Join us as we explore leadership, decision-making, and strategic redesign to meet the large scale challenges of today.

We look forward to seeing you in Helsinki!

By invitation only


A conversational event amongst a fantastic group of 120 peers including:

Alejandro Aravena
Executive Director, Elemental (Santiago, Chile)

John Beard
Director of Aging and Life Course, World Health Organization (Geneva, Switzerland)

Pat Cox
President of the European Movement; former President of the European Parliament (Dublin, Ireland)

Ken Friedman
Dean of Design, Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne, Australia)

Kigge Hvid
CEO, INDEX (Copenhagen, Denmark)

Lorraine Justice
Director, School of Design, Hong Kong Polytechnic

Joe Osae-Addo
CEO, Construct (Accra, Ghana)

Jussi Pajunen
Mayor of the City of Helsinki

Minister Jan Vapaavuori
Minister of Housing (Helsinki, Finland)

1 September


18:00 onwards
(No daytime programme)

Opening Dinner

With programme including:

Short Film
By Helen Han

Keynote conversation
Alejandro Aravena
Jan Vapaavuori
Tyler Brûlé

2 September



Government meets Design: A New Competency

Marco Steinberg

A Journey of Discovery with the President's Cancer Panel

LaSalle Leffall

On Innovation

Darrel Rhea

On Policy

Nick Mabey

On Visualization

Eric Rodenbeck


HDL Studios: In Progress

Three concurrent conversations about strategic redesign within:

moderator: Darrel Rhea

moderator: Dan Hill

moderator: Marianne Guldbrandsen

More info about the HDL Studios...

Providing Impossible Solutions: The Common Ground case study

Rosanne Haggerty



Boathouse Dinner

Honoring Dr. Tenley Albright

3 September



Two moderated conversations on the following themes:

A changing World

The nature of today’s innovation challenges: how has the world changed in the last 20 years? How should we define the opportunities afforded by the future?

Redesigning Leadership

What does design offer to decision makers and how can design methods be scaled up inside our organizations? What are the keys to success?

Closing Lunch

With brief remarks


We want you to see the city while you're here, so HDL Global 2010 will be held right at the heart of Helsinki, in buildings that comprise the seat of government around Senate Square.


House of Nobility
Ritarikatu 1


House of the Estates
Snellmaninkatu 9


City Hall
Pohjoisesplanadi 11

What are HDL Studios?

Addressing some of the largest challenges society faces today, this summer we launched three HDL Studios. They are a way of catalyzing change within a thematic area through the use of strategic design as a new methodology for addressing large scale challenges.

Each studio brought together a team of eight highly talented people from around the world to collaborate in Helsinki on a strategic redesign framework. At HDL Global we'll use the outcomes of these studio efforts as the backdrop for thematic conversations.


Who's Really Failing? Dropouts as lead users for education in a diverse world

Are dropouts failing in their studies, or is the system failing to support these individuals? Dropouts are a leading indicator that reveals the ultimate challenge and opportunity for education—how to become more relevant in the ever changing, diversifying world. For all the effort and money spent on early intervention, special education, and counseling, not all students’ learning needs are sufficiently met. Simply put, the main concern is to expand the learning environment to reach everyone, including those individuals who learn best in different ways, in different environments, and with different skills, interests or intelligences.


Delivering Sustainability: A pathway to carbon neutrality in the built environment

Finland can achieve carbon neutrality in the coming decades. In fact, relative to other nations, carbon neutrality is low hanging fruit for Finland. Its massive carbon sink, growing use of low carbon energy sources, and effective policy implementation make the reduction a realistic and tenable goal. The opportunity for this studio is to make this value proposition and to design a pathway to carbon neutrality for the near and long-term. This marks the first comprehensive effort to design a clean, green and smart development strategy for Finland—not in 2020—not in 2050—but now.


Extending Well-Being: Rethinking welfare for an ageing society

With Europe’s most rapidly ageing population, Finland faces a daunting challenge in light of the imminent retirement of the Baby Boomer generation. The onset of sudden strains and intense pressures will draw increased attention to shortcomings of the existing welfare system. To make good on the social contract between generations, Finland must rethink how and why it delivers welfare services to the elderly, as well as redefine the general understanding of all life stages. As the largest demographic shift since the post-war era, the coming decades will necessitate innovation in the broadest understandings of what it means to be elderly.

What else?

Check out the Helsinki Design Lab website for more information about our initiative.

HDL is powered by Sitra, The Finnish Innovation Fund.

© 2011 Sitra