The Finnish Growth in Transition project was initiated in autumn 2009 by the Finnish Association of Nature Conservation (FANC) and co-operation partners. The Finnish Ministry of the Environment was involved in the discussions from the beginning and inspiration was drawn by following the development of the Austrian Growth in Transition project. When Elisabeth Freytag from the Austrian Lebensministerium visited Helsinki, the organisers of the Finnish Growth in Transition project had the opportunity to hear and learn about the Austrian process. The organisers of the Finnish project were enamoured by the successful dialogue among the different partners and people in Austria. The relative similarity of the Finnish and Austrian societies and the rising interest towards the dilemma of sustainable growth encouraged the Finns to follow the Austrian example.
The Finnish Growth in Transition Conference was organized on the 24 of September 2010 and brought together over 550 participants including academics, politicians, NGOs, businesses, the media, and the general public, to explore limits to growth as well as possibilities for ecologically and socially responsible economic models. In addition, more than 400 people, some of which had their residence outside Finland, watched the conference on-line on the “virtual conference” webpage. The conference succeeded in creating a wide public debate on economically and socially sustainable economies, degrowth and alternative ways of measuring prosperity and well-being. In both the plenary and the working groups, a broad range of topics was discussed in order to give floor to as many different stakeholders as possible.
For more information on the Finnish project, click here
A letter informing about the Austrian impact on the Finnish process can be read here.