Aleksi Neuvonen, Founder

Aleksi Neuvonen is a futures researcher and an expert on urban development and lifestyle changes, with a fifteen-year career in multi-disciplinary social research.

Aleksi’s work with VTT technology research group and the Turku School of Economics Futures Research Centre gave him a thorough introduction to major systemic social entities, such as innovations policy, global sustainable development challenges and the economic importance of creative industries. Working as a freelance journalist helped him understand which themes interest the public at large.

Aleksi has an interest in the attitude of users towards decision making and planning. He has researched new manifestations of democracy and the ability of various forms of decision making to address major problems.

Academically, Aleksi home is in futures research. His Masters thesis dealt with the philosophy of scientific justifications in the scenario method at the core of futures research. He has taught courses on research criteria and scenario building of futures research at Helsinki University, Aalto University, the Estonian Academy of Arts, Tampere University of Technology and Chalmers University of Technology.

He founded Demos Helsinki together with Roope Mokka.

At Demos Helsinki, Aleksi has developed the Counting Backwards scenario method, which has been broadly applied in workshops. He has been a key promoter of urban development projects that have resulted in several Demos Helsinki initiatives related to democracy and sustainable well-being.

He is a founder of the environmental organization Dodo, and former chairman and long-term member of the Club of Rome Finnish Association and Futures Research. Aleksi is currently also engaged in his work on the board of directors at Grassroots Ltd and Crisis Management Initiative.

This is not a smart city

Urbanisation is one of the most important megatrends to shape global society of the 21st century. However, urbanisation puts a strain on the quality of life in cities, as well as the management of big infrastructure systems, such as city traffic and energy usage. The Smart City approach is the paradigm of urban development in the 2010s. It promises to combat these challenges with new technological solutions; information technology can help to bring about new kinds of co-operation and to enable the interweaving of different city elements (energy, buildings, transportation […]

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Smartup statements: City Car Club

City Car Club is a car-sharing service that offers carefree driving for those who could use a car but don’t own one. How does the service improve urban life? “It makes the cityscape a lot nicer, reducing the amount of public space needed for parking. A lot of our cities are full of cars that just sit there; our streets are basically used for storage. We want to create greener, nicer cities.” Where do you see the firm in two years? “Connecting travel chains: walking to bus to train to […]

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Smartup statements: PiggyBaggy

PiggyBaggy is a crowdsourced delivery platform, which has gained a good buzz in Finland. Harri Paloheimo, the father of the idea, summarises: 1) Explain your service or product in one sentence. While on their way to somewhere, people can transport goods to each other in exchange for a small compensation. 2) How does it help people in their urban life? It reduces the need of having a car and improves the contemporary infrastructure. Public transportation, car pools etc. as buses are designed to commute people, not goods. It saves time, money and […]

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Smartup statements: Nurmi Clothing

Nurmi Clothing hails from Lahti, Finland. It focuses on ethical and sustainable clothes. Recently Nurmi launched a “clothing library”. With a small monthly fee you can extend your wardrobe without buying more clothes. Founder Anniina Nurmi provides a background: 1) Anniina, explain your service or product in one sentence. Nurmi is a transparent clothing company which combines high-quality design and responsible manufacturing. 2) How does it help people in their urban life? We offer alternatives for consumers who want to dress themselves responsibly yet stylish. 3) Where do you see yourself […]

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Smartup statements: Yhteismaa

Smartups are companies that are aiming for renewing urban life in radical, smart and sustainable ways. During Peloton Smart Retro Innovation Camp in Bagarmossen (Stockholm), we interviewed our bold and brave entrepreneurs. One of them is Tanja Jänick from Yhteismaa, Finland. 1) Tanja, explain your service or product in one sentence. Nifty Neighbour is a map-based social media for neighbourhoods, which brings together people living close to each other and enhances the social wellbeing of residential districts. 2) How does it help people in their urban life? Simply by increasing the interaction between human […]

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Smartup statements: Represent

Smartups are companies that are aiming for renewing urban life in radical, smart and sustainable ways. During Peloton Smart Retro Innovation Camp in Bagarmossen (Stockholm), we interviewed our bold and brave entrepreneurs. One of them is Ed Downing from Represent, UK. 1) Ed, explain your service or product in one sentence. It’s an entirely new way of having your voice heard on things that are important to you – having your desires represented so to speak. 2) How does it help people in their urban life? By giving the atomised version of urban life: […]

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Liity testikäyttäjiin – Anmäl dig som testanvändare – Join as a test user!

Ilmoittaudu uusien fiksujen, elämää helpottavien palveluiden testikäyttäjäksi 12.4. mennessä. Anmäl dig som testanvändare för nya smarta tjänster senast den 12.4. Sign up as a volunteer test user for new smart services that make the life easier, more interesting and more sustainable. Palveluita on monenlaisia tavarakimppakyydeistä vaatelainaamoon. Niitä kehittävät uudet innovatiiviset yritykset eli startupit. Testihenkilönä oleminen voi tarkoittaa vaikkapa haastatteluihin vastaamista tai palvelun määräaikaista koekäyttöä ja palautteen antamista, jotta palvelua voidaan kehittää eteenpäin. Tjänsterna utvecklas av nya innovativa företag, alltså startups. Att vara testperson kan betyda t.ex. att svara på intervjuer […]

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Testing, testing

The battle against the challenges of urbanization and renovation took a step towards reality few weeks ago. 13 startups gathered in Bagarmossen’s district in Stockholm to plan their methods for testing at the Peloton Smart Retro Acceleration Programme’s second Innovation Camp. The programme’s testbed-phase starts in late March and involves the urbanites of both cities of Lahti and of Stockholm. Kvalitid, a service that provides apartment buildings with domestic help from unemployed youth, won the camp’s pitch contest about testing methods with their enthusiastic presentation. These young blokes from Gothenburg had […]

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Meet the Smartups

The second Peloton Smart Retro Innovation Camp brought together 13 new innovative startups in Stockholm. Here are five of them. This group of daring and inspiring entrepreneurs is doing more with less. We call the firms “smartups”: startups that make more efficient use of existing resources, particularly in housing, food and transportation. It is these individuals who are helping to transform our cities into more liveable communities with smarter services.   HOFFICE Hoffice, or the ‘Airbnb of offices,’ makes it possible for you to open up your apartment for others […]

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Here are the 12 selected firms of the Acceleration Programme

12 companies have been selected for the Peloton Smart Retro Acceleration Programme, organised by Demos Helsinki. The participating firms provide smart and sustainable services for urban citizens. These include City Car Club, Ekerne & Gamla Enskede Lådcyklar AB, Fourdeg, Greenely, IAgree, Meido, MoralGuard, Nurmi Clothing, PiggyBaggy, Remarket, Urban Fruit Initiative and Yhteismaa. In total, we received over 60 applications from all over Europe. “The success of our Acceleration Programme reflects Demos Helsinki’s growing importance in the European startup scene,” says Roope Mokka, Founder and Head of Innovation at Demos Helsinki. This is the fifth time a Peloton Programme has been organised. Demos Helsinki […]

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