Demos Helsinki is a globally operating, independent think tank. We conduct research, offer consultancy services, and reimagine and experiment futures with a global alliance, Untitled. We work with curious governments, cities, companies, universities, and other partners sharing a mission to build a fair, sustainable, and joyful next era. We have an office in Helsinki and are expanding our operations in Paris.
Demos Helsinki employs 50 individuals with diverse backgrounds ranging from social sciences to economics, engineering, design, law, and natural sciences. We believe that the future needs to be created from a multitude of perspectives, which is reflected in our people.
We’ve had operations in Helsinki for over 15 years and are expanding in Paris. Our consultative work is done in teams, which are called New Horizons, Urban Transformations, Governance Innovation, and Transforming Business. Demos Helsinki’s research work is carried out under Demos Research Institute, which is an independent non-profit organization.
Since Day One, Demos Helsinki has been built on the idea that change can only happen together. That is why we carry out consultancy and research projects with hundreds of partners around the world. Unlike many think tanks, we are independent and 100% project-funded, without any political affiliations or external baseline funding. Learn more about our work and partners.
Only together can we fight for a fair, sustainable, and joyful next era.
We focus our work on four leverages. We believe that these leverages are critical for pushing forward the change we wish to see in the world:
- Expanding agency in decarbonization. Policy changes and technological innovations are not enough to stop climate change. We need fast and radical decarbonization by states, corporations, citizens, and communities, the people who currently see themselves as powerless bystanders.
- Transformative governance. Politics and public governance in their current form do not inspire enough trust and confidence in citizens. We have to find a new governance mindset that balances both change and stability, managing critical long-term transitions alongside more immediate needs.
- Regenerative infrastructure. Current physical and digital infrastructures fail to fully address collective and individual needs. Infrastructures can only reach their maximum potential if the people who use them have more agency over those structures.
- Emancipatory economy. Not all forms of economic growth are beneficial to society, and financial capital should not be the sole measure of success. Our economy must be geared towards prioritizing human capabilities, wellbeing, and sustainability.
If we manage to pull these changes in the desired directions, we have the potential to contribute to paradigmatic, system-level shifts that transform societies towards a more fair, sustainable, and joyful future. Learn more about the Impact Model.
Demos Helsinki consists of three entities – Demos ry, Demos Helsinki oy, Demos Research Institute Oy – referred to jointly as Demos Helsinki.
→ Demos ry is a non-profit, registered association that owns Demos Helsinki oy and Demos Research Institute oy. Employees exercise the highest authority in the Demos ry association.
→ Demos Helsinki oy specializes in consultancy. It offers consultancy services to public and private sector clients, NGOs, and foundations.
→ Demos Research Institute oy specializes in academic research. Demos Research Institute is an independent non-profit organization, committed to the guidelines for responsible conduct of research created by the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity TENK.
You can read more about our work, structure, and numbers in our most recent annual report.
Democracy at Demos Helsinki
→ Democracy is deeply embedded in our structure. Employees at Demos Helsinki are also members of Demos ry, the parent organization that owns all of our operations. This means that employees as Demos ry members possess the final power at Demos Helsinki.
→ Radar is a bi-annual forum where permanent employees come together to decide on future agenda and to evaluate previous outcomes and impact. Radar is our most important agenda-setting arena.
→ The Demos Helsinki board is selected by Demos ry members at the association’s annual meeting. The board ensures that Demos Helsinki’s work is globally relevant and we use our assets towards maximum societal impact. The board consists of both external members and employee members. Meet the board.