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HEAVYWEIGHTS Finland has what it takes to become the trailblazer in next-generation wellbeing services, says Mikko Kosonen, president of the Finnish Innovation Fund, Sitra. ccording to Kosonen, the country's future competitiveness is based on certain social and cultural strengths. "We are a developed, adequately small society. Achieving trailblazer status in electronic health care and health promotion services, for example, should be fundamentally easier for us than for bigger countries." "The trailblazer status is supported by what may be the world's most educated population that readily adopts new ways of operating and technologies." The fact that Finns take equality literally also accelerates and facilitates the advancement of new ideas. "We continue to have a very democratic society. Surely we have plenty of hierarchies, but deep gaps have not formed between social classes. The operating culture is built on a spirit of getting things done, directness, clarity and integrity ­ and that supports the quick realisation of trailblazer status." Kosonen notes that developing new solutions related to well-being services and marketing them globally would be a very natural next step. "The strengths of Finnish society support our vision that we can implement ­ more agilely than others ­ the systemic and technological changes required for the foundation of the next-generation health care system." Systemic change is defined as change that is comprehensive and spans multiple sectors. Text: Jorma leppänen Photo: Aino huovio A "Finland is already a model country in terms of health care, and the development is being watched very carefully around the world. Now we should work together even more emphatically to develop a proactive health care system based on the premise that citizens look after their own health and well-being more actively and better with new technology." "The trailblazer status and our credibility is reflected in the fact that experts from a number of global technology companies, like IBM, Microsoft and Nokia, have recently worked as guests at Sitra. Finland could very well be a test laboratory for technology-based health care solutions that are scalable for global use." Z Attaining trailblazer status 29

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