Metsän puolella initiative (“In the Woods“)

Kone Foundation is seeking interdisciplinary projects that enhance understanding of the various meanings of forests and bring new perspectives and approaches to forest discourse.

Kone Foundation is seeking interdisciplinary projects that enhance understanding of the various meanings of forests and bring new perspectives and approaches to forest discourse. 

The ongoing call for proposals opened on June 1, 2023, and will remain open for several years. Ongoing means that you can submit your application when you feel it is ready for evaluation. The foundation’s board makes funding decisions three times a year. The first funding decisions were made in August 2023. 

Forests are Finland’s most important natural habitat, home to diverse species, a carbon sink and storage, catchment area for water bodies, a raw material for the forest industry, a source of regional vitality and citizens’ income, a treasure trove of mushrooms and berries, a place for contemplation and rejuvenation, a source of artistic inspiration, and one of the foundations of Finnish culture and mental landscape. 

The societal discussion related to forests emphasizes the economic significance of forest use and employment, as well as the role of forests in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss. However, not all meanings have received the attention they deserve in the discussion. While much is known about forests, wood, carbon sinks, and the state of forest ecosystems in Finland, there is also a lot of talk based on images, gut feelings, and even false beliefs. Finnish forest discourse needs a lift. It is time to question Finnish forest myths and address the issues at hand. 

Kone Foundation funds profound, insightful, and bold projects that cover a wide range of forest-related topics through the Metsän puolella (“In the Woods“) programme. The goal is to increase the multifaceted societal discussion about the various meanings of forests and highlight those nuances and voices that have not been heard in forest discourse. 

Funded projects can relate to, for example, Finns’ relationship with forests, forest myths, Finnish forest discourse and vocabulary, forest governance, advocacy and democracy, the freedom and the right of research and art to speak, everyman’s rights and property protection, future forests, forest economy, and forest activism, or the interconnectedness of forests, soil, wetlands, and water bodies and their significance for biodiversity and the climate. 

The list is exemplary, and the potential topics are not strictly limited. The projects are expected to include multidisciplinary research, art, journalism, and activism in various combinations or to delve deeply into a single discipline. All the funded projects should have a connection to academic research or art. The foundation encourages interdisciplinary collaboration above all, and all participants in a project become part of the Metsän puolella community.  

The grantees will play a central role in Kone Foundation’s Metsän puolella community, which aims to promote solidarity, broaden thinking, and support the societal impact of the actors. 

Applications are submitted through the grant service’s online platform

Read here for detailed application guidelines

Contant information

The best way to reach us is by email:

You can also reach us by phone at +358 (0)9 4542 7757. Our call times are on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.