Third EqUIP Symposium: Sustainable Prosperity, Well-being and Innovation

The third EqUIP symposium was hosted by the Academy of Finland in Helsinki on 9th – 10th June 2016. It gathered over 60 participants exploring themes around the broader area of “Sustainable Prosperity, Well-being and Innovation” with the objective to provide recommendations to the EqUIP partners about more specific research priority areas for future activities.

Health, sustainability, education and social innovation were the main foci of the theme, but it is important to note the high level of cross linkages across these areas. Although broad, the topics in this area have cohesion around applied research to address social challenges.

A  Symposium Reflection Paper summarizing the findings and results of this discussion is now available.

EqUIP_062016

Speakers provided perspectives on what sustainable prosperity could be, reflecting a broader notion of inclusion and prosperity beyond economics, and how the concept might differ depending on the individual. We heard an example on how design can promote sustainable prosperity. Health and well-being, including physical and mental well-being, and understood as including a range of economic, social, environmental and cultural factors, was a central topic in discussions. Participants discussed how overcoming health inequalities could help achieving sustainability and how policies influence health and well-being issues. One embedded key theme were innovations and how they could be embedded in research priorities of future actions. Speakers helped participants to undestand the concept of (social) innovations and gave e.g. insights to UN sustainable development goals and innovation. Participants discussed also education, education policies in historical context and their relation to poverty reduction and heard of an innovative example for literacy learning to all.

Other concepts highlighted as priorities to explore were:

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • A Healthy Everyday Life for All
  • Education – Issues of Access and Equity
  • Pressing Societal Challenges
  • Social Innovation
  • Design for Social and Business Innovation
  • Sustainable Prosperity
  • Inequality, Social Diversity and Differences

The symposium consisted of speeches and working group discussions. Three working groups (1. education 2.health and well-being 3. sustainable prosperity) discussed these themes in more detail, identifying research priorities under the symposium theme.

Finally the participants also brainstormed ideas related to how innovations can be embedded in the research themes, how we can build capacity and how impact could be better taken into account. The exploration of the topics included in this theme required a strong component of interdisciplinarity, and the capacity to integrate global knowledge with local knowledge, which reinforces the idea that this theme expands and connects with the broad area of SSH.

Report of the symposium will be published later. PowerPoints, video recordings and background information are available through www.aka.fi/equipsymposium