Parliamentary advisory board’s recommendations for continued development of new approaches released at seminar on results of Experimental Finland project
The target set by Prime Minister Sipilä’s Government is to make Finland the world leader in innovation and experiments by 2025. This target is also being achieved in the key project ‘A culture of experimentation will be introduced’, more commonly known as Experimental Finland. The culture of experimentation in this Government Programme has been unique on the world scene and has received a great deal of international attention.
The key project has accelerated the flexible renewal of society by strengthening the culture of experimentation and piloting and by encouraging wide-ranging interaction and grassroots participation. This has enabled the development of new products, services and business models in the fields of circular economy and digitalisation, among others. Research and behavioural science trials have generated significant potential for strengthening the knowledge base used to support decision-making. The project also saw the release of several publications, including an experimental legislation guide to provide support in situations where the legislative environment creates obstacles to experimentation.
“In addition to strengthening participation and independent initiative, the experiments have created a knowledge base to support decision-making. The objective is to continue to utilise experiments and their results as tools for policy renewal. This enables us to develop higher-quality and more innovative solutions and to verify their functionality,” comments Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms Anu Vehviläinen.
In its recommendations released today, the parliamentary advisory board on new approaches stresses the importance of more effective utilisation of the results of piloting and experimenting activities. The goal is to ensure that experiments and long-term development go hand in hand. Moving forward, experiments must be conducted at various levels, as they have different goals and targets for development. The Finnish model combines the Government’s strategic and research-based experiments, thematic pooled pilots and small-scale grassroots experiments.
Active support and funding are still needed for the promotion of new approaches. The advisory board recommended reserving funds for new approaches from the budget appropriations for the Government’s analysis, assessment and research activities and from potential future key projects. Attention must also be paid to maintaining the networks and experimentation expertise developed during this government term. For example, the ‘Place to Experiment’ platform must be further utilised to disseminate the results of small-scale experiments and to identify and develop potential innovations.
Minister Vehviläinen presented the recommendations for follow-up experimentation measures at the “Well tested is half done” seminar on the results of the Experimental Finland project. In addition to the recommendations, the seminar presented the results of the Experimental Finland project and the intermediate results of the assessment project on experimental culture. The seminar’s keynote speaker Anna Hopkins (Nesta, United Kingdom) gave a talk on the role of experimentation in society. The seminar ended with a panel discussion on the future of experimental culture in Finland.