Lari Hokkanen (B.Soc.Sc.) works at Demos Helsinki on themes related to governance innovation and evidence-based policy. Lari has a background in social policy with a focus on behavioral approach to policy design. He’s also really interested in fundamental questions in philosophy and methodology of social science. As a pragmatic pluralist who rejects strict evidence hierarchies, Lari always ponders the relationship between quantitative and qualitative methods, and how different methodological tools could work together best to produce policy-relevant evidence. He loves experimental research more than anything, but always remembers the importance of qualitative methods as a channel into social world. He believes in the transformative power of evidence-based policy, if and only if, its inherent democratic and normative aspects are kept in.
He has a lot of experience from the intersection of public sector innovation and experimentation. During Juha Sipilä’s government, he coordinated experiments within the spearhead project “Access to art and culture will be facilitated”. Recently Lari designed and evaluated an RCT (survey experiment) for Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and now is building an evaluation framework for new digiskills training pilot, which is developed in cooperation with Google.org, Nesta and SAK. Lately he also worked with Finnish National Agency of Education on what an impact model for the whole Erasmus+ programme could look like.
Prior to joining Demos, Lari worked as a research intern at The Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities – reason why he still has a special side interest in disability studies. After winning Sustainergies innovation competition in Sverige in 2015, he co-founded the the co-op Vyyhti, which specializes in participatory problem solving in the fields of sustainability and urban development. Lari has also worked as a research assistant at the University of Helsinki. The societal impact of science is important for Lari, and he has been involved in designing a poverty-related survey for Helsingin Sanomat, biggest newspaper in Finland, and have led a group of students, who had unique possibility to contribute to Prime Minister appointed working group on inequality.