Social Innovation

A baby on tummy time looking at a book with a maternity package and baby clothes in the background

Photo: Annika Söderblom

The Story

Finns have always been pioneers – and a willingness to experiment and to risk failure is a Finnish trait. So it’s no wonder that  much of Finland’s success is due to social innovation – and it remains a priority today.

Numerous studies and surveys consider Finland one of the world’s most socially innovative countries: it’s the most stable country in the world and boasts the best governance. It offers the best quality of life in the EU and the second-best quality of life in the world. It is recognised as one of the fairest countries for children, one of the best places for mothers, and one of the top nations for fathers spending time with their kids. Finland is also one of the most socially just countries in Europe.

Finland’s standing as a socially innovative country is based on a history of correcting social ills. Take the maternity package, for example: introduced in 1937, it was intended to bring disadvantaged mothers into the social security system. The “baby box” was so successful that, since 1949, it has been provided to all new mothers.

And Finland hasn’t stopped innovating. In recent years Finland has experimented with developing e-government services, citizen participation in urban planning, citizens’ initiatives for new legislation and a basic income. The Finnish school system also provides room for experimentation, including a recent move towards interdisciplinary phenomenon-based learning, rather than purely subject-based education.

A better future for all through innovation and social experiments.