HundrED Recognises The City Of Helsinki As A Forerunner In The Field Of Education


The city of Helsinki is proud to be the first HundrED Forerunner. As the world around us has become more complex, new and versatile skills are required in order to thrive. HundrED Forerunner identifies top-level innovations that can improve education immediately and at scale. HundrED Forerunner on Helsinki presents system-level innovations for implementing the goals of the new curriculum in Finland.


Innovation Video Series

Each of the selected innovations has been captured in this collection of short videos where you can further explore their origin and understand their current and future impact. Each of these practices also have their own updated innovation pages on, along with each innovator’s contact information to get in touch with them for free!


Forerunner Report

On behalf of our partners the City of Helsinki, we are also releasing a brief report, called HundrED Forerunner: Improving Education in Helsinki, which provides a detailed overview of the selected best practices and introduces the schools and teachers who are actively shaping the future of education together with their students. Our goal is that these 10 “city-wide innovations” are useful and easily implemented in other cities of the world. As a result, we want to create a network of innovative education forerunners who can share innovative practices with each other. We envision a sharing of best innovations between countries, states, cities or school networks that have a mission to help every child flourish.


Ten ways to improve education and learning in the city of Helsinki :


Phenomenon based learning: The key aspect of phenomenon-based learning is the related multidisciplinary and collaborative learning process – rather than a single project or individual outcome of what was learned. Phenomenon based learning means taking a multidisciplinary, collaborative, investigative and learner-centered approach to world phenomena. These phenomena put learners in charge of their own learning and enable them to study multifaceted and multidisciplinary subject groupings in depth. This is why teaching periods dedicated to each phenomenon must be sufficiently long.

Learners as decision makers: Participation is clearly a common practice in the City of Helsinki's Education Division. By law, the education provider must hear pupils and students with regard to decisions that have a significant effect on their position, and encourage them to become involved in their school's operations and development. One of the key aspects of education consists of enabling learners to have a say and be heard, and to take part in the school's activities.

Early language learning: Helsinki's new language programme was launched in August 2018: all 1st-graders will start a new language as they begin school. In Helsinki, the alternatives for the first new language are English, Spanish, French, Swedish, German, Northern Sami, Russian, Estonian or Chinese. Before starting school, children learn about languages in early childhood education and care and pre-primary education through play, songs, games and other activities.

Local daycare and school: The idea behind the principle of children attending their local daycare centre and school is to treat all children equally, enable their participation in local activities, and make friends in the neighbourhood. When selecting a local daycare centre or school, the key issue is that the child receives the necessary services and support as close to home as possible. A child's local daycare centre or school may also be determined on the basis of where the child's inclusive services can best be provided.

Expert and tutor teachers: Helsinki focuses on teachers' professional development and school reform. As part of teachers' continuing education, the city has created developer teacher networks to support competence development. Expert and tutor teachers operate across school boundaries and educational levels, promoting the implementation of the latest and best operating models.

Smart learning environments: Daycare centres and schools help children and youngsters to grow into the multifaceted world around them. Technology enables individual methods of learning and new ways of collaborating. The City of Helsinki offers learners equal opportunities to use smart technology in a pedagogically appropriate manner. Learners practice skills that will enable them to act in and influence society in the future.

Entrepreneurial and work life skills: Entrepreneurial and work-life skills prepare learners for future requirements once they enter the labour market. Improving joint development between companies and schools and educational institutions lies at the core of this issue – future working life skills are learned through practical entrepreneurial experiences.

Whole city as a learning environment: The whole City of Helsinki can be regarded as a large learning environment in which learners work actively. Instead of learning taking place only at school and in the classroom during the school day, learning is now viewed as something tied neither to time or place. Because the Helsinki Regional Transport Authority offers free transport to basic education groups and their teachers during school hours, no costs are involved in travelling to the sources of authentic phenomena.

Design and invention pedagogy: Design and invention pedagogy promotes design thinking, resulting in the design of new products, services and ideas. By developing learners' ideas, we can learn skills for the future and build a sustainable future.

Learners wellbeing and healthcare services: A child's wellbeing lies at the heart of all learning. Improving learners' wellbeing in all possible ways promotes learning and a sense of belonging, and provides tools for leading a balanced, active and happy life. Each child and young person is important and, regardless of their socioeconomic status or any special needs, they are offered the best possible services free of charge.


This November, some of the educators and changemakers behind these best practices from Helsinki will be hosting expert sessions at the Helsinki Education Week and will attend the HundrED Innovation Summit where they will join hundreds of other, global innovators!

Congratulations to the selected innovations for the first-ever HundrED Forerunner on Helsinki!