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Discussions on life during lockdown

Ministry of Finance
27.4.2020 14.11
Press release
The pieces of the puzzle.

On Thursday 16 April, people across the country took part in a series of discussions – under the title Lockdown Dialogues – about life in Finland under the national coronavirus emergency. These discussions gave people the opportunity to share their current experiences. The summary drawn up of the dialogues gives an overview of the current situation in society.

Dialogue Academy, Timeout Foundation and the Ministry of Finance are together coordinating this series of Lockdown Dialogues. The first day’s discussions numbered 27 in all, and were held in locations across Finland, from Seinäjoki to Helsinki. The organisers of these individual events were many and varied, including civil society organisations, municipalities and central government.

Participating in the Lockdown Dialogues were a diverse mix of people: parents of young children, teachers, young people, pensioners, activists, prisoners on probation, immigrants, managers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, cultural sector professionals, researchers, and central and local government officials.

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

Dialogues focused on how the crisis is changing our lives and reshaping Finland and the world at large

Every individual has their own experience of the crisis and the emergency conditions, though almost all of us have the same basic anxieties and safe havens. The crisis also highlights the importance of family and friends, and home, work and school. Our concerns also extend beyond our own immediate circle, to the vulnerable in society and to the sufferings of people in other countries. For many people, the crisis seems to have brought to the surface a new kind of awareness of their own privileged position and a desire to help those who are less fortunate. The dialogues also focused on how the crisis is changing our lives and reshaping Finland the world at large. It was felt that we have reached a turning point, and that there can be no return to life exactly as it was before the crisis.

The Ministry of Finance will ensure that central and local government receive a summary of the dialogues. An extensive summary of the situation is given in Finnish on the Lockdown Dialogues website.

“The Lockdown Dialogues have shown that interactive exchange of views is seen as important during this time of crisis, as a way of creating cohesion between communities and building trust,” says Päivi Nerg, Permanent Under-Secretary for Governance Policy at the Ministry of Finance.

Dialogues are continuing – welcome along

The next Lockdown Dialogues are on 28 April, 12 and 26 May, and 9 June. A summary of each of these will be drawn up. Some of the dialogues are open to everyone, and some are for particular groups of participants. The next discussions can be found at https://www.eratauko.fi/tapahtumat/.

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.

Responsibility for the coordination of the Lockdown Dialogues and the preparation, publishing and distribution of the summary material to central government and the municipalities is shared between Dialogue Academy, Timeout Foundation and the Ministry of Finance.

Summary of 16 April dialogues (Timeout Foundation website)

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