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OECD report: Finland has many opportunities to develop anticipatory innovation governance

Ministry of Finance
Publication date 15.6.2022 10.04
Press release

The OEDC published a report on the development of Finland’s anticipatory innovation governance system prepared in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance and the European Commission on 15 June. According to the report, Finland’s anticipatory innovation governance system functions well, but there is room for improvement.

The goal of anticipatory innovation is to change governance to be less reactive to issues as they arise and to strive to chart future opportunities. 

“We welcome the opportunity identified in this study to continue improving Finland’s ability to proactively shape our country’s future so that we can improve the well-being of our citizens and fulfill our responsibility to future generations around the world,” says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero.

Finland’s anticipatory innovation governance system functions well, but there is room for improvement

According to the report, Finland’s anticipatory innovation governance system functions well. The strengths of governance in Finland include strong institutions, such as Parliament’s Committee for the Future, and regular future-oriented studies and publications.

According to the OECD, Finland needs to improve future literacy in the preparation of policy measures. In addition, governance structures should be created to better ensure strategic foresight as part of the government’s strategy processes. 

Citizens and stakeholders should be included in processes that deal with future challenges and the political alternatives relating to those challenges. The report highlights the importance of strengthening a common understanding of complex long-term policy challenges and ensuring that policies are made with a long-term perspective when transitioning from one government term to the next. 

The report on Finland also discusses how anticipatory innovation governance functioned in four pilot projects. The themes of the pilot projects were continuous learning, carbon neutrality, child rights and wellbeing, and collaboration between politicians and public officials.

Future challenges and disruptions can be anticipated in government

Climate change and Russia's invasion of Ukraine have demonstrated that government must prepare for and anticipate the future. Government must continually monitor various disruptive factors, such as communicable diseases and potential conflicts. 

Government must also actively seek to anticipate possible future challenges and act to solve such challenges before they take place. This calls for innovative governance and changing how government currently functions.

The proposals for Finland are based on a review of literature, an extensive round of interviews, numerous workshops, and four practical projects dealing with carbon neutrality, continuous learning, child wellbeing and the roles of political leaders and senior public officials. 

Sofia Nevalainen, Special Adviser to the Minister of local Government, tel. +358 295 530 530, sofia.nevalainen(at)
Katju Holkeri, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 530 087, katju.holkeri(at)