In 2010, Sitra launched a series of Synergise Finland forums, which are being complemented by leadership training in sustainable financial policy. In March 2012, Sitra held its first training event for Members of Parliament.
Training by Sitra
Sitra’s key tasks include anticipating forces of change and their effects on Finns. In 2009 and 2010, Sitra organised the Sources of Vitality development programme for 200 Finnish decision-makers, who discussed how the financial and economic crisis, climate change, ageing population and information and communications technology change the operating environment for Finland.
To further promote this understanding of Finland’s sources of vitality, Sitra announced in March 2010 that it would relaunch its training programme for decision-makers on economic and social change.
Training for society: Synergise Finland forums, courses on sustainable financial policy and training for Members of Parliament
The training provided by Sitra is based on cooperative learning, in which knowledge, understanding and real results are created together with the participants. This method is closer to joint development than to traditional training. The training offered by Sitra differs from commercial training in that it primarily seeks to build social competence, as opposed to individual or business competence. The participants represent a broad cross-section of society.
Synergise Finland forums
Sitra launched its training operations by organising Synergise Finland forums, which are based on the awareness gained through the Sources of Vitality development programme. The forums bring together a large and diverse group of decision-makers from all levels of society to learn from one another and identify structural and cultural changes needed in Finland. The forums will result in practical experiments and measures that facilitate creative solutions to the identified problems.
The first Synergise Finland forum was organised under the theme “New Work” (2010–11). The theme of the second forum was “New Democracy” (2011–12). The third Synergise Finland forum will begin under the theme “Sustainable Economy” in the autumn of 2012. It aims to create sustainable economic thinking in response to global challenges and produce a concept for leadership training in sustainable financial policy. The forum will also test the concept in practice.
Leadership courses on sustainable financial policy
Sitra’s training in sustainable financial policy will be based on the Sustainable Economy forum and its insights into new economic thinking. In line with Sitra’s earlier financial policy courses, the training in sustainable financial policy is intended for people with influence in politics, administration, business, organisations, research, culture and the media. However, the content and ways of working will be thoroughly modernised as part of the Sustainable Economy forum in the autumn of 2012. Sitra expects to organise its first courses on sustainable financial policy in the spring of 2013. Recruitment begins in late 2012.
Training for Members of Parliament
Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff often attend Sitra’s training events, which are multidisciplinary in nature. As a fund operating under parliamentary supervision, Sitra also provides training intended specifically for Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff. At these events, the participants can learn about the results of Sitra’s key operations, such as the Synergise Finland forums. The first annual training event for Members of Parliament and parliamentary staff was organised in the spring of 2012.
Training with a social impact
Financial policy courses are Sitra’s most significant training concept. Between 1977 and 2005, Sitra offered a total of 63 financial policy courses. They attracted nearly 2,000 influential participants, representing a wide variety of sectors in society.
The financial policy courses aimed to deepen the participants’ understanding of the economy, financial policy and their interrelations. The courses also covered the effects – both challenges and opportunities – of a rapidly globalising world on the national economy. In addition, they provided current information on the economy and financial policy. The purpose was to improve the participants’ ability to interpret and use this information and help them create strong networks among themselves.
The participants included decision-makers and experts whose work required competence in financial policy, such as Members of Parliament, business executives, interest group leaders and leading officials as well as representatives of the research, education and media sectors. Sitra discontinued its training operations when it adopted a programme-based operating model in the mid-2000s, but relaunched them in 2010.