Trip to Finland: general conclusions and opportunities for the future


Between the 26th and 29th of September we’ve been in Helsinki, as a study visit to learn from advanced models, to share insights with Social Innovation peers, and explore collaboration opportunities with diverse stakeholders from government, think tanks, social innovation labs and other public agencies: Finnish Government, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Interior, Inland Design, Kela, Helsingin kaupunki – Helsingfors stad – City of Helsinki, Sitra, Demos Helsinki & Untitled.

We have discussed about Collaborative Governance advanced local strategies and experiences, systems change and innovation ecosystems, democratic innovations and we have reflected on a potential small nations alliance.

As for the general conclusions of the trip, when talking about Innovation in Governance, we have learned that in Finland they are addressing similar challenges and questions that we face here. They have focused their efforts on research and deliberation (they have several ongoing reflection spaces, studies, think tanks, etc.). Moreover, we have seen that in Innovation in Governance they are exploring with diverse Finnish organisations and stakeholders with similar tools and approaches to the ones we are trying out here: mission-driven approach, anticipatory governance, co-creation and shared deliberation spaces, digital democracy and the influence of technology in governance, etc. In terms of experimentation practices, we have detected some initiatives, but we have not identified very advanced large-scale or far-reaching governance innovation projects. In this report we present some brief conclusions of the journey and some inspiring ideas gathered from each stakeholder.

In addition, we have analysed the possibilities for future collaborations and we have started framing a roadmap to follow on the areas of interest with each stakeholder and organisation.

The focus in this visit has been on exploring the context of small and advanced nations. We believe this is valuable because it connects with our own reality and scale (the final aim is to explore the opportunity of weaving a network with nations such as Finland, Estonia, Scotland, Ireland, Costa Rica). In this sense, we have shared with the Finnish stakeholders the potential of creating an alliance between small nations.