10.6 Sustainability Agency

  • Satu Teerikangas University of Turku
  • Tiina Onkila University of Jyväskylä
  • Katariina Koistinen University of Turku
  • Marileena Mäkelä University of Jyväskylä
Keywords: CSR Professional, Social Movement, Social Entrepreneurship, Consumer, Institutional Entrepreneurship, Cross-sector Partnerships


There is need for societies across the globe to undertake systemic change toward sustainable ways of living, working and doing business. For sustainability transitions to succeed, the proactive role of actors is critical. Sustainability agency refers to intentional, proactive individual or collective level action geared toward sustainable futures, also involving non-material forms of agency. The aim of this track is to take stock of the subject matter in the field of management, appreciating how individual, collective, organizational, and collaborative forms of agency facilitate or hinder sustainability transitions. We welcome submissions cutting across theoretical bases and phenomena focused on sustainability agency.


Teerikangas, Onkila, Koistinen, Mäkelä. (2021. Research Handbook of Sustainability Agency. London: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Koistinen, K., & Teerikangas, S. (2021). The Debate If Agents Matter vs. the System Matters in Sustainability Transitions, Sustainability, 13(5).

Koistinen, K., Teerikangas, S., Mikkilä, M., & Linnanen, L. (2019) Active sustainability actors – a lifecourse approach. Sustainable Development, 1-16.

Koistinen, K., Teerikangas, S., Mikkilä, M., & Linnanen, L. (2018). Agent based change in facilitating sustainability transitions – a literature review and a call for action. In Dhiman, S. & Marques, J. (eds.) Handbook of Engaged Sustainability (pp. 1135-1156). Springer International Publishing.

Farla, J., Markard, J., Raven, R., Coenen, L., 2012. Sustainability transitions in the making: a closer look at actors, strategies and resources. Technological Forecasting Social Change, 79(6), 991–998.

Gousse-Lessard, A-S., Vallerand, R. J., Carbonneau, N., & Lafreniere, M.A.K, 2013. The role of passion in mainstream and radical behaviors: A look at environmental activism. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 35, 18-29.
Sustainability, Responsibility and Ethics