COLDIGIT Helsinki Symposium

The COLDIGIT Helsinki Symposium on September 20, 2023, focused on exploring various aspects of collective intelligence and its applications in the public sector, especially concerning digital tools and democratic processes.

COLDIGIT internal workshop (19 September)

The symposium covered various topics on citizen participation, digitalisation, and collective intelligence in the public sector. It was an exceptional opportunity to explore innovative approaches and learn from diverse experiences from Nordic and international cases.

COLDIGIT Helsinki Symposium 20.9 (Round Table Discussion)

We thank our international guests for joining our discussions and providing invaluable insights, enriching the dialogue on citizen participation and digitalisation.


COLDIGIT project recommendations: Using collective intelligence to transform public institutions

Using collective intelligence to transform public institutions

Link: Nesta (
Published: 13 September 2023
Author: Mikko Rask

Over the last three years the COLDIGIT project has examined the application of collective intelligence methods and tools to transform 21st-century public institutions. In this update we share lessons from the three project pilots in Trondheim (Norway), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Helsinki (Finland) and their work on citizens assemblies and participatory budgeting.


COLDIGIT Helsinki Symposium 20.9.

COLDIGIT Helsinki Symposium, 20.9.2023 – Open for everyone!


In the seminar we delve into the following themes:

Demystifying Collective Intelligence: What is the potential use of collective intelligence for the public sector?

Using Digital Tools to Amplify Participation: How  to best utilize digital tools to enhance the quality and reach of dialogue and deliberation?

Shared Landscapes of Democracy: How to draw insights from the municipal experiences and collaborative visions in the Nordics?

Everyone is more than welcome to the Symposium!

Teams link:



COLDIGIT project recommendations at the “Fast Track to Vision 2030”

Harnessing Collective Intelligence to
Strengthen Democracy in the Nordic

By 2023 policymakers in the Nordic Region aim to achieve their vision of a socially sustainable, green and competitive society and deepening participation from citizens is more relevant than ever.

This policy brief presents recommendations from the COLDIGIT project on how to mainstream the use of democratic innovations such as citizens assemblies and participatory budgeting in the Nordic countries.

Link to the publication: Harnessing Collective Intelligence


NordForsk: Interview of Mikko Rask

Governments and municipalities across the globe are facing a series of crises. How do we deal with them?

Link: NordForsk (
Published: 30.03.2023

The research project Collective Intelligence through Digital Tools (COLDIGIT) aims to generate new knowledge on innovative digital tools and approaches to help governments manage difficult societal processes in the Nordic Region.

The NordForsk-funded research project COLDIGIT is led by Associate Professor Mikko Rask from the University of Helsinki. He says that the public sector is in a very difficult position right now.


Collective Intelligence Tools repository

As digital technology develops, there is an increasing demand for public organisations to employ digital tools to facilitate citizen participation in policy-making processes. The rise of Civictech and GovTech markets reflects this trend. Nevertheless, public managers, especially at the municipal level, face difficulties choosing the right digital tools due to the fragmented digital ecosystem and complex technologies. Few digital tool repositories exist that could help public managers (except PeoplePowered’s Digital Participatory Platforms).


Three case studies published

Proposal meeting in Biskopsgården, 4th March 2022 (CC-BY Digidem Lab)

COLDIGIT has published three new reports describing the case studies of democratic innovations. The first case describes the implementation of participatory budgeting (PB) in Helsinki, a broad and lengthy process open to the entire city. The second case is about PB in Gothenburg, but there, it is a public housing company that implements it, in two of the most stigmatized residential areas in the city. The third case describes a Citizen’s assembly, carried out in Trondheim, with the intention of getting residents’ views on the new master plan.


The role of digital technology in democratic innovation

Christopher Edgar / Senior researcher, NESTA

In recent years, there has been an increasing desire to enhance the democratic process and make it more accessible to citizens. In the UK for example, recent findings indicate that 77% of the general public believe that local residents should have a say in determining how government funds are utilised within their respective communities. These findings support a broader global trend, with one study reporting that 56% of people surveyed across 17 advanced global economies believe there should be major or complete reform of their political systems. There is a clear demand for democratic reform, and this demand has led to the development of a number of tools and platforms that facilitate citizen participation and engagement in democratic innovations such as citizens assemblies and participatory budgeting initiatives.


New article “Learning through online participation: A longitudinal analysis of participatory budgeting using Big Data indicators”

We are excited to publish a new article that analysed the democratic quality of online deliberation using Big Data indicators in two rounds of OmaStadi, a participatory budgeting project led by the City of Helsinki, Finland. Our main contribution is to propose online and Big data-based monitoring indicators as a tool for learning and improving democratic innovations that are increasingly iterated along with a policy cycle.


New Article by Pekka Tuominen in a Special Issue Edited by John Rennie Short and Mari Vaattovaara

Striving for normality: Agency, citizen participation and intergroup belonging on the urban periphery of Helsinki

Pekka Tuominen

This article examines how the inhabitants of a culturally diverse suburban estate in Finland strive for meaningful encounters in their lives. The focus is on Kontula, a residential working-class district on the eastern periphery of Helsinki, which has become a powerful symbol of the ills of contemporary urbanity—poverty and social problems, as well as rootlessness and the failed integration of the immigrant populations—in the vernacular geography and media representations of the city.