OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more


Pölhölandia is a place of peace and harmony with nature.

Photo of Riikka Kallio
2 1

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name


Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

Website of Legally Registered Entity

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • Under 1 year

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?


Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?


Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Helsinki the capital city of Finland, located at southern Finland, next to the baltic sea and covers area of 213,8 km²

What country is your selected Place located in?


Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

Finland is my home. Helsinki is my city. I am 5fth generation Helsinki resident and a native. We native Helsinki residenst even talk different dialect than the others. 

I know the streets of Helsinki like they're my pockets. There is not a suburban area of Helsinki I haven't been.

Helsinki city plays also a big part of my past, as my first summerjob was with the city of Helsinki, working in the biggest powerplant in Finland.  Helsinki gave me education also, and for this free education is something I am so gratefull for as it is not something that enyone can take for granted. 

 Helsinki gave me also a place I can call home. I've traveled trough the world, seen many places, and still my heart and soul is here. I am one of the luckiest souls in the planet as I get to develop my vertical garden urban farm in here, Helsinki.

I feel like I have everything to give back to my city.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

 Finland is the happiest contry in the wold but same time all the finns are prone to listen heavy metal songs, act horrified if their neibourg says hi to them and almost panic if you have to go to the same elevator with complitely stanger. Still we offer to ypur guest everything we have and are really warm people after the first ice will melt.

Helsinki is the capital city of Finland and has been the capital since 1550. Helsinki is up north if you look from the eyes of european but there's no polar bears or reindeers walking in our city, even it tends to get so cold in the wintertime. 

Helsinki is the heart of education, business, art, culture and politics. The people of Helsinki is colourfull and diverse nowadays and most of people migrated here from contry side after education or jobs. Now you are begining to see more

foreigners coming and changing the faces in the Helsinki really fast. Helsinki is getting more diversed and more and more people are trying to have a peace of the happy life.

Helsinki residents are open minded, use public transportation and do shopping in malls. In the city area everything is at walking distance but when you move more to the suburbans the distancies between a home and a grosery store is getting further but still Helsinki is a city that has perfect urban planning with absolute fresh air, green parks and so many beaches, as the city is hugging the Baltic sea. Helsinki city center is only 2 km² so most of the 215 km² is suburban rural areas, mixed in with nature.

Helsinki has all four seasons. Summertime we have 19 hours of light but in the winter time, we could only have 6 hours. Livin in the wintertime here in Helsinki really needs Sisu, that all the finns has in them blood to survive up here in the north.

We have ritch food culture and we are more and more adopting the idea of street foods and food trucks as well. One of my favourite example of the food culture is an event that invites the whole city to have a dinner with each other and the streets of Helsinki changes into a big dining table. In the cuisine we have a long traditions with fishing and have so many different and unique dishes to enjoy, even if we are not so proudly explaining how to make it. Food is getting more processed and also these traditional treats are getting the same treatment and the culture is losing it's makers, you have to ask your granmom a recipe now!

Helsinki has small industry around food. Mostly it focus on brewing companies or bakeries and such small companies that are making small niche treats for niche markets. The biggest industial areas in Helsinki are in Pitäjänmäki and Roihupelto, mostly these place is ruled by big companies. Both are located from the center within 10 km. Helsinki basicly has no agriculture. There is over 420 acres of fields owned by the city and used as a meadows.

One peculiar strait about Helsinki is also seen in Itäkeskus eastern side of the city. There is a place completely out of this world and by visiting there is like you go visit in middle east, all the faces are foreignes. Kauppakeskus Puhos has around 20-30 different ethnic shops and restaurants for these people coming from somewhere else.

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)


What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?


Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Our soil impoverishment is hapening fast, water recourses are getting short and climate is changing the lenght of the season and it is changing also the crop that is getting cultivated here. The season is getting longer means that we could have more varieties that can be cultivate here, but if we continue using fossil fuels as a recourse we will see faster depletion of the soil our food security could crash all toghether. 

Helsinki and Finland is depending on importing the food from Europe, making the distances from farm to table even longer and more heavy on the system. We have to make our food system self-sufficient. In the future more problems will arise as the climate keep changing and it will affect the farming industry the most. If we do not figure out the solution how we are going to keep up with the farming as usuall that we can continue feeding our animals so we can keep continue eating them, the result will be cathastrofic as most of the animal feed comes abroad, and then we are making us affected by markets and maket changes. Urgen actions is needed to gain self-sufficiency so we keep continue producing good quality protein for us to eat. 

Our national dietary guidances is said that we need to eat milk and meat, this guidance is a challenge for our health and environment. Average Finnish person consume 2,5-3 times more natural resourses as they should be and we do not see theend of this. We do have lively discussion about making Finland carbon neutral by the year 2030 by cutting the carbon emissions, but we desperately need a mindset change in here or we don't see any change in our emissions. Main components of finnish diets is a protein source from an animal, some dairy and grains and we know this is not sustainable for the environment but also not sustainable for the healt of human.

Finland has a trauma of financiall cricis in the 90's and it has left a mark in the mindset of finnish people making everyone feel that the recources are now in scaresity. For example one municipal in the central Finland had a emergency about groundwater getting too low and after the city municipal informed the residents about the treath of the water level that it is facing, people started to hoard the water making it more scarse! This is the scarcity mindset that is in my opinnion the most biggest threat that we are facing right now everywhere and talking about the fossil fuels getting depleted is only making this mindset stick more. This will cause also challenges in the futere as well. This scarsity mindset is holding us back in every areas. In the political field, as well as economical field. 

Many other challenges is related the georgraphy of Helsinki and it's location with the Baltic sea. Sealevel is going to be rising in the future, right now we do not have any issues with it but we will start seeing issues relating to this matter as well. The baltic sea also plays big role because eutrophication is happening very fast and if we do not fix the situation with the sea, we are losing the diversity of nature but also one point of acces to food that the sea could give us.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

In my vision the challenges are all behind, we have now moved to different era with how we are with nature, the resources are now beeing used as balance with nature, we have learnd how to utilisate the nature not exploit it. We have learned to use the natural rythms of natures own systems, we have gone pass from recycling to upcycling and totally moved to circular economy.

In the future we do hold the key of co-existing here in the planet with harmony with nature. We allready have technology and knowledge how to.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

I go to the first floor of my apartment house and open the door to the community garden we have set up with my neighbours. It's my turn to check all the systems and feed the fish in the aquaponics. I put checks in the checklist about mushrooms, microgreens, leafy greens and everything else we grow here, and everything with the systems seems to be fine and running perfectly. I start to smile because we just have broke a new record with how much we can produce food for our community. No one gets hungry anymore.

I remember my first though about the community garden and it was not so supportive as it is now because the times were so unsure and everything about new food systems got a lot of opposition by big commercial farms, maybe it was the fear in me who was talking? But the fossil fuel era was going to come to an end. 

All the fields of Helsinki has now switched for shared used with the residents, every available space is now given to it's residents and not hold by the city. There is only suggestions and advises how to use the land. We have gone to a model where our agriculture has changed to circular economy and they are now starting to realise how much more work we need to regenerate the earth soil. The baltic sea is now under protection as we declare it as a national treasure. Helsinki has perfect examples of how you farm your food with the community in urban gardens just like our apartment house have. Some has bigger, some has smaller, the model is everywhere the same.

Seppo, my neighborg, comes in to the garden and tells me about the situation with the bioreactor that we just build for our whole suburban area. He is in a good mood because now we can really harvest all the nutrients we leave behind with our water systems. No need to buy extra suplementation for our gardens inside and outside! This day is getting even better! How we did understand that even the water coming from the rain is usefull to circle around the system and use it to wash the toilets! Our apartment house had a pilot with collecting all the water and clean it and put it back to the system. How much clean water we save by doing this!

I go back home after the system check, I am feeling bit hungry so I will eat some food now. I check my app with how I am going to feed myself and what is my biorythm. Even we do have 3D printing and you can use that for print out the food, I am so called oldschool-person and I have always liked to cook my food from the scratch, so I will be only using it to sprinkle some nutrients on the top of my dish. Anyway the materials is expensive and somehow I still like to eat my nutrients inside the food itself. My health flourish now because I can keep track of it and have more foreshadowing with different things. I can't believe I am 67 years old. I feel better than my twenties.

After the lunch I start to orientate to my work. My work is actually very fun, even I am almost about to retire I still continue to produce and give back. This time I have a class of history with young people under 20 that is willing to learn about the life before we started the circular economy era. They also want to hear about the big wold war in the year 2025 that really changed the planet most. I have to explain to them what is capitalism and how it did not worked and what it did to our planet. I put my virtual glasses and jump into the virtual classroom.

After the class it is time to take out the trash. Luckily nowadays we have a communal system how we take care of our trashes, a nice pyrolytic oven to burn all the plastic into small beads that we can sell to big companies that needs them in them productions to new materials. Somehow it is nice to think that my trash has a new life. All the organic waste is used to make compost out of it to warm our apartement building and to grow new vegetables. Why we ever even rely on electricity to warm our houses? Zero waste is now present everywhere, no trash is seen anymore and I just read an article about landfills are getting empty as we had started to utilise the old trashes into new things. Getting the plastic out from the oceans and forests.

Oh and here is Jaana, my other neighbour who had issues with her health, but turning into pesco-vegetarian Jaana has lost so much weight and started to have a control over her own health. I think she was the only one still eating meat, even the meat was grown in a lab. They can't make meat healthy even they grow it in the labs. Animal fat is animal fat, you can't change it and it will affect your health. She is happy for the first times in weeks now. She says her thanks to me and adds that she is so happy I did not push my opinions to her about the food. To Jaana I only say "I am glad that you tried the new diet for your own good". Even we have gone so far with our systems, but still we are all humans and need each other to help and care. This is how humans are.

Techology has took us so far. We can use AI to make better communal decisions in real time, no need for politicans. Logarithms has teached us how to use democracy in different ways to have solutions more complex problems. Now the people in earth has more connection to others than ever before. We are more open with other countries and more happy to help out. After the big mix in the people leaving them homes because of the climate change, we had to really think how we can support the whole planet and the countries who had a lot of immigrants coming in. I am glad we did it, now people has more oportunities to provide to the community because we are now thinking more about the energy that we put in, than the money we are using.

Now it is time to go to the garden once more today, to harvest and share the crop. The fish are not yet ready, but we can eat tempeh that we made out with the thermal radiation of our garden and anyway it is better to eat the fish at the end of the season, when we can't eat the vegetables, legumes and grain we grown outside. Or we can trade with other comminities if we really want fish. Also we can still eat the 3D printed meat, but I am wondering who eats it anymore? Microgreens are plenty for everyone and for the animals as well. I am so happy I started to change the way we see how we grow our food and living with nature. Abudance is ever present.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • A magazine article


Join the conversation:

Photo of Itika Gupta

Hi Riikka Kallio  Great to see you joining the Prize!

We noticed your submission is currently unpublished. Was this your intention? We'd love to have your submission included in the Prize. Even if you've not started populating your Vision just yet, by publishing your submission you can make it public for other teams in your region to see, get in touch and possibly even collaborate with you.

You can publish it by hitting the "Publish" button at the top of your post. You can also update your Vision at any time before 31 January 2020 by clicking on the "Edit Contribution" on top. If you need inspiration or guidance, take a look at the Food Vision Prize Toolkit.
Here is the link to the Prize Toolkit:

Look forward to seeing your Vision evolve through the coming weeks.

Photo of Riikka Kallio

Hi there!
I am not a native speaker so I am having issues regarding the translations. So many big words I dont know yet. But I am sure about to press the publish before the date! Slowly getting there! Thanks! :)