The ‘Gender equality paradox’ highlights the discrepancy between the egalitarian political and cultural ethos of the Nordic countries, reflected in various international comparisons and rankings, and the continuing reality of existing gender segregation, ranging from vertical segregation, where few women attain top (particularly in business) positions, to horizontal segregation, where a significant gender division remains discernible between occupations and disciplines.

In our AGDA Project (funded by the Nordic Equality Fund) we have explored the possibilities of overcoming the gender paradox in innovation through a triple transition, through policy and practice, by promoting inclusive innovation.

Our line of reasoning has been: as the sustainable green transition requires inclusive innovation and inclusive innovation requires diversity, re-thinking of our explicit and implicit norms and utilising the whole societal potential present in our Nordic societies, we need to design better policy, which responds to the needs and demands within the communities of practice / epistemic communities.

AGDA project has produced a framework promoting the development of RDI programme planning – from ideation to implementation through to ex post evaluation – which could better take into account the opportunities afforded by green transition, in policy and innovation process terms, as well as in relation to its potential links to inclusive innovation. This framework of inclusive innovation makes for a multi-dimensional map, which we have also sought to visualise in terms of a sea chart metaphor, thereby also linking innovation policy into a broader governance discourse around systems approaches and anticipatory/future orientation, entertaining the possibility of anticipatory innovation as acting on the knowledge of the future by creating something novel that has an impact on public value while navigating the policy environment accordingly.

Welcome to explore the sea chart of more inclusive innovation with us!


  • Kaisa Lähteenmäki-Smith, PhD (Pol.Sc.), Lead Specialist
  • Kirsi Siltanen, M.Sc. (Admin.), Specialist
  • Laura Väliniemi, B.Sc. (Soc.Sc.), Specialist

About the organiser

MDI Public Ltd. is a Finnish consulting company specialising in themes of regional development, business development and innovation policy, as well as public sector renewal and societal change. We are part of Finnish Consulting Group, one of the largest consulting enterprises in Finland. FCG has customers in municipalities, companies and communities in fields such as multidisciplinary community planning, skills development, the promotion of good governance and software development. FCG also works with international financial institutions and ministries to promote a better quality of life in developing countries. FCG has over 700 employees with offices in Asia, Oceania, Europe and Africa.