The Oulu area decision-makers must ask themselves why Oulu is needed in Finland and internationally. What does Oulu have to offer its residents and for Finns in general? What is Oulu’s raison d’être and what special contribution can it make, not only to Finland, but to the wider world in general?
We have recently been seeking answers to these questions as part of the creation of a New Oulu and the development of co-operation throughout the Oulu area. However, there is great wisdom beyond the City Hall and other chambers of power. The only way we can truly improve the “Oulu product” in the thousands of different ways it manifests itself is through broad-based and active involvement of people, businesses and communities in the Oulu area.
The success of the Oulu area is built on the competence, courage, open-mindedness and creativity of our people. These attributes are also our greatest resource for the future. The question is, have we been effective enough in communicating these strengths to the rest of the world?
A key role in this new awakening is being played by Erkki Karvonen, Professor of Information and Communication Studies at the University of Oulu, who has emphasised the significance of active involvement by a large number of people, or crowdsourcing, in developing services and products. Based on an idea first put forth by Professor Karvonen that has been developed further by other professionals in the field of communication in the Oulu area, we are launching the 100 Acts Programme. The programme combines the emphasis on having broad-based participation by the people of the Oulu area in improving products and services with the determination to effectively and proudly communicate these acts in the Oulu area, the rest of Finland and internationally.
A reputation must always be earned. You must work for it constantly. By participating in the 100 Acts Programme, you can make a contribution to improving Oulu’s reputation and image. Submit your entry describing an action that you think has increased service quality, improved comfort, created jobs or perhaps led to something entirely new and bold. The act may have been carried out by an individual, a local community, a group of volunteers or colleagues, or a business. The selected acts will be showered in glory!
We believe that 100 Acts is just a beginning and that we will soon be aiming for a higher number. So come on my fellow Ouluans; let’s make it happen!