Espoo to spend 100,000 euros on innovation and participation activities of children and young people

Published: 31.8.2021 21.00Updated: 12.11.2021 5.59

In 2020, the City of Espoo made it to the top six in the European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Awards of the European Commission. With the prize money, the city will support the innovation and participation activities of children and young people in cooperation with young people. While the city is implementing young people’s requests within the iCapital context, sustainable operating models for future operations are being created around them.

“The voice of young people must be truly heard in services and decision-making aimed at them. For us, it was a priority that our plans originated from the requests of young people themselves,” says Harri Rinta-aho, Head of Education and Cultural Services at the City of Espoo.

Follow the development process on social media with the hashtag #iCapitalAwards

The iCapital 2020 prize money will be distributed among smaller subprojects, all of which will be carried out in cooperation with young people later this year. Information on the progress and results of these projects will be made available during the autumn on social media with the hashtag #iCapitalAwards and also at the news. The projects are:


The ManiMiitti process for participatory budgeting is expanding, and all 13–19-year-old Espoo residents are welcome to participate in the pilot that will be launched in early September.

ManiMiitti+ includes ideas previously received from young people, three of which will be selected for further development into concrete implementation. In the survey carried out during the autumn, young people will have the opportunity to influence the planning and implementation of services and activities aimed at them.

Sustainable Future – shared study unit in Espoo upper secondary education

In support of the Sustainable Future study unit, a learning material bank and cooperation partner network will be made available to all Espoo subject teachers. This way, sustainable development education can be put together more efficiently, as requested by the Espoo Youth Council. As of this autumn, the Sustainable Future study unit will be taught in all Espoo upper secondary schools.

Sorting out recycling

Currently, all schools do not have effective recycling systems. This project will ensure that at least one centralised waste collection point will be available for sorting at all upper secondary schools in Espoo and at as many comprehensive schools as possible.

Feedback channel for young people

Raising awareness of the City of Espoo’s feedback channel for young people.

Round table operating model for the Espoo Youth Council and upper comprehensive schools’ student associations 

The Espoo Youth Council consists of 40 young people from Espoo who share a passion for making a difference in matters affecting young people.

In the future, the Youth Council is looking to work actively with school student associations. This will ensure that young people’s thoughts and ideas are heard in the city’s decision-making. 

Participation training for City of Espoo employees  

A training package for city employees on the participation of young people will be designed and implemented. The city holds the views of young people in high regard and wants to improve their influencing opportunities. The well-being of young people and sustainable future are a priority to Espoo.


This news item is part of a series of stories about the use of the 2020 European Capital of Innovation prize money in Espoo. With the prize money, Espoo will promote sustainable future by supporting innovation and participation activities for children and young people. The stories can be found with the hashtags #iCapitalAwards

  • Innovation work