Friday, 23 December 2011

A Christmas Carol 2011, or How the Ghost of Open Data Showed Finland the Future

Institute's Fellow Antti Halonen writes about open data development in finland and encourages people to use their data wranging skills for the good of society and democracy. 
Last few weeks have been truly remarkable in terms of the development of open data in Finland.
In midst of the on-going discussion in the UK on the necessity and feasibility of Public Data Corporation (or Public Data Group, as it is apparently called nowadays) and potential setbacks that might cause for open data, Finland has taken bold steps towards opening up their data sets.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Could European Open Data Strategy be a lever for change in Finland?

Institute's Fellow Antti Halonen writes about the European Open Data Strategy and the possibility for change in Finland.
 By the time of writing this, the Parliament of Finland is just about to start to discuss the issue of opening up data of the National Land Survey of Finland (Maanmittauslaitos). The on-going debacle has been arguably the most visible case of open data discussion in Finland up to date.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Finns invade Warsaw

Institute's Fellow Antti Halonen writes about the second annual Open Government Data Camp.
Second annual Open Government Data Camp was held in Warsaw last week (20.-21.10.). Camp was dubbed as the biggest open data event in the world with participants from over 40 different countries and once again it proved to be a great event in terms of networking and sharing ideas and thoughts on open data with all those nice and like-minded people.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Rediscovering the Knowledge Society

Jussi Nissilä writes about the new focus area of the Society Programme.
Sometimes when on a journey it might be difficult find your way to the destination – or even know if you are moving to the right direction at all.

We are living amidst of a socio-technological revolution, a transformation which was enabled by the development of information and communication technology, but which will have a massive impact on most areas of our society: innovation and production, commerce, politics and political participation, social and power structures, working and private life, education and many more.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Young professionals competing in London

Katja Sauvola from the Finnish Institute blogs about young professionals competing in London.
London hosted a week ago a huge international event called World Skills. World Skills are World Championships for vocational skills for contestants under 25 years of age.  This was the 41st time World Skills were organised. There were more than 960 competitors  representating 50 countries and more than 200,000 visitors came to see World Skills London during the four days of competition.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Open Data – Who cares?

Institute’s Fellow Antti Halonen comments on the perceptions of open data.
Arguably the most visible aspect of the recent drive for more open data in the UK has been the Transparency agenda that was implemented by the current coalition government last year. At the core of the agenda is the publication of all public spending information worth over £500 on local government level and over £25,000 on central government respectively.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Behind the London riots: The role of education

Katja Sauvola goes "Behind the Riots: the Role of Education" 
Riots in London shook Britain and the media last week. Since the actual events, we have heard and read numerous analyses of the reasons behind the riots. The Guardian said “the reasons are complex and deep-rooted.” Peter Beaumont wrote on his article that: “Every explanation seems unsatisfactory, designed to conform to an ideology or a theory. I hear social deprivation blamed, yet there are other poor areas of the country that didn't riot. Others blame atheism and the lack of morality. Yet I have never lived in a community in London where so many of my neighbours go to church. Even the simplest explanation of Conservative ministers that it is simply ‘criminality’ is meaningless.”

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Reasons for rioting

Programme Director Jussi Nissilä comments the developments in the UK.
Who would have thought that a protest against the police after a young man’s death last weekend would turn into a full-scale anarchy all over the UK? Even after having witnessed the demonstrations by the students against the rising tuition fees and the demonstration and the aftermath anarchy against the government’s spending cuts,  I didn’t think this would be possible. After all, the issue seemed so geographically focused and so apolitical that my first reaction was that it would remain very local to Tottenham.

Monday, 13 June 2011

From Freeze to a Free Fall: Social Enterprise in Finland Today

Antti Karjalainen, CEO of Tiederahoitus Ltd and former Programme Director at The Finnish Institute writes on social enterprise in Finland.
A well-known Sociologist is reported to have said that sometimes socially progressive thinking arrives to Finland 15 years later than elsewhere in Europe but when it does the change takes place in two weeks. A description that might be applied to what has happened around Social Enterprise in Finland.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

“The biggest disease of them all is the growing income inequality”

Eeva Mielonen examines consequences of income inequality to healthcare.

The Future of Healthcare in Europe conference, jointly organised by the Finnish Institute and UCL on May 13, discussed current issues in healthcare provision. I am interested in the future of public services in general, and I was surprised how thought-provoking and inspiring many of the contributions at the conference were.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Liberating the NHS or repeating the mistakes of the past?

Eeva Mielonen is blogging about liberating the NHS.

Out of curiosity I went to hear what the Labour leader Ed Miliband had to say about the by now infamous NHS reforms. The impressive RSA lecture hall was packed with people – and journalists, as RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor wittily pointed out. Every day now there seems to be someone publicly opposing the reforms, and finally the whole reorganization is now on ice after a group of senior MPs applied the brake. 

Opening our mouth for the first time

 Jussi Nissilä introduces the new blog.

The Finns are often considered to be direct when talking, even to the point of being considered vulgar and rude. In Finland we would rather think that saying things bluntly is frank, transparent and effective.