New skills in the group

Veera Mustonen and Iida Mäkelä will join MDI.

Autumn brings both new faces and old friends to our office as we welcome Veera Mustonen, an urban development expert, and Iida Mäkelä, a finance expert, into our team. In addition, Marika Koramo will join the advisory team to strengthen education policy expertise and networks while Katja Syvärinen will bring a greater understanding of inclusive development, service design and strategic communication.

What kind of vibe will our new experts have for the autumn?

MDI has unique expertise and a good team to support cities in their 2020 urbanisation policy, where broad participation, co-development and vitality are key elements. It is great to be in this group where I can apply the Living Labs of Helsinki and Australia and my smart city experiences” says Veera Mustonen.

It is great to be back in an innovative and youthful team to carry out diverse research and analysis on regional development topics of interest to me, such as demographic dynamics and the regional economy. I expect to be able to apply the knowledge and methods of economics and thus bring a broader perspective to the study of regional development,” says Iida Mäkelä.

Veera Mustonen brings know-how about cities as an innovation environment and the potential of digitalisation to impact urban development. Mustonen has previously worked in Australia as director of the Life Lab at Tonsley Innovation Area, and before that as vice president of Forum Virium Helsinki and leader of the Smart Kalasatama project ( She also has extensive experience in development, business collaboration and citizen involvement in Living Lab.

Iida Mäkelä has previously carried out analyses of regions’ demographics, migration and vitality. An expert in economics, she brings an extensive knowledge of national economics, statistical methods, environmental economics and housing market dynamics into our projects.

Meet our new experts and advisors at

Information for municipalities and new national policy instruments for steering climate change mitigation and circular economy in municipalities

National goals in respect of preventing climate change and boosting the circular economy require strengthening. This entails the creation of viable solutions and indeed the adoption of a new approach in the municipalities. Based on the National Urban Strategy, a preliminary study has been produced which considered a number of potential policy instruments for climate and circular economy work. For the municipal level, the publication provides information on what kinds of instruments already exist, while for the state level, it suggests a number of new ideas for prospective policy instruments.

Read more Information for municipalities and new national policy instruments for steering climate change mitigation and circular economy in municipalities

PhD thesis defence: Urbanisation lacks vision

Ilppo Soininvaara (M.Sc.), MDI’s specialist in urban development and politics, researched for his PhD thesis the policy of urbanisation in Finland. The PhD thesis illustrates the development of urbanisation, the related political debate and various strategic interests. Soininvaara defended his thesis on May 25, 2022 at 12 noon at the faculty of science of the University of Helsinki. The thesis’ subject is “The politics of urbanisation – From a global imperative to national struggles”.

Read more PhD thesis defence: Urbanisation lacks vision