Demos Helsinki’s Annual Report 2018

The year 2018 was a year of change for Demos Helsinki. At the beginning of the year, our new strategy for global impact came true. Our six teams are now working around the world towards fair and sustainable societies. 

One of the most significant events of 2018 was the publication of the IPCC report in October. Its main message was that global warming must remain at 1.5 degrees. In Finnish parliamentary elections, climate change became an issue on which politicians had to take a position.

The IPCC report says we have time until 2030. That’s 12 years. During these twelve years, we will have to transform the very foundation of our industrial society. Production, work, consumption – the cornerstones of the past decades – have all been founded on fossil economy that cannot continue any longer.

In the next 12 years, all major industries will have to undergo a significant transformation. However, we cannot mitigate climate change unless we ensure that solutions are fair to everyone. 

We will only succeed if we dare to break the old structures and admit that no one has all the answers.

This is how we do it

Last year, we worked in nearly 20 countries and with more than 130 projects. We were designing a new vision for mobility for the world’s fourth largest public transport operator, RATP. We led the consortium that assesses for the first time the nation state’s ability to reach the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We looked for solutions to continuous learning together with SAK and Google. We worked as an interaction partner in the strategy and vision work of the cities of Kotka and Helsinki. We tried to find guidelines for impact with researchers at Åbo Akademi University to increase the impact of scientific knowledge in society. We promoted public governance innovations and capabilities of future leaders in Finland and around the world.

The change will be done together

The next 12 years are not going to be easy. We will only succeed if we dare to break the old structures and admit that no one has all the answers yet.

The next 12 years mean that we will be doing increasingly difficult things. We will probably also fail more often than before. We will work with organisations with whom we may not always agree, but whose change has the highest potential for positive impact.

The time is at hand for creating new partnerships, business models and attitudes that allow living on this planet in the future. It is sure that those who can solve this equation will prosper. 

Read more from the Demos Helsinki’s Annual Report 2018