Scaling up the solutions
Time: Allocate approximately 40 minutes.
Participants: Groups of three to six people.
Suitable for: Clearly defining the vision and understanding the impacts of the required solutions.
The science fiction author
William Gibson said in the 1990s: “the future is already here – it’s just not evenly distributed”. Some of the solutions required for building a better future might already exist in today’s small “future pockets”. This tool examines what would happen if such solutions became more common. At the same time, it helps to define the vision, or the view of the intended future. The tool is based on the Seeds of a Good Anthropocene project and the Future Wheels method. Do the following
Choose an example solution that you want to review. You can use the examples identified in the Next era vision work (see the Materials section below).
Imagine that the example you choose is in common use. Write down on a note a description of a predefined operating model or service and place it in the middle of a flip chart. This is now a seed of change.
Think about the impacts that such a seed of change might have. You can make use of the “PESTEC” framework, i.e. separately think about the political, economic, social, technological and environmental impacts. Write down each impact on a separate note and paste the notes around the seed of change. They describe the direct impacts.
Next, consider what would follow from the impacts you listed, i.e. what the “impacts of the impacts” are. Write them down on notes and create an outer circle with them. They describe the indirect impacts.
If there is time, you can also add a third ring, to show what you think will follow from the indirect impacts. Similarly, you can think about the links between the impacts.
Finally, write a short story about the seed of change and its impacts.
You can use the solutions below in the exercise, if you wish.
Links to articles compiling solutions:
The Get me! operating model helps with early support for young people to prevent marginalisation. It is an easy and quick tool for providing young people with tailored support co-ordinated by a single reliable adult, an outreach youth worker.
In practice, the model works like this.
1. A professional, such as a teacher, notices a change in the young person or something else that worries them.
2. The professional flags up the concern and asks for permission to hand over the young person’s contact details to a youth worker.
3. After receiving permission, the professional records the young person’s contact details in the information system and also registers for the co-operation themselves.
4. The outreach youth worker is informed of the entry made by the professional and contacts the young person and the professional who made the entry.
5. The outreach youth worker summons all of the parties requested by the young person and organises a multidisciplinary network meeting. The young person does not have to know who to contact and is given all of the counselling they need at the same time.
The operating model already covers approximately 100,000 children and young people, and it is used by almost 4,000 trained professionals in Mikkeli, Espoo, Kerava and Riihimäki. The aim is for the operating model to expand nationwide.
The leftover lunch idea originating from a Sitra-funded experiment has spread to almost 20 cities in Finland. The idea is as follows: leftovers from school lunches are sold after lunchtime at an affordable price instead of them ending up as biowaste.
The two-week experiment at Vaajakumpu School in Jyväskylä turned out to be a success, and the school continued it independently after the experiment. In addition to reducing food wastage, the leftover lunch practice also provided another social benefit: it gave the diners the chance to enjoy a low-priced meal while having an opportunity to meet other people.
Read more about organising a leftover lunch
Impact investing is a way of increasing effective co-operation between the private, public and third sectors to prevent and solve diverse well-being-related and environmental problems.
One way of implementing impact investing is a Social Impact Bond (SIB). In it, institutional and private investors fund services that promote well-being and carry the implementation-related financial risks. Precise and measurable objectives reflecting the desired increase in well-being are specified for the projects.
The objective of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment’s Integration SIB project, launched in 2017, is to provide employment to 2,500 immigrants within the space of three years. Funds for the operation are raised from investors who also carry the financial risk of the project. The state only pays for the results, i.e. savings accumulated by the public sector.
Immigrants finding employment quickly helps them to integrate into Finnish society, eases the labour shortage for Finnish employers and provides the state with added tax income.
Timeout – a method of constructive discussion
The Timeout project originated from the need to answer this question: could societal discussion be something better than a shouting match with no listening involving people trapped within their own isolated bubbles, or could there be a constructive discussion about society that gets people excited?
Sitra began to investigate this question by developing a method for constructive discussion, known as Timeout. The development work took place during 2017 with various groups, NGOs and representatives from small and large cities and local authorities across Finland. The Timeout discussion events also managed to involve those who had not previously taken part or do not usually take part in discussion events on societal matters.
The experiences gained in the Timeout project show that constructive discussion can be supported by way of relatively simple measures that also create an equal and confidential atmosphere. The discussion generates a shared understanding of the topic discussed and different ways of approaching it.
The Timeout toolbox provides practical tools for planning and launching societal discussion, discussion about the need for dialogue and peer support in the form of other people’s learning experiences.
Read more about Timeout at
Green to Scale – low-carbon solutions
Sitra and the world’s leading climate institutes investigated a simple question: how much could we reduce climate emissions through the extensive adoption of proven low-carbon solutions?
According to the global Green to Scale survey, 17 proven solutions would reduce the world’s climate emissions by a quarter, if they were extensively used. For example, reductions could be achieved by adopting the Chinese programme for promoting more energy-efficient and clean stoves in Ethiopia, Finnish bioenergy solutions in Canada or Danish minimisation of food waste in the United States.
Based on the results of the survey of Nordic solutions, the world’s emissions could be cut by four gigatonnes by 2030 by adopting 15 Nordic climate solutions. This equals the combined emissions of all EU member states. The costs of adopting the solutions would equal the amount spent on subsidising fossil fuels in nine days. In addition to the direct emission reductions, the extensive adoption of these 15 solutions would also provide other considerable benefits, such as improving air and water purity, increasing the number of local jobs and helping to preserve biodiversity.