National foresight cooperation
Finland and Finnish organisations are among the world’s leading producers of foresight data. Foresight work assists in preparing for the future; it is not forecasting or drafting strategies. It aims at building a common future on the most well-founded information or perspectives possible.
Foresight work benefits society at large
In Finland, a number of actors both in private and public sectors are involved in foresight activities. Examples of such activities within the public sector include the Government Report on the Future prepared once an electoral term under government supervision, and the futures reviews prepared by the ministries. Foresight activities are also performed in many ministries and branches of government, for example for the purpose of training and labour market needs. In addition, a host of other societal actors, such as researchers, companies and NGOs generate their own foresight perspectives.
For the purposes of Government decision-making, it is critical that foresight information as broad-based and of the highest quality possible is gathered from the whole of society. The organisation of information and broad-based interaction promote cooperation between the private and public sectors.
National foresight network
The Prime Minister's Office and Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund coordinate the national foresight network and support foresight activities and networking in Finland. The network brings together Finnish foresight data producers and is a discussion and coordination forum for national foresight actors. It aims to promote the use of information and futures perspectives in decision-making. The purpose is to foster public discussion, research and decisions on the new challenges and opportunities facing Finnish society.
Government Foresight Group
The Government Foresight Group appointed by the Prime Minister's Office on 21 January 2015 is responsible for leading and coordinating national foresight efforts and for making this operation visible. The Government Foresight Group supports the work of the national foresight network by facilitating the use of its views in decision-making and in other key processes.
The Government Foresight Group started on 1 February 2015 and its work will end no later than late 2016 when its effectiveness and future existence are assessed.
The Group has four priorities:
- The Government Foresight Group acts as a visionary and an inspiring leader for Finnish foresight data producers and users.
- The Group is responsible for national foresight cooperation, common processes in it and the development of national foresight activities by bringing structure and consistency to the work.
- The Group is to increase awareness of foresight work in Finland (especially work carried out by the national foresight network), the purpose of it being to foster the translation of foresight perspectives into choices and actions in the work of various organisations.
- The key objective of the Group is to facilitate the delivery of the national foresight network's views to decision-making processes and foresight work as part of the main processes of the society at large. The Group also plays a key role in the promotion of using foresight views and, more importantly, their development together with users.
Composition of the Government Foresight Group
Paula Lehtomäki, State Secretary (chair), Prime Minister's Office
Toni Ahlqvist, Professor, University of Oulu
Paula Laine, Director, Strategy, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
Johannes Koponen, Researcher, Demos
Marja-Liisa Parjanne, Director of Development, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Petri Räsänen, Director, Council of Tampere Region
Kaisa Oksanen, General Secretary, Senior Specialist, Prime Minister’s Office
Ahti Salo, Professor, Aalto University
Leena Sarvaranta, Vice President, VTT Oy
Jaana Tapanainen, Chief Senior Specialist, Prime Minister’s Office
Markku Wilenius, Professor, Finland Futures Research Centre
Join the national foresight network!
The Prime Minister's Office and Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, are assembling a national foresight network, open to all those interested in foresight activities and their development. You can participate in the foresight network via the Yammer network community, the main tool for communications and cooperation.
The national foresight network organises monthly meetings, Foresight Fridays. The themes and contents of these meetings vary and include foresight presentations, courses and networking. The meetings held on Friday mornings are open to all who are interested in foresight and futures research.
The first annual Foresight Forum will be organised in autumn 2015. More information on the Foresight Forum will be available in summer 2015.
The report published in May 2013, titled "Cooperative and continuous foresight. A proposal for a national foresight approach" provides guidelines for our national foresight work.
Kaisa Oksanen, Senior Specialist
tel. +358 295 160 430
Prime Minister's Office