Mission and vision

The Finnish Expert Panel for Sustainable Development is an independent body which helps to lead Finland towards sustainable development by adding scientific and ethical views to decision-making processes and societal dialogue. The fourteen expert members of the panel represent a broad range of scientific fields, universities, and research institutions.

The panel helps to identify systemic problems associated with sustainability and potential ways to solve them. Furthermore, the panel aims to accelerate and predict societal changes that will enhance human wellbeing, while safeguarding the environment. The panel seeks to exert wide-ranging influence in society, and its special task is to support the Finnish national Commission on Sustainable Development, which is an influential forum consisting of societal decision-makers and chaired by the Prime Minister.

The panel aims to take Finland towards a globally sustainable society as follows:

  • We promote societal change that takes into account both the environment and human wellbeing.
  • We raise difficult but critical issues of sustainable development in public debate.
  • We help to find mutually complementary and fair solutions to conflicting sustainability goals. This is how we support long-term decision-making.

From experimenting to a fixed model

The first panel was set up and coordinated by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra in December 2013.

The first panel found its place in the field of Finnish sustainable development policy as an independent but critical voice of science. It worked in close cooperation with the coordination group for sustainable development and the National Commission on Sustainable Development and particularly focused on economic and wellbeing issues.

During the 2019-2022 panel period, the Expert Panel for Sustainable Development was coordinated by HELSUS, Luke and SYKE. The panel sought co-operation with other Finnish expert panels and with the European Environment and Sustainable Development Advisory Councils (EEAC).

Coordination of the Panel within the Prime Minister’s Office

The Government appointed the third Expert Panel for Sustainable Development for the term 2023-2025 on 15.12.2023, and from 2023 onwards the Expert Panel serves as an independent scientific panel in conjunction with the Prime Minister’s Office. The panelists represent their independent expertise and do not act as official representatives of their background organisations.

The previous host organisations HELSUS, Luke and SYKE continued to support the panel’s coordination work in 2023. In March 2023, Johanna Kentala-Lehtonen started as the Secretary General of the Expert Panel at the Prime Minister’s Office and has the main responsibility of coordinating the work of the panel.