Estimated reading time 3 min

How can I create systems change?

Wicked problems we´re facing today call for ability to think both big and small. But where to start if one had to design a functioning society from scratch?


Jukka Vahti

Project Director, Digital power and democracy



“Systems Change, not climate change”.

A quote from climate activist Greta Thunberg sums up the nature of the greatest challenges of our time perfectly.

Helping the Finnish society find answers to tackle these challenges and enabling opportunities for individuals to learn and build organizational capabilities is the mission of Sitra Lab, a place for everyone who wants to solve wicked problems and participate in building societal change.

In the 17th episode of the Rise to shine -futurespodcast, we talk about Sitra Lab, societal innovations, sustainable development and a new Accelerator Labs network created by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) earlier this year.

In this episode of the futurespodcast we´re searching answers to the question “How can I create systems change?”

A change of pace to narrow the gap between practices and challenges

The UNDP Accelerator Labs defines itself as “the world´s largest learning network” and aims to tackle the most urgent problems of our time such as unprecedented rates of urbanization, climate change, freedom of expression in an era of big data and mass surveillance, unemployment and inequality in an age of artificial intelligence.

“Few organisations have in their menu of solutions approaches that can match the speed and complexity of these emerging risks”, wrote UNDP´s Milica Begovic and Kal Joffres in their article at

The guest of the futurespodcast episode is Joseph D´Cruz who works as a senior advisor in strategy and planning at the New York office of the UNDP.

The UNDP´s  Accelerator Labs network now functions in over 60 countries. The goal of the network is to narrow the gap between the practices of international development and accelerating environmental and societal challenges.

“We were struggling to catch up, so we’re changing our game”, D’Cruz writes in his post to Sitra Lab’s international blog series.

In the introduction part of the episode Sitra Lab´s specialist Mikael Seppälä and project coordinator Salla Nurminen tell us what competences and skills are required to operate in the future and to create systems change through societal innovations. The episode is presented by Jukka Vahti.

Learn more about the futurespodcast here (in Finnish).

Sitra’s future-oriented podcast, Hyvää huomista (Rise to shine), seeks answers to current issues, reflects on alternative solutions and explores ways to affect the world of tomorrow, today.

The podcast is hosted by Jukka Vahti, senior lead of Sitra’ s communications and public affairs. The previous episodes of the podcast are made in Finnish and can be found under the name Hyvää huomista –tulevaisuuspodcast both at Apple podcasts and at Spotify as well as on Sitra’ s website

Sitra’s activities are based on a vision in which Finland succeeds as a pioneer in sustainable well-being. All development efforts aim at enabling a good life within the earth’s carrying capacity.

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