Regina Gensinger


Tomorrow Together

design for government

policy informing

service design

Tomorrow Together is a framework that aims to influence retirement policy-making and plan for a retirement that aligns with citizens' visions. This is achieved through the implementation of multi-party collaboration, public trust, and predictive governance.


Finish Digital Population and Data Services (DVV) and Ministry of Finance (VM)


Exchange Semester in MA Creative Sustainability @Aalto University, Design for Government course


Uyanga Baasankhuu, Camila Hergatacorzia,  Xiaolin Jiang

my responsibilities

Research, Framing Design Interventions, Workshop facilitation, Visualitions


Designing for a Dignified Old Age

Design for Government is a practice-based course from Aalto University under the Creative Sustainability Master program. Every year groups of students work together with a partner Finnish ministry on a brief the ministry assigns. This year, our group partnered with the Digital Population and Data Services (DVV) and Ministry of Finance (VM) to work on the brief “Life-events services for a Dignified Old Age” which is linked to DVV and VM ongoing project DigiCompas.

[main research insight]

Retirement will not be the same for everyone and is shaped by previous stages of ones life

Our research focused on understanding the future of retirement from a life-courses perspective, which lead us to two main findings. First, retirement will not be the same for everyone, what can be good for some, might be the opposite for others. Second, the way we experience retirement and old age is shaped by experiences in previous stages of our lives.

Individual's life course plays a detrimental role in perceiving retirement in one's life. Retirement event is quite a positive event for individuals (...) whereas it might be the opposite for others (...)They will have different types of trajectories. One size will not fit all.
Researcher at Aging Population,
Research Group - University of Helsinki


Tackling delays by employing predictive governance

… through adopting dynamic life-course perspective into policy making

Tomorrow Together, is a model that adopts a dynamic life-course perspective in policy making. The model is founded on the values of multi-party collaboration, public trust, and predictive governance and aims to solve delays in the retirement system. The model's main objective is to influence policy making on retirement and other life events that can impact how citizens' visions for retirement are achieved.

& proposing the model “Tomorrow Together” for policy making

The model consists of four main stages that are Collaborating, Modelling, Partnering, and Agenda-setting for the policy of future retirement. While earlier stages put emphasis on generating research agenda with citizen, researcher, and civil servant participatory activities, later stages focus on taking actions with partner organisations and influencing policy-making directly or indirectly.

Tomorrow Together,
the four stages model

The model "Tomorrow Together" has three main goals. It aims to tackle delays by employing predictive governance and address diversity with multi-party collaboration. Additionally, it aims to positively influence the Finnish paradox, also known as citizens' trust in the government.

Setting up the project & launching the online platform

The process is planned to be led by the Ombudsman for Elderly People, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, as well as service designers of the Finish Digital Population and Data Services (DVV).

A crucial part of participation and inclusion is going to be an online platform on which all relevant information concerning the project gets publicly shared. The goal is transparency towards the public and a touchpoint for participation. Project owners make use of various existing platforms, such as Omastadi, OpenGov, and Howspace, to connect with citizens about their retirement vision.

Phase 1:

The collaboration stage consists of two participatory steps. The first one, a vision workshop, invites citizens to participate in workshops where they can co-create visions of retirement with the support of researchers, service designers and civil servants. To ensure a broad range of life experiences and diverse voices, the selection of citizens is based on participants’ heterogeneity with regard to their gender and age as well as other socio-demographic criteria. The output of the vision workshop is a pool of retirement visions that are published on the platform to initiate public discussions.

The following online commenting round enables a wider audience to raise their voices on the issue, which is hard to achieve with on site workshops. The comments are synthesised and integrated into the final visions for retirement, which are again uploaded to the platform.

As an example, we took the visions expressed by the questionnaire participants from our research and imagines that could be part of the  vision workshop. Of all of those visions, Let's pick up one to explain each of the following stages further: “Maintain healthy lifestyle”.

Phase 2:

The Modelling stage includes one participation round and a matching exercise in charge of DVV.  We call for a second round of participation in an ideation workshop with the purpose of facilitating the co-creation of concrete initiatives that answer "how" the visions could be achieved. After the workshop, DVV is in charge of matching these ideas with different life events.

Under the vision of “Maintaining healthy lifestyle” we imagined the following ideas could come up from the ideation workshop:

As we begin to explore how to realize the vision of a healthy retirement lifestyle, we recognize that concepts such as "Including exercise in formal settings" are not limited solely to retirement. Such ideas can be applied to at least four different life events, at which point policies can be implemented to support the achievement of this ideal retirement lifestyle.

Phase 3:

Formal partnerships with relevant institutions are established based on the match between ideas and life events. The goal is to connect these ideas and events with stakeholders who can take action. In this stage, DVV’s role is to identify partners relevant to each life event, based on the results of their ongoing project Digital Compass. To explore and reach out to potential partners, the DVV team can also use their own automated tools such as Aurora AI.

To incorporate exercise into formal settings and align it with the life event of building a career, potential partners may include the Ministry of Labor, public and private organizations, and labor unions.

Phase 4:

The newly formed partners will determine the agenda for influencing policy-making that directly or indirectly affects retirement.The roles of the project organizers, such as the Ombudsman for Elderly People, the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, and DVV, will become more passive. Partnering institutions are expected to study how their ongoing projects could be influenced by workshop ideas. The organizers will assist in this process by presenting opportunities and links to other benchmark examples. Lastly, they can follow up on the outcomes.

In the context of our example, this process could lead to the creation of a pilot program where employers offer paid exercise hours in the workplace.

Following up through constant feedback

The online platform continues to play an important role in the process. It serves as a means of communication and facilitates the visibility of actions taken. This keeps the participants informed, and at the same time, the project team is committed to carrying out the necessary actions.

For more information →download the full report


How we got there

To navigate the complexities of the given brief during the first phase, we took a mega trend perspective and organized our research into three main questions.

Research questions

How could ageing look like from a mega trend/future studies perspective?
What is the role of digitalisation in future retirement?
What is the “construct” of a dignified old age from the future generation’s perspective?

Methods used

- Interview with experts in Future Studies
- Interview with an expert in Ageing Populations

Secondary research
- 23 Academic articles
- 12 Government reports
- 26 Press articles

- 26 adults aged between 18 and 65+ years old answered how they imagined their retirement would look like

We used various sources, including affinity diagramming and data visualisation tools, to synthesise our findings. Our main insights were:

Future of dynamic lives

With demographic change, the predictable flow of life stages change, rather than having constant long careers that suited slow workplace changes, people would have several career breaks and reskilling, even repivoting their practices to fit the workplace demand as well as personal interests.

Healthcare transformation

With rapid technology development in the healthcare sector and decreasing number of care professionals, healthcare strategy turns to predictive prevention from reactive treatment, coming closer to individuals.

Importance of data in customised retirement planning

As people’s life situation varies widely, data is to play a revolutionary role in empowering people in the preparation for old age experiences.

Societal view of old age must change

Conscious and unconscious ageism in society prevents positive changes in employment extension and active ageing of transforming population demographics. However, future society puts value on age-friendliness.

Individual's life course plays a detrimental role in perceiving retirement in one's life. Retirement event is quite a positive event for individuals (...) whereas it might be the opposite for others (...)They will have different types of trajectories. One size will not fit all.
Researcher at Aging Population,
Research Group - University of Helsinki

We reframed these insights into two themes, that should guide the development of our model:

One size does not fit all

Retirement and old age are not the same for everyone, and we are moving away from a traditional lifespan model. Life-courses theories explore how changes in the frequency and timing of transitions over the life course have occurred in many advanced economies. These changes have implications for education, labor markets, retirement, and other social systems.

Better safe than sorry

Life events have a ripple effect, meaning that what happens in one stage of our life can affect the next. To achieve our goals in retirement or old age, we must start planning early. This applies to both personal habits, as seen in the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away", and policy strategies across fields such as health and migration. However, the current retirement system does not consider the increasing individuality and dynamic life courses of people today. Current policies tend to deal with the symptoms of the problem in a reactive manner rather than addressing the underlying causes of the problem through early intervention, which increases both the cost and difficulty of intervention compared to early intervention.

Stakeholder evaluation

After evaluating the insights with our stakeholders, we framed our goals:

Tackling delays by employing predictive governance

When thinking about the future of retirement, we believe a predictive approach can help to tackle delays in policymaking and prevent the complexity and expense of dealing with issues later. Decision-makers can prevent issues from becoming too tough to handle by capturing weak signals of emerging issues at an early stage and being prepared to act quickly. Predictive governance can also assist in anticipating and providing the services that future generations will require.

Addressing diversity with multi party collaboration

We propose multi-party collaboration as a core value in our model, as it allows for (a) democratising the decision-making process and (b) providing policymakers with relevant information. Tapping into the public's wisdom to the greatest extent feasible can bridge the country's vision with citizens' values and craft a more desirable future society for all.

Influencing the finnish paradox and public trust by citizens influence and transparency

Finally, the two aforementioned drivers led us to a third, which is a public trust. We believe that combining this value with predictive governance and multi-party collaboration could have a positive impact on what the OECD defines as the "Finnish paradox". This paradox states that while trust in public institutions and satisfaction with democracy are high, the percentage of people who believe they can influence political processes is low compared to countries with similar levels of trust (10).

Stakeholder co-creation

At last, we iterated and finalised our proposal:

Creating Tomorrow Together,  a model that adopts a dynamic life-course perspective in policy making.

After receiving input from our stakeholders and conducting several iterations with our core and class teams, we developed the "Tomorrow Together" model. We presented this model at a public event at Musiikkitalo in Helsinki.

Sharing the final proposal


Measuring the models success and incentivise citizens

Our model presents a high-level approach for merging life course perspectives in retirement policy-making. The abstract nature of the model makes it scalable not only for retirement but also for other life events influenced by previous stages of life courses.

However, the model needs a way to measure its success. To address this, we developed a list of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that can evaluate its effectiveness and alignment with core values. These measures can focus on evaluating both the process and outcomes. For example, a metric focusing on the process could evaluate collaboration through questionnaires assessing participant satisfaction. Examples of this can be found in Participatory and Co-Design literature (12). For outcomes, metrics could include the number of partnerships achieved or the traceability of how the process has influenced policy-making processes. However, the latter might be challenging to follow.

One critical issue to consider is how to incentivise citizens to use the platform. Our current assumption is that involving citizens across all stages of the process by providing consistent updates and encouraging them to participate in policy development can be an incentive itself.