City of Helsinki: Creating Digital Strategy in Large-Scale Workshops

digital helsinki city

During autumn 2018, we had a chance to work with City of Helsinki, organizing large-scale workshops impacting not only its direct participants, but potentially every citizen.

We are very proud to have contributed on this scale to the foundation of building the most functional city in the world – linking the digital strategy to the overall strategy of the City.

Project Background

The new CDO, Mikko Rusama, had just started in the City of Helsinki. He had been having conversations with different people and professionals regarding the digital development of the city and wanted to create an invitational process to co-create the digital plan for the new Strategy of the City of Helsinki.

The inclusion and co-creation were very important topics, because this is the culture Mikko wanted to start supporting and building.

In the City of Helsinki there are hundreds of people in tens of different units working with digital development. Hundreds of projects or initiatives are going on and there is very little cross-functional collaboration. For this, it was important to create a meeting point and a platform where people can discuss, share ideas and co-create future strategy.

Mikko wanted to work with the digital professionals of the city to create common understanding and alignment, co-create elements to the digital roadmap, validate some of the most important digital development streams and create a platform and network for people to start collaborating over the silos.

Peoplegeeks has been designing and facilitating large scale-development projects and collaboration projects. We were recommended as partners for the digital development planning. The idea was clear – to help the CDO get ideas and input, collaboration and involvement of hundreds of professionals and move the needle forward towards a common digital planning and governance.

For this client we partnered with Apollo Industries. Our goal was to combine Apollo’s strong content and domain expertise with Peoplegeeks’ strong co-creation and people-project facilitation.

Peoplegeeks was partnering with the client for the design of the large workshops, working on the plan and next steps between the workshops. We were also coaching and supporting the CDO to crystallize outcomes of the workshop and delivering awesome and progressive workshops that people truly appreciated and liked!

digital helsinki city

 Workshops Results and Impact

  • Better alignment throughout the City’s digital and IT professionals, managers and unit leaders about which areas to focus on collaboratively
  • Alignment on next steps for setting up a governance model for the common development streams
  • People getting to know each other cross functionally and finding possible collaboration areas.
  • Identifying some key people to take on responsibilities in leading and facilitating the common digital work within the city.

More Than “Just” Workshops

This is a complex project trying to balance time pressure with a huge amount of people in the room. Ultimate objective was to get concrete, valuable insights to guide the digital planning. What made us happy was the will and collaboration of participants in the workshop. Everyone in the room knew we have to be working hard and be focused, timeboxed, and collaborate with each other. When asking for team co-facilitators, people stepped up and happily took the responsibility.

This again showed the power of people working with a good structure and strong facilitation.
Peoplegeeks would like to especially thank Apollo Industries and Mikko Eerola for great teaming on one more successful project!


helsinki city digital

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