Tomorrow’s economy

The economy is linked to everything in our society and daily life. Many expectations are placed on the economy and its drivers of change, but there are tensions in the associated societal discourse. Do we know how to examine tomorrow’s economy from sufficiently diverse and long-term perspectives?

What is it all about?

Increasing inequality and the ecological sustainability crisis largely result from the weaknesses of the current economic system. Digitisation and the transformation of work are shaking the foundations of the economy, which is under increasing pressure to change. The Covid-19 pandemic has underlined just how intrinsically the economy is linked to everything in society and our daily lives. The future of the economy is hazy and the public discussion on it is beset by tensions.

“The economy is seeking direction” is one of the megatrends in Sitra’s most recent Megatrends list, published in 2020. There is increasing unanimity on the need to reform the economy, but views on the objectives, the extent and the methods of the reforms vary. Sitra has now launched the Tomorrow’s Economy project entity, which seeks alternative directions for the future of the economy from a number of potential options.

What will we do?

The project, part of Sitra’s foresight activities, tackles the issues concerning the long-term future of the economy. Our aim is to identify change factors and potential development trends that can contribute to a fair, sustainable and competitive economy and increase awareness of alternative development trends. In particular, we want to support a diverse and constructive discourse on the economy of tomorrow. Our perspective on the topic is multisectoral and multidisciplinary. Our starting point is to interpret different development trends and identify operational needs together with stakeholders.

The project thus combines objectives related to foresight and the reform of the economy, which have been identified in Sitra’s strategy.

Where are we now?

We launched the first two projects in spring 2021.

The project Anticipating competitiveness aims to identify and create a shared interpretation of the future competitiveness factors that will be important for Finland’s national economy and competitiveness. The project is founded upon a media analysis of the Finnish and international discourse on competitiveness. In addition, we have catalogued the range of concepts and international frameworks being used in the debate and identified trends and signals of change related to competitiveness factors. The data was examined with a multidisciplinary group of experts in a series of workshops organised by Sitra in November 2021.

In the project The state and future of the discourse on the economy, we identify and highlight the need to develop the discourse on the future of the economy and the opportunities provided by it. We use media analysis to determine what we talk about when we discuss the future of the economy and how the discourse in Finland differs from that internationally. We will also map key research-based discussion initiatives aimed at a fair and sustainable economy that have been introduced over the last few years and examine how they have been received in Finland. In March 2022, we organised two workshops targeted at young people for interpreting the results of the background studies and for identifying important future questions for the discourse on the economy.

The key findings of both projects will be published in spring 2022.

Who is involved?

One way or another, the economy is linked to almost everything in society and all of Sitra’s activities. We therefore aim to create different partnerships with our stakeholders in the project and to also co-operate with other projects within Sitra.
If you have a proposal for co-operation or would like to hear more about our work, do not hesitate to contact us!

Contact us!

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