Methods of change

How is societal change achieved? In the Methods of change project, we build, collect and develop tools for changemakers and inspire people to build a sustainable future together.

What is it about?

The future does not happen; it is made. In order for change to happen to ensure a more sustainable future, someone has to see the problem, develop a solution and get others involved.

To respond to the major challenges of our era, we need a wide range of different capabilities to effect change in all sectors of society. Capabilities can be developed by experimenting, learning together and applying new approaches, methods and tools.

Guided by Sitra’s new strategy, we want to find even better ways to help and support changemakers. Sitra’s societal training team are seeking answers to the following question: How can we strengthen society’s capacity for change and the ability and willingness to work together? This requires the creation of processes that support and structures that enable co-operation as well as the collection, development and sharing of methods of change that will be available for everyone to use. Furthermore, we want to contribute to the creation of a solution-oriented culture that inspires people to co-operate.

How can we strengthen the capacity for society to change and the willingness to make sustainable change together?

How is societal change achieved in practice? What kinds of skills and tools are needed? What is the best way to influence the future?

What do we do?

The aim of the Methods of change project is to develop methods, approaches and tools for societal change that will be available for everyone to use. In addition, we aim to increase understanding about what capacity for change means today, who changemakers are, what kinds of problems they have and what they need. We produce content that improves the understanding of the different areas of capacity for change, carry out active networking to bring changemakers together and develop comprehensive support for changemakers.

Where are we now?

The foundation for method development has been part of Sitra’s everyday work for a long time. Examples of Sitra’s latest development activities in this field include its own future laboratory, Sitra Lab, and its Innovation portfolios project. Sitra Lab trains changemakers and helps organisations and communities to take advantage of new changemaking approaches. In addition to digging deep into different topics, we always ask how change is brought about so that the thinking behind it and the solutions that are created are sustainable and have an impact. The methods used tap into the following approaches: co-creation, systemic thinking, design thinking, dialogue, a culture of experimentation, future-oriented thinking and impact thinking.

What should everyone involved in societal development work understand about different approaches and how can just the right methods be chosen for each situation?

Finnish Changemaker map survey identified Finnish changemakers and charted the connections with each other and with the organisations that support them. The goal was to understand the needs of changemakers in Finland, the trends among changemakers and how various parties can support changemakers to further increase their impact on society.

Right now, we are deepening our understanding about the capabilities required for societal change and collecting and jointly developing methods for supporting changemaking.

This will result in an insight into the capacity of Finnish society to change and a toolbox for sustainable change.

Who is involved?

In mapping the capabilities for change in Finland, we co-operate with Sitra’s training alumni network, a community consisting of nearly 600 changemakers and influencers from different sectors of society, each of whom has participated in the Synergise Finland forums (2010-2015), the Sitra Lab training programme (ongoing since 2018) or the Leadership training for sustainable economic policy (ongoing since 2013).

We are looking for partners to test the methods and tools for change and will organise open events in autumn 2021.


This is how we do it.
Sitra Lab and the Innovation portfolios project

Building the foundation for method development with the Sitra Lab training programme and the Innovation portfolios project.

Changemaker map survey and user insight

We identified Finnish changemakers, charted connections, analysed trends and defined the needs associated with the set of methods to be developed.

Autumn 2021
What is capacity for change and how can its development be supported?

Sitra’s societal training alumni map the capabilities required for societal change and generate ideas for developing them.

Tool collecting and testing

Collecting and testing tools for change in quick joint development sprints with partners.

Methods, approaches and tools for change available for everyone

Get in touch

Future is made together!

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