Lab 2: Solutions from nature

Sitra Lab 2 is a training programme that seeks solutions from nature to the problems of urbanisation.

What is it about?

“Let’s do it the same way we did it last time” is an expression we rarely hear these days. Our time is characterised by problems that have no patented answers. Even the problems themselves often lack a shared definition.

The Sitra Lab training programme is a practical journey of development focused on finding new ways to solve complex societal problems. There is no final exam and no homework, but there is a lot to do.  This intensive programme will provide you with plenty of new networks, practical approaches and food for thought.

The aim of the training programme is to enhance the participating change-makers’ ability to create change, their desire to be a problem solver and have the capacity to take action in a complex world.

Sitra Lab 2 was postponed from spring to autumn 2020 and will be primarily virtual in its implementation.

Training modules and schedule

  1. 09/2020 The operating environment and systems thinking. We will take a step back to see the big picture around the problem and the solution.
  2. 10/2020 Understanding the problem. We will try to understand the problems associated with urbanisation by putting ourselves in other people’s shoes and using empathy. We will get closer to our stakeholders and define the problem.
  3. 11/2020 The future and solutions. We will look into the future to find new solutions and perspectives. We will imagine preferred futures. Then, we will turn those ideas and solutions into concrete action and experimentation.
  4. 12/2020 Tools for increasing impact. We will focus on experiments: increasing the visibility of their impacts and exploring ways to understand and measure their impact.
  5. 12/2020 Lessons learned and conclusions. We will review our journey of learning: what we have accomplished and what lessons and insights should we take from the process and incorporate them into subsequent development efforts and our own work. We will also together address the skills, attitudes and actions needed for solving societal problems.


Focus on solutions

Nature-based solutions are solutions to societal problems that are based on nature in a sustainable manner or inspired by nature. The solutions sought by the future laboratory are simultaneously aimed at increasing biodiversity and responding to the problems caused by urbanisation. Nature-based solutions can be based on the preservation and shaping of existing ecosystems or the creation of new ecosystems. They are an effective and adaptable response to societal problems. They increase well-being and preserve biodiversity.

More than 70% of Finns live in cities. The trend of urbanisation creates new challenges while also creating new opportunities for growing cities as well as rural areas. Nature-based solutions can respond to a variety of challenges caused by urbanisation in relation to well-being, culture, the environment and the economy. The selected teams will broadly explore the challenges and opportunities created by urbanisation in cities and rural areas.

The solutions may, for example, strengthen people’s immune defences, support urban farming, increase opportunities for environmental education, deliver experiences of engagement and participation, increase a given area’s appeal, improve stormwater management or achieve something completely different. The key is that the solution must simultaneously increase biodiversity and respond to the challenges caused by urbanisation in either cities or rural areas.

Contact us

Riina Pulkkinen
Jaakko Porokuokka
Jaakko Porokuokka
Specialist, Sitra
Anna-Leena Mansikkala
Project Assistant
Lisbeth Strömberg
Project Coordinator, Sitra

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