Forum Virium Helsinki involves Helsinki residents to test and co-create future innovations together with companies and public actors
26 May 2021
Since 2019, FVH has recruited and managed a group of active residents who are interested in making Helsinki a better place to live. Now this group called “Kokeilujoukot” (“Trial Troops”) includes over 500 volunteers.
“The troops’ members represent different kinds of backgrounds, ages and interest groups but all of them are enthusiasts of developing something new. Their incentive to be part of this group of volunteers is to be the first to learn about smart solutions and innovations, to influence further development of services, and to contribute to making Helsinki the world’s most functional city in the world”, explains the Living Lab Community Manager Tiina Inki from Forum Virium Helsinki.
The history of the group is in the project where there was a need for volunteers to collect air quality data from a very local level and act as test users of a new technological service. Since the summer of 2019, as many as 200 residents in three suburban areas have participated in measurements carried out with portable air quality sensors. The participants of this trial have received information about their own exposure to air pollution using a sensor developed by University of Helsinki. The aim of the trial was to increase people’s awareness of their exposure and opportunities to influence the prevailing air quality. This raised the question why we don't collect a pool of citizens instead of doing the same wide work to find test users over and over again in different projects. “There have been interesting cases where either project or the participating companies have been able to find a good number of participants for the piloting or co-creation workshops under different domains”, tells Tiina.
The members of the “Trial Troops” will receive emails from FVH about new trials and other opportunities to participate. They can take part in the activities according to their interests. When the recruitment to the activities is over, the company and project will take care of the rest. At the moment the Trial Troops’ services are only available in Finnish but the activities will be continuously developed in Forum Virium Helsinki.
Image (Forum Virium)