From 2 to 5 May 2017 Kennisland organises a social innovation excursion for Sitra, the Finnish innovation fund++SitraSitra is an independent public fund that works under the supervision of the Finnish parliament. It focuses on advancing people’s wellbeing and success in Finnish society. Its goal is to make Finland a leader in sustainable wellbeing – in synergy with citizens, the environment and the economy. Since 50 years Sitra is working on a future that is characterised by collaboration, sustainability and social inclusiveness.. In honour of Finland celebrating 100 years of existence Sitra established the Ratkaisu 100. It is an open competition for Finnish citymakers in which participants are encouraged to develop approaches for future challenges. Kennisland was asked to get participants acquainted with the unique Dutch social innovation milieu. The programme is designed to challenge the Finnish citymakers, to make them rethink their own approaches and methods, and to explore new perspectives and to get inspired. In Amsterdam and Rotterdam we take them to initiatives that are making a change and showcase new ways of living together.
Making better use of everyone’s skills
Since 2000 the population of foreigners in Finland has almost doubled. Some estimations state that in 2030 the number of foreigners will have risen to about half a million. As a result, in Finland more international exchange is taking place, the labour market is changing and information is flowing faster than ever. In a new and changing world it is a challenge to make good use of everyone’s qualities and skills. But it is also more important than ever to do so. It should therefore not come as a surprise that, chosen by public vote, the topic of the competition is: ‘making better use of everyone’s skillsThe goal of the competition is to ‘make better use of everyone’s skills’, and to prepare Finland for a future in this regard.’.
The competition is about stimulating social innovation and making better use of everyone’s skills and talents. Sitra supports the fifteen best entries of the Ratkaisu 100 in developing their ideas into concrete, effective and practical approaches. The best teams win a prize of one million euros to carry out their initiatives. The projects on which the participants are working, for example, focus on increasing social inclusion of (unemployed) youth and minorities, the integration of immigrants, lifelong learning and acknowledging people’s talents and skills. Developing approaches for these kind of societal issues is complex and requires different perspectives. The programme deals with this through allowing a diversity of projects, approaches, perspectives and participants with different backgrounds to be included.
The focus of the competition is on stimulating the development of the selected projects. In order to contribute to this goal Kennisland introduces the participants to inspiring Dutch projects and initiatives. For four days, we guide them around in Amsterdam and ++RotterdamIn Rotterdam we, for example, visit the Dakakker.. At the places that we visit people experiment with business and organisation models and often creatively use technology and digital media. We visit the initiatives not just for inspiration. In response to our tour through the Netherlands, we challenge the participants to critically question and decompose their perspective in their own initiatives.
Learn, inspire and reformulate
The peopleKennisland introduces the participants to inspiring Dutch projects and initiatives. behind the initiatives are guiding their own stories. They can best tell about the challenges that they face and their successes. The participants can learn from their Dutch colleagues, expand their international network and share knowledge of both successes and challenges. Reformulating approaches and problem definitions is a central aspect to the excursion. In the excursion and during workshops we encourage participants to explore and use different perspectives, approaches and mindsets. In organising the workshops we work together with STBY++STBYSTBY was also involved in the development of the DIY Toolkit for social innovation and, like Kennisland, they are based in Spring House., a creative design research agency that works on social innovation. They connect organisations to the lives and experiences of their customers.
Next to being instructive to the participants, the excursion is a good opportunity to explore further collaboration between the Netherlands and Finland. In our globalising world there exist plentiful similarities between Dutch and Finnish societal issues. By working together with organisations such as Sitra or Nesta++NestaFor some years Kennisland has been working together with Nesta, the British innovation fund. We work, for example, together on the European Social Innovation Competition. Here you can read more about this project. , we hope to take advantage of our experiences and lessons learned.