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Researchers draw up scientific resilience test for Finland’s economy

28 Feb 2012

An international team of researchers has devised a set of seven different instruments for collecting insights about the Finnish economy’s resilience against various shock scenarios. Their project, entitled “7 Shocks and Finland”, examined resilience requirements from the perspective of policy-makers, and aimed to define concrete actions for improving national resilience. The project was undertaken by researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA). The Academy of Finland is the Finnish member organisation of IIASA.

“The global economy is increasingly volatile, but a small national economy such as Finland stands a good chance of coping amid growing uncertainty. Though it’s not just about surviving – a country that is agile and quick to react can also make the most of the possibilities created by uncertainties,” says Professor John Casti, one of the researchers on the team.

The project openly questions traditional thoughts on efficiency. As uncertainties grow, the researchers say, a small, open national economy should incorporate resilience agility as one of its decision-making criteria. It is also important to ensure that trade policies focus on diversifying both the export countries and the structure of exported products. When changes in the global system cause exports to fall in one sector, another may benefit from the changes. The project showed that sectors relying on a few large companies or units are vulnerable, because they are too rigid in a changing global system. A more resilient structure is an ecosystem of small and medium-sized units that are agile and quick to adapt. One of the proposed shock scenarios involves Nokia leaving Finland.

The conclusions outlined in the project’s final report were presented to key Finnish policy-makers on 28 February 2012 at an event organised by the Academy of Finland and the Finnish IIASA Committee. The project involved a number of Finnish ministries, the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, the National Emergency Supply Agency, Teollisuuden Voima, Fortum and Tieto.

The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) is an international and multidisciplinary research institute based in Austria. IIASA conducts policy-oriented research and facilitates dialogue between countries. IIASA’s research efforts are based on active networking and collaboration with national scientific communities. IIASA’s 200 researchers develop assessment and decision-support methodologies, global databases and analytical tools to study key issues of global environmental, economic, technological and social change.

IIASA’s research agenda is approved by the IIASA Council, which consists of representatives of the member organisations. International organisations, countries and other actors can commission individual projects from IIASA that fit in with the overall research agenda. The project “7 Shocks and Finland” was one such project.

More information: 

Academy of Finland Communications
Communications Specialist Leena Vähäkylä
tel. +358 9 7748 8327
firstname.lastname@aka.fi

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