ClimateLaunchpad finals were held in Tallin on 7.-8.10.2016

87 solutions to tackle climate change

Creating products and services that help us live comfortably and with zero carbon emissions is not only crucial for our planet, but also a treasure trove of business opportunities. The scarcity of natural resources and climate change are absolute game changers for our future lifestyles. All of this was evident in the European finals of ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest cleantech innovation competition. The grande finale of the 6-month program was held in Tallinn on 7.-8.10.2016, where a total of 87 teams from 30 different countries presented their business solutions to […]

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Which smart city will be the first one loved by its citizens?

  Smart city has become an umbrella concept bringing together strategies for reinventing cities utilizing ICT. Smart city promises drastic leap in energy efficiency, less congestion, more humane conditions, in hot and crowded urban spaces, and overall responsiveness to needs of urban dwellers. Until now, the concept of smart city has revolved solely around technology. Now this approach has begun to show its limitations. Problems faced by Songdo or Masdar clearly exemplify them: not being able to engage citizens in urban planning, design and service co-creation, can lead result in […]

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3+1 What we learned at the FutureFest

Want to hear and discuss about the future? Do you find both talks and interactive performances as great tools to inspire people to change the future? Then you should attend the next FutureFest, weekend festival organized by Nesta. Here we present some of the notions made at this year’s event. 1. The most interesting findings are made by combining two topics you think were unrelated. One of the most impressive speeches was presented by Cindy Gallop, founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn. In her speech, Gallop argued that the […]

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For genuine integration we need to re-think housing

We seem to believe there is a universal refugee character, someone we can easily recognise in the news. This story of “a common refugee” overwrites individuality and personal experience. The system of integration we now have doesn’t recognise refugees as agents, as if we are printing objectives onto a clean sheet of paper. For integration to really work, we need to look beyond categories, rules and policies and welcome new forms of co-operation. Finnish language does not serve us well in understanding migration. We call people refugees too loosely and lack […]

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8 Statements How to Make Nordic Startup Ecosystems More Effective

I recently published a big literature review on entrepreneurial ecosystems for Demos Helsinki NAKED Approach project (Finns have a bit of a thing for cheeky abbreviations). The work offers a baseline understanding of the factors that shape high-tech startup ecosystems. GREAT STUFF but most of us don’t have time to shift through 58 pages working paper. Good news is that you can simply check out my slides from Success in the Hyperconnected World -event on 25 August 2016 at the Demos office. The presentation adapts key findings from the review into […]

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Finnish approach to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is a “political suicide”.

For the first time ever the UN is inviting all of its member states to take part in its programme for sustainable development. Finland set out to become the most sustainable nation in the world from the very beginning of 2016, which was when the new programme of the UN – Agenda 2030 – was launched. To start the process of realising this ambitious goal, the Prime minister’s office commissioned Demos Helsinki and the Finnish Environment Institute to carry out a study on the opportunities and challenges faced by Finland […]

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Thousands to receive basic income in Finland: a trial that could lead to the greatest societal transformation of our time

Finland is about to launch an experiment in which a randomly selected group of 2,000–3,000 citizens already on unemployment benefits will begin to receive a monthly basic income of 560 euros (approx. $600). That basic income will replace their existing benefits. The amount is the same as the current guaranteed minimum level of Finnish social security support. The pilot study, running for two years in 2017-2018, aims to assess whether basic income can help reduce poverty, social exclusion, and bureaucracy, while increasing the employment rate. The Finnish government introduced its […]

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3 things Finland can do to become the most sustainable nation in the world

Agenda 2030 – the UN’s new sustainable development programme – was launched at the beginning of 2016. Finland wants to be a leading country in the implementation of this ambitious and vitally important programme. As a consequence, the Finnish government commissioned Demos Helsinki and the Finnish Environment Institute to conduct a study on the opportunities and challenges faced by Finland in the implementation of sustainable development goals. The study – which goes by the name of Avain2030 – was carried out in cooperation with the NGO sector and broader civil […]

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Watch: a 2 Minute Video Reveals How to Build a Successful Nordic Business Ecosystem for the Hyperconnected Era

Internet of Things brings us into the hyperconnected era. This changes the core premises of business: Traditional firms need to learn the new rules of strategy for a platform world, or begin planning their exit. What needs to be done to create a successful business ecosystem? Watch this 2 minute video to learn two tricks that help. The current global development is increasing interdependency in the economy, with digitalization and the Internet being the main drivers towards a Hyperconnected World, defined by increasing digital interconnections of people and things – anytime […]

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Helsinki organises a huge co-creation jam

In Finland, festivals aren’t just for music; they’re for urban planning too. At Flow Festival in Helsinki, the audience can listen to Sia, Morrissey, and M83, and envision the city of the future There’s a certain ambiance that’s created at festivals: one of utopia and possibility. “What you have at these events is a kind of ‘miniature reality’: a sense of what life could be like in an alternate world,” says Roope Mokka, co-founder at Nordic think tank Demos Helsinki, which promotes civic participation and sustainable lifestyles. “People come to […]

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What if affordable housing could improve its residents’ employment prospects too?

Co-working and co-living concepts are revolutionising low-income housing. On offer for residents in some communities now are language courses, leadership training, low-interest loans, and much, much more.   Affordable housing is more than just apartments The numbers of self-employed people and those who work remotely are growing at a rapid pace. At the same time, rising unemployment rates show that the labour market is undergoing significant changes. These shifts highlight the need for rethinking the way we work. Where we live can give rise to interesting new opportunities for alternative […]

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Why blockchain – the innovation behind Bitcoin – might completely transform the way we think about trust (and everything else)

Last week, we invited leading digital experts, designers and social scientists to discuss blockchain technology over a breakfast of coffee, sandwiches and yoghurt. The blockchain and its applications are indeed some of the most exciting recent developments in the digital world, but many questions remain unanswered. In this blog post, Demos employees Henrik Suikkanen and Christopher Rowley discuss the transformative role of the blockchain, and ask whether it is worth the hype.   Plenty of hype around blockchain technology, but what is it actually? Lately, blockchain technology has created a […]

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How to transform Kera – an industrial area in Espoo 20 minutes away from the Helsinki city centre – to a liveable, smart and sustainable neighbourhood?

Finnish retailing cooperative S Group’s logistic centre will be moving from Kera, an industrial area in Espoo, to Sipoo in the coming years. This opens up the opportunity to develop a whole new kind of neighbourhood in Kera. A partnership between S Group and Demos Effect that began a year ago, culminated last Thursday at the Nordic Built Cities Benchmarking Forum in Helsinki when the winner of Kera Challenge was announced. When logistics centre Inex Partners announced their move from Kera to Sipoo, S Group received the unique opportunity to […]

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How giving up mobile phones saved Nokia – and why it’s ready to take over the world again

  The future of the internet is the future of Nokia Text: Oskari Onninen Photography: Juha Törmälä Translation: Simo Vassinen The move was the finest one yet in the history of Finnish business, though no-one would believe it. Nokia issued a press release on the first of July in 2013. It had acquired the 50-percent share of Nokia Siemens Networks previously owned by Siemens. On the third of September another press release was issued: Microsoft would acquire a significant part of Nokia’s Devices & Services business area. In other words, […]

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Smart Talk: Carlo Ratti, on the role of testbeds, technology, and design within cities

Rapid urbanisation and the aging of our building stock place serious strains on the quality of life in cities, and on management of big infrastructure systems. The smart city paradigm promises to combat these challenges, but it is often leaving out a fundamental fact: our cities are old. The Smart Retro approach is a novel way to develop cities, seeking ways of integrating smart solutions into existing building stock. This week in Smart Talk we hear Carlo Ratti’s thoughts about Nordic urbanism and smart cities. What role do you see testbeds playing within cities that might foster smart […]

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ReKindle, Padurn and Rent-in-Shop are the Finnish winners of the ClimateLaunchpad idea competition

[Photo: Roope Kiviranta] The Finnish finalists of ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest cleantech idea competition, have now been selected. The Finnish finals were held on 15th June in sunny Helsinki, taking place at the Microsoft Flux collaborative space. The three winners (short description of each) will now head to Tallinn, where the international finals will be held in September. The winner of the international finals will get to develop their idea at the prestigious ClimateKic Accelerator, a Europe-wide startup incubator.    ReKindle – who won both the jury and audience vote […]

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How does hyperconnectivity change the way your company creates value?

4 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT HYPERCONNECTIVITY 1. From companies’ point of view, digitalization and other megatrends require more resource efficient ways of operating. Companies in all industries are affected by this change. 2. Digitalization and the new environment don’t necessarily change the basic tenets of strategy: to gain competitive advantage, companies have to be able to differentiate itself to command a price premium, operate at a lower cost than its rivals, or both. 3. The New Competitive Environment is defined by the opportunities allowed by Hyperconnectivity – the Internet of […]

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Flow Talks: Urban Life returns on August 12th 2016

Calling all urbanists! Flow Festival and Demos Helsinki proudly present: Flow Talks: Urban Life – an inspiring Friday afternoon free to all Flow Festival Friday ticket holders. Join us for mind-expanding discussions, insightful co-creation and electrifying talks with a set of international urban influencers. We promise you will never look at your city the same way. Flow Festival and Demos Helsinki are co-operating for the third time holding the Flow Talks event, bringing together both the festival crowd and urban groups, communities and professionals to join discussions on how to develop urban life. This year […]

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The Finnish Champions of climate solutions are selected 15.6. at Microsoft Flux

The world’s largest climate innovation contest ClimateLaunchpad culminates at the national level in Microsoft Flux (Korkeavuorenkatu 35, Helsinki) 15.6. at 16:30, when 9 Finnish finalists will pitch their concepts. Sign up for the event here to hear ideas ranging from renewable-energy based solutions to clothes rental services. ClimateLaunchpad aims to identify and push forward the most promising ideas and teams to tackle climate change. Out of the 40 Finnish teams that applied, 9 have been helped to make their solutions viable and attractive investors during the spring. After the Helsinki […]

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7 findings you can’t ignore on digitalization and new business ecosystems

Digitalisation is no longer about computers; people and physical things are becoming hyperconnected with cheap, abundant sensors resulting in the merging of digital and physical realities. To meet these challenges, Nordic societies look for new ways to prosper in the era of hyperconnectivity while upholding the traditional Nordic values of trust, equality and human-centrism. A crucial question is how Nordic companies and startups can compete with these values on the global markets. Demos Helsinki wanted to uncover what is required for a successful Nordic hyperconnected business ecosystem to emerge. Assigned […]

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