NextEra Tokyo – A New Vision for Societal Progress


NextEra Tokyo – A New Vision for Societal Progress

NextEra Tokyo – A New Vision for Societal Progress workshop was held in Tokyo on May 31, 2017. The Next Era project aims at creating a vision of a new kind of society – the next era of well-being.

Together with Sitra and Demos Helsinki we invited artists, researchers and other specialists to discuss the future of developed societies.

In the workshop the invited specialists discussed such questions as “How do we build hope and trust in the future when we cannot count on one of the key promises of developed societies: the promise that the economy will grow and make the lives of people better?” When such a fundamental premise upon which societies are built is questioned, how do we move forward?

All developed societies are undergoing major transformation. We are living in volatile times and economic growth no longer equates to progress as it did in the industrial era. We need a new kind of pluralistic view of what constitutes progress in society, where individuals’ basic material needs are met and people focus more on non-material gains.
Tokyo Next Era workshop discuss how progress should be defined in developed 21st-century societies. The programme included presentations and co-creative working groups.


3.00 An introduction to the NextEra programme: Aleksi Neuvonen, Founder of Demos Helsinki & Jenna Lahdemaki, Specialist at Sitra
3.15 Rewiring Progress presentation and memorandum launch – A new paper by Aleksi Neuvonen, Founder of Demos Helsinki
3.35 voting
3.50 What happened to the liberal state? Timo Miettinen, University researcher, University of Helsinki
4.05 Architecture and the future progress of Japan: Riichi Miyake, professor and architect
4.20 Brief case presentations – how does societal progress look like?
Ageing societies: Teppo Turkki, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra, Embassy of Finland, Tokyo
The changing working life and changing identities – Case FabCafe: Daiki Kanaoka, FabCafe
Leadership training for sustainable economic policy for Finnish decision- makers: Jenna Lähdemaki, The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra
4.35 Tea, coffee and ice tea
4.45 Group work of examples of practice that can contribute to new vision for societal progress
5.15 Final session, sharing examples and adding them to NextEra world map Reflections
6.00 Standing dinner at FabCafe

The Tokyo workshop is part of The Next Era workshop series bringing together people, projects and organisations throughout 2017. The workshops are timed to coincide with research papers on The Next Era topics. In each workshop, between 30 and 45 specialists from various fields will work on a variety of themes and identify emerging ideas for an open and forward-looking society, examining the connections between the ideas and seeking ways to improve them.

20170531_154023_resized NextEra Tokyo – A New Vision for Societal Progress Workshop, 31 May 2017

NextEra Workshops 2017:

• Helsinki, Finland – “From Pause to Play – Work and income in the next era” paper launch, 12 Jan 2017
• San Francisco, USA – The Future of Work and Income workshop, 19 Jan 2017
• San Francisco, USA – Meetup, 28 Feb 2017
• Helsinki, Finland, – “From the trials of democracy towards future participation” paper launch, 21 Mar 2017
• London, UK – The Future of Democracy and Participation workshop, 29 Mar 2017
• Tokyo, Japan – A New Vision for Societal Progress workshop, 31 May 2017
• Helsinki, Finland – “The New Face of Progress” paper launch, 7 Jun 2017

The Next Era projects is a joint initiative between Sitra and Demos Helsinki.