Idea Born in Co-Creation Workshop in Turku: Pink Benches to Spark up Conversations

One of the goals of the Turku pilot is to reduce loneliness and exclusion. They have a vast impact on the experience of inclusion and participating.

To beat loneliness and exclusion Turku pilot has teamed up with other organizations and projects. City of Turku, Parish of Turku and Kaarina and NGO Tukenasi ry coordinates together campaign called Tykkää turkulaisesta! (Like Us in Turku) that aims to reduce loneliness. 

Co-creation workshop to find ways to tackle loneliness 

The Turku pilot was offered an opportunity to organize a co-creation workshop together with the Tukenasi ry as a part of the 'Tykkää turkulaisesta!' campaign. The aim was to brainstorm new innovative ways to reduce loneliness and to bring together different stakeholders to implement the ideas. The workshop was open to everyone, for example, residents, NGOs, and SMEs.

– In the workshop, we utilized the online workshopping methods we were introduced to in the Healthy Boost project. We used Mentimeter and one-to-one chats to catch the ideas, tells Turku pilot coordinator Eeva Hämäläinen.

Bright Pink Benches Encouraged People to Chat

One idea that emerged during the workshop was to have benches that encourage people to chat around the city and that way support social inclusion.

– Within the Healthy Boost project, we piloted the idea by putting two bright pink campaign benches in two parks. The benches were a great success, people shared pictures of them in social media and I know that one NGO had events around them, says Hämäläinen.

There was text printed on the benches to encourage people to talk. The sticker on the bench told that it was a part of the Healthy Boost project and Tykkää turkulaisesta! campaign.

The benches delighted the city residents during the summer. With the fall, they were given new use when a local mall approached us and asked if they could get benches in their hallways for the winter.

Other ideas that emerged during the workshop have been implemented by other participants of Tykkää turkulaisesesta! campaign. For example, some participants organize urban hitchhiking.