In Memoriam Doc.Soc.Sc., Adjunct Professor Anita Rubin

​Anita Rubin, one of the pioneers of futures studies, passed away in Turku on Maundy Thursday, April 2, 2015 after a long battle with illness. She was born in Helsinki on October 31, 1952. Anita’s colleagues in Finland and across the globe will remember her great significance as a researcher, teacher and visionary, and as a warm human being.

Anita’s work was highly significant for both futures studies as a discipline and Finland Futures Research Centre as a work community. She was one of the original visionaries who brought the discipline of futures studies to Finland. Anita was involved in the activities of the Finnish Society for Futures Studies since the beginning, acting as Secretary General during the years 1988–1989 and as a member of the board during 2000–2003. In addition, Anita actively participated in the work of the World Futures Studies Federation since the year 1987, acting as a member of the Executive Board and in the practical activities of the Federation. She worked at the Finland Futures Research Centre at the Turku School of Economics since the founding of the Centre in 1992.

Anita Rubin gained her doctoral degree in the year 2000 from the Department of Sociology at the University of Turku with the topic “Growing Up in Social Transition: In Search of a Late Modern Identity”. The study was concerned with images of the future of young people, and it was connected to the FUTU project which was led by Professor Pentti Malaska and funded by the Academy of Finland (Citizenship and Ecomodernisation in the Information Society. Futures Approach).

Until the end, Anita worked actively as a supervisor of doctoral theses, as a teacher and as an inspiring member of the community of futures researchers. Her role in developing teaching within futures studies was irreplaceable. Anita had the skills and know-how to turn futures studies into an established discipline within the university. Students remember Anita as a compassionate teacher who took the time to listen and who was genuinely engaged in problems that students faced. Anita was also an inspiring teacher and a popular lecturer in seminars and conferences in Finland and abroad. Hundreds of theses in various universities and other educational institutions bear her imprint, particularly at the Otava Folk High School.

In the context of rapid changes in the field of higher education, Anita was one of the most visible proponents of critical and radical futures studies, insisting on the use of the plural ‘futures’ even though it is not customary in Finnish. For Anita, the task of science and especially futures studies was to build a good, sustainable future. Anita always sought what was best for humans and humankind. Her exuberance and positive attitude were visible in many ways: in various work assignments, in designing her garden in the spring, in her poems and in her participation in social media. She will be sorely missed by her next of kin, a wide group of friends, colleagues and students as well as the members of the community of futures researchers.

Juha Kaskinen, Sirkka Heinonen, Olli Hietanen, Leena Jokinen



Published date 4/9/2015 11:45 AM ,  Modified date 4/10/2015 11:22 AM