Spring challenges youth to ideate solutions for the future.
This is Spring – an idea competition for young people aged 15-19
The world is constantly changing, but fortunately, it can also change for the better. Spring provides an opportunity to make an impact on matters that are important to you.
You can participate in Spring as a team of 3–5 members. You can enter with an idea that solves a significant international problem or addresses a local issue. The prize for Spring includes a summer job and a study trip, during which you’ll work on turning your idea into reality. Enter your idea by February 29, 2024.
In today's world, all kinds of information and visual messages are flooding in from all directions, and concentration is often put to the test. What things can help you block out other stimuli, stop for a moment and focus? How can we strengthen our ability to concentrate? Can we use technology to do this?
Bullying is a serious problem that affects the well-being of many young people and adults. It happens not only in schools and workplaces, but also online. How can bullying be prevented and stopped? Are there new, creative ways to tackle bullying? How can the community support victims of bullying?
Young people must make decisions about their future at an early stage, which can feel overwhelming. Efficiency is seen as an ideal and there is no incentive to take gap years. What would a world be like that did not put too much pressure on young people? How can we make learning more fun and enjoyable?
The feeling of belonging to a group of friends and being part of a community has a strong impact on young people's well-being. Some, however, fall outside their everyday social circles and become isolated. How can exclusion be reduced? How can new technologies be used to prevent exclusion?
People experience loneliness at some point in their lives. Feelings of loneliness are more pronounced among young people and people living alone. What can be done to reduce loneliness and alleviate feelings of loneliness? How to create opportunities for new encounters? What can inspire people to be more present with each other?
Caring for Older People
The elderly population is growing. How can we ensure that older people not only get the support and services they need, but also a dignified old age with a taste for life? How can younger generations participate and support older people? What imaginative solutions, perhaps including digital ones, can be developed?
In a performance-driven world, exhaustion and depression are common mental health problems. What things can help you feel better? What new well-being practices can be introduced? How can we make it easier to ask for and give help?
CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT
With a cold climate, long distances, industry and a high standard of living, Finland consumes a lot of energy for its population. What are the ways and practical changes that can be made to curb people's energy consumption in homes and elsewhere? How can new technologies be used to solve problems?
Every year, every Finn throws around 20-25 kilos of food in the bin. How can you reduce the amount of food wasted – at home or in school canteens, for example? What tools can help you to estimate how much food to take home from the shop? Can new solutions be found for storing food?
Habitat Loss and Species Extinction
Over-exploitation of natural resources is depleting nature, and species are becoming increasingly extinct. The loss of nature is man-made, but that is why it is also our responsibility to solve it. What can we do to stop the loss of nature? How can we better protect endangered species in Finland and around the world?
MARINE AND WATER POLLUTION
The well-being of water bodies is vital for the entire global ecosystem. Huge amounts of litter and chemical discharges end up in the world's oceans. How can we prevent pollution from entering the water in Finland and elsewhere? How can polluted waters be cleaned up? How can we harness new technologies to protect our seas?
If global warming and water pollution continue, more and more of the planet will suffer from a lack of clean freshwater in the future. Water scarcity could also strain international relations. How can we ensure access to fresh water for all? How can we make water conservation a natural part of everyday life?
Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion:
The textile industry is responsible for up to 10% of global CO2 emissions. While secondhand fashion is booming, affordable fast fashion brands are attractive. How to get people to prefer "slow fashion"? What are timeless and sustainable clothes? How to make dressing responsibly?
Transport is responsible for a fifth of Finland's emissions, which, for example, are generated by air travel. How can we make travel less polluting? How can transport be made less polluting and more energy efficient? What would a zero-emission mode of transport look like?
EQUALITY AND EQUITY
People are constantly arriving in Finland to flee their home country, and migration will become even stronger in the future. At the same time, we need a lot more skilled labour from outside Finland. How do we make Finland feel like home to newcomers? How can we help them make the most of their skills?
Equality is not yet fully realised in Finland. People can be discriminated against because of their skin colour, culture or language, and sexual and gender minorities and people with disabilities also experience inequality. How can we reduce prejudice? How do we create more equal opportunities for all to succeed and do well?
Finland is a pioneer in gender equality. But there is still room for improvement in areas such as work and pay, housework and parenting, and gender-related expectations. What needs to be done to make Finland more equal? How can gender diversity be better taken into account?
Widening Skills Gap
In Finland, everyone has the right to free education. However, there are big differences between people in areas such as literacy and numeracy, which increase inequality. How do we ensure equal opportunities for all in education and employment? How can we ensure that differences in skills do not lead to inequality?
Social Life on the Web
It makes it easier to connect and find the communities that are important to you. But it can also create feelings of loneliness and phobia. Sometimes, social networking can take up too much of your everyday life. How can you create a better-quality social networking experience? What can help you manage the time you spend on social media? How can we eradicate social bullying?
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
Virtual and augmented reality are revolutionising the way we experience the world. They create new opportunities for education, healthcare, entertainment or even holiday travel. How can we make better use of these opportunities in people's daily lives? How can virtual reality support a more sustainable lifestyle?
Digitalisation of Life
Almost everything from school to hobbies and from shopping to social life is going online. On the other hand, young people crave face-to-face encounters. What tools are needed to make the real and virtual worlds work together in a smart way? What kind of services could the digital environment of the future offer?
Using Artificial Intelligence
The use of artificial intelligence is becoming more widespread and new ways of using it are constantly being invented. In the future, its role in everyday life will grow. How can AI be better used today, for example in learning or working life? How could it make your life better and more relaxed – in an ethically sustainable way?
INCLUSION AND SOCIETY
Increasing Participation and Empowerment
Social influence is part of democracy. But people want more direct ways to participate. Social media, for example, have opened new doors to influence. How do we diversify the ways we participate in social decision-making?
The Rise of Populism
The rise of populism that emphasises traditional values and national interest is a global trend. Uncertain times fuel populism, as people yearn for simple and clear solutions. How to understand the causes and effects of this phenomenon? How can we respond to the challenges posed by populism?
LACK OF TRUST IN INSTITUTIONS
Trust in political parties and the media is generally eroding. This phenomenon is part of a global trend of declining democracy and the rise of authoritarian forms of government. How do we build and restore trust in key social institutions? Can openness and transparency be the key?
In recent years, the social debate has become more heated, and people's perceptions of the world have drifted further apart. Finland has freedom of opinion and expression, but the confrontation is fuelling social instability. How can we increase constructive debate and understanding between people?
Social media provides a framework to be part of a community, to discuss and share experiences. At the same time, it is a platform where misinformation can easily spread. What can help people identify reliable information? How can we prevent the spread of fake news? How can opinions be kept separate from facts?
International tensions are on the rise, and disagreements between countries are escalating. This is destabilising the global order and undermining respect for common rules and agreements. What can be done to enable people to play an active role in peacebuilding and conflict prevention?
WORK AND ECONOMY
Growing Financial Difficulties
The global situation has led to strong price volatility, and money worries are becoming more frequent. When the shopping bill rises by a third, many families are forced to cut back on hobbies, for example. Food rations are also getting longer. What are the new ways we can help and support those in financial difficulty?
A skills shortage means that a particular skill set needed by the labour market is not available. There may be plenty of vacancies, but the right skills are not available among jobseekers. This is particularly true in the technology sector. How do we get more skilled workers? Will labour migration provide the solution?
Changing Working Life
Working life is changing fast. The meaning of work is increasingly important to people, but at the same time many are exhausted by change and rush. Some people succeed in the world of work, while others can't even find their first meaningful job. How can we make working life better for all?
EVERYDAY LIFE AND LIFESTYLES
Our consumption patterns are unsustainable, and the planet is overloaded. There is now a strong need for ecological alternatives. How can the social and environmental impacts of products be clearly communicated to consumers? What could be an alternative to the addictive feeling that shoppers get when they "unbox" an online purchase?
Physical inactivity and sitting are on the rise, and lack of exercise is a burden on many people's daily lives. Good physical fitness can also have a major impact on mental health and ability to cope at school or work. How can we inspire people to be more active? How can we make physical activity more popular among young people?
From Owning to Sharing
You don't have to own everything. Renting and sharing is becoming easier with digital solutions. Shared cars and city bikes are already a common sight in big cities, and people are renting clothes. What's worth sharing? How to make borrowing and renting easier?
Increasingly, new jeans or snowboards are ordered online, instead of going to the shops. The popularity of online shopping is based on convenience. On the other hand, shopping becomes even too easy, so that discretion and ethics are forgotten. What will the ethical and environmentally friendly online shopping of the future look like?
Hobbies are an important part of many young people's lives. However, they can be expensive and often require parental help to get around. How can we ensure that more and more people have at least one meaningful hobby? What new forms of leisure activities can be developed that are less competitive and less pressured to perform?
A vegetarian diet is good for the environment and health, and there can be ethical problems with animal production. There are many good substitutes for meat. However, giving up meat is difficult for many people. How can we increase the intake of vegetables? How can we make meat reduction more attractive?
The world is constantly changing and evolving. Never before has humanity been so well equipped to solve problems and change the direction of the future. Big change starts with small ideas. That's why even seemingly small ideas can have a huge power to change the world for the better. What is your idea?