Previous projects: Societal and cultural transformation to solve complex problems

Dynamic Museum and Heritage Futures Workshop as instruments for ecological reconstruction (DYNAMO)

We broaden and deepen eco-social values by strengthening co-creative understandings of cultural transformation

The aim of the project is to develop dynamic museums and heritage futures workshops, concepts that pursue deliberative cultural transformation towards sustainable societies. Heritage futures provides a tool for making sense of skills, knowledge, emotions and empathy, and dynamic museums provide a context for using such a tool.

The vision of the project is to support building a variety of dynamic museums in Finland, providing heritage futures workshops, which act as broad, societal platforms for cultural transformation processes.

Dynamic museums are a way to reconceptualise museums as arenas for societal and participatory interaction that produces deliberative cultural and societal change.

Further information: Katriina Siivonen &

Impact of the pandemic on the use of leisure services and facilities

The Turku Urban Research Program, Finland Futures Research Centre, The School of Architecture at the University of Tampere and The Urban Research and Statistics Unit at Helsinki City Executive Office are collaborating on a research project on the long- and short-term effects of the Covid19 pandemic on the use of public urban leisure services and facilities. 

The leisure services provided by cities (sports, libraries, culture, museums, theaters, concerts, youth services, etc.) and the associated variety of public spaces play an important role in the social life of the city and as enablers of community. However, the coronavirus pandemic has changed people’s behavior, such as the number and ways in which services are used, both because of the restrictions and recommendations of the authorities and because of people’s own judgment and fears. For example, libraries are still used to borrow physical material, but their position as shared living rooms for city dwellers has weakened, at least temporarily, and even broken for a limited period as restrictions tightened. Only a few people ventured into theater, concerts and exhibitions, even under more lenient restrictions. The use of sports venues has also had to be restricted. The requirement for acceptable loose space has been different in varying pandemic conditions. 

Changes in use, both in services and in the spaces traditionally used to produce them, pose a wide range of challenges for both users and urban organizations. People, clubs, associations and companies have had to change their operations and perhaps some activities are changing permanently. The facilities have been at least partially underutilized or even unused, with their employees at worst laid off. At the same time, space costs pose challenges. Some of the effects may last for a shorter period of time, some may remain permanent, with a wide range of economic, cultural and social effects. For example, some services, but not all, may be replaced or supplemented digitally. 

This study examines the potential short- and long-term effects of the corona pandemic on leisure services. Both behavioral and usage changes and solutions for the use and design of city-owned (indoor) spaces specifically designed for them are considered. The study surveys the views of service users and employees on the use of leisure services and the public interiors used to provide them in two different pandemic situations (loose and severe constraints) and after a pandemic. In addition, key needs for changes in facilities and services are identified, and proposals for further measures are made. Research methods include user surveys, expert interviews and workshops. 

The study is funded by the leisure sector units of the cities of Turku, Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere and Oulu.

Additional information: Senior Research Fellow Sari Puustinen

Signals of Change in Research

This project – commissioned by the Finnish Union of University Professors – gathers futures knowledge and futures signals on the development of research, higher education and societal interaction.

The project aims to promote public debate and discussion on the future of research in Finland by highlighting possibilities and elaborating potential future signals. The project report will identify and describe 8–12 interesting and thought-provoking phenomena affecting the future of research. The report analysis in based on a horizon scanning, a survey and two workshops. The report was completed in October 2021.

Further information: Sanna Ahvenharju

Ahvenharju, Sanna – Villman, Tero – Saarimaa, Riikka – Taylor, Amos – Suomalainen, Kaisa-Maria – Granlund, Maria – Sivonen, Risto – Witoon, Siyada & Nguyen, Hoa (2021) Tiedolla tulevaisuuteen. Selvitys tutkimuksen, korkeakoulutuksen ja yhteiskunnallisen vuorovaikutuksen tulevaisuuden ilmiöistä ja muutostekijöistä. Tutu eJulkaisuja 5/2021. Professoriliitto & Tulevaisuuden tutkimuskeskus, Turun yliopisto. 44 s. ISBN 978-952-249-564-8, ISSN 1797-1322. 



Urban Futures Podcasts

The Urban Futures Podcast is an interdisciplinary knowledge creation platform for the purpose of communicating and spreading research environmental information to build a better future for societies.

Project funding: The Nessling Foundation, 2019.


Further information: Ana Maria Jones & Markku Wilenius