Saturday, November 27, 2010

Warrior of an open information society

Helsinki, -13 degrees.

Just a couple of days ago a new report, telling about Finland as a country brand, was released. In this report Finland was e.g. suggested to be the world leader in negotiating in 2030. Finland is called the problem solver of the world. Here follows some citations from the report: “Finland is already the best country in the world. Considering its small size, Finland has an unbelievable array of strengths and opportunities to solve some of the world’s most wicked global problems. If Finland did not exist, it would have to be invented. We have a mission. Finland’s greatest strength is the unbiased, solution-focused approach to problems, which derives from our history and culture. When faced with an impossible situation, we roll up our sleeves and double our efforts.”

It’s hard to argue with the fact that Finns are innovative people. Usually though, we’re not that proud. Reading the report put a smile upon my face, since it was the first time I could read about Finnish pride. Good job! Let’s change the fact that we’re known for being modest. We have lots of things to be proud of, let them show I say!

The main mission for Finland seems to be, according to the report, to create social innovations, make lake water drinkable, serve organic food and teach others about our school system. With social innovations it appears the report means to develop new production, new kinds of activities, which will contribute even to the export of social innovations, co-operation that is. You can find the whole summary here.

The funniest and most innovative part of the report in my opinion was the part meant for you, me and all other Finns living in Finland. The report actually gives ideas on how all of us can participate in making Finland a better place to come to but most of all to live in. Only then can Finland be a functional society. The parts that were related to me and my work were the ones where the report talked about neighborhoods and public sector openness.

Concerning neighborhoods, the report actually suggested that everybody should organize a party in one’s apartment building, hehe. The reports claims that joint events, meetings of the housing association and getting together to put the yard in order must be turned into a party because they offer an opportunity for learning how to do things together. I wish my housing association would organize a party, but then again I’m all for privacy of one’s home. I think I already know too much about my neighbors, and they about me. But a fun idea. Maybe one day when I own an apartment, I might be the one organizing a party for the neighborhood, for now I’ll settle for parties for my friends.

According to the report, public sector openness is crucial since knowledge is power. The biggest trend in the 2010s is the information society development, where public information resources are open for use by all interested parties. The guiding principle is to give everyone access to information compiled with the taxpayers’ money and to facilitate the development of thousands of applications that make life easier, help solve society’s problems and create new business opportunities. In this matter, I can help by trying to get all the information we gain at the office open for the public. Information should be easy to find, it should almost come to you instead of you looking for it. I will work as a warrior of an open information society. If you’re interested in the whole report, please see it here.

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