Finns have realised that nature is a big resource for integrating immigrants.
Sustainable development is still too often perceived as an abstract phrase. We lack the ability to apply it to our everyday lives or to grasp its opportunities. However, sustainable development is fundamental to decision-making in our society. Germany, for example, has gained positive experiences from using expert panels in support of political decision-making. An expert panel with renowned names can also “raise its voice” when necessary.
The Expert Panel on Sustainable Development, hosted by Sitra, ensures that the voices of academic and internationally recognised experts make more of an impact in society. The panel was established in December 2013 to inspire action on sustainable development, by giving science a voice on the Finnish political scene. The panel contributes to public discussions and supports the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development. The expert panel is tasked with preparing, challenging and evaluating the commission’s work and promoting sustainable development in Finland. In its round-table discussions, the panel can consider any sustainability issue. It convenes around six times a year and interacts with key players in society.
Sustainable development means decisions and action
The key purpose of sustainable development is to find economically and socially sustainable solutions that take due account of our planetary boundaries. Societies and economies cannot function in a polluted environment. This is also the basic premise of The Finland we want by 2050 – Society's commitment to sustainable development.
Sustainable development goals should be embedded in the decision-making, action and routines of everyone in Finland, including companies, households and the government. Encouraging everyone to engage in sustainable development, Commitment 2050 is a Finnish social innovation, which is being further developed by the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development and the Expert Panel on Sustainable Development. All organisations operating in Finland – and private individuals – can commit to pursuing one or more goals and publicly monitor their progress in doing so. The concept has already attracted plenty of interest in Finland and abroad, with more than 100 commitments having been pledged.
The new global sustainable development goals were set in September 2015, upon the publication of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda is a universal action plan for the creation of well-being in all corners of the world far into the future, while preventing the recurrence and worsening of global crises. The universal nature of this agenda makes it unique: each country committing itself to the agenda must diligently pursue the related goals both within and beyond its borders. Finnish society has already adopted many of the sustainable development goals set by the UN and is continuing to do so. Much remains to be done in achieving some of the goals and Finland must not miss its opportunities to act as a trailblazer.
The members of the expert panel on sustainable development are as follows:
Sitra's co-ordination of the work of the expert panel is led by Senior Lead Eeva Hellström.