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The Project in a Nutshell

In this project, we bring novel insights to management studies by considering who are cosmopolitans and how does their life course emerge, how does cosmopolitan disposition affect entrepreneurial behaviour, how is a cosmopolitan identity constructed, and what is the relationship between language kills and a cosmopolitan disposition. This is also a study on international mobility, as cosmopolitan disposition has been identified as a significant driver for voluntary and possibly continuous emigration. In this phenomenon-driven study, embedded in the globalized, virtualised and multicultural environment in which cosmopolitans live today, we provide a contemporary perspective to the discussions on culture, international mobility, entrepreneurship and identity.

Follow our findings in this blog!


Cosmopolitan identity

We are interested in what it means to be cosmopolitan, how does a person become cosmopolitan, and how is this reflected in their identity.

Cosmopolitan career

We are interested in how a cosmopolitan identity is visible in career choices and preferences, and how this may influences cosmoolitans’ working lives.

Cosmopolitan networks

We are interested in how cosmopolitans maintain their relationships via distance, sometimes crossing both spatial and temporal boundaries.


Cosmopolitan or a citizen of the world is a badge of honour for some, while sometimes shamed by others as a form of international elitism. While some define cosmopolitans as “rootless” frequent flyers, in reality cosmopolitans can have multinational families and experience a great sense of responsibility and commitment to multiple local communities, cities, regions and nations. COSMO unveils a new cosmopolitan culture, independent of place and time, and thus provide a contemporary perspective to the discussions on culture, international mobility, entrepreneurship and identity.

Melanie Hassett, UK

A cosmopolitan can have many homes, but home does not need to be a location, especially when families and friends are dispersed around the world.

Maria Elo, DK

Recent publications and conference presentations

Nummela, N., Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, E., Raitis, J. and Harikkala-Laihinen, R. (2021) Cosmopolitans as migrant entrepreneurs. In: Vershinina, N., Rodgers, P., Xheneti, M., Brzozowski, J. and Lassalle, P. (Eds.) Migration and Entrepreneurship, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Nummela, N., Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, E., Harikkala-Laihinen, R. & Raitis, J. (2021) Cosmopolitans as migrant entrepreneurs. Presentation at the fourth Odense International Entrepreneurship Workshop, May 20-21, 2021.

Nummela, N., Harikkala-Laihinen, R., Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, E. and Raitis, J. (2021, forthcoming) In-between worlds – Liminal experiences of Finnish-born cosmopolitans. AIB 2021 online conference, 26.–27.6.2021.

Nummela, N., Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, E., Harikkala-Laihinen, R. and Raitis, J. (2020) When all doors close: Implications of COVID-19 for cosmopolitan entrepreneurs. International Small Business Journal, open access.

Nummela, N., Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, E., Raitis, J. and Harikkala-Laihinen, R. (2019) Career paths in time and space. WORK2019 conference, Helsinki, Finland, 14.–16.8.2019.

Raitis, J., Harikkala-Laihinen, R., Nummela, N. and Paavilainen-Mäntymäki, E. (2019) The cosmopolitan future of identity: The changing nature of space and time. 20th Futures Conference: Constructing Social Futures, Turku, Finland, 12.–13.6.2019.


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