Join us in an inspiring international, multi-disciplinary team to explore ideas for implementing regional innovation strategies and open innovation thinking.

ACSI 2015 Espoo will focus on CONNECTING SMART CITIZENS IN OPEN INNOVATION PRACTICE. Challenges posed by the European Commission, the Helsinki-Uusimaa region and the city of Espoo invite you to re-think the impact of innovation systems, strategies and practice, while working on actual real world challenges.

Dates: 5-7th June 2015
Place: Siikaranta, Espoo, Finland.

ACSI 2015 Espoo
5-7th June

ACSI is open for people with relevant expertise and the desire to pursue innovation in practice. We welcome applications from everyone passionate about addressing societal challenges through open innovation and innovation-ecosystem thinking. Taking part in ACSI 2015 means joining the 3-day Camp in June, as well as participating in the 9-month rapid realisation prototyping following the Camp. There are limited places available. Please indicate your interest in participating with a short email describing:

  • • Your motivation to participate in ACSI 2015
  • • Your relevant expertise
  • • Your potential contribution to ACSI

Send the email to:

EU Open Innovation 2.0 Conference
8-9th June

This year, the ACSI Camp is organised in conjunction with the EU Open Innovation 2.0 Conference, which will be held on 8-9th June in Espoo. ACSI participants are encouraged to join the conference, which will also serve as a forum to present the ideas of the ACSI teams and to build opportunities to take them to practice.

The Conference is designed as a service for participants and their networks: the place to be inspired by excellent practice, to meet potential partners, and to find support for actual prototyping in 2015. Best ideas developed at the Conference will be followed up in a 6-month prototyping process.

For more information about the EU Open Innovation 2.0 Conference, follow on Twitter or visit the website

Rapid realization prototyping process
9-month prototyping process: from insight to realization


There will be three challenges, each addressed by two different working groups:


Espoo Innovation Garden as an Innovation Implementation Zone

How to develop Espoo Innovation Garden as a European Forerunner region with a special focus on implementing the City’s policy programmes Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development?

Specific Focus:

The Western Metro Corridor as a development zone for innovative urban solutions

• How can this Corridor be used to develop and test innovative solutions for energy, health-care, and citizen services?

Espoo Innovation Garden: What opportunities, roles, and responsibilities exist in innovation gardening? How to translate this ‘gardening’ metaphor into tomorrow’s innovation practice:

• What does it mean for the city government as gardener, the citizen as gardener, the researcher as gardener, the business start-up as gardener?

• How does this translate to sustainability and livability issues?


From Strategy to Practice – How to create world-class (social) innovations for an era of Smart Citizens?

How to implement the regional innovation strategy (RIS3), with a special focus on the spearhead “Smart Citizen”, working from strategy to practice in sustainable European Partnerships?

Specific Focus:

The role of citizens in a pioneering society for well-being: What will the identity, aspirations and needs of smart citizens be in 2020-2030? What opportunities can be identified to implement these?

Helsinki Region is building its future on digitalization: How will trends and opportunities based strongly on open data, open processes, and open digital platforms impact societal service systems?


Putting European Policy into Local Practice

Translating the EU High Level Group’s Blueprint on Innovation Ecosystems into actual practice. Realizing the Dublin Declaration’s 11 points in diverse experiments and pilots across Europe.

Specific Focus:

How to build functioning Open Innovation Ecosystems in Europe based on the instruments already existing? What is to be reinforced? How to scale up Open Innovation 2.0?

What kind of governance is needed to align goals on innovation policy and actions in the European Commission?


ACSI – the Aalto Camp for Societal Innovation – is an instrument for addressing societal challenges. It provides a concrete programme for developing breakthrough ideas and insights, combined with an entrepreneurial process aimed at producing real-world impact.

During an ACSI camp participants from diverse countries, age groups and disciplines meet to address a set of challenges brought to the camp by cities, regions, business organisations, universities or NGOs.

The camp is designed to support self-organising groups working in a creative and open environment. Each group sets out to discover in-and-out-of-the-box opportunities in a process of collaborative solution seeking. Through a lightly facilitated approach, the teams frame and reframe the ideas and assumptions relevant to a challenge. This leads to the creation of a range of new perspectives – new lenses through which the issues can be better understood – and entrepreneurial ways of dealing with them.

During the months following the Camp, prototypes of promising ideas are tested and improved. The follow-through takes place in a co-creative process with the organisations that bring the challenges to ACSI. The prototyping of possible solutions can take place at diverse locations, based on the ideas selected by the challenge-holding organisation for further development and the interests of the participants. In the ensuing process, more robust prototypes are developed, and commitment, collaboration and opportunities required for realising these in practice are strengthened.

ACSI goes beyond the ordinary and expands opportunities to do what rarely gets done in business-as-usual. Supported by scientific research and practical experience, it has proven to be an insightful and empowering process for people and organisations seeking new approaches to tackle their work and societal challenges.

Participants learn new ways to approach challenges through in-depth exchanges with people outside of their usual environments. They link up with a growing global community of open innovation practitioners and practice working with co-creation methods and self-organising groups. They get an opportunity to engage with real-world challenges and the prototyping of initiatives to tackle them.

ACSI was co-developed by the New Club of Paris and Finland’s Aalto University. Since 2010 it has been run seven times in different forms, in Finland (Espoo, Helsinki and Kotka), Sweden (Malmö), and South Africa (Johannesburg). Past ACSI challenges have addressed issues such as low carbon urban planning, realizing regional test-beds, renewing citizen-government engagement, and enhancing the innovativeness and inclusiveness of society. The process has been used to create breakthroughs in understanding complex issues and to move beyond stagnant, stuck situations. It has stimulated cross-border collaboration, explored opportunities for open innovation and helped eliminate the obstacles that block it.

The ACSI community grows along with the camps. Previous participants stay in touch and some of them join the new teams formed in each camp, helping to build a global community of social innovation practitioners. For some information about previous ACSI camps, join the ACSI Facebook group and visit the ACSI 2013 website

Riikka Kuusisto

Project Manager / Aalto University School of Business, Small Business Center
+358 (0)50 492 9948

Hank Kune

New Club of Paris
+31 (0)650 691371

Riina Subra

Senior Manager / Aalto Global Impact, Aalto University
+358 50 406 6251