It was already during summer last year that Jan Vapaavuori, mayor of Helsinki, was announcing that there would be a competition of ideas how to make Helsinki carbon neutral by 2035.
My eagerness to participate was then frustrated – although his secretary was assuring me three times that there would be the competition during last autumn, it did not happen. But meanwhile it seems that it will, beginning during this spring – details can be googled under “Helsinki Energy Challenge”.
The problem is really not an easy one: needed is an idea (or a bundle of ideas) how to provide Helsinki with energy and warmth without having to burn shiploads of coal (as is done up to now – and suggestions to replace the coal by biomass will not be accepted). And my personal problem with this is that I do in fact have an idea how to solve this problem, but that the rules of participation seem to demand that behind every idea which looks sufficiently promising for being taken into closer consideration there should be a TEAM. And certainly it is so that I may be intelligent enough to formulate a proposal, but that I am not sufficiently versed in figuring out all the necessary technical, business and perhaps even financial details for presenting a detailed proposal which the Helsinki town government then just needs to sign and realize. Thus, from where to find a team?
Team or no team, I certainly intend to hand in my proposal, already because I see a necessity, even duty, to take care that no idea which could possibly contribute to a solution of the climate problem should be allowed to simply get lost. In addition I think that this method of asking the interested public for ideas is already as such a political method which should be promoted by all possible means, so that it will also in the future be applied to tackle upcoming problems. After all, it is harnessing a resource (namely the armchair inventors) which has up to now simply been ignored by the government. And also for democracy quite in general it can only be good if the feedback between government and citizens is strengthened.
But apart from these general considerations, for myself there is still the question from where to find a team. Does anybody have some helpful suggestion, or would anybody feel like her/himself teaming up with me? For the good of the environment plus some SMALL hope of even winning some money (the First Prize is supposed to be 1 million, but there is no mentioning of any second or third prizes, and that just my idea will win that million I certainly cannot guarantee …).