Government and ministries Media

Feelings, fears, risks, relief – Lockdown Dialogues on 26 May focused on exceptional summer and the future

Ministry of Finance 4.6.2020 9.30 | Published in English on 15.6.2020 at 9.33
News item

The Lockdown Dialogues give a unique picture of the lives of different groups in society during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The discussions are organised by a wide range of groups and organisations from the public, private and third sectors, as well as individual citizens.

More than 200 people across Finland and abroad assembled online on 26 May for the fourth of the Lockdown Dialogues events. The participants were from a variety of occupations and age groups, including children this time.

The discussions have again been drawn together in a summary, presenting a diverse and structured overview of the current state of society.

The participants were well aware that the coronavirus crisis is not yet over and that the future is shrouded in uncertainty. The spring phase of the crisis is behind us and an unusual summer lies ahead, one in which we can learn to appreciate in a new way the attractions and pleasures of areas closer to home. Fears are still present in everyday life, but there is more variation in how people experience this. In many cases, fear is fading, but for some the removal of restrictions creates new kinds of anxieties. The events of the spring have altered the way many people relate to others, to the natural environment around them, to work and to the consumption of goods and services. With the summer about to start, the participants in the dialogues were also focusing on the future and wondering which aspects of life will be restored and what has changed forever. In the distance an uncertain autumn awaits, with the prospect of a second virus wave and economic and financial woes. Glimmers of hope are nevertheless offered by thoughts of a better and more ecologically sustainable world. An extensive summary is given in Finnish on the Lockdown Dialogues website, to which a link is provided below.

The Lockdown Dialogues have been held every two weeks and they highlight how people's experiences of the lockdown have changed as time moves on. So far, almost 150 dialogues have been held, involving more than 1,000 participants. These online dialogues have attracted people from all over the country: from Lapland in the north to Uusimaa in the south, and from all points east to west. There have also been participants from elsewhere in Europe and beyond.

The last of the spring’s Lockdown Dialogues will be on 9 June. The discussion events are shown in the Lockdown Dialogues calendar list, to which there is a link below. You are welcome to sign up and join the discussions.

The aim of the Lockdown Dialogues is to offer individuals, communities and groups the opportunity to engage in constructive discussion and to build an understanding about what it is like to live in Finland during the current crisis.

Discussions are currently being planned by 54 different organisers from all corners of society – from private individuals to organisations, municipalities, companies, foundations and government ministries. Responsibility for the coordination of the Lockdown Dialogues and the preparation and publishing of the summary material and its distribution to central government and the municipalities is shared between Dialogue Academy, Timeout Foundation and the Ministry of Finance.

Inquiries:

Dialogue Academy: Janne Kareinen, Director, janne.kareinen(at)dialogiakatemia.fi, tel. +358 456316516

Timeout Foundation: Laura Arikka, CEO, laura.arikka(at)eratauko.fi, tel. +358 445792686

Ministry of Finance: Katju Holkeri, Senior Ministerial Adviser, katju.holkeri (at)vm.fi, tel. +358 407649880