Round table and workshops on the multicultural metropolitan area development

From Vision to Strategy: A multicultural Helsinki Region year 2040

When: Thursday 16th of May 2019, from 12 PM to 8 PM
Where: Hanaholmen, Hanasaari, Espoo

A printable version of the programme

This preparatory conference aims to provide suggestions and ideas to inspire and initiate strategic work within the metropolitan area’s municipalities concerning a multicultural region. Since Sweden and the Stockholm region have long experience of building a multicultural society, we have asked Swedish experts to participate with experiences (both good and bad) from Sweden in this conference.

Research on population development in the Helsinki capital region shows that the region is developing towards ever greater diversity. The proportion of residents with a mother tongue other than Finnish or Swedish is constantly increasing. One can resemble the Helsinki region today with Stockholm in the 1980s and Helsinki in the 2040s with Stockholm today.

Without a plan or vision for this development, the region risks increasing segregation, conflicts between ethnic groups, inequality between different parts of the population, etc. The region can develop favorably through a clear vision of how a multicultural region should be, by learning from Stockholm and by making a strategy or road map how to reach the vision.

Overall vision: The Helsinki region is a multicultural region in 2040
1. The Helsinki region is a multicultural region in 2040 where all residents
a) thrive
b) are healthy
c) feel safe and secure
d) feel at home
e) are equal and have the same opportunity to realize their dreams

2. Where increased multiculturalism does the region
a) exciting and interesting for residents, visitors and investors
b) more beautiful, colorful with new influences in architecture and landscape such as piazzas and bazaars

3. Where multiculturalism favors business by giving
a) access to labor
b) new knowledge and new ideas through diversity
c) business contacts worldwide
d) increased flexibility and capacity to adapt to new situations and changes in the world

May 16, 2019

12.00–13.00 Common lunch
13.00–14.00 Exercise in future research
The conference is led by Sari Miettinen and Nicolas Balcom Raleigh, Finland Futures Research Centre, University of Turku  
14.00–15.00 Workshops (see below)
15.00–15.30 Coffee
15.30–18.00 Workshop continues
18.00–20.00 Dinner Reporting and discussion during dinner


Working Group 1
A city where small minorities feel safe, thrive and can meet.
This working group also discusses how minorities contribute to the city’s appearance, embellishment, and how minorities make the city more exciting and interesting. The working group is led by Jan Hietala, artist, Doctor of Architecture, HBTQ activist.

Working Group 2
A city where everyone’s voices are heard, and all cultures are visible.
The working group is led by Joachim Granit, artist, creative leader for Färgfabriken in Stockholm with long experience of urban planning projects around the world.

Working Group 3
To counteract segregation and give equal opportunities to all residents through e.g. investment in mixed housing, school and education.
The working group is led by Venla Bernelius, assistant professor of urban geography with long research on e.g. the importance of the school to counteract segregation.

Working Group 4
Gender and working life equality between different groups in society.
The working group is led by Mehrdad Darvishpour, assistant professor at Mälardalen University, who is researching the establishment of Muslim women and unaccompanied refugee children in Sweden.

Working Group 5
To counteract all forms of racism and discrimination.
The working group is headed by Anja Norell, Multicultural Center – MKC Botkyrka.

The conclusions from these workshops will be included in the presentations at the conference November 8th 2019.