Civic Engagement in Finland

March 14, 2023
A new podcast explores innovative models abroad
"How do we cultivate solidarity across difference? How do we help people to find their power to create change, together? These are the burning questions of my visit," said Sylvia Gale, executive director of UR's Bonner Center for Civic Engagement.

Gale, who was awarded a Mid-Career Professional Development Award from the Fulbright Finland Foundation, is spending the spring semester in Finland with a 150-year-old social services organization, the Deaconness Foundation, and one of the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland, Tampere University.

At Tampere University of Applied Sciences, two hours north of Helsinki, Gale is co-teaching a master's class in the "Community Programs and Multicultural Development" program.

At the Deaconness Foundation in Helsinki, she is immersed in the work of their civic action and community programs team and spending time at the Deaconess Foundation's "D-Stations" across the city, publicly described as "a community’s meeting place open to everyone." 

Gale is sharing short weekly reflections on Finnish civic engagement practices and life in the northern European country on a new podcast. 

Listen to weekly episodes here. Gale will return to Richmond in July.