What can you learn about the intersection of science and bureaucracy when you are tasked with merging seven government departments encompassing over 1,800 professionals? In this first conversation in our series, Tommi Laitio talks about the importance of scientific intermediaries in government and integrating scientific practices into bureaucracies to accomplish this task. He also speaks to the potential for governments to build trust with citizens by working with the scientific community to develop trustworthy methods. As the inaugural Bloomberg Fellow for Public Innovation, Tommi provides exciting practical examples on how to bridge the divides between the fields of science and bureaucracy by sharing insights into the mind of an award-winning creative bureaucrat, researcher, and self-proclaimed lover of bureaucracy.
Tommi Laitio is the inaugural Bloomberg Public Innovation Fellow at the Bloomberg Center for Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins University. The fellowship is an opportunity for innovative public sector leaders to take two years to reflect on their work and develop new knowledge.
Tommi Laitio brings to the fellowship a decade of senior city leadership experience from Helsinki. He joined the City of Helsinki as Director of Youth Affairs and was later elected as the first Executive Director of Culture and Leisure – with an overall responsibility for arts and culture, sports, public library, and youth work. Before joining the government, he worked for a think tank in Helsinki, ran a youth video festival in Amsterdam, and worked as a newspaper journalist.
During his two-year fellowship at Johns Hopkins, he speaks and writes on his experience in public service and carries out new international research on the skills and practices local governments need for building partnerships for parks and public libraries.
Laitio holds an MA in Political Science from University of Helsinki and an EMBA from Aalto University.
Dr. Julia Stamm is the founder of The Futures Project (TFP), an international non-profit initiative to ensure that innovation and technology serve the needs of people and planet.
In November 2021, Julia received the Digital Female Leader Award, category Global Hero, for her work. Julia has long-standing leadership and management experience in national and international academic institutions and international organisations, such as European Cooperation in Science and Technology and the European Commission. She regularly advises national and international organisations and institutions on issues around science, policy & innovation.