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Summary of Lockdown Dialogues gives an overview of the current situation in society

Ministry of Finance
Publication date 18.6.2020 8.12 | Published in English on 18.6.2020 at 14.27
Press release

The Lockdown Dialogues gave a unique picture of the lives of different groups in society from the start of the COVID-19 epidemic to the present. The discussions provided an updated overview throughout the spring of our society under these exceptional conditions.

Altogether 160 Lockdown Dialogues were held on five different days of discussion sessions from April to early June. These online dialogues attracted 1,100 people from different age groups and occupations from all over the country: from Lapland in the north to Uusimaa in the south, and from all points east to west. There were also participants from elsewhere in Europe, Asia and the American continent. The Lockdown Dialogues were organised by 80 actors from all corners of society: organisations, municipalities, government ministries, religious communities, companies and private individuals.

COVID-19 spring – Diverse and changing experiences ranging from threat scenarios to hope

The Lockdown Dialogues exceeded expectations and have now been compactly summarised, forming a multidimensional and itemised overview of our society at present.

The Lockdown Dialogues discussions can be broken down into the following themes:

  • The crisis brought life to a standstill and changed everyday life
  • There was a shift in the balance between freedom and responsibility
  • As the situation progressed, the range of concerns became broader
  • Society still works, but post-crisis management preoccupies people
  • A spirit of community helped get through the spring
  • People experienced not only joy but also numbness and concern about the digital leap
  • People are hopeful that the crisis will bring permanent changes
  • The future is accompanied by both threats and hope.

"The Lockdown Dialogues have been very valuable to us in the Ministry of Finance. Through them, we have received important information that can be used, for example, in COVID-19 preparedness work, governance policy guidance and the confidence assessment on Finland conducted by the OECD,” says Katju Holkeri, Senior Adviser for Finance at the Ministry of Finance.

An extensive summary is given in Finnish on the Lockdown Dialogues website.

The Lockdown Dialogues will continue in the autumn under the title “Life after the lockdown”. Additional information will be published on the event page in August.

The aim of the Lockdown Dialogues is to offer individuals, communities and groups the opportunity to engage in constructive discussion and to build an understanding about what it is like to live in Finland during the current crisis. Responsibility for the coordination of the Lockdown Dialogues and the preparation and publishing of the summary material and its distribution to central government and the municipalities is shared between Dialogue Academy, Timeout Foundation, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, and the Ministry of Finance.

Summary of spring Lockdown Dialogues (in Finnish)


Dialogue Academy: Janne Kareinen, Director, janne.kareinen(at), tel. +358 456316516

Timeout Foundation: Laura Arikka, CEO, laura.arikka(at), tel. +358 445792686

Ministry of Finance: Katju Holkeri, Senior Ministerial Adviser, katju.holkeri (at), tel. +358 407649880