Searching for the good life in the HYVIS-project during the spring

During winter and spring 2020-21, the HYVIS project has brought participants together in the context of a number of webinars. The aim of the project is to focus on the transition to a sustainable society: how to implement change while promoting the wellbeing of residents and the operating conditions of communities and companies. In addition, the project aims to diversify the discussion on shrinkage and especially on indicators related to the future of shrinking areas. The aim of the project is to provide tools for effective dialogue.

Rural research, development projects and welfare management were at the heart of the webinars

In February, the webinar programme was linked to nationwide rural research and development projects and the transition to a sustainable society. The webinar participants heard three expert presentations followed by a time set-aside for questions and discussion. Teemu Makkonen from the Regional and Local Government Research Center Spatia presented the SOMA project which aims to provide a comprehensive picture of the economic growth potential, vitality and sustainable development of rural areas and to find out how declining rural areas have met the challenges facing them. Hannele Tiitto from the Council of Tampere Region opened the stage to the development of Pirkanmaa’s eco-social sustainability metrics. Tanja Tilles-Tirkkonen, the wellbeing coordinator of the City of Kuopio, presented the content and implementation of the experiential wellbeing survey in North Savo. The aim here is to utilise the experiential wellbeing survey, for example, as part of a regional wellbeing report.

The most recent HYVIS webinar focused on municipal welfare management. Based on the analysis of the SOWELLUS project, Ville Nieminen from the Association of Finnish Municipalities discovered what wellbeing looks like in wellbeing reports. Based on the analysis of the SOWELLUS project, the indicators used are largely those that the e-wellbeing report tool provides as a basis for the report. In addition, Finland seems to lack uniform domestic indicators to measure social wellbeing or indeed, wellbeing in general. According to Nieminen, the promotion of social wellbeing is a multifunctional challenge, in which the need for cooperation between municipalities and welfare areas is emphasised.

MDI specialist Henrika Ruokonen opened up the issue of the complexity of measuring wellbeing and the good life, noting that there is no generally accepted definition of what they mean. Wellbeing and the good life are multidimensional and thus cannot be measured by a single meter or indicator. If you want to measure the good life, you have to make a concerted effort to measure it. Indeed, the indicators that best capture the good life are experiential, but they remain the most challenging in terms of accessibility. The HYVIS index is currently being compiled and will be tested during the spring. The aim here is also to make the pilot’s results available during the spring.

Elements of the good life in partner municipalities

The social media campaign of the HYVIS project partners was rolled out in the spring of 2021. During this period it was highlighted what elements of the good life can be found in the various project partner municipalities located across different parts of Finland. Elements of the good life in the partner municipalities include, nature, community, security and sustainability. In Mäntsälä, for example, there are many associations and lively villages, with the good life considered here to be part of the community of the villages. In Lapinjärvi, on the other hand, the good life is understood as built sustainably, a concrete example of which is the modern area of communal housing in Husulanmäki which is built using the principles of wooden construction.

A panel discussion with a HYVIS theme is coming in May

Next, the project will put together an election panel webinar discussion in May, where municipal election candidates from the various HYVIS-municipalities will take part. The webinar will discuss, among other things, the conditions under which the good life and social sustainability in the municipalities can be taken forward. 

The project is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry on the proposal of a project group set up by the Rural Policy Council, with funds from Makera’s national rural research and development projects.

More information

Kaisa Lähteenmäki-Smith
050 513 4810