Forerunner 2019

City of Helsinki

We are proud to announce our first Forerunner: The City of Helsinki. As the world around us has become more complex, new and versatile skills are required in order to thrive. HundrED Forerunners identify top-level innovations that can improve education immediately and at scale. Forerunner Helsinki presents system-level innovations for implementing the goals of the new curriculum in Finland.
In partnership with Helsinki Education Division

Improving Education in Helsinki

Organised together with the City of Helsinki, we have identified 10 innovative approaches with a goal of improving education in every school of the city. In Helsinki, the focus has been on utilising the experimental culture as part of the development of education division. Learning doesn’t happen only in classrooms when the whole city of Helsinki is seen as a learning environment. In recent years, Helsinki has also invested in the digitalisation of institutions, development of expert teachers network and early language learning.

Why Forerunner Helsinki?

At all levels of education in Helsinki, emphasis is placed on transversal competences and learning. Transversal competence is a holistic way of understanding individual learning which is conducive to humanity, through knowledge, skills, values and attitudes. This is reflected in the national core curriculums at all levels, which aim to create a unique learning path for each learner. In practice, this means implementing comprehensive learning and crossovers between school subjects. Learning takes place across subject boundaries and learners are involved in the planning and assessment of their own learning.

The future for Forerunner

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. 


Explore education innovations recognized by HundrED as well as innovations from shared by the education community across the world.
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, Spa
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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.
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 bas
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 balance, active a
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 susta
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 H
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
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 e
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 neig
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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,