Tutkijaseminaari 2014

PASCAL workshop on Cities learning together – Public administration as a domain for smart solutions

University of Tampere, School of Management, Finland, 12-13 June 2014

Programme of the seminar

The objective of the conference is to bring about awareness of the role and needs of local communities in relation to learning, and to seek smart solutions in which cities and other public organizations can play a greater role in response to those needs.


Cities have to meet and solve unique and rapidly changing problems. Complexity brings about uncertainty and renders the managerial landscape fuzzy. Today, we live in an open society, bound together by systems of organisations, in which the transfer of information, interaction, and various boundaries are correspondingly reflected as the trademarks of public policy and public policy implementation. In this light then, there is an urgent need to reassess the traditional foundations and concepts of organisational and learning theory as well as the epistemological choices made in the course of current learning and organisational research.

A smart organization – like a smart city – constructs its knowledge base through a continuous learning process, based on, inter alia, numerous discussions within a given organization and exchange of ideas vis-à-vis with other organizations. In this context, cities need smart solutions which help them to overcome professional silos and to work with other public and private organizations. Co-production can be described as a potential relationship that exists between producer and client in the production of a service. Technology provides totally new kinds of possibilities to create smart solutions in cities.  Few can be managed successfully by any one city, or public organizations working alone.  Working together is essential but difficult.

There is a need to bring together theoretical insights and empirical data to enable a better understanding of smart solutions in the context of cities learning together. Therefore, we welcome both theoretical and empirical papers on the topics.  Interdisciplinary papers are also welcomed. Submissions are encouraged from doctoral students working on the topics. This workshop is interested in conceptual papers and case studies around questions that link learning and smart solutions in the public administration domain. Potential questions to be answered in the workshop include:

  • Does city learning really matter? How do cities really learn?
  • How can we create learning spaces and processes that encourage people to learn and plan consciously as groups linking up with other learner-actors across all sectors and institutions in the city?
  • How and where does devolution really work?
  • How can local responsibility and wisdom be engaged to meet global and national ecological and economic priorities?
  • How is high-level intent translated into practical action?
  • How can city administration, voluntary bodies, businesses and universities work together to overcome complex problems facing us, and develop cities that can survive and self-improve?
  • What is the role of local communities, citizens and service users in addressing and solving the big issues confronting cities?

The meeting will open with the keynotes and consist of individual paper presentations and be concluded with a round table discussion.

 The study group co-chairs aim at providing an outlet for papers presented at the meeting, most likely through a special issue in an international journal.

The conference targets all city, public organization and business leaders, as well as non-government organizations and academics.

Date and Location

The Cities Learning Together meeting will take place in Tampere, Finland, on 12 and 13 June 2014 at University of Tampere.


The registration fee is 70 Euros or 95 Euros including book Universities in a time
of crises – their role in regional development). Participants shall arrange travel and accommodation themselves.


Original Sokos Hotel Villa

Address Sumeliuksenkatu 14, 33100 Tampere

Phone 020 1234 633

Fax 010 784 1203

Email. villa.tampere@sokoshotels.fi

Distance to the University of Tampere 400 meters

97,50 Euros per night

Mention “pascal” when you book a room. Make the booking until 14 May.

Cumulus Rautatienkatu

Address Rautatienkatu 21, 33100 TAMPERE

Phone +358 3 2392 2100

Email. rautatienkatu.cumulus@restel.fi

Distance to the University of Tampere 900 meters

98,00 Euros per night

Mention “pascal” when you book a room. Make the booking until 21 May.

Hotelli Victoria

Address Itsenäisyydenkatu 1, 33100 Tampere

Phone +35830 2425104

Email. sales@hotellivictoria.fi

Distance to the University of Tampere 650 meters

92,00 Euros per night

Mention “pascal” when you book a room. Make the booking until 1 June.

Dream hostel Tampere

Address Åkerlundinkatu 2, 33100 Tampere

Phone +358452360517

Email. info@dreamhostel.fi

Distance to the University of Tampere 200 meters

Rooms from 23 Euros per night



Please register at latest 30.4.2014.

Registration form


 The conference fee should be paid to the account indicated below by 31.5.2014.

 Account holder:Finnish Association for Local Goverment Studies

Iban: FI5917453000060782


 Please, use refefrence: Pascal_first name_ last name


Please, submit abstracts (maximum 600 words) by 7 April 2014 to Elias Pekkola elias.pekkola@uta.fi.

 Participants will be notified of acceptance by 16 April 2014. Full papers should be submitted by 6 June 2014.


The workshop is organized by Pascal International Observatory (University of Glasgow, UK), the School of Management (University of Tampere, Finland) and the Finnish Association for Local Government Studies (Finland).  The workshop is co-chaired by Professor Jari Stenvall (University of Tampere) and Professor Michael Osborne (University of Glasgow).

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Kuntatutkijan seminaari 23.5.2008 Tampereen yliopistolla

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