The Club of Helsinki

About us

The Club of Helsinki is an umbrella platform and non-profit organisation driving sustainable urban development projects that prototype new business and management models.
We invite enterprise, academia, government, and local communities to participate in scalable projects. We help our corporate partners merge their existing strategies with systems thinking, social entrepreneurship and global insights - in a method we call Applied Corporate Social Integration (CSI).
The Club of Helsinki is founded by design, communications, innovation and business professionals wishing to take their experience and expertise to the next phase of genuine sustainability.

Please contact us on info@clubofhelsinki.com or +46707955864 for more information on our partnership offering and our pilot project in Brazil.

An interesting talk on how Internet can drive good citizenship- but more importantly, how creative coders should be brought in to solve major problems of urban management. Simple examples, but it’s early days. Imagine the possibilities.

A new look at resources - human and material

The recent winner of a prestigious environmental Gothenberg prize, Mike Biddle and MBA Polymers are changing what we think of as recyclables, and how we just need to invest a little up front to create an inclusive infrastructure that economically takes care of itself. (See fastcoexist article).

There are thousands of “pickers” who already sort through the trash looking for materials they can sell to make some extra money, says Biddle. There is no lack of willingness to sort the waste, or manpower to do it. The problem is that the work is often unsafe, and the economic opportunity and environmental benefits aren’t maximized. “Pickers can play a vital role if we can figure out how to get them to collect stuff and bring it to processing centers like ours,” he says.

Biddle’s currently looking at ideas for coordinating informal pickers into organized teams, possibly working in some kind of public-private partnership. And he thinks he can improve incomes, and health and safety standards, as a result.

"[The pickers] don’t necessarily get treated fairly in my experience. We’re trying to get around that and give them another option, and provide a more environmentally safe way to market," he says.

MBA Polymers has three plants so far—in China, Austria, and the U.K. But it’s still only scratching the surface of what gets thrown out every year. In fact, the overall problem of un-recycled plastic is getting worse. While many developed countries now collect standard recyclables such as PET Coke bottles and milk jugs, the rates for other plastic types are pathetic. Computer and electronics waste is the fastest growing part of the world’s waste stream.

Imagining a connected urban service grid

Imagine cities that flow in synch with natural resource cycles. Cities that value all of its resources - whether those are material or human. Imagine cities that are networks of collaboration– an urban grid that absorbs and transforms wasted materials
to wanted resources.
The Club of Helsinki’s ambition is to design a new ‘waste to recycle’ value chain that returns wasted materials into product life cycles. A genuine value chain endorses meaningfulness, connectivity, value, and identity for every community and business involved. Through collaborative partnerships and shared incentives we aim to prototype a new collaborative business model. All we have to do is redesign ‘business as usual’ - together.

If you have any insights, relevant projects or thoughts to share, please write to info@clubofhelsinki.com.

Prototyping a new collaboration model

The Club of Helsinki begins its project by inviting partners to prototype the overlap between their CSR and business strategies in one of the most demanding urban contexts in the world: Sao Paolo, Brazil. Together with Professor Maria Cecilia Loschiavo dos Santos at Sao Paolo University, The Club of Helsinki will work closely with one specific waste collection community, Coopamare, to design and then test a locally relevant sustainable value chain model. This new partnership platform will add value to the collected waste, and generate incentives and benefits for the community and engaged partners driving the work further along specific project phases and goals. The work with Coopamare commences this August 2012 to frame the needs and goals of the project.

International minds inspired by Helsinki

The Club of Helsinki is a partnership platform founded to address social responsibility within urban development, especially connected to waste and recycling. The Club of Helsinki invites international partners to design and apply innovative value chains in urban waste that engage communities usually excluded from the mechanics of ʻproducerismʼ. In November 25, 2010, the Finnish government issued a nation branding decree on how Finland will solve the world’s most wicked problems. The manifesto titled “CONSIDER IT SOLVED!” sent a call to action to Finnish industry, to pick a global problem and to solve it. Inspired by this decree, and the World Capital Design Helsinki 2012, The Club of Helsinki was founded to enable the type of international collaboration that is needed to genuinely address the worldʼs most pressing challenges. With the same spirit of direct problem solving, the Club of Helsinki extends an invitation to challenge partners across the world to start prototyping business models that are both inclusive and sustainable.