“100 Social Innovations From Finland”

Science 608, Byblos campus

One might wonder what a single-chamber parliament, dish drying cabinets and text messaging have in common. Or what the link is between maternity packs, xylitol, the sauna and free school meals. The answer is simple: they are all Finnish social innovations.

In Finland, as elsewhere, technical inventions have hogged all the economic limelight, but it is only recently that social innovations have been highlighted as the foundation of societal harmony. Gender equality, free education, universal social security and parliamentary democracy, and the consequent social stability they create, have secured Finland’s welfare.

The Department of Humanities will be hosting Dr. Ilkka Taipale, who will be giving a lecture about his book “100 Social Innovations from Finland.”

This book, which has been translated into 14 languages and is now available also in Arabic, is both serious and entertaining, presenting a new way of looking at our world.

Dr. Taipale specializes in social medicine and has worked with and for the poor, unemployed, schizophrenics, homeless people, prisoners and alcoholics all his life. He served as a Member of the Finnish Parliament from 1971-75 and from 2000-2007. He has also been a member of the Helsinki City Council since 1993.