Life moves to a waiting phase – Lockdown Dialogues summary gives picture of current state of society

Ministry of Finance 6.5.2020 10.46 | Published in English on 7.5.2020 at 9.49
News item

People from all over the country got together on Tuesday 28 April for the second of the online Lockdown Dialogues, to share experiences of what life is currently like in Finland. Dialogue Academy, Timeout Foundation and the Ministry of Finance are together coordinating a series of Lockdown Dialogues. The second of these attracted altogether 36 discussions based at locations across Finland.

More than 250 people took part in the discussions: young people, parents and grandparents, entrepreneurs, students, pensioners, central and local government employees, cultural sector professionals, researchers, and representatives of organisations, along with other groups whose voice is not always heard in discussions about issues in society. Such groups included immigrant women, people recovering from substance abuse, sex workers, and families of mental health rehabilitees.

The discussions were drawn together in a summary, presenting a diverse and structured overview of the current state of society. Subjects raised included lockdown fatigue, absence of physical proximity, developing tolerance, a sense of community, and building a more sustainable society.

The overall picture of life in Finland as the lockdown continues was one of prolonged waiting, which is generating anxiety over the uncertain future and also reflection on how society can be transformed. People’s concerns and expectations differ, depending on their particular life situation, but the dialogue they share is focused somewhere between anxiety and hope. The lockdown is wearing people out and the concern they feel for the wellbeing of family and friends weighs heavy. But the wheels of society are turning nonetheless and there is a growing tolerance of the situation felt by individuals and communities. There are practical challenges in the ways we find ourselves having to work, study and keep in touch, but these also give rise to new opportunities. Although we want life to be safe and predictable, and daily routines to return to normal, there is also a focus on a more sustainable future for Finland and the world at large.

An extensive summary is given in Finnish on the Lockdown Dialogues website. The same website also has a summary of the first of the dialogues, held on 16 April. The next Lockdown Dialogues are on 12 May, 26 May and 9 June. A summary of each of these will be drawn up.

Some of the discussions are open to everyone, and some are for particular groups of participants. The discussion events are shown in the Lockdown Dialogues calendar list, to which there is a link below. 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. Discussions are currently being planned by 43 different organisers from all corners of society – from private individuals to organisations, municipalities, companies, foundations and government ministries. The Lockdown Dialogues have attracted a wide range of people in different life situations. 

Responsibility for the coordination of the Lockdown Dialogues and the preparation, publishing and distribution of the summary material to central government and the municipalities is shared between Dialogue Academy, Timeout Foundation and the Ministry of Finance.

Inquiries:

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

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

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

Governance Policy