Elisabeth Rehn – Bank of Ideas is an independent and non-profit security policy think tank. Founded in 2015 on the initiative of young researchers, the association produces research data to support decision-making and supports citizens’ social participation. It continues Minister Elisabeth Rehn’s life’s work to promote comprehensive security and peace work, especially in the Baltic Sea region. The central principle of the think tank is to support young people’s participation in influencing security policy.

Between 2016 and 2018, our Think Tank carried out an extensive report on citizen services supporting overall security (Tölli & Kuronen 2018), and in August 2023, a report on overall security cooperation between Estonia, Finland and Sweden, From Talk to Action: Integrated Security in the Northern Baltic (Kuronen & Tölli 2023), was completed.

The Bank’s projects are implemented by a composition made up of the association’s active members, which consists of researchers who have completed their dissertations or are working on a dissertation, as well as experts in communication and foreign and security policy. Bank of Ideas is a new opening in the Finnish and Nordic think tank field, enabling the production of new knowledge that serves practice with an interdisciplinary approach. In the research activities of the think tank, co-research methods and co-development have been used, in which the experts’ own voice has been strongly involved.

The report on a citizen service model of national security with a focus on equal and integrated security (2018) carried out in cooperation with The Security Committee of Finland brought together around 100 comprehensive security experts from ministries, authorities, organizations, research institutes and companies. The report had a significant impact on political decision-making and the establishment of a parliamentary committee, which carried out a report on the development of national defense (Finnish Government, 2021). In connection with Integrated Security in the Northern Baltic, published in August 2023, 24 leading experts in administration and total security in Finland, Sweden and Estonia were challenged.

Minister Elisabeth Rehn

Mentor of the think tank.
World’s first woman defense minister 1990–1995.

Former Member of the Finnish Parliament, Minister of Equality Affairs and Member of the European Parliament. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights 1995–1997 in former Yugoslavia, UN Under-Secretary General and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General UN in Bosnia and Herzegovina 1998–1999. Member and Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Trust Fund for Victims 2009–2015.

Internationally recognised human rights expert and peace mediator.