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7.11.2019 | Noora Ruoho & Danny Gilliland

HundrED Forerunners Committed To Creating A Global Network Of Systems Improving Education

At the HundrED 2020 Global Collection Launch, the HundrED Forerunners was launched with a goal to create and celebrate a network of phenomenal systems, starting with the city of Helsinki, celebrating the innovative practices that help Finnish students flourish in and out of the classrooms.

At the HundrED 2020 Global Collection Launch, we launched the HundrED Forerunner network of phenomenal systems, starting with the city of Helsinki, celebrating the innovative practices that help Finnish students flourish in and out of the classrooms.

We love all kinds of education innovators: from teachers to entrepreneurs and from-non profits to start-ups. We believe that impactful and scalable innovations can make change happen. Through our global and spotlight collections so far, we have mostly focused on innovations that scale bottom-up, or in other words grassroots innovations that have the potential to work in various contexts. However, to make change happen quickly and at scale, for example in every school in a city, we are now spending time studying top-level organisations. These organisations have the means to achieve excellence and equity for a large number of students. And similar to grassroots innovators, they often lack the time and connections to share their practices with like-minded leaders around the globe.

Responding to the education landscaper's need for impactful & scalable top-level interventions, we have created a new initiative called HundrED Forerunners, identifying education stakeholders that are making change happen at a systemic level. These can be countries, states, cities or networks of schools. Together with the forerunners, we aim to identify top-level innovations and can include system-level innovations, innovative strategies, or ecosystems that encourage innovation. 

The city of Helsinki was announced as the first HundrED Forerunner at the HundrED 2020 Global Collection Launch.  

With the help and knowledge of the city's experts, we have identified 10 innovative approaches that have been improving education in every school within Helsinki. Ilona Taimela from the city of Helsinki shared about the models and policies at the Launch that have been developed as a part of the public education system and are used in different forms in other cities and municipalities within Finland. To inform and inspire other cities and countries to implement similar city-wide interventions, Saku Tuominen, Founder & Creative Director at HundrED and Ilona Taimela launched the ‘HundrED Forerunner: Improving education in Helsinki’ report expanding on these selected practices.

Some of the innovative solutions recognized in the report include ’Phenomenon Based Learning’, ‘Learners as Decision-makers’ and ‘Whole City as a Learning Environment’. All of the presented innovative practices fulfill the goals of the Finnish National Core Curriculum for Basic Education released in 2014 and thus are making the curriculum help prepare students for the skills they will need in the future.

The HundrED Forerunner: City of Helsinki launch was the perfect segue to Mayor of Helsinki, Jan Vapaavuori, who discussed the state of education in Helsinki by stating "we have the best worst schools". A testament to the quality of education provided to all students worldwide.

The goal behind HundrED Forerunners is not just to provide the recognition but in this case, also try to help them scale to like-minded education stakeholders. For example, in the case of Helsinki, we hope that all or some of these 10 “city-wide innovations” could be tried and tested across other cities of the world, both big and small. A small step but in the near future, we want to create a network of innovative education forerunners in the form of cities, countries and other systemic interventions, that can share innovative practices with each other. This, we envision will help to further our mission to help every child flourish. 


Explore the ten selected innovative practices from the city of Helsinki here.