The cultural strategy process was initiated at a stakeholder event, during the event tour of the European Cultural Capital project of Tampere and Tampere region in the spring of 2019. The officials leading the Cultural Capital project needed strategic help to accomplish the project and asked Pentagon Design’s experts to design and execute a co-creation process based on strategic service design to form the new cultural strategy.
The aim was to include the expertise of citizens, stakeholders, experts in the field of culture and the City’s officials in the development work. As the cultural strategy was formed through an inclusive co-creation process, it is expected to respond to real needs, expectations and challenges that the citizens have, and also to increase the commitment of everyone to reach the shared objectives of the strategy.
The co-creation process was based on the participatory methods of strategic design; solution-focused dialogue; formation of shared objectives as well as advancing the participation, agency and voice of the citizens. Our role was to help the working committee responsible for the strategy to design the participatory and inclusive co-creation process; to create a qualitative inquiry for the experts of the cultural field and the City’s officials; to design and facilitate co-creation workshops for stakeholders and the City’s officials; to analyze and synthetize all material to form the basis for the strategy; to create the first draft of the Cultural Strategy including the structure, central themes, key contents and messages.
We created orientation material for the co-creation workshops by synthesizing the key information regarding the City’s strategy, the cultural strategy process and relevant future phenomena and trends. Workshop participants worked in small groups using templates that were designed to help the definition of central themes, objectives, and principles of the cultural strategy. In addition, workshop participants defined the criteria and impact goals for a successful cultural strategy.
The cultural strategy draft was reviewed and commented in different City units and public and stakeholder events. Most comments made by the citizens of Tampere emphasized the accessibility of culture and the need for space for self-organized cultural activity.
The central themes of the new cultural strategy of Tampere are cultural equality and inclusivity, supporting of cultural operators, cultural heritage and an internationally competitive experience offering. The strategy also highlights the importance of citizens’ self-organized activity as well as the meaning of culture in promoting wellbeing.
The first draft of the cultural strategy that we produced received excellent feedback and served as a starting point for discussions and commenting with stakeholders in the finishing phase of the strategy. Based on the discussions and comments the strategy document was finalized into the Cultural Strategy of Tampere 2030 that will be steering the City’s sustainable growth through culture.