VTT's Learning Lab - where innovation meets complexity

VTT's Learning Lab serves as an experimental space for VTT’s strategic initiatives to develop capabilities towards sustainable and meaningful futures.

Complex intersection

Navigating the increasing complexity of our global problem-landscape requires future perspectives, collaboration across disciplines as well as a shift from purely technological innovation to what could be called systems-aware innovation. 

Innovation for complexity

At the heart of VTT's Learning Lab lie VTT’s two  flagship initiatives the Futures Perspectives forum and the VTT iBEX innovation programme. Together, they infuse futures thinking and systems awareness into VTT’s innovation practices. 

VTT's Futures Perspectives forum

The Futures Perspectives forum facilitates dialogues concerning the role of technology in society. In doing so, we wish to foster future capabilities that can steer technological development towards benefiting both humanity and nature in the long run.  

People working on one whiteboard

About Futures Perspectives forum

On the Futures Perspectives platform we publish new content in the form of blogs, videos and expert dialogues on topics related to complexity, futures, impact and integration between natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities. Our aim is to bring together different perspectives in dialogue around some of the most meaningful topics of our time.

  • Blog series

    Our Futures Perspectives blog series will be co-written with thinkers and doers from across a wide range of diverse disciplines and sectors. We make no claim to present original ideas in the blog series, instead we aim to synthesize some of the best thinking from various  perspectives. Our aim is to publish blogs on a monthly basis.  

  • Masterclass videos

    Our video series will offer a chance to explore topics related to complexity, futures and integration through a multi-perspective lens. The videos showcase how societal dialogue and engagement lead to better innovation outcomes and impact.  

  • Expert dialogues

    As part of the iBEX innovation programme we host inspiring keynote speakers to have a dialogue about innovation for complexity and the broader role of technology in society. This content will be accessible to everyone.  

VTT iBEX innovation programme

VTT iBEX team

VTT iBEX is VTT’s internal strategic innovation programme, in which we develop our skills and capabilities towards solving complex systemic challenges. 

The teams that join VTT iBEX are facilitated in their future-oriented projects towards better system awareness, its leverage points and ultimately developing innovations which maximize positive impact, while minimizing harm.  

VTT iBEX themes

The VTT iBEX innovation programme invites VTT researchers across disciplines on a joined learning journey to address complex societal challenges.

Together the teams start creating joint Future Scenarios and identifying transition pathways towards their visions. Critical research questions along those pathways are refined together with multiple stakeholders, assessing their potential impact– both positive and negative

The refined research questions then form the basis for an internal call, inviting VTT researchers to co-create solutions. 

In 2024, our focus themes are Future energy, Future materials and Future food court

We support our multidisciplinary teams with funding of up to EUR 1 million over 2 years. 

  • Future energy

    How can we stagnate or decrease global energy consumption demand and design an optimal energy system?

  • Future materials 

    How can we reduce the usage of packaging material and promote reusability?

  • Future food court

    What might a future local food service business or food court look like?

Get involved

We invite you to join us in the journey of innovation! Whether you are an entrepreneur, public authority, engineer, farmer or a nutritional therapist - we would be happy to hear from you and learn together. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you wish to collaborate, e.g., as a mentor!

VTT Futures Perspectives Whitepaper

Masterclass videos

Navigating complexity through innovation (trailer)

VTT iBEX 2023 Design living cells?

VTT iBEX 2023: innovation for complexity

Expert dialogues

Keynote 1: Challenging the transitions

Keynote 2: Let's talk impact!

Keynote 3: Responsible innovation in complex systems

Keynote 4: Navigating complexity - Dave Snowden and Nora Bateson

Societal Engagement


Katri and Thomas collaborated with Helsingin Sanomat - the largest subscription newspaper in Finland and the Nordic countries on an article about the role of technology in future society (in Finnish).

Our VTT iBEX teams participated as mentors in the Solve the SDGs Hackathon in April 2023.


Katri Kallio
Katri Kallio
VTT Futures Perspectives
Szymon Wiktorowicz

VTT iBEX call

The next VTT iBEX call will be announced in the Spring of 2024. Please stay tuned.