How you can make a difference

This page features ready-made channels and communities through which you can influence matters that interest you.

Participate, discuss and make a difference

Young people’s participatory budgeting system RuutiBudjetti (for ages 12–17)

RuutiBudjetti enables you to influence young people’s hobby activities and your local area. In information gathering processes and at workshops, you can present your own proposals or take part in brainstorming with others. Votes and advisory boards enable you to comment and vote on other people’s ideas. Participants decide together which ideas will be implemented. 

Entire Helsinki’s participatory budgeting system OmaStadi (for everyone over the age of 12)

In OmaStadi, Helsinki spends €8.8 million on realising residents’ ideas. Together, the ideas are developed into proposals that all Helsinki residents aged 12 and above can vote on, after which the City will implement proposals with the most votes. Bring up your own idea or vote for the best of other people’s ideas to be implemented. 

Pupil and student bodies & Ruuti funding (for comprehensive school pupils and secondary education students)

By taking part in the activities of pupil and student bodies, you can influence the operations of schools and educational institutions. Ruuti funding (page in Finnish) is funding reserved for pupil and student bodies to use, and the use is decided on together. For example, Ruuti funding can be applied for to improve the comfort of the study environment. 

Voice of the Young Editorial Board (for ages 13–19)

As a member of the Voice of the Young Editorial Board (page in Finnish), you get to write articles for Finland’s foremost media outlets and generate discussion about matters that are important to you. No specific skills or training are required, as there are professional instructors involved and you will work on articles together with others! 

Young people’s initiatives (for ages 13–17)

Do you have a minor or major proposal that would affect the residents of your local area or the entire city? Submit an initiative (page in Finnish).Initiatives are forwarded to a City employee responsible for the matter, and all initiatives are replied to. For example, young people’s initiatives have led to the introduction of USB charging outlets on buses and a young people’s summer job voucher system. 

Feedback to the City and municipal initiatives (for people of all ages)

You can use the City of Helsinki’s feedback channel to send feedback, ask questions or submit development proposals. Your feedback will be replied to within five weekdays if possible. Helsinki residents of all ages can also submit initiatives concerning the City’s operations. The easiest way is to submit an initiative via the Kuntalaisaloite.fi online service (page in Finnish). 

Kaksi nuorta pöydän ääressä. Taustalla ohjaaja.

Vote, represent and make a difference

City of Helsinki Youth Council (for ages 13–17)

The City of Helsinki Youth Council (page in Finnish) is an influencer group consisting of thirty Helsinki residents aged 13–17 and appointed in an election every other year. The group influences matters that are important to young people in Helsinki. The next election will be held in the autumn of 2021. You can become a candidate, vote at a school or youth centre, or campaign to support a candidate. 

Elections

When you turn 18, you become eligible to vote in an election or become a candidate yourself. However, you can get involved in the activities of many political youth organisations before you turn 18. By voting, you can influence matters such as laws, the services of your home city and EU decisions. 

Participate and make a difference in non-governmental organisations

Helsinki is home to a wide variety of organisations and associations whose activities you can join to promote matters that are important to you. In associations, you can take part in activities such as various forms of voluntary work, influence societal matters and organise events and hobby activities for young people.