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Strategic design as a tool for government

Studio portrait after the final presentation. Review guests (on couch from left to right): Timo Vierelä, Planner, City of Helsinki Social Services Department, Services for the Elderly; Pekka Timonen, Cultural Director, City of Helsinki; Paula Kokkonen, Deputy Mayor, City of Helsinki; Juha Kostiainen, Director of Public Administration Management Development Programme, Sitra; Tapio Anttila,Vice President, Sitra.


Global changes within climate, healthcare and aging demographics is in need of urgent solutions and new way of thinking. This summer Helsinki Design Lab powered by Sitra- Finnish Innovation Fund launched three studios to look at education, sustainability, and ageing from a strategic design perspective. Each studio brought together a team of eight highly talented people from around the globe to collaborate in Helsinki on a strategic redesign framework and a set of ten hunches for early and important opportunities within these challenges.

Onny Eikhaug, Programme Leader, Design for All, from the Norwegian Design Council worked on one of the team set to address age related challenges in the Ageing Studio. The Helsinki Design Lab (HDL) started their research in the Fall of 2009, and launched three studios the following summer in 2010. The teams worked together for a week in June to focus on the new wealth, health and social contract of the worldwide aging population. A strategic design approach was used to get new insights for identifying opportunities for action and rethink welfare for an aging society.


To read more about the studio dossiers:

Ageing Studio Dossier

Education Studio Dossier

Sustainability Studio Dossier


 "To be effective, design is not something that can happen to government, it must happen within government” 

Marco Steinberg, Director of Strategic Design Sitra


The work of all three Studios was presented the 1-3. September at the Helsinki Design Lab 2010.  The conference and workshop set out to address some of the challenges of the 21st century. Governmental leaders and decision makers were invited to get insight and learn from acclaimed specialist speakers about the “architecture of problems” from a strategic design perspective. The international delegates were brought together to work towards improvement within challenging areas of the future.


Summary video from the Ageing Studio:


Presentations by HDLs:

Ageing Studio Dossier

Education Studio Dossier

Sustainability Studio Dossier


Helsinki Design Lab introductory video

Sitra - Finnish Innovation Fund


PUBLISHED 01.10.2010 14:17