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Societal change is based on extensive co-operation, experimentation and time

A report published today attests to the confidence in co-operation inspired by Sitra’s autonomy and to the value of sustained effort as a major strength of the future fund.


Jenni Sarolahti


As an instigator and facilitator of visions of the future and learning, the impact evaluation emphasises Sitra’s role as an active driver of future visions and participatory methods, as a developer of new operational models and as an agent working to connect a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

The report asks whether Sitra is working on the right things, at the right time and in an effective manner. The evaluation pays particular attention to Sitra’s role as a promoter of impact-making opportunities, both for individuals and society, as well as a developer of expertise.

According to the evaluation, conducted by the Owal Group and 4Front, Sitra has been successful in bringing together different actors to address matters pertaining to the future. In addition, Sitra’s work as a national forecaster of, for example, megatrends and as a promoter of a culture of experimentation was singled out for praise.

However, in the opinion of the evaluators there is still room for further development in working more closely with partner organisations and creating networks with higher profiles, for example. Also of note was the need to more effectively scale up the outcomes of Sitra’s work and carry out projects with longer lifespans in order to improve co-operation with other actors. Conversely, Sitra’s bold, accessible and effective communication was seen to have broadened participation in such work.

“It’s usually the case that, in bringing the fruits of our labours to the fore, we communicate what we have managed to achieve, what we have done,” says Paula Laine, Director of Foresight, Insight and Strategy at Sitra. “It’s less obvious how we have done this. Nevertheless, the how is often just as important as the what. The evaluators respectfully highlighted this matter in their recommendations on the development of working methods.”

Sitra’s future-orientated work is guided by the vision for the next era of well-being and the impact objectives common to each of its areas of operation. In its entirety, the impact evaluation has been structured in such a way as to enable an analysis of the realisation of these objectives. The initial published findings of Sitra’s impact evaluations (November 2017) focused on sustainable economics and comprehensive well-being. Each of the impact objectives are evaluated separately for the period 2017-2019. Additionally, a comprehensive evaluation of Sitra’s operations will be completed during 2019. This will collate the results of the various impact objective evaluations and more broadly analyse both Sitra’s operational environment and its activities. The commissioning body of the comprehensive evaluation is Sitra’s supervisory board; that is, the Parliamentary Trustees of the Bank of Finland. You can find out more about Sitra’s impact evaluations here.

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