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Kuva: Vilja Pursiainen

Published September 8, 2016

Vote now for a challenge worth a million euros

In the spring, we asked what people thought was the biggest challenge facing Finland's future. Over one thousand submissions have been pared down to four for the open vote, in which the final challenge will be chosen for the Ratkaisu 100 challenge prize competition, starting this autumn. One million euros will be allocated to the challenge receiving the most votes, which will also benefit from the expert input of specialist teams. You can vote for the challenge of your choice online, by the end of September.
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Author's profile page: Heli Nissinen
Specialist, Communications, Sitra
Heli Nissinen steers Sitra’s digital communications.

Finland is wrestling with major, complex problems – welfare and health, the future of working life, sustainability issues and generating expertise are all currently hot topics – and we must find solutions to all the problems we face. What will lead to a better future for Finland?

This spring, we asked Finns which key social issue they thought should be tackled. This sparked lively debate: we received over one thousand email and postal submissions on Finland’s most pressing problems and workshops were held all over the country.

The impartial challenge panel has now reduced the submissions we received down to just four, one of which will be the problem to be solved in the challenge competition. Here are the four challenge candidates that are up for the open vote.

  1. Clean energy from everyone. To develop a community-based solution that gets Finns to become producers of clean energy.
  2. Skills to a more effective use. To develop a solution that allows for the more effective identification and utilisation of expertise and capabilities in a world where people and information move from country to country more.
  3. Convenient care. To develop a scalable solution that ensures people receive the support they need right when they need it. The solution should make use of technology or community co-operation.
  4. Guaranteed work – bit by bit. To develop a solution that combines flexible working arrangements and long-term income planning for those whose work and income comes from multiple sources. The work made possible in the solution should meet and develop each person’s competences.

Before selecting a challenge, the challenge panel familiarised themselves with the scientific research behind the various topics and met with experts working on them.

“Considering that there seems to be an emphasis on the breakdown of consensus between different groups in the world today, we see the challenges facing Finnish society in pretty much the same way,” says Head of Online Communications for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland, Lari Lohikoski, who is one of the 25 experts on the challenge panel.

“Despite our different backgrounds, we feel that Finland needs more courage to step outside its comfort zone, more working together and open-mindedness, and a broader understanding of work and well-being.”

So, what happens when the challenge has been selected?

Defining the problem to be solved is an essential phase in ensuring the success of the challenge competition.

“All too often, we jump right into trying to solve a problem without knowing enough about the problem itself. In order to gain a deep understanding of the problem, we need to combine scientific research and experiential data from those actually affected by the challenge,” explains Kalle Nieminen, a contributor to the challenge competition project. “This is why we wanted a large number of people to be involved in defining the challenge.” 

Once the challenge has been defined, we will be assembling cross-community teams to develop solutions for the selected problem. The call for challenge ideas will begin in the end of October. The developers of the best solution, i.e. the competition winners, will be awarded one million euros to make their solution a reality.

“In order to solve the major problems facing society, we need a new faith in the future, we need to work together and we need new approaches,” says Sitra President Mikko Kosonen. “This is why Sitra wants to tackle social problems also by holding this challenge competition.”

Voting for the challenges will be open from 8 to 30 September at www.ratkaisu100.fi (in Finnish). Anyone can vote. The selected challenge will be announced on 27 October 2016.

Ratkaisu 100 is part of the programme celebrating the 100th anniversary of Finland’s independence and the 50th anniversary of the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

For further information, please contact:

Kalle Nieminen, Assisting Specialist, Societal Training and Development, kalle.nieminen@sitra.fi, +358 408435324
Heli Nissinen, Specialist, Communications, heli.nissinen@sitra.fi, +358 407671822

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