Monday, 25 November 2013

Professor Couldry fears the consequences of Big Data





Kristofer Jäntti blogs about Nick Couldry’s lecture on the dangers of Big Data


Nick Couldry, Professor of Media, Communications and Social Theory at the LSE, gave a lecture last week about three prevailing myths around the social role of media as a part of the LSE lecture series. He charts these myths starting from the inception mass media to the enthusiasm surrounding Big Data today. These myths have a pivotal role in shaping our view of society as the media consists of ‘institutions with the power over the means of representing shared reality’.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Roberto Unger calls for a high-energy democracy




Kristofer Jäntti blogs about Roberto Unger’s suggestions for an alternative programme for British Labour


Professor Roberto Unger, the social theorist, the philosopher and politician, gave a lecture entitled ‘The Labour Party and the British Alternative’ at the IPPR offices in London last week. His ideas suggests a new framework for Centre-left Politics in which the narrow call for egalitarian redistribution within the post war institutional arrangement is jettisoned for what he calls ‘deep freedom’ in which 'societies possess both the institutional and the conceptual means to create novel varieties of political, economic and social pluralism’ (Unger 2013: 97).

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Recent trends in media regulation


 
Kristofer Jäntti blogs about the CAMRI/FACE workshop in London


Traditional broadcast media is facing financial challenges from both reduced public funds and the increased importance of the media, as well calls for public guidelines for regulation in the wake of Snowden-gate and the UK phone-hacking scandal. Last week Communications scholars from Finland and the UK held a workshop discussing the future of European public broadcasting as well as the prospects of increased public oversight. These changes have consequences for democratic society.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Mozilla Festival and Archives Without Walls




Head of Society Programme Antti Halonen blogs about the recent web making festival in Ravensbourne.

The Finnish Institute was privileged to take part in the annual web making feast of Mozilla Festival in late October. 

According to Mark Surman, the chief executive of Mozilla, the event is “where many of Mozilla’s best and most innovative ideas spring to life. It’s where passionate thinkers and inventors come together to learn from one another and engage in a conversation about how the web can do more, and do better”. Exactly the right place for us.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

School Meals are an integral part of education





Kristofer Jäntti blogs about the importance of school meals
The provision of free school meals comes with some costs but many benefits. School meals as a part of the education experience plays a part in promoting a healthy lifestyle and good manners. Mirroring current trends in education, the provision of school meals is becoming increasingly pupil-centred.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Politics as Morality - Lakoff explains how metaphors influence the way we vote






Kristofer Jäntti blogs about George Lakoff’s contribution to Politics


George Lakoff, the renowned cognitive linguist, stresses the importance of metaphorical thinking and frames for human cognition. In his lecture  in London (Monday 7th of October), arranged by Counterpoint, he  challenges contemporary conceptions of political communication and the Enlightenment view of rationality.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Towards Fair and Inclusive Knowledge Society: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of the Knowledge Gap


Kristofer Jäntti blogs about Finnish Institute’s new programme strand.


There is a Knowledge Gap: the division between the knowledge rich and knowledge poor. The former have the motivation, knowledge and skills to influence public affairs while the latter are effectively disempowered. These divisions have consequences on the quality of the democratic process and help to sustain social inequities.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Afternoon with Open Ministry - outcomes and challenges of open policy making in Finland




Head of Society Programme Antti Halonen blogs about our recent event on citizen initiatives and open policy making.


The Finnish Institute organised together with the Embassy of Finland, Democratic Society and Open Data Institute an event where Aleksi Rossi, a co-founder of Open Ministry, gave a passionate lecture on citizen initiatives and how to facilitate them. The lecture was followed by a round table discussion on the more general outcomes and challenges of open policy making.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

What was the gender(gap) of Open Knowledge Festival? Data for improving it


What is the gender gap in open knowledge community and how to improve it? This article was originally meant to be published in The Open Book, but was unfortunately left out in the final editing process. The study was facilitated by Mayo Fuster Morell from Berkman Centre for Internet and Society and developed in collaboration with the Gender & diversity stream of Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki last year.  

Friday, 7 June 2013

Unintended consequences of government transparency - freedom of information and open data under scrutiny

 
Institute’s Head of Society Programme Antti Halonen writes about government transparency, open data and freedom of information

Finland has one of the oldest freedom of information (FOI) laws in the world and - like its Nordic counterparts - its government is frequently considered one of the best-functioning and less-corrupted. The spirit of Chydenius and Forskål has encouraged Finland to showcase itself as a frontrunner of government transparency and good governance. Since its inclusion to the European Union in 1995, the Nordic state has argued for greater transparency within the supranational body, and in 2011 the newly elected Finnish government made open data one of its principle objectives in its government programme. Earlier this year, Finland joined Open Government Partnership, a new intergovernmental project for more transparent and accountable societies.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Generating expectations – A preview of Participatory Budgeting

Laura Sillanpää blogs about the Institute’s participatory budgeting research in the making.

The Finnish Institute commenced a research on participatory budgeting earlier this year. The purpose of the research is to examine the experiences of participatory budgeting in the United Kingdom and to contribute to the timely discussion on local democracy, public participation and service delivery in the context of Finnish society in particular. The purpose of this blog entry is to briefly explain readers what has been done until now and give a small peek on what interviewees of selected projects have revealed about participatory budgeting in the UK.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Discussion event on 30 May 2013: Future of Freedom of Information? Government Transparency and its Unintended Consequences

The Finnish Institute together with Embassy of Finland and Birkbeck University will host a discussion event on freedom of information and open data on Thursday 30 May at the residence of the Finnish Ambassador, HE Pekka Huhtaniemi.

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Revisiting openness: The Finnish Institute in London launches The Open Book at FutureEverything 2013

Institute’s Head of Society Programme Antti Halonen writes about the newly-released The Open Book.

It increasingly seems that everyone wishes to be ‘open’. What we really mean by ‘open’, however, is yet intriguingly unclear. Richard Stallman, one of the creative forces behind the free software movement, once aptly questioned the concept: in a hot room filled with enthusiastic advocates of ‘open’ the only thing he’d like to see opened was the nearby window. In other instances he’d prefer the word ‘free’.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

What do we mean when talking about “Open Education”?

Laura Sillanpää from the Finnish Institute in London blogs about Open Education Week held 11–15 March 2013. 

The second annual Open Education Week took place last week 11–15 March. Several free webinars and local events were held worldwide varying from introductions and toolkit working groups on online communities and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) to presentations and webinars on Open Educational Resources (OER) and open policies. The purpose of the week was to raise awareness of the global Open Education movement and opportunities it creates in teaching and learning worldwide. The movement strives for accessible high quality education through opening and sharing educational resources.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Participatory budgeting and local open data: the Finnish Institute looks into ways of enhancing local democracy

Laura Sillanpää from the Finnish Institute in London blogs about the Institute's newest project on participatory budgeting as a way to enhance local democracy.

Local authorities have traditionally played an essential role in local democracy. However, societal and structural changes and degenerating dependency ratio are creating new and challenging circumstances for local government in Finland and the UK alike. Therefore, new ideas and innovations are needed in order to safeguard the production of local public services and to enhance democratic citizen participation.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Seminar examining youth in media age in Britain and Finland held at the institute

Timo Vuorikivi from the Finnish Institute in London blogs about the recent seminar Youth Street Politics in the Media Age: Helsinki and London Compared held at the institute.

On Friday 25th of January The Finnish Institute in London hosted a daylong seminar Youth Street Politics in the Media Age: Helsinki and London Compared. The seminar was an opening of a research project 'Youth Street Politics in the Media Age', organised by Titus Hjelm (UCL), Minttu Tikka (University of Helsinki), Leena Suurpää (The Finnish Youth Research Society), Johanna Sumiala (University of Helsinki) in cooperation with the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, The British Council, and The Finnish Institute in London.