Savilahti Stage for Future Talk

What happens when science and research, competence and curiosity, youth and experience, locality and globality come together? The result is something entirely unique and open-minded. This will be made possible in the future by the Savilahti Stage.

Savilahti, one of the regional top-priority projects of Kuopio, is much more than the buildings constructed on the shores of Savilahti Bay. It is a huge network of significant competencies, also on a global level. The aim now is to make these competencies available to everyone and spark discussion around them.

“We need interaction and encounters to dis-cuss meaningful issues. Dialogue is what makes things develop, come together, take shape and start to turn into actions,” says Kirsi Soininen, Marketing Director of the City of Kuopio.

The dialogue will be set on the Savilahti Stage, which will be both a virtual and a physical venue.

According to Project Manager Antti Niskanen, the Stage perfectly embodies the vision of Savilahti in terms of communality. Savilahti is an area whose story is written by its residents together with various operators. The development of Savilahti not only about new buildings, but also about providing opportunities for what will take place in Savilahti.

“The aim is to build Savilahti into an interesting, functional district, but the idea is to also bring all sorts of life and content within its walls and along its streets. The Savilahti Stage sits well with this thought,” says Niskanen, summing up the concept.

Digital services now enable online encounters, meetings and interaction with the surrounding world, which is why the Savilahti Stage will start off as a virtual venue. In the future, it may well have a physical equivalent in Savilahti, which will serve as a platform for speeches, culture and various events.

Savilahti Spirit

Savilahti is characterized by a special Savilahti spirit, meaning openness and interaction that is typical of the community. The aim of the Stage is to facilitate dialogue in this culture of caring and communality and to share the competencies of the community for everyone to use. The key is to harness all competencies for the greater common good.

According to Soininen, it is important to start addressing meaningful issues, such as responsibility. The plans are to have the Stage adopt the “open stage” principle, where any topics can be freely brought up in addition to moderated discussions. The Stage takes its cue from Suomi Areena in Pori and Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park, London. They, too, serve as platforms for dialogue that gives voice to multiple perspectives.

“Dialogue should not only appear to be inclusive, but be genuinely open. It needs to adopt an ethical code based on the freedom of speech and equality. The dialogue must follow ethical and responsible guidelines,” says Soininen.

In a creative, open atmosphere, every encounter is an opportunity. The dialogue and events of the Stage will bring the entire spectrum of life to light.

“The idea of the Stage is a perfect expression of the Savilahti spirit: it develops activities in the area and provides opportunities for diverse encounters,” says Niskanen.

Savilahti Stage is glocal

Savilahti is a significant accumulation of intellec-tual capital and curiosity: students, researchers, entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists. When they are brought together, something unique is created – they enable dialogue, which gives rise to the birth and development of innovations.

The aim is to also facilitate international dialogue and cooperation through the Savilahti Stage. Although things take place in Savilahti, with the parties that are present there, the Stage is also connected to all corners of the globe.

The scientific community of Savilahti has a network of connections with hundreds of cities worldwide. On the other hand, it is extremely local for all those who study and work here. It is both local and global, i.e. glocal, to use a modern term.

Savilahti Stage is committed to continuous, open interaction both with the community in Savilahti and with its local and global network. Soininen envisions that anyone can feel like they can participate in the dialogue that takes place in Savilahti.

“For instance, our international networks can provide a speaker for a particular topic or some-one can follow the discussion and comment on it from the other side of the world.

”The discussions and events will be streamed live and also published as podcasts. Soininen hopes that the discussions will be so meaningful that people want to share them.

Like an inviting campfire

The Concept of Light adopted in Savilahti is an overarching idea of light everywhere in the district. Light can be seen in the names, art, design and lighting in the area as well as in how natural light is used. Light is also manifest in the Savilahti Stage as both the light of intelligence and the physical glow of the arena. Soininen compares the Stage to a campfire that invites people to gather around and share stories.

“Savilahti is not only an open community to the world, but also an open community within the city. It resembles a meeting place, similar to a campfire.

”Live events on the Stage can include panel discussions on various topics, events organized by students and culture and art. The aim is to organize the first Savilahti Stage on the Day of Light, 3 February 2021. The theme of the event will be Future Communities, Spirit and Their Relevance.

Later in the spring, the idea is to inspire discussion about meaningful work in the future and, in the autumn, discuss where professionals of the future would like to meet each other and work. In the autumn, the aim is to also talk about Savilahti as a sustainable city from an ecological, economic and social point of view.

Soininen also hopes that the opening ceremony of the academic term could be organized on the Stage. Savilahti offers significant opportunities for the students of the three campuses located there. The students can cooperate with the businesses in the area or work for them already during their studies. For the students there, the path from education to employment may be shorter than usual.

Savilahti has an abundance of positive curiosity and a fresh way of doing things, combined with rock solid expertise and research. Nothing but good things can come from this mix. We want to share this goodness with others on the Savilahti Stage.


Kuopio by Nature 2021