Service Design in Municipalities

Service design in municipalities was chosen as one of the themes in GRUDE project’s webinars because even though the process is well recognized in the business world, it can greatly benefit the public sector as well. One of the main topics of interest in the GRUDE project is sustainable societies which means sustainable community development and innovations related to ecological issues and quality of life. Service design is all about involving customers, users and other target groups in co-creation of solutions to issues concerning them. Therefore, it is a topic well worthy of spotlight. Here are summaries of the event keynote presentations.

Project Manager at Innovationsguiden (The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions)

Innovationsguiden is a project by The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions. The project’s objective is to bring users to the center of service development in municipalities. On their website, Innovationsguiden provides material ready to be used in development projects in the public sector, as well as crash courses in service design and coaching for projects. The leading idea behind the project is the reality of decreasing resources in public sector, and the need to provide as good and meaningful services as efficiently as possible. In a service design process, the foundation for creating new ideas is the understanding that by involving the users in the creation process it is possible to better understand their needs. Testing the ideas is also a part of the process.

The benefits of service design are manifold. First of all, creating services through a process like this is not expensive, because it is not time consuming and the methods provide quick results. Moreover, the process itself increases the understanding about the needs of customers, patients, visitors and residents.

You can find out more about the project on their website and in the video below.

Project Manager at Folkverkstan

Folkverstan is an Interreg-project between Sweden and Finland which aims to create “the service solution next to you” when it comes to repairing and serving household objects. The project itself has been designed through the service design process, and the aim is to create local meeting points for sustainability in consumption: a place where you can repair and upcycle your gear. A positive impact on the climate is pursued by decreasing ecological and economical stress which is caused by our current consumption driven lifestyle as well as a reduction of craftmanship skills. The project activities support sustainable development goal 12 in Agenda 2030: Sustainable consumption and production. Folkverkstan is trying to create a service design based “recipe book” for repairing of everyday products. In addition to increasing general awareness and creating a testbed for concept validation, an implementation guide and a business model is also planned in the future.

You can find more information on the Folkverstan Facebook page  

and on the project web site (in Swedish):

Business Creative at Passi & Ripatti Oy

Kainuu region in Finland used service design to involve citizens in the development of their everyday services. The process started by gathering 140 diaries from people living in the area, in order to better understand their everyday lives. The diaries provided information about how the system is currently serving people in different life stages. The diaries were analysed into customer profiles and several workshops were organized with officials from municipalities and representatives from businesses, third sector and citizens. One of the workshop themes was participatory budgeting, in which citizens were asked to prioritize the different public services.

The process was implemented in two stages. The first stage gave confirmation that by using service design methods it was possible to better expose the citizens’ needs and wishes for different services. It also turned out, that citizens actually wanted to participate in providing help and services to other community members, and that the current system did not sufficiently support that. In the second stage a new model for providing every day services was created. Ripatti emphasized the value of Experiential Data in creating meaningful, to-the-point public services and the usefulness of service design methods in providing the necessary information.

A publication about the project is available in Finnish and Swedish:
Räddarna i vardagen

And a summary in English:  

Q&A panel session

The topics of the day sparked an interesting conversation on experiential (qualitative) data and how it can be fully exploited decision making. As Hannu Ripatti stated “experiential data is the most challenging and most rewarding way of gathering information.” Sara Tunheden from Innovationsguiden added that it is important to combine qualitative and quantitative data as they support each other. For example, quantitative survey results can support stories that are gathered from the target group. In public sector, many things are dictated by finances, but allowing the actual users and citizens to actively participate in issues concerning them can produce immaterial value as well as economical savings.

Blog post by
Sari Nisula, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

Does Green Business Exist?

GRUDE, VähäC and Väppi projects arranged together a webinar that gathered some of Finland’s top experts of green industrial life to share their views about green economy. Read a summary of the keynote presentations and discussion in this blog article!

Is business life a cause or a solution to global warming?

The webinar was opened by Petteri Lillberg from Demos Helsinki. In his presentation, he emphasized the role of business life in preventing global warming.

Generally, capitalistic market economy is seen as the main reason for current over consumption of global resources. Lillberg pointed out, however, that over the past few years enterprises have started to change their policies considering societal and environmental responsibility. In fact, these themes are creating new value for businesses and have become essential tools for branding.

In addition to minimizing the carbon footprint, maximizing the carbon handprint has become a key to environmental care for companies. The concept of carbon handprint refers to the company’s actions in decreasing their customers CO2-emissions. In other words, a company should try to influence their customers values and help them make greener choices.

How the municipality of Ii made environmental responsibility a platform of success for businesses?

Noora Huotari from Micropolis Oy, explained that green economy was chosen as a strategic focus in Ii for about ten years ago. According to Noora, the most important factor for success in reaching environmental sustainability in Ii, has been activating people from all age groups. The sense of shared responsibility and cooperation between different sectors of society has also been recognized abroad (watch e.g. the BBC Documentary: Ii, the Greenest Town in Europe). The positive attention, in turn, has encouraged the citizens to continue the good work.

When it comes to sustainability and green growth, the role of business life has been recognized as crucial in Ii. Therefore, the municipality has created a “Paikallista” (=local) certificate which the companies are allowed to use once they have committed to use resources sustainably and reduce their CO2-emissions.

So far, the transition to green economy has been a success in Ii. It has brought dozens of new jobs and businesses to the area, over 200 million euros worth of investments, tax money from the new water and wind power plants, as well as, considerable savings for the municipality. Moreover, the international recognition has boosted the town image and increased tourism in the area.

Case Pyhätunturi Oy – The goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable ski resort

Fortunately, businesses that have acted to prevent global warming, can also be found in Lapland. One of these companies is Pyhätunturi Oy which runs ski resorts in Pyhä and Ruka fells. The facilitator of the webinar Tuuli Kaskinen, interviewed Jusu Toivonen, a CDO in Pyhätunturi Oy, about the company’s environmental efforts.

Toivonen explains that the company started to work for nature conservation already in the 90’s and in 2008 the company set a strategic goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2020. A goal which already became reality in 2011 – nine years before the intended deadline. Today, Pyhä and Ruka are Ski In Ski Out resorts where all the services and accommodation are located within walking or skiing distance.

Ever since the beginning, the company management has had a common ambition to protect the arctic nature. Some of the main challenges that the company has faced, however, have been resistance to change inside the organization, the difficulty of finding partners with the same commitment to the environment and a lack of support in implementing eco-friendly practices from the public sector.

Regardless of the challenges, Toivonen emphasizes that taking care of the environment and transitioning to a more sustainable way of running business is not as difficult or expensive as is commonly believed. In fact, according to Toivonen, environmental sustainability offers many new possibilities for business.

New opportunities for green business

In the concluding keynote presentation Jyri Häkämies, who works as a CEO in the Confederation of Finnish Industries, linked the local viewpoint of the previous presentations to a larger, national and international context.

Global warming and environmental degradation demand urgent measures from companies in all branches of business. Customers and financiers have started to demand businesses to take responsibility for protecting the environment by concrete actions. The change in the common discourse has brought new possibilities for Finland. In fact, Finland is already one of the world’s leading producers of clean technology – creating innovations which help reducing negative environmental impacts around the world.

According to Häkämies, some of the most potential solutions for climate issues at the moment are emissions trading, the broader use of electricity as a source of energy, as well as, maintaining and increasing the carbon sinks created by agriculture and forestry. In addition, the new innovations concerning hydrogen offer potentials solutions in the future.

Starting points for environmental responsibility in arctic businesses

The webinar participants were encouraged to share their thoughts and question both during the webinar and in the arranging projects’ social media channels. The idea was to gather experiences and comments about how green economy could be enhanced in business life. In the discussion participants highlighted, for example, the importance of business clusters, the need to increase awareness of the carbon handprint, as well as, to further develop the measures of calculating carbon footprint and handprint. Additionally, it was noted that municipalities should follow Ii’s example and make environmental protection a strategic goal.

As a conclusion, the keynote speakers shared their advice for environmental responsibility for small arctic businesses:

  • Jyri Häkämies: Find partners and network with other small businesses, keep your business customer-oriented.
  • Noora Huotari: Proudly communicate even the smallest steps your business takes towards greener economy and consider criticism as an opportunity for development.
  • Jusu Toivonen: Keep it simple! Find an electric company which provides electricity that is produced from renewable sources of energy. If necessary, find out options for emissions trading (check out e.g.
  • Petteri Lillberg: Listen to your customers’ needs and dare to set the price of your product or service high enough.

Blog text by:
Henna Kukkonen, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

Inspiration återbruk Arjeplog 29/4/2021

Kom och låt dig inspireras av olika aktiviteter vi kan göra inom kommunen gällande återbruk – i stort och smått!

Resurseffektivitet, cirkulär ekonomi och ett mer hållbart liv är på allas läppar. Regeringen har nyligen släppt sin nationella handlingsplan för cirkulär ekonomi och det är även ett prioriterat område inom de kommande EU-programmen samt hos Regionen – detta gör att det kommer finnas medel att söka för den som vill driva projekt relaterat till detta!

Du är välkommen till detta möte vare sig du håller på med återbruk på hobbynivå eller om du planerar en helt ny verksamhet eller om du bara är nyfiken på vad återbruk och cirkulär ekonomi är och kan vara.Vår förhoppning är att du ska möta andra som också vill starta något i Arjeplog och att du ska få nya idéer kring vad som är möjligt.

Jan Kemi, projektet Folkverkstan
Projekt Folkverkstan – utvecklar koncept för mötesplatser om lagning, reparation och hållbar konsumtion.

Amanda Mannervik, projektet GRUDE – Green Rural Economy på näringslivsbolaget Strukturum. InterregNord-projekt som går ut på att kommunicera möjligheterna med en övergång till en cirkulär ekonomi i arktiska glesbygdskommuner samt att skapa regionala och gränsöverskridande nätverk som stöttar omställningen.

Den digitala inspirationsfrukosten arrangeras av projektet Kulturkraft på Argentis tillsammans med projektet GRUDE – Green Rural Economy.

Anmäl dig till senast den 28/4 för att få länk till eventet.

Mer info:

Bya-MaaS – Mobilitetstjänster långt ifrån staden 22/4/2021

Eventet ges i Zoom. OBS att du behöver anmäla dig via epost för att få länk. Se info längst ned i beskrivningen.

Maria Schnurr är forskare på RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden, och jobbar med innovationer för en omställning till hållbar mobilitet, med fokus på mobilitetstjänster för både stad och land. Maria ger oss en introduktion till området och en överblick över aktuella trender.

Tobias Forngren är medgrundare till den hållbara mobilitetstjänsten Freelway som används för turisttransfer (taxi, bussar), samåkning, samordnade varuleveranser, hemleveranser, nya kollektivtrafiklösningar, bilhyra paketskåpslösningar mm. Han kommer bl.a. att berätta om deras framgångar i södra Årefjällen.

Johanna är involverad i flertalet projekt på Luleå Tekniska Universitet som har
Predictive Movement är en icke-kommersiell, konkurrensneutral samverkansplats för transporter av människor och gods med hjälp av artificiell intelligens. Informationen i PM kan användas av aktörer på marknaderna för transporttjänster. PM har även för avsikt att testa regional samordning av lokalproducerad mat. Predictive Movement är byggt i open source och är en rörelse där alla kan vara med.

Maximilian Bador, CCO på Move About, vill berätta hur smarta lösningar kan optimera organisationens fordonsflotta med exempelvis rätt mix av elbilar och elcyklar. Företagets vision är fossilfria resor för en hållbar planet – och missionen är att ställa om Sverige och bli den största leverantören av fossilfri mobilitet till 2025.

Ingela Bottke, projektledare för Hållbara arbets- och tjänsteresor i Västerbotten kommer att berätta om Cykla och gå-kampanjer som en del i ett hållbart och hälsosamt resande hos deltagande kommuner och företag.

Eventet arrangeras av InterregNord-projektet GRUDE – Green Rural Economy.

Anmäl dig senast den 21/4 till (namn, e-post, kön, organisation).


Onko vihreää bisnestä olemassa? 15/4/2021

Suomi on sitoutunut hiilineutraaliustavoitteisiin ja vähähiiiliseen yhteiskuntaan. Mitä tämä tarkoittaa yrityksille, yrittäjille ja yrittämisen mahdollisuuksille ja edellytyksille? Onko vihreää bisnestä olemassa ja onko se kannattavaa?

Tapahtumassa mukana huikea asiantuntijakaarti – muun muassa Elinkeinoelämän keskusliiton toimitusjohtaja Jyri Häkämies! Tervetuloa kuulolle ja keskustelemaan 15.4.2021 klo 13.00-15.00!

Lisätiedot tapahtumasta:

Grude-hanke järjestää tapahtuman yhteistyössä VähäC ja Väppi -hankkeiden kanssa.

Service Design in Municipalities 30/3/2021

Service Design, or user-driven innovation, how could it be used in Public Sector and with the aim to create more sustainability? Listen to inspiring examples from Sweden and Finland.


  • SARA TUNHEDEN, Project Manager at Innovationsguiden (The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions)
    Sara will give us an introduction to the topic. What is Service Design in public sector and how could it be used?
  • JAN KEMI, Project Manager at Folkverkstan
    The Interreg-project Folkverkstan aim to create local meeting points for sustainability. A place where you could repair and upcycle your gear. Folkverkstan are trying to create a “cookbook” for repair of everyday products, based on service design.
  • KARI LÄMSÄ, Service Manager of Helsinki Central Library Oodi
    Kari Lämsä has been involved with the planning of Oodi from the beginning, and his area of responsibilities at Oodi are its partners, events, and premises. Kari is particularly interested in how Oodi’s service design and participatory projects change the physical space and customer service.
  • HANNU RIPATTI, Business Creative at Passi & Ripatti Oy
    Hannu has over 20 years of experience in development, marketing and service design. In addition to project work for clients, Hannu is a sought after speaker, coach and workshop facilitator on topics such as service design and customer experience.

Register by 29th of March the latest. Registration:

Hajajätevesilietteet hyötykäyttöön 23/3/2021

Webinaarin ohjelma:
9.00 Tervetulosanat ja hankkeen esittely, Hajajätevesilietteet hyötykäyttöön Itä-Lapissa-hanke, Laura Luusua ja Paula Tarkka
9.10 Ravinteiden kierto ja kiertotalous, Luke, Satu Ervasti
9.30 Ravinteiden kierrätys haja-asutusalueilla, SYKE, Vuokko Laukka
10.20 Jätevesilietteitä koskeva lannoitevalmistelainsäädäntö, Ruokavirasto, Marja Lehtolainen
10.55 Lietteen omatoimista käsittelyä koskevan ohjeen esittely, Hajajätevesilietteet hyötykäyttöön Itä-Lapissahanke, Laura Luusua ja Paula Tarkka
11.15 Keskustelua ja kysymyksiä
11.30 Tilaisuus päättyy

Katso lisätietoja osoitteesta:

Interview with Wiebke Reim

We had a chat with Doctor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Luleå University of Technology (Sweden), Wiebke Reim.

Hi Wiebke! You where on of our highly appreciated keynote speakers during our latest Camp ”MORE FROM LESS – making rural arctic sidestreams more profitable” – what are your key take aways from the event?
It was a great event and it is so nice to see that there is such a big interest in these questions that are about circular economy and especially rural arctic side streams that also is of major interest in our research. It was also great to hear about all the fantastic examples and great initiatives that are already ongoing here in the arctic region.

You seem to be involved in many projects related to Circular Economy and Circular Business Models, how come you find that field so interesting and urgent?
Business and also research has previous mainly been focusing on corporate social responsibility (CSR) where companies should do good thinks for the society and the environment in addition to their normal business. But with the logic of circular economy and circular business models it is possible to achieve economic, social and environmental benefits simultaneously and I think that that is necessary in order to convince that majority of companies to engage in the transition to a more sustainable business.

At the Greennovation Camp you presented the SYMBIOMA-project, could you tell us a little more about it and what you have learned so far?
Symbioma is funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) Program and together with researchers and companies from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Ireland we want to improve the valorization of industrial food waste. We have seen large differences between the countries of how the utilization of food waste is organized. The partner countries have much to learn from each other and there is a huge potential to collaborate. We are also developing a technology innovation platform (TIP) at where you can identify possibilities for valorization of the food waste that your company is producing. The project is very exiting and has created a lot of attention which shows that side streams need to be better utilized.

In the event you presented a few business cases that you have worked with in the project, is there something that you would like to highlight?
It is fantastic to see all the innovative companies that turn challenges into solutions, and it is important to communicate these good examples to other companies and to facilitate collaboration.


Is it possible for other companies to be involved in the project if they find it interesting?
Yes, of course. They can contact me ( for more information and we are looking for companies that have good processes and technologies to make use of their side streams in food production and those that would like to improve the handling of their side/waste streams.

In 2019 your doctoral thesis won a price as “the best thesis of the year” by Vattenfall. Could you give a short summary of what it says and why you think it’s so accurate right now?
My thesis was about the implementation of new business models with a particular focus on risk management and collaboration. The knowledge from the thesis is now used to work with circular business models where the collaboration with other actors is a major factor for the success. In addition, only with a well-developed business model it will be possible to achieve the goal of the circular economy by creating economic, social, and environmental benefits simultaneously.

If you where to predict the soon future in business modeling – what do you see?
I see that business models need to become better in accounting for collaborations and partnerships where the business model also goes beyond the own company boundaries. I also see that we need to become better in highlighting the environmental and social value that a business model is creating and capturing. In addition, it is important to communicate that the business model components of value creation, value delivery and value capture need to be aligned and that changes in one component also will have an impact on the other components.

Anything else you would like to add?
It was a great experience to be part of the Greenovation Camp and I look forward to future events and activities from the Grude community.

Thank you for taking time Wiebke and good luck in all your future projects!

Business Opportunities in Green Economy 17/3/2021

Business opportunities in green economy

What could a Green – and Circular Economy offer in terms of new business opportunities? Get inspired by experts and startups from Finland and Sweden.


  • HENNING GILLBERG, Founder of Repamera
    The circular startup Repamera call themselves “the tailor of all Sweden” since they work with an online based platform and serves all Sweden with repairservices for different types if garments. They recently started a cooperation with H&M and are now present in H&M stores with their bags.
  • JUHO SÄRKIJÄRVI, Arctic Rental
    Through his company, people can enjoy the arctic wilderness alone or with friends using high quality rented equipment suited for all seasons.
  • JOHANNA KUTUNIVA, Project Manager at CircLab
    Johanna Kutuniva is working in Ii Micropolis Ltd. They have a nutrient demonstration environment, CircLab, and are also building a company network around circular economy.
  • PETER NILSSON, Marketing Manager at Smart Recycling
    Smart Recycling is reinventing the way recycling works in your neighbourhood by making it smart and digital – and more resource efficient.
  • JARI MARJETA, Marjetas Oy
    Marjetas Oy incorporates circular design in providing services to improve municipal roadways in an economically responsible way.

Register by 16th of March the latest. Registration:

Circular Business Innovations from the Northern Arctic Areas

Greennovation Camp flyer

Summary of Greennovation Camp Keynote Speakers

The third virtual Greennovation Camp in the Interreg Nord-project GRUDE was held on Tuesday 9 Feb 2021. The focus of the event was on the utilization of sidestreams in rural Arctic areas and the day was kicked off by three keynote speakers from all of the three countries collaborating in the GRUDE project: Norway, Sweden and Finland.

This blog text will sum up the most interesting points in the keynote presentations. In case you would like to dig deeper into circular business models or the role of public sector in facilitating circular economy, check out the following links to our other blog posts about the Greennovation Camp group discussions where the participants presented several inspiring cases about these topics!

Group discussion 1: Public Sector Facilitating Circular Economy
Group discussion 2: Circular Business Models

Wiebke Reim: Circular Business Models and the Business Ecosystem – The Valorization of Food Waste

Wiebke Reim from Luleå University of Technology introduced us the Symbioma project. The objective of the project is to establish a circular economy related Technology Innovation Platform (TIP) which would boost eco-innovation in the Northern Arctic area by identifying new products from sidestreams, adopting new business models and forming resource efficient value chains.

In creating a more sustainable, circular economy Wiebke emphasized the importance of rethinking the values that businesses are based on. She also presented some great examples of circular business models, one of them being a piloting carried out in cooperation with Botten Vikens brewery.

In this experiment spent grain was used for cultivation of mealworms for chicken farms. In addition to reducing waste, the mealworms use up the water, naturally in the spent grain, so it can be further utilized as an odourless fertilizer. Furthermore, using mealworms as chicken food, offers a locally produced, sustainable option for soya.

According to Wiebke the implementation of circular business models requires:

  1. Understanding the need for transformation and rethinking the company’s core values
  2. Identifying current resource streams and potential for change
  3. Finding suitable partners and technology in the business ecosystem
  4. Understanding that circularity can look very different and everyone can contribute.

Reetta Nivala: Growth by Recycling

Reeta Nivala works as a Business Development Manager in the company Honkajoki Oy which is Finland’s leading processor of animal by-products. The goal of Honkajoki is to reduce, reuse and recycle waste produced by slaughterhouses and meat-cutting plants. At Honkajoki the waste is processed into organic raw materials that can be used for animal and fish feed, pet food, fertilizer, cosmetics industries, chemicals, as well as, fuel and biodiesel.

Reeta explained that only approx. 34 % of a cow is consumed as a part of the human diet in the Western countries whereas the rest of the animal (consisting of fat, bones, inner organs, intestinal content, etc.) is typically considered only as waste.

In addition to reducing waste and enhancing circular economy, the utilization of animal by-products has many other benefits. Firstly, the materials processed at Honkajoki are easily traceable across the industry which makes them safe to use. Secondly, the thorough utilization of by-products effectively prevents diseases from spreading, and finally, adds value to the meat production value chain.

Jan Gabor: World Class Green Industrial Park

Jan Gabor works with property development in Mo Industrial Park, which is the largest energy recycling project that the Norwegian Research Council has ever issued. There are 114 companies located in the Industrial Park and their industry sectors vary from metal and material as the largest sector to oil, gas and energy sector, food and chemical sector, as well as, industry clusters.

The main objectives of the project are:

  1. to reduce specific energy use by 20-30% and
  2. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10%

Jan also presented several specific initiatives which are a part of the Industrial Park project. These initiatives aim to model and optimize integrated energy systems in industrial parks. For example, in a project called CO2 HUB Nordland, Mo industrial park has worked with several large Norwegian companies from different sectors and helped them capture their CO2 off-gas. After capturing the CO2,it is either permanently stored in old oil deposits in the seabed in the Northern Sea or used in production of new products.

There is also a plan to establish an electrolysis production plant in Mo industrial park where hydrogen and CO2 could be combined as methanol which works as a carbon-neutral, synthetic option for gasoline. According to Jan, transitioning to use methanol or other types of e-fuels would mean up to 94 % reduction in CO2 emissions.

If you’re interested in circular economy and would like to learn more, please join us in the next Greennovation Camp on 11 May 2021. Our theme for next time will be Sustainable Tourism.

We’ll be posting more info soon on our Facebook page.

Hoping to see you in May! 😊

Blogpost by:
Henna Kukkonen,
Lapland University of Applied Sciences