Sitra Lab is a place for everyone who wants to solve wicked problems and participate in building societal change.

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WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

A laboratory is a place where previously unrelated elements are combined and methods are tested before spreading them to wider use. To solve wicked problems, we need both: new combinations and new methods.

There are builders of societal change everywhere in Finland, in different organisations and sectors and with a variety of job titles. Defining problems and developing services together does not only mean creating more diverse and better solutions, it is also a response to the call for new ways of democratic participation.

Sitra Lab is the future laboratory of Finland’s own fund for the future. It is a place for everyone who wants to solve wicked problems and participate in building societal change.

What do we do?

Sitra Lab aims to focus on one societal problem at a time. The frame of reference for these problems is the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Sitra’s vision for sustainable well-being.

Tackling such ambitious goals requires extensive cross-sectoral co-operation, in-depth expertise in societal issues and solid methodological knowledge.

Sitra Lab brings different societal influencers together to form a shared understanding of the problems, to implement operating models aimed at solving them and to launch development programmes. To strengthen the societal impacts, Sitra Lab seeks active interaction between funding and community-led operators.

Sitra Lab will not try to find a single solution to a particular societal problem but to create opportunities for an increasing number of people to participate in building societal change. The aim is to create a new culture of solving wicked problems: if there are unsolved problems, the future is yet to be made, too.

The principles of Sitra Lab are as follows.

  1. Learning: Sitra Lab assists in the development of new skills and of formal and informal structures to support the implementation of societal change.
  2. A community-led approach: Sitra Lab creates a place where experts from different fields learn from each other, familiarise themselves with the best international examples and build practical solutions together.
  3. A practical approach: The topics addressed by Sitra Lab are timely and urgent societal problems that will have far-reaching consequences if left unsolved.

Sitra Lab is part of Sitra’s societal training

Sitra Lab continues Sitra’s long-standing work in implementing training that has a societal impact. It is a successor to the Vitality forums organised between 2011 and 2015, in which participants from all sectors of society gathered together to form an understanding of different challenges and launch practical trials to accelerate the discovery of solutions to them.

As well as building on the work of the Vitality forums, Sitra Lab takes advantage of Sitra’s experience as a developer of methods, gained in activities such as the Ratkaisu 100 challenge prize and the Timeout dialogues. Sitra Lab has taken on the task of spreading methodological knowledge widely for the benefit of the whole of society.

Where have we got to so far and how can you join?

Sitra Lab is for you if you:

  • are in charge of inclusive activities, co-creation and/or co-operation with stakeholders in your organisation;
  • want to influence the development of services and/or the direction of funding in your organisation;
  • represent any sector of society and want to solve wicked problems.

We expect you to have a desire to bring your point of view to a wider audience in the debate on social inequality among children and young people. We also hope that you want to explore and implement new ways of tackling societal problems and are committed to activating your own networks to take action.

 

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