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Supporting the Integration of Immigrants Through Innovation and Joint Development

The goal of Toivola-Luotolan Setlementti Ry was to organize an innovation day as part of the ESR-funded Aito project, which promotes the integration of immigrants. In the Aito project, a new kind of regional operating method is being built between parties working with immigrants. The project creates new tools and practices for promoting the integration of immigrant families between the municipalities of Sea Lapland.

“We started preparing for the innovation day with an initial survey. Experts in early childhood education, basic education and refugee guidance were asked to describe the current operating methods, challenges and identified development needs related to dealing with immigrants. Through the initial survey, we identified five themes with the highest development needs,” says Taskmill’s Elina Jolma.

“We set out to build an innovation day around these five themes, because they were associated with the greatest development needs when it came to meeting immigrant families. During the innovation day, we also wanted to put an emphasis on networking between municipalities and the promotion of multi-professional cooperation, and this was realized nicely. About 30 people from four different municipalities participated in the day,” says Elina Vettenranta, project manager of the Aito project.

On the innovation day, experts in early childhood education, basic education and refugee guidance were divided into five multi-professional groups. Each group was able to come up with solutions around five themes. A lot of new ideas were born, and at the same time there was also networking and sharing of best practices between municipalities, which was one of the biggest goals of the day.

“After the ideation phase, the groups could choose the two most important ideas from each theme, which we set out to apply on a more concrete level. The participants were asked to think about how the idea would affect encountering of immigrant families and what kind of value the idea would bring to the encounter. In addition, we weighed the feasibility of the ideas. During the group work, you could feel a palpable enthusiasm and liveliness”, says Elina Jolma.

“As a result of the innovation day, we came up with dozens of new ideas and, in addition to these, ten epics that were taken further. The innovation day was successful. The facilitator was familiar with the topic, helped the day progress naturally and everything happened on schedule. The participants also gave good feedback about the day. It has been easy and natural to work with Taskmill. I have been able to trust that everything will go as agreed. Our cooperation continues even after the innovation day”, says Elina Vettenranta.

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