At the moment trade unions probably have slightly less influence in the civic discussion and have progressively lost their relevance. Mikko is proposing to get back to people and make them feel empowered by unions that can safeguard their rights on a professional level.


Mikko Laakkonen @mlaakkonen
Member of Palvelualojen Ammattiliitto (PAM),
The biggest trade union in Finland helping people working in private service sectors,



What could be reimagined now?

We can reimagine the role of trade unions in the civic discussion, reaffirming their position within the society as strong advocates for social improvements. These days the unions are facing some difficulties in coping with changes in the society, because people have a broader range of uncertainties and they still don’t have a concrete way to tackle them.

How could we experiment with the role of the trade union?

Tackling insecurities can be done through the collectiveness of the trade unions, which is the basis of the union’s action. A union is its members, so how is it possible to use this collective identity of a group of people? By being a meaningful partner for them and supporting collaboration among both single members and partners, whom they usually do not work with. 

How social innovation could be supported and look like in ten years’ time?

Trade unions could be also interpreted and implemented as a democratic platform to ease civic discussion and collect feedback from people.


Image: Mikko Laakonen,