Published November 13, 2017

Knowledge in decision-making in Finland - Towards greater dialogue

Author's profile page: Eeva Hellström
Senior Lead, Foresight and Strategy, Sitra
Eeva Hellström is a senior lead in strategy in Sitra's foresight operations. Behind these words, you can find someone who is both a thinker and a doer. In her hands, complicated content is creatively fused and individual ideas are shaped into effective concepts.

The interface between knowledge and decision-making is broken. Societal discussion surrounding this interface over the past few years reveals several disappointments and a frustrated atmosphere. The results from a survey Sitra conducted in the summer of 2017 reinforce this notion. Problems have been identified both in knowledge production and decision-making.

Resolving complex societal problems requires a more comprehensive perspective with a more dialogical approach and a broader perspective on what is considered as knowledge and expertise. Despite acknowledging the problems in the interface between knowledge and decision-making, no determined effort for improvement has been made. Why? Where are the greatest obstacles? What type of new thinking does achieving change require?

In the summer of 2017, we sent a knowledge in decision-making survey to those in Finland who work in the interface of knowledge and decision-making and are interested in the topic. This report presents the most important findings of the survey. In addition, we link them to a broader topical discussion and present our own interpretations.

The content of the survey is saved in the Finnish Social Science Data Archive ( for anyone to use. More detailed results and figures can be found on the Sitra website and on SlideShare. The data and results are published in Finnish.

Publication details


Knowledge in decision-making in Finland


Towards greater dialogue


Eeva Hellström and Hannu-Pekka Ikäheimo

Place of publication


Year of publication





22 p.




knowledge production, knowledge producers, experts, decision making, decision-makers, dialogue, society, change


Working paper

What's this about?