Thomas L. Friedman describes the newest globalisation phenomena in his book aptly titled The World is Flat. The world is flatter; all regions have a level playing field in terms of commerce and competition. According to Friedman, the dynamic force of Globalisation 3.0 is the individual’s power to collaborate and compete globally. The change appears on the individual level and “the spirit moves substance” not vice versa!
Only in Europe there operates hundreds of different types of cluster, competitiveness, entrepreneur and innovation organizations. Every organization’s aim is to differentiate its activities trying to tempt new members to commit to their operations and share their experiences. But wouldn’t we be stronger cooperating in bigger entities? And shouldn’t we focus to “build the world without walls” rather cooperating than constantly combating and trying to destroy or disrupt other organisations efforts?
Today various functional networks and also regions ignore administrative or geographical borders. Especially smaller countries, like Finland, need larger entities. Finland as one of the five Nordic and one of the ten Baltic countries, situated in Northern Europe builds systematically larger entities. Despite of its remote location and only 5,2 million people, Finland has still succeeded over many years to be one of the world’s most competitive countries.
Its location in the heart of Baltic Sea Region (BSR) and Barents Region offers new opportunities in this innovative region and in many emerging markets, like technology, natural resources and health care.
It is not a coincidence, that the EU Committee of the Regions labelled Helsinki-Uusimaa as the European Entrepreneurial Region (EER) 2012. The award served as recognition to those areas with the most credible plan of action promoting entrepreneurship with realistic foresight and outstanding political vision. In its application, Helsinki-Uusimaa Region emphasized that tomorrow’s entrepreneurship will increasingly be founded on expertise, higher education and specialization.
The particular strength of the region stems from the collaborative partnership between enterprises, education institutions and the public sector. In the future, the region will be a sustainably competitive, secure and attractive metropolitan area in the Baltic Region with its 120 million population.
Helsinki, as the capital city of Finland, is a typical example of nowadays successful “city alliances”. A sector that is clearly gaining in importance beside the entrepreneurship within the Helsinki Metropolitan Area is design. As Mr. Jussi Pajunen, the Mayor of Helsinki City states: “Helsinki´s passion for designing good life for our citizens received a great recognition, when we were nominated to carry the title of World Design Capital in 2012. Thanks to a uniquely broad consortium of private and public partners Helsinki was able to present a shared vision and will in its bid”.
With profound cooperation and connecting several forces beyond industrial, geographical and governmental boundaries rather than combating, Helsinki has succeeded to forge and nourish innovative environment not only for its citizens, but also for its companies and those millions of international business visitors arriving Helsinki every year.
In May 2011, hundreds of competitiveness, cluster, entrepreneurship and innovation experts from nearly 50 countries gathered together at INSME (International Network for SMEs) Annual Meeting in Helsinki to share their valuable experiences. Organizing INSME Annual Meeting, it has been one of good examples of fruitful cooperation between different types of organisations and regions from several countries in terms of creativity, innovation, competitiveness, culture and dynamics.
However it is an illusion to think that all cooperation is always smooth and flexible. When we gain success in our efforts, it might raise up also jealously, bitterness and combating. Isn’t that old anecdote so right when saying: “you don’t get 500 million friends without making a few enemies”. It is beneficial to be aware of those few enemies and be grateful that they keep us alert when at the same time focus on those 500 million friends, respect them, cherish their relationship and build future environment in fruitful cooperation!
Commit to forge a new competitiveness, entrepreneurial and innovation culture! Commit to be a forerunner, a trailblazer, who is “the decisive drop”, that makes the change!