Project information

In international development programmes, local implementation for sustainable development has been underlined (e.g. Local Agenda 21). In our understanding, this means that sustainable development has to be translated into action that guarantees sustainable livelihood for the local actors. This translation cannot be defined solely by outside experts but, rather, it must be performed in dialogue with local stakeholders. Referring to the principle of dialogue we follow the tentative strategy of an action research model that aims at achieving accumulated sustainability program policy relevance. This application is called Action Research Ethnography (ARETNO). ARETNO is essentially a qualitative strategy based on dialogical inquiries, yet multiple documentary materials are collected; including statistics and indicators to attach local case studies to a broader regional and even global framework.

Three sub-projects are performed.

  • Network-based sustainable entrepreneurship in family farms is conducted as a survey, addressing one thousand family farms in Central Finland
  • Case A: Small scale rural entrepreneurship in local food systems apply ARETNO research strategy in the Jyväskylä region
  • Case B: Renewable energy production in farms apply ARETNO research strategy partly in parallel with Case A.

The integrated analysis enables us to establish our conclusions on 1) essentials about the on-farm level sustainability management and network-based sustainable entrepreneurship, 2) the role of market reclamation and networking in the region and 3) identifying types of on farm management strategies promoting sustainable livelihood for the entrepreneurs.


Keywords: sustainable livelihood, on-farm sustainability management, network-based sustainable entrepreneurship, local food, renewable energy