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January 11, 2022

Improve by experimentation

One country that scores consistently highly by international comparison is Finland. Whether it’s for educational attainment, levels of crime and corruption or policies for tackling child poverty, the Finns seem to be well placed in every respect. A policy that has undoubtedly played a part in this process of continual improvement is an initiative called Experimental Finland – a cultural shift that embraces the idea of experimentation, of making mistakes and learning from them, and adopting a no-blame approach. Compare that to the innate fear of failure and subsequent risk aversion that characterise our systems. Who’s for Experimental Scotland?

Virve Hokkanen and Johanna Kotipelto, Experimental Finland team, The office of the Prime Minister of Finland.

This opinion piece was written by Virve Hokkanen and Joha nna Kotipelto, from the Experimental Finland team in the office of the prime minister of Finland.

Experimental culture in government is rare. But in Finland, Prime Minister Sipilä’s government introduced such an exceptional approach back in 2015. Part of the government’s strategic 10-year vision was the introduction of a culture of experimentation.

Experimental Finland is the new team implementing this key government project. Three and a half years later, we are witnessing something that couldn’t have been foreseen. It took a lot of experimenting to make sense of the bigger picture that is emerging around us.

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