Antikainen @Kemijärvi Days: Activity and Co-working as Recipe for New Growth

Nearly arctic weather but heated discussion took place in public panel discussion on 28th June in Kemijärvi, small industrial city in Finnish Lapland, which has suffered from severe structural changes. The Chair of City Board Mr Arto Ojala – who came up with the idea to have an annual public panel discussions on City’s Central Taivaantulet Square – chaired a session on theme From Structural Change to New Growth. He invited to panel MDI’s Design Director Janne Antikainen, Ms Ritva Kauhanen from Regional Council of Lapland, local tourist entrepreneur Ms Anne Murto and professor Matti Viren from University of Turku. Ms Murto underlined the importance of bottom up activity and co-operation between small operators in tourism industry, and received loudest applauses of the day. Ms Kauhanen reminded about the availability of the EU and national development funding, and professor Viren talked a lot about national and local economies in his colourful way – and left no-one cold. Among other things he was longing for “smart active funding” which would find most innovative and active actors, not “passive founding” which is applied by actors according to the financial criteria. Antikainen noted in the discussion that there is not a single place in Finland, which would not suffer from structural change, as traditional industrial structural change is accompanied by structural changes in service production and in knowledge and competence functions, as in the case of Oulu Region. New Growth Recipe is proactivity and co-working. Antikainen also claimed that Eastern Lapland would be a stronger growth engine, if it would be one strategic and administrative unit. He also reminded of his favourite formula for Finnish success: 1-10-100-1000: 1 vision, 10 regions, 100 municipalities, and – most importantly – 1000 local motors.