore how businesses take account not only of the society in which they operate, but also of the planet whose future is their responsibility.

My particular focus is on forms of cooperation in both individual businesses as well as value chains and networks composed of several businesses, with my latest projects revolving around sustainable Nordic business models.

In this area, my central research project is Futuring Sustainable Nordic Business Models, a research group I am leading at the University of Oslo, while sustainability is the focus of the Companies, Markets and Sustainability research group at the Faculty of Law of the same university. In this group, I serve as the deputy head. The key project of this group is Sustainable Market Actors for Responsible Trade, where I work as the risk manager. The project is funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme.

Where and how does the topic of your research have an impact?

My research examines how the development of socially and ecologically sustainable food production, distribution, consumption and recycling can also engender engaging forms of business.

The goal is to give each part of the chain a fair share of the increase in value in a way that simultaneously heals the wounds caused by humans in the planetary ecosystem.

What is particularly inspiring in your field right now?

Cooperative businesses are being established and run by young people who strive to make the world a better place. I am also inspired by the existence of established, high-profile cooperative businesses that genuinely attempt to support these sprouting cooperative grass-roots. 


Jukka Mähönen is the professor of cooperative law at the Faculty of Law. (In Finnish)

Jukka Mähönen’s research, projects and other activities at the University of Oslo.

Get to know the other new professors.