Tommi Laitio
Public Innovation Fellow

Bloomberg Center for
Public Innovation at Johns Hopkins


Tommi Laitio, an inaugural Bloomberg Public Innovation Fellow, brings more than a decade of public service and city hall expertise to his work and research focused on forging new paths for driving better results for residents worldwide through well-being. Laitio joined Helsinki’s city government in 2012 as Director of Youth Affairs and was later elected as the first Executive Director of Culture and Leisure to merge seven departments and deliver 20 million resident experiences with a team of 1800 professionals and a budget of $270M USD. The department has won international and national awards for innovations in youth employment, public libraries, citizen engagement, cultural access, covid-19 response and increasing physical activity. Before joining the city, he ran the media and youth program for the European Cultural Foundation in Amsterdam, worked on sustainable lifestyles and democratic innovation at think tank Demos Helsinki and as a journalist for Finland’s leading daily newspaper.

An alumnus of the University of Helsinki and Aalto University, Laitio holds a Master of Arts in Political Science and an Executive MBA. Laitio has served as a member of the board of the University of Helsinki, Finland's UNESCO Commission, and as the Chair of the Board for the Finnish Institute in London.

Laitio is currently conducting research on the topic of Partnerships for Parks and Libraries, which includes case studies in the following cities: Amsterdam, Netherlands; Fortaleza, Brazil; Los Angeles, CA; Mecklenburg County, NC; and Philadelphia, PA. His research explores the idea of conviviality and seeks to identify institutional and relational practices that recognize friction as a natural state of affairs.