From October 7th to 9th, 2015, the Alliance’s biannual forum brought a wealth of expertise and experience from a remarkably broad array of industries to provide Alliance members and curious attendees an engaging update of the leading trends and developments in these fields and an opportunity for in-depth discussion and interaction with these experts and others active in these and related fields.

The forum was opened with an opening address delivered by the Permanent Secretary of the Finnish Ministry of the Environment Ms. Hannele Pokka conveyed the significance of international cooperation and multi-party partnerships in today’s urban innovation efforts. This opening address set the tone for the various international perspectives offered by the experts. Among these was the comprehensive assessment provided by, former Chairman of the Commission for a Socially Sustainable Malmö, Prof. Sven-Olof Isacsson (Lund University). Prof. Isacsson addressed the city of Malmö’s development towards a sustainable future through the pursuit improved health, welfare, and justice for its residents.

Dr. Yang Yansui (Tsinghua University Graduate School at Shenzhen) broadened the forum’s international perspectives on innovative cooperation in the interest of addressing our society’s key challenges. Dr. Yang discussed the challenges and opportunities presented by the considerable growth of China’s aged population in the development of nursing home and elderly care services. Prof. Marjolein Caniëls (Open University of the Netherlands), meanwhile, detailed the Netherland’s active approach to bolstering regional innovation through a combination of flexible and clear policy measures, tactical guidance, and fostering productive chemistry within the ecosystems. Alongside these insights into international innovation efforts, Dr. Mikael Paltschik (Associate Professor, Hanken School of Economics) offered an expert assessment of the role which cities play as orchestrators of innovation and dynamic value constellations.

In addition to these expert perspectives on the forum’s key themes, the forum also presented three examples of these themes in practical application, in the form of ambitious research and development initiatives. The concepts addressed in three of the four mini-workshops form the core of corresponding initiatives under development: Mobility as a service vs. automotive industry in Systemic Change in Urban Mobility, Ageing as a catalyst for social innovations in Orchestrated Health and Wellbeing, and Health as platform for urban development in Reframing City Districts. The experts convened for these mini-workshop discussions served to enlighten then audience regarding the current events in each of these industries while also supporting the formation of new potential networks and partnerships to drive this development forward.

The forum featured an induction ceremony for the Alliance’s newest members, welcoming corporate members such as Wärtsilä, Sun Forever Green, Waveguider Optical Telecom, and Qianrong Investment.

See photos from the forum on our Flickr page and the full agenda here.

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Reframing City Districts (ReCiDi)

A research project conducted by the Universities of Turku and Tampere which aims to form a new conceptual framework which will help shape the collective identity and common vision necessary to realize the future low-carbon and sustainability targets.

Systemic Architectures for Sustainable Urban Innovation (SASUI)

An action learning and research project conducted by Aalto University and the University of Tampere which aimed to form a better understanding of the architectural requirements for successful innovation projects.