Regional Council of Central Finland
Strategy of Central Finland 2025 – 2050
Our strategy creates a common direction
towards Finland’s heart,
where nature, people and the economy are in harmony.
Let’s strive together every day until the year 2050 to live these values truly, every day, week, month, year and decade.
The themes and perspectives of the Central Finland Strategy are made up of those factors most common to all our regional actors, and for which regional cooperation and a wide range of pooled resources will be needed to boost their implementation.
The strategy of Central Finland includes:
Regional plan i.e. our mindset towards the long-term development of the region until 2050.
Regional strategic programme i.e. joint measures for the next few years, and an estimate of their financing for 2022-2025.
Smart specialisation strategy for 2021-2027, which will guide the use of EU regional and structural policy funding.
The five anchors of our regional development strategy:
1-2. Regional programme 2025, which also includes guidelines for smart specialisation
The regional programme refers to the whole of our regional development and related measures, while smart specialisation is the spearhead for our growth and activities.
3. Regional land-use plan 2040
Spatial development choices.
4. Regional Implementation Plan 2050
Alternative future scenarios and priority measures for Central Finland.
Data, research data and future data.
Trends and future flow.
The regional plan and programme are statutory documents for regional development. On top of these, smart specialisation guidelines needed for EU funding will also be developed. Together these three make up the strategy for Central Finland.
The regional land-use plan is a statutory general plan for how land will be used. The plan looks at how land is being used nationally, regionally and sub-regionally. The regional land-use plan guides local master plans as well as other more detailed land-use planning by the authorities.
The regional land-use plan is currently being updated. You can read more about the process here (in Finnish) (link).
Central Finland – Our vision
Where are we headed from 2025 to 2050?
We are building a starry sky of sustainability over Central Finland to guide us and to guide others to us, from near and from far.
The short and long-term future of Central Finland is strongly signposted by our shared values. What kind of future is this region building for itself based on our highest guiding values of uprightness, curiosity and boldness?
Situated in the middle of the country, Central Finland forms both the bedrock and the heartland of Finland. We want to live up to the duty that comes with this position by striving for Finnish advancement with the diligence and originality that we see reflected in our lakes, and with the same openness and fairness that out forests bear in their branches.
We turn our gaze to the world, with our hearts and minds open. We understand that we can only be interesting if we ourselves are interested in other people and things. Our growth and development are defined by our central vantage point in the middle, where all directions remain open to us. We go boldly to the North, South, East and West. Brussels, Arctic Ocean, Kunming, Tampere – can you hear us? We guarantee the same rights and possibilities for everyone to make their dream community come true. We support the mental and spiritual growths of the residents of Central Finland.
The vision for this strategy is to create a starry sky of sustainability over Central Finland to guide us and to guide others to us, from near and from far. We will do our utmost to succeed in this from now until 2050.
”Our goal is to pursue harmony in nature, people and the economy as we grow and develop Central Finland.”
In implementing our strategy, we see partnership as the most important prerequisite for success. That means solving problems together among companies, organisations, residents and public actors. We recognise that collaboration and partnership must be regional, national and global.
We also realise that in Central Finland we live in the grip of megatrends, in an urbanising and competitive world. That’s why we are ambitiously developing out sensitivity and precision at the meeting point of nature and technology: where the possibility for sustainable growth resides. By looking at out economy through the lens of heart culture, we will thrive in a world where responsibility has become an uprecedented divisive factor for people and regions. We are making our vantage point a safe haven that draws people to it.
In Central Finland, we see nature as a vital force and we value it from the smallest organism to the whole of the earth. What the world needs now is actions, even radical action, to ensure our countinued well-being and quality of life, with ever fewer resources. Central Finland has an opportunity to take a place in this new world order. A place where our actions are responsible and sustainable both locally and globally, and are carried out in such a way, that we inspire people to come here to help us build this new world. We are pening up the way for positive development.
First steps of the strategy
Our focus up to 2025
Fertile ground for growth
Taking care of our economy and staying resilient > 2025
In the coming years, we will focus on supporting the spiritual and mental growth of our people and our communities: nurturing the courage to learn, to innovate, to capture opportunities, and even to fail — because this is how new ideas are born. Understanding our future through foresight and achieving economic success will strengthen us as we face the challenges related to an aging population.
Well-being in Central Finland is built on learning, knowledge, research and innovation. We produce new knowledge and advanced know-how, adding value through innovation for the benefit of the entire world. In addition to universities, research institutes and other educational organisations, more and more of our companies are investing in research and development.
The foundation of well-being for the mind comes through learning, motivation, and nurturing a culture of the heart – all of which we cherish from our childhoods. We all need to become more enlightened: for example economic growth cannot be achieved at the expense of natural resources, or through deep debt or declining prosperity.
- Together we will strengthen our ability to innovate and produce.
- As a community, we are growing more competent and more civilized.
- Together we will promote the right, the ability and the enthusiasm of people of all ages to work and do business.
- Together we will make well-being of the mind part of the development of Central Finland.
Educating for a sustainable world
Caring for the climate and nature > 2025
In Central Finland, we see nature as a vital force and we value it from the smallest organism to the whole of the earth. What the world needs now is action, even radical action, to ensure continued well-being and quality of life with ever fewer resources. Central Finland has an opportunity to take a place in this new world order. A place where our actions are responsible and sustainable both locally and globally, and are carried out in such a way that we inspire people to come here to help us build this new world. Opening up the way for positive development.
The climate crisis, over-consumption of natural resources and declining biodiversity also impact the Central Finns. We want biodiversity to be preserved and we want to learn to use natural resources in a truly sustainable way. We aim to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions decisively while learning to adapt our activities to the carrying capacity of earth. We understand what complete sustainability is and we know how to open up the way for positive development.
- We will achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
- We are accelerating the circular economy.
- We will protect biodiversity.
Where world currents converge
Taking care of our community and accesibility > 2025
We are in the middle: we have the best view in every direction. We can come and we can go.
From our vantage point at the centre of the forests and lakes, we will create a safe haven that pulls people to us: we want to be at the centre of the world’s orbiting expertise and electronic data. Here in the middle, we have the humility to burst out of our own bubble and take action: we are not content only to watch.
With social sustainability, we will build both the regional common good as well as the right to an atmosphere of openness and tolerance for everyone. We want all Central Finns to be afforded equal opportunities for wellness and to move freely, working, studying and enjoying life.
Digitisation is shaping much of the way we work and play, but that does not diminish its appeal – perhaps the opposite?
- We will safeguard the smooth and safe movement to and from here, and all around the world.
- We will nurture digital accessibility.
- We will make space for multi-location work and study.
- We will increase educational and employment-based migration.
- We will promote the well-being of Central Finns.
Our identity and partnership > 2025
In the heart of Finland, the Finnish character pounds at its purest: with honesty, hard work, modesty and originality. We go boldly to the North, South, East and West. Brussels, Arctic Ocean, Kunming, Tampere – can you hear us? We guarantee everyone the same rights and possibilities to make their dream community come true. We support the mental and spiritual growth of the residents of Central Finland.
The Central Finnish identity can be characterised by fairness, openness and leading with the heart. We thrive in the midst of these heroic traits: for us they create stability and faith in our future, even in the face of unexpected change. When solving problems among companies, organisations, residents and public actors, we recognise that real cooperation and partnership means taking a regional, national, and global perspective. In implementing our strategy, we consider partnership to be the number one prerequisite for success.
- We will safeguard our role in national and international networks.
- We will promote inclusion and equality so that no one becomes marginalised.
- We will nurture fellowship and flexibility for resilience in overcoming crises.
Spearheads for growth
Globality is found in the forests of Central Finland, where you can get whatever you want. For example, fibre for the most sustainable clothing or the most efficient construction products. We know that the value of raw materials increases as they circulate. That’s why we see brown gold in manure pits and why we set up a quarries in our cities.
Pioneering means combining humanity, digitalisation and technology in new and enriching ways – even in industry. We offer cyber-security and intelligent technology. In our data centers, equipment, materials and services are being born, the likes of which the world has never seen before.Living in the lap of nature, as the home place of sauna, peace and balance come naturally to us. We put our energy into promoting well-being, exercise and health. Here our seniors can be young too.
Guided by our strategy we will support business growth, profitability and sustainability. Spearheading growth is synonymous with making smart specialisation choices for Central Finland:
Circular and bio-economy
We will find our strength in efficiency, sustainability and in our ability to economise. We will extend the lifecycles of our materials and products, while at the same time developing new innovations from renewable materials in support of sustainable development.
We all come from different walks of life and ways of life with different backgrounds and living styles. Exercise, learning, nature, culture, communality and disease prevention all provide the supporting blocks for inventive commercial services.
Our machines repair themselves, our buildings are smart, and the materials we design have unprecedented properties. We do not know everything yet but we are at the forefront of a revolution.
impacts all our business development, with cyber-security as our specialty asset.
Financing 2022 – 2025
Combined EU and State:
- European regional development fund 21 000 000 €
- European social fund 16 000 000 €
- Just Transition Fund 27 000 000 €
- Municipalities and other public entities 6 000 000 €
Financing in total 70 000 000 €
Our most significant regional funding instruments are the Finnish Regional and Structural Policy Programme 2021-2027 and the Finnish CAP Plan 2023-2027. In addition, we have national project funding, the amount of which varies from year to year. Regional development funding is coordinated by The Regional Management Committee (MYR).
Important state budgetary resources for the regional strategy are the financing of basic transit route maintenance and regional investments, as well as transit route network development projects. The state budget also supports the development activities of companies, universities and research institutes. Funders are Business Finland, Finnvera and the Academy of Finland. Funding for the promotion of well-being is also provided by social and health care development programmes, cultural and artistic funds and foundations, and the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health Organisations (STEA).
Funding from the EU Recovery and Recovery Facility (RRF) has been absorbed into Finland’s Sustainable Growth Programme. The majority of these funds will be allocated in 2022-2023. Funding is provided by, among others, Business Finland, the Academy of Finland and the Finnish ministries.
Our strategy will also be implemented with the help of international funding and cooperation. Notable regional cooperation programmes are Interreg Europe, Interreg Baltic Sea and Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic. Funding for research and business development is available under Horizon Europe work programmes, while Erasmus+ supports education, youth and sports projects as well as people-to-people exchanges. The Creative Europe 2021-2027 programme supports cooperation in the audio-visual, cultural and creative sectors. LIFE programme is an EU fund for the environment, nature conservation and climate action.
What is our gift to the world 2050?
Scenarios and priority actions
What future decades will bring > 2050
Looking at our long-term future through alternative visions, we have compiled five scenarios or sets of actions that will safeguard us in all circumstances, regardless of the scenario.
Creating contextual scenarios helps us understand how the world is developing and what new opportunities are emerging. It also helps us prepare for challenging conditions (such as the longer-term impact of the pandemic).
Read more about the future scenarios here (in Finnish) (link).
Vitality and competence
- A pioneer in technological development
- A skilled and proactive region
- The power of change through entrepreneurship and work
Accessibility and living environment
- Resource wisdom and sustainability
- Secure and fast connectionsja nopeat yhteydet
- Clean natural environment
Well-being and fellowship
- Well-being through the transformation of work and technology
- Decision making and co-development
Alternative future visions for Central Finland 2050
Insecure and defensive society
Climate change and conflicts bring a surge of immigration to Finland. The population becomes concentrated in large growth centres. Greater prominence is given to energy-efficient public transport solutions.
Technological development and workplace evolution slow, maintaining a wage labour work model. The public sector expands its role as a promoter of health and well-being.
Cyber-attacks become more common, while growing protectionism weakens the EU to the extent that the Eurozone falls apart.
World of individuals
Technology-enabled freedom and responsibility for individuals, and privacy protection and individual values receive greater emphasis, while agreements among individuals (block chains) radically change society. The gig economy and micro-entrepreneurship displace traditional employment relationships. A basic income for all is introduced.
Individuals take more responsibility for their own health, leading to unequal populations, with the bulk of the population concentrated in the capital.
The EU takes off again, backed by positive economic developments. The Finnish economy grows. New digital industries and public sector operating models emerge.
The influence of information increases sharply and trust in public institutions deteriorates. Technological development and decentralisation of production give rise to small village-like communities. There is less pressure to relocate. Wage labour decreases with accelerated automation and work becomes community-based. Volunteering is increasingly valued. The decision-making role of the state and large regions diminishes, with greater focus put on values-based communities.
A lack of trust and out-of-control technological development cause a global financial crisis. New innovations emerge from the subsequent economic depression.
AI, wealth and Eastern dominance
Data concentrates towards powerful Asian technology companies, eroding Western values and democratic models.
Regional alliances emerge among big cities, weakening the EU’s control. The Finnish economy becomes unsustainable and labour moves abroad. Robotisation reduces demand for labour. and competition for expertise intensifies.
Investments are made into digitisation and internationalisation.
An inter-governmental consensus on climate change management and conflict resolution is founded. The power of large companies becomes more limited through international agreements. Federal integration within the EU deepens.
People develop trust in data collection and use. Databases are made more accessible as cyber-threats diminish, and open data creates opportunities for work and business.
Finland takes a share in world economic growth and rises again as a top country in technology.
Taking action on our journey to 2050
Vitality and competence
Trampling the unbroken snow of technology
In particular, we will support people-driven and local technological breakthroughs, from science to services, through experimentation.
Raising our sensitivity antennas
We will bring people and know-how together in ever new ways – across industries, ages and countries, so that by 2050, we will be able to do things that are unimaginable now.
Putting value on self-reliance
We will support entrepreneurship and other advanced work spaces and ways of working. We understand that attitude is everything: even giants are born in garages and kitchens.
Accessibility and the environment
Being resource wise
We will support those developing the circular economy and use infrastructure to make our society more flexible, open and accountable.
Being the bedrock
People, information, communications and transportation must be able to move safely and quickly to and from Central Finland, if we are to stay competitive.
Being in touch with nature
We will invite people to breathe in cleanliness and silence, which are becoming increasingly rare luxuries in today’s world.
Well-being and fellowship
Encountering the whole person
We will not focus on illness but on health: in Central Finland, no one is left behind, and everyone learns to take care of their own well-being, with the help of the latest technologies.
Strengthening our interactions
There is no Central Finland without Central Finns: we will develop our society together with our people – flexibly, transparently, through discussion, and by democratising our decision-making.
Growing into equality
Passive citizenship is an obstacle to the society of our dreams: we need to support self-sufficiency regardless of our backgrounds.
on the journey from 2025 to 2050
Megatrends are big development waves that can be observed throughout history. They are evolving entities that are wide-ranging and generally expected to continue into the future. Central Finland is in a constant vortex of megatrends.
What is happening to humanity?
There are fewer and fewer babies being born and we are living longer; in some municipalities the imbalance is more pronounced. Differences in income levels, lifestyles and well-being among people are increasing. The transformation of work, globalisation and family backgrounds are increasingly dividing people into winners and losers. People are exposed to new ideas and practices in the Internet space, and values and lifestyles become individualised. Among these values, environmental awareness and sustainability will strengthen.
How will this affect the future of Central Finland?
There will be more and more people out of the workforce. Some will need extra services, but others like our super seniors will actively participate in society. New generations will demand more openness, flexibility, responsibility and ethics, as well as a sense of purpose and experientiality. Polarisation among people and regions will worsen, with people retreating into their own bubbles; digital skills and individual responsibility (for taking care of themselves and their own well-being) will be accentuated.
What is happening to society?
Artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things and other new innovations are becoming mainstream and changing the way companies, public organisations and societies operate and earn money. Products and processes are becoming services, renewing production. The widespread platform economy (Airbnb, Wolt, etc.) is becoming a highly interactive economy. In Finland, platforms are also being created locally, for example for work, neighbourhood support and food distribution. Understanding and know-how around technology and cyber-security is becoming more prominent.
Work will become more diverse, with an increasing shift from regular paid work to earning a living from multiple sources. Self-employment and freelancing will grow. Studying will become part of work, spread over smaller periods throughout the working years. With increasing migration centered on growth centers, the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of populations will become more diverse. Technological development and internationalisation will change the composition of society and its power structures, while new influences will challenge the Western decision-making model.
How will this affect the future of Central Finland?
Technological expertise will be concentrated in cities. The wielding of power of digital giants will raise concern, even anger. The usability, customer orientation and compatibility of technologies will be accentuated. A personalised digital market will emerge, empowering residents to self-direct their own networks and activities. Rapid competitive reshuffles will take place among companies. Digital platform-based work will be more flexible than traditional work, including part-time entrepreneurship and the gig economy, which will accelerate the transformation of work.
There will be a shift from time-, place- and employer-bound work to more diverse, self-directed and multi-placed work. Competition for international expertise will intensify. Grip and pull factors will be heightened throughout Finland. The need for low-threshold participation among citizens will become greater. Anarchy will emerge among some groups. The third sector will grow in importance. Communality will continue to take on new forms, such as leisure housing communes and global digital networks.
What is happening to the world?
The climate is warming. Floods, heavy rains and heat waves are becoming more common. Critical natural resources such as clean water and air, arable land and various minerals are becoming scarce as consumption explodes. Alongside climate change mitigation, adaptation is increasingly needed. Energy and material efficiency requirements are becoming more stringent. Understanding of the circular economy is deepening. Global interdependence is tightening, as shown by the Covid pandemic. Interaction among people and regions is increasing. Work, capital, ideas and resources move across borders more and more easily and faster. Urbanisation is being accelerated by labour market turbulence and rising immigration.
How will this affect the future of Central Finland?
The impacts of this will extend across food supplies, land use, construction, energy production, transport and community care. That means the importance of preparedness will grow. Successful companies with business models for averting climate change will emerge in Finland and sustainable solutions for corporations will shift from being a competitive advantage to a business foundation. With multi-place work and study, the importance of seasonal populations will also grow. People will learn to put more value on nature and silence. The bioeconomy, tourism and food security will bring more opportunities to rural areas.
Developing our strategy
Profile of Central Finland
- From November 2020 to May 2021
- Compilation and analysis of information and strategy data
- Foresight into the future
The aim of this work phase was to get a common understanding of the region and its future prospects.
- From January to June 2021
- Stakeholder views and impressions gained from 21 workshops on future prospects, with around 300 participants.
- Comments from the Regional Council Board received in April 2021.
- Comments on the raw version in the otakantaa.fi service, 25.5. – 15.6.2021, were received from 53 people.
- Comments from the Regional Council Board were received in May 2021
- Comments from the Regional Council Board were received in June 2021
The goal of this work phase was to select priorities, actions and indicators.
- From August to December 2021
- Draft was approved by the Regional Council Board on 27.08.2021
- Draft statement in lausuntopalvelu.fi service on 1.9. – 8.10.2021 received comments from 45 parties
- Comments from the Regional Council Board for the final draft were received on 29.10.2021
- Proposal by the Regional Council Board to the Regional Assembly was made on 11.11.2021
- Decision by the Regional Assembly was made on 3.12.2021
Strategy was adopted as a basis for joint action.
The environmental report shows the most signifcant environmental impacts of the strategy. In addition to that, the evaluation group has evaluated the impacts to equality and the general financial impact of the strategy.
Read more about the environmental report here (in Finnish) (PDF).