Welcome to Finland /
SUMMER 2010 / 14,90 € / WWW.WELCOMETOFINLAND.FI
Magazine from Finland
The Future of Work – How to keep workers happy? Marketing – The fear of growing up Among Ostriches – One American man and many Finnish ostriches Magical Thinking – Cuddly toys and big biceps in the air
SUMMER SHOPPING SPECIAL
Helsinki ♥Shanghai Welcome to Finland takes part in World Expo 2010!
GEORGE CLOONEY’S CHOICE.
MIKONKULTA, Mikonkatu 5, 00100 Helsinki, puh (09) 628 825
M I KO NKULTA, Mi kon ka tu 5, 00100 Hels in ki , pu h . (09) 628 8 25
4 7 8 16
19 : The Future of Work 24 : Lignell &Piispanen 25 : Kiasma 26 : Teenagers and adults 32 : Mohammed El-Fatatry 34 45 : Business Dinner
48 : Ostrich Farm 52 : Renny Harlin 58 : Pokrova 64 : Mikonkulta 65 : Karhulan Hovi, Hilton Strand, Linna Hotel 68 : Football, Shoping, Turku 74 : Fear of Flying 76: Markus Henttonen
89 113 : Anu Partanen 114 : Kyösti Niemelä
CONTRIBUTORS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kati Ala-Ilomäki kati.ala-ilomaki@susamuru.ﬁ
WE ASKED: Explain what these things mean to you
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
REPROGR APHER Aste Helsinki CONTRIBUTOR S Juliana Harkki, Saara Helkala Merja Hemmilä, Markus Henttonen, Veera Jussila, Karoliina Kangas, Laura Koljonen, Janic Leino, Kyösti Niemelä, Rami Niemi, Anu Partanen, Satu Pirinen, Riitta Supperi, Teemu Ullgrén, Heidi Urpilainen, Justin Vela
TR ANSL ATOR S English: Pentikäinen & Kristiansson Russian: Galina Pronin Chinese: Zhiyuan Yao
photographer & journalist, 23
– Should do less of it. – A word which is
– I would be lying if I said shopping isn’t a pleasure, but as other pleasures, it loses its power if exercised too often. – The clever one doesn’t innovate but copies ideas from others and develops them a bit. – I remember that university was mostly about learning the right kind of attitude towards work. I never listened very carefully. – Dyskinesia caused by hunger. – So many places to visit, so few holidays! – Done well, makes life better. Done badly, gives a good laugh.
– I shop for ﬂights and to replace disappearing socks. – Spreading knowledge by doing what I love. – A package of what you want to be which hopefully never stops expanding. – Work can be fun, but it is always work. – Done through an everyday of life and it is often one crazy trip! – Properly done, it gives order in chaos.
used too much these days.
– It is great to live in a country where I can study almost whatever I set my mind into. – Important, but should not deﬁne a person. – Always an eyeopener. – Makes everyday life more beautiful and easy.
DISTRIBUTION AND SALES Henry Fordin katu 5 H FI-00150 Helsinki Fax: + 358 9 611 681 ADSALES AND MARKETING Leila Reponen Sales Director leila.reponen@susamuru.ﬁ +358 40 514 9834 PUBLISHER Susamuru Oy PRINTED BY Printall Estonia Paper 90gr Multiart, cover 260gr Invercoat THE NEX T ISSUES: 1.10. and 28.12. ww w.welcometofinland.fi
The Challenge of Working Life Tuomo Salonen—whose job is to lead a company that looks for future leaders— pointed out, that many people complain about how busy they are. In my opinion this is one of the major changes in our working lives. Being busy no longer has anything to with working hard on an interesting project. It has turned into dealing with an uncontrollable chaos and a never-ending stagnant gray mass. Conditions like this are not suitable for human nature. Challenges are inspiring and give you energy, but only when they are somehow reachable. A moment of glory and self-appreciation at the end of the battle is essential. When the challenges grow too big, something changes and goes wrong. Without moments of success, the challenge loses its glow. Naturally, this is only my personal theory. You should read more on the subject in this magazine’s The Future of Work article, in which the topic is discussed by individuals with more wisdom. In addition to the aforementioned Tuomo Salonen and Sam Inkinen, Timo Leskinen, HR Manager of Fiskars, will share their views. There is also a brilliant introduction to the subject by our reporter Laura Koljonen. In addition, this issue features two unique sections. We brought back the Summer Shopping Special that debuted last year, this time in a new and improved format. I am especially proud of having the opportunity to interview Vuokko Nurmesniemi, a living legend of Finnish fashion. Also taking part in the Shanghai World Expo 2010 makes this summer special for Welcome to Finland. The time has also come for me to say goodbye to our readers and subscribers. Over two years of hard work on Welcome to Finland has passed and the next issue will have a new Editor in Chief on board.
A moment of glory and self-appreciation at the end of the battle is essential.
, not even in his twenties, walks around in an oﬃce. He pulls out a rolled up mattress and spreads it on the oﬃce ﬂoor. His smooth cheeks show no signs of weariness and his body is slender like that of a young buck. It’s the eighties, and this young man is the child prodigy of the current era in Finland. He is Sam Inkinen, a businessorientated urban individual involved in various ﬁelds—something unheard of in Finland, the promised land of trade unions. He explains that he makes no distinction in his life between work and free time, and that he doesn’t have a separate home or oﬃce. His life consists of projects that lead to other projects and hopefully to some interesting events along the way. That is why he rolls out the mattress on the oﬃce ﬂoor. It’s a good a place as any for a few hours’ nap in between projects. I was watching the video described above on television the other day. I started laughing and mumbled a few words about enthusiasm of the young to myself. I reminisced about how a few years ago it was completely natural for me to spend the night on the oﬃce sofa. However, around thirty, I realised that there isn’t a single job worth sacriﬁcing sleep in my own wonderful bed—preferably in eight-hour periods. What happened? First of all, self-evidently, I got older. The renewal rate of my cells isn’t what it used to be and that goes for my level of energy as well. Second, in addition to the regeneration of my cells, I also think something changed in the society surrounding me. I’m not referring to the ongoing economic recession, but to a deeper cultural transformation. A clear sign of this came from someone I interviewed. Managing Partner
Inside Steve’s Brain Steve here means Apple’s creator Steve Jobs. This book gives you an easy intro to the story of Apple and the skills of Steve. Leander Kahney: Inside Steve’s Brain. Penguin Books, 2008.
Before You Travel Want to know more about history of Finland? Grab Professor David Kirby’s excellent book A Concise History of Finland, published by Cambridge University Press in 2006.
More than a Shop ”Is there something happening tonight?” a young woman asks, with an accent in her English which I cannot place, as she stands in the middle of bookshelves full of used books in Arkadia International Bookshop in Töölö, Helsinki. Ian Bourgeot, a charming English man in his late forties, gets up from his desk placed in front of a tiny stage, which gives a nice personal touch to this two-room store. “No show today,” he says. The woman answers with a slight frown. “I know. Shocking isn’t it! Last week we had four shows,” Bourgeot smiles, and recommends the woman to return tomorrow listen to a piano concert by a 15-years old debutant. Bourgeot’s two year old Arkadia International Bookshop isn’t just a store. It is also a place for people to present their skills in various arts, read extracts from their books, or just come and meet people in one of these hundred or so happenings a year. The word has spread out fast, especially in the international community of Helsinki, and the crowd in most happenings consists of mix of foreigners and natives. Bourgeot has lived in Finland for 15 years. His parents were the travelling kind, and he continued the lifestyle well into his adulthood. Finland is the country he has lived the longest, and it is the country he plans to stay in, too. There are a few reasons to Bourgeot’s decision, but the most beautiful to a Finn’s ear must be this: Bourgeot feels that in Finland one is ﬁrst treated as a person, and only after seen through his or her nationality, gender or whatever any other characteristic. “Before moving to Finland, I lived in Paris. There one is trained to have the right clothes, the right manners, the right words. But here in Finland, one must work on being oneself. All the little tricks I learned in Paris did not work here, and I am very thankful for Finland for pushing me to ﬁnd myself.”
Arkadia International Bookshop, Pohjoinen Hesperiankatu 9, Helsinki. www.arkadiabookshop.fi
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BOOK ABOUT FINLAND A 1500-mile journey of this century, American Jim O’Donnell fell in love with a Finnish woman; a ﬂamenco dancing and mountain climbing artist. Love brought O’Donnell to Finland, and little by little his urge to learn to understand northern people grew. He decided to walk across the country, 1500 miles in 5 months. Based on his experience, he wrote a book titled Notes for the Aurora Society. O’Donnell’s eﬀortlessly ﬂowing depiction gives a fresh insight to Finland, even to Finns. He makes my home, the Kallio district in Helsinki, sound like the Wild West with the cowboys substituted by alcoholics. A lot of his stories are based on the stereotype of Finns as somewhat untamed and stubborn people. It feels surprisingly good, and after I ﬁnish the book, I am proud to be a Finn. Jim O’Donnell: Notes for the Aurora Society. Infinity Publishing, 2009.
Viinimaa SuomiFinland —the wine country
EAT HELSINKI ’ to stay in Helsinki for a few weeks and want to experience the best restaurants in town, Eat Helsinki is an essential purchase. The booklet introduces 12 quality restaurants in Helsinki, including some of the newest ﬁne dining spots like Luomo in the Kruunuhaka district and the much acclaimed Farang in Kunsthalle Helsinki. Eat Helsinki doesn’t just introduce the best eateries in the city. In addition a member of your dinner party will eat her entrée for free, simply for showing the book at any of the restaurants.
5 FINNISH DELICACIES
TO TAKE HOME
1. THIN CRISP RYE BREAD Made of rye, thin crisp is a healthy, low fat alternative for bread. Easy to take home, as it remains perfect for a long time.
2. RYE BREAD
3. SALMIAKKI SALTY LIQUORICE Salmiakki, the Finnish specialty, is a salty candy that can take a bit of time to used to. Out of all the homeland delicacies, Finns living abroad tend to miss salmiakki the most.
4. KARELIAN PASTIES Traditional Eastern Finnish rice-ﬁlled rye pasties basted with butter. A popular Finnish snack.
5. CLOUDBERRY JAM A jam or a marmalade made of handpicked cloudberries from Finnish Lapland is a souvenir that can’t go wrong. Also try a bottle of cloudberry liquor.
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Finns love rye bread. The perfect, healthy bread choice for those who want to avoid excessive amounts of wheat.
The man standing in front of me argues something that doesn’t seem to follow any logic. It is hard to believe him when he says that Finland is a perfect destination for a wine trip. How can this be? Finland has no wine production whatsoever, the Finnish middle class has only really learned to consume wine in the past decade, and above all Finland is a country dominated by an alcohol monopole—wine can only be bought in Alko stores. Master of Wine and Managing Director of Winestate Tuomas Meriluoto seems to be one of those people who see the glass half-full. To Meriluoto, the aforementioned factors are actually what make Finland a good wine country. First of all, Alko’s monopole is a good thing. Wine doesn’t need to be available in grocery stores. “Alko has the responsibility to maintain a broad and balanced wine selection, that is to say that they sell wines from all over the world and in a wide price range. The staﬀ is professional and the supply is solid in all parts of the country,” Meriluoto explains. Secondly, powered by the growing interest to wines by the Finnish middle class, Finland is growing into a leader in wine knowhow—at least if you look at it from the right angle. “Out of all degrees of the ﬁeld, Master of Wine is the most distinguished in the world. Only 280 people have it worldwide, two of whom are Finnish. This means that Finland has the second most Masters of Wine per capita, right behind Norway.” And third, the fact that Finland has no wine production of its own is only a good thing. Production would mean a preference in domestic wines. In this situation, we get an elite selection of wines from all parts of the globe, from Chile to Spain and New Zealand.
10 Things I Have Learned This is my last issue as Editor in Chief of this magazine. It is a time to say farewell and share what I have learned.
2. Get ﬁt Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander
Stubb is famous for saying that one hour of daily exercise gives you two hours more time a day. He is absolutely right. Get ﬁt, no excuses here.
3. Never be too busy There are things you
should never be too busy for. Those things are: listening to a friend in need, having family time, sleeping enough, eating properly and exercising. If you ﬁnd yourself being too busy for these things, get better at time management.
4. Cancel unnecessary meetings Even Mensa
agrees with this. In one of their books the Hi-IQ society says this rule simply means: cancel most of the meetings. I could not support this rule more—at work we are supposed to work, not drink coﬀee and chat about things that no one will ever do anyway.
5. Read Kant “Act in such a way that you
treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, always at the same time as an end and never merely as a means to an end," Kant wrote. Think about what this could mean in your organization.
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The customer is sometimes wrong A lot of times customers have no idea what they need or want. If they knew, they would not have hired you to do the job!
What you wear doesn't matter that much I know they say that one should always dress to impress. I don’t agree. The substance comes from what you know and who you are, not from your looks.
Don’t worry about what you can’t change This means most things. Many times the only thing you can change is your own attitude. Work on it relentlessly.
Forget about “taking time for yourself” Women’s magazines love the concept of “taking time for yourself”. I suggest you forget about it. It shouldn’t be something you have to write down in your calendar. Your every minute should be time for yourself.
Don’t brand yourself These days some people like to talk about “branding oneself” in order to gain opportunities in the labor market. One advice here: Have a bit of selfrespect. Don’t treat yourself like a product. But if you do, then don’t get upset when other people treat you the same way as well.
BELLA BOATS Q: What are today’s boat trends? A: Due to the prevailing economic conditions customers value versatility and practicality in a boat. If in an economic boom people seek for luxury yachts and special features, the demand now is for a versatile boat that is easy on longer trips and practical to live in. Good indoor designs and eﬃcient use of space in cabin boats allows you to enjoy time with your family at sea from early spring to late autumn. Our true success story of the Vene10Båt –expo in Helsinki was the cabin boats, the newest additions to the Aquador family—the smallest, 22-foot closed cabin boat—and the nearly 6-meter Bella 580 C from the Bella range. Interviewee Raimo Sonninen, CEO, Bella-Veneet Oy. www.bellaboats.com
Eat cottage cheese at breakfast Skipping breakfast is like starting a day-long journey in a car with hardly any fuel in the tank. Don’t do it. Porridge makes a good breakfast. Eat it with some berries, and add cottage cheese for protein.
Downshifting ”No, sorry, I have no time.” “Nope, sorry, I am busy.” “I am really busy!” “Nope, sorry I can’t, I am just too busy.” Sound familiar? Ever wondered when did it become a standard to answer a question “How are you?” by telling how busy you are, instead of a simple “Fine, thank you, and you?” I didn’t. Then I noticed I was starting to resemble a badly behaving brat by expecting people to oﬀer some sympathy for my self-inﬂicted hectic schedule, even when I always put them on a second place. I also became a victim of “Nope, I can’t, I am busy”-treatment myself, and I realized how upsetting it is want and need to talk with someone who always brushes you away with using these same words. It is almost impossible to answer to them without losing some of one’s self-conﬁdence and pride. One thing in the world is wholly democratic in its basic nature: time. All of us have seven days a week and more or less 24 hours a day (some of us might have a circadian rhythm closer to 23 or 25 hours). The circumstances we live in might differ, but the amount of time we have doesn’t— as long as we are alive, of course. That is why I have decided, among many others of my generation, to downshift. Wikipedia deﬁnes this trend quite well meaning individual’s pursuit to live a simpler life to escape from the rat race of obsessive materialism and to reduce the stress, overtime, and psychological expense that may accompany it. I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the psychological expenses of that rat race is a psychological shield being busy offers. It works as a defense mechanism. The busy person never has to face himself or any other human being— he can always hide behind the mask of being too busy to be nice and considerate to others.
Heaven at the Airport
The selection of stores on Pohjoisesplanadi, one of Helsinki’s main shopping streets, was joined by this important newcomer a year ago. Named after a Peruvian god over 30 years ago, Tumi is known around the world for stylish high quality bags and luggage. Tumi Store, Pohjoisesplanadi 37, Helsinki.
WHERE TO STAY OUT OF HELSINKI PORVOO An attractive summer town a one hour drive away from Helsinki. Hotel Porvoon Mitta A lovely small hotel with character. All the rooms are distinctively diﬀerent. www.hotelporvoonmitta.fi TURKU The former capital of Finland located on the west coast. Holiday Club Caribia A spa hotel that is especially popular with families. www.holidayclubhotels.fi TAMPERE A growing university town two hours train ride from Helsinki. Sokos Hotel Ilves A hotel of guaranteed quality right in the centre of Tampere. www.sokoshotels.fi
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JYVÄSKYLÄ The pearl of Central Finland is a vibrant town, thanks to vivid entrepreneurship and a good university. Hotel Yöpuu The small and personal Yöpuu is one of the ﬁrst boutique hotels in Finland. www.yopuu.fi OULU A university town, where Nobel Peace Prize winner Martti Ahtisaari studied. Radisson Blu Hotel, Oulu The Radisson Blu chain is a safe and comfortable choice for both business and pleasure. www.radissonblu.fi ROVANIEMI The capital of Finnish Lapland is worth a visit also during summer. Clarion Hotel Santa Claus The newest hotel in Rovaniemi is making the most out of the Santa Claus brand. www.hotelsantaclaus.fi
The title of this article sounds impossible. Airports are usually uncomfortable places. You’re stuck inside walls with thousands of strangers making too much noise and raising your adrenaline level. Resting areas and quiet corners are constantly occupied, and time is dragging by, unless you happen to be in a hurry. That’s when it feels like time stole the wings of the Airbus waiting by the runway. However, you can have a much more pleasant airport experience the next time you have a stopover at the Helsinki-Vantaa airport. Just don’t forget to bring a bathing suit. Via Spa, the only airport spa in the world, has opened its doors at Helsinki-Vantaa. Via Spa is located in the new Terminal 3. It’s open for all passengers, but access to the actual spa area is prohibited if you are less than 18 years of age. The six saunas range from a spruce sauna, originally from the Alps, to a traditional Finnish one. After the sauna you can relax on heated recliners and gaze at the airplanes outside, or take a dip in a pool of mineral water. A variety of beauty and relaxation treatments are also available, with durations that ﬁt the schedule of even the busiest travellers. There is also a spacious café and a waiting area. The decor is meticulously designed; eﬀortlessly combining colours, materials and shapes into a harmonic whole, making the wait for a ﬂight quite an enjoyable task.
PLACES ROUND THE Helsinki Railway Satation 1. RAILWAY STATION The Helsinki Central Railway Station was designed by Eliel Saarinen and ﬁnished in 1919. It is built of Finnish granite. The station houses various kiosks, shops, restaurants and a gym. -.
2. SOKOS DEPARMENT STORE Sokos is a traditional Finnish department store chain. The ﬁrst store opened in Helsinki in 1952, the same year Helsinki hosted the Olympics. Sokos sells various international and Finnish brands, with a selection in both home ware and clothes. 9.
3. SOKOS HOTEL VAAKUNA & RESTAURANT LOISTE Right next to the Helsinki Central Railway Station, adjacent to the Sokos department store, lies Sokos Hotel Vaakuna. One of the city’s most pleasurable eateries, restaurant Loiste, is situated on the top tenth ﬂoor of the building, equipped with a summer terrace and a lush view over the station area. 3.
4. HOLIDAY INN HELSINKI CITY CENTRE Helsinki City Centre hotel, which is part of the Holiday Inn family, is right next to the Helsinki Central Railway Station. Its location makes it an ideal stay before a train trip to Russia, for example. 5.
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5. MAKKARATALO Makkaratalo stands opposite to the Railway Station. It has sprung a lot of controversy since it was ﬁnished in late 1960s. The building is called Makkaratalo, which means The Sausage Building, a name which derives from the car ramps circling the construction. Inside it you’ll ﬁnd restaurants and stores. , .
6. CITY-KÄYTÄVÄ INDOOR WALKWAY City-käytävä indoor walkway is accessible through the Railway Station passageway or through Makkaratalo. It runs in between the station and Aleksanterinkatu. The walkway used to be a legendary hangout for youngster. Nowadays its businesses tend to have a swift turnover rate.
7. FINNISH NATIONAL GALLERY ATENEUM The biggest art collection in Finland can be found at the Ateneum museum a little left from the Railway Station main entrance. Besides its own collections, Ateneum has an exhibition of women’s life in Helsinki opening for the coming summer. 2.
8. FINNISH NATIONAL THEATRE Next to the Railway Station lies a bulky, gray castle-like building. It is the Finnish National Theatre, with plays running on four stages. Tickets available in the theatres own box oﬃce. 1.
9. KAISANIEMI PARK Behind the Finnish National Theatre lies Kaisaniemi Park, where the people of Helsinki have taken strolls for over two hundred years. Even today, the park is a popular retreat, but best avoided in late at night.
10. FENNIAKORTTELI Fennia quarter built in the Viennese Baroque style has reborn in the last few years. Inside the building you can ﬁnd several restaurants, a large cinema complex, Grand Casino Helsinki, stores and the Kaisaniemi metro station. 17.
very man should examine his own genius, and consider what is proper to apply himself to; for nothing can be more distant from tranquility and happiness than to be engaged in a course of life for which nature has rendered us unﬁt. An active life is not to be undertaken by an inactive person, nor an inactive life by an active person; to one, rest is quiet and action labor; to another, rest is labor and action quiet.
A Q U A D O R 2 1 WA s
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S C A N D I N AV I A N
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The Future of Work In the future, work will be about more than just money or position. A researcher, a consultant and a Personnel Manager of an international corporation tell us what exactly. : :
used to be so much better: we had more time, longer lunches, fair bosses and no need to take work home with you. On top of that, you could keep the same job for your entire career if you wanted. Well, that might have been the case in the past. That’s great, but there’s no use crying over the bygones. Those days will not return. It’s simply better to accept the new ways of working that the future has to oﬀer. When you take a positive approach, you might even ﬁnd some sense in them. In the end of the 1980s a man in his twenties became known in Finland for his views on technology, media culture and society. This young man said his life was built on networks and that his work was fast, dynamic and made up of consistent movement from one project to the next. His opinion was, that the border between work and leisure had faded away. Finns listened to him with astonishment. The man’s name was Sam Inkinen. Back then, he was a nerd and a communications professional, today he is a Ph.D., a researcher of media and future, and an author speaking on the importance of education. He is orientated in questions on society and identity, digital media and the problems of creativity. At present, a great number of people lead similar working lives as
the one he described in the 80s, a model characterised by projects and processes. And no one is laughing anymore, unlike twenty years ago. “It should be made clear, that the change in working life and society is not stable. Diﬀerent people and organisations experience it in diﬀerent ways. However, some principal characteristics can be observed. The industrial age is changing into an age of information and services, where experiences, innovations and creative work based on information are emphasised,” Inkinen says. Agricultural and industrial societies were paced by precise schedules, hierarchy and tasks based on repetition and predictability. In the knowledge work of the future, it is natural that work doesn’t necessarily take place during oﬃce hours. In the new culture of work, hours are ﬂexible and you have to be available nearly all the time. On the other hand, the nature of working becomes more liberated. The thought of work being pleasing and creative has become acceptable. “Certain ﬁelds have operated by this model for a long time already. Inventors, artists, researchers and freelance writers, for example. Their daily schedule makes it diﬃcult to say when work begins or ends.”
However, the reformation of work is ﬁlled with paradoxes. One is, that many organisations still seem to appreciate physical presence and employees sitting by oﬃce desk computers as rigidly as possible.
Temporary and project-based jobs have become more common. Few people can imagine having the same employer for the rest of their career. Also freelance work based on networks is on the rise. “Creative knowledge work has to break borders, almost on a daily basis. On the other hand, who dares, often wins. You can inﬂuence the way your future shapes by being pro-active.” However, the reformation of work is ﬁlled with paradoxes. One is, that many organisations still seem to appreciate physical presence and employees sitting by oﬃce desk computers as rigidly as possible. Working hours are clearly deﬁned, even though the surrounding society is shifting towards working on a 24/7 basis. future is a subject that has been widely written about and every study seems to put the emphasis on certain things. The signiﬁcance of communication is often mentioned. The focus in the future will be more and more on interaction and communication between people. Diﬀerent networks will gain importance when work consists more and more of gathering information, organising, analysing and distributing. This kind of work is based on creative processes, information technology, communication skills and mental alertness. It’s not a coincidence that open innovation has become a primary concept in the discourse. “There is a saying, that we have moved from a time of oracles to a time of dialog and discussion. This interactive basis also depicts the character of knowledge work in the future. The essential challenge for tomorrow’s knowledge work is communication. Work will take place between people, individuals and communities,” Inkinen states. The fragmentation of production we have become familiar with will continue: ﬁelds with low wages will execute the parts of production in which labour costs have a remarkable signiﬁcance, while more demanding tasks will be performed in divisions demanding
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Some protest the change and choose something other than work as the most signiﬁcant thing in their life.
higher levels of education. Marketing will take place close to the markets. A society increasingly dependent on technology will constantly set new demands on its citizens to update their skills, at work as well as outside it. For example, a gap could form between people that use information technology in their profession and people that don’t. But what is the worker of the future like then? The future worker is either in trouble, or the winner of his own labour market. That depends on the line of work. He is more ﬂexible than before. He will have to be able to react to changes swiftly. He should have a high tolerance level for stress. In addition to operating independently and with self-initiative, working will require being exposed, producing signiﬁcance and communication, and even branding yourself, as some suggest. Some protest the change and choose something other than work as the most signiﬁcant thing in their life. They might even give work up entirely in the traditional sense, as Time Magazine wrote in the Drop Out Economy article published in March. With the aging population, this is something the employers can’t aﬀord. The future will also force employers to think about how to motivate their employees. It’s become evident in a number of ﬁelds that money isn’t necessary the best lure. Leisure, the satisfaction that the work provides and the moral values of the company can become more important than the salary. The choice of where to work can just as well be motivated by working hours, location, the company’s social responsibility or how trendy it is considered to be. Home and family have also become more signiﬁcant, especially for younger age groups. This might be connected with the growth of short-term employment. Life and identity can’t be built solely on work when there is no guarantee of its permanence and your job can, for example, suddenly be moved to another country.
TUOMO SALONEN, Managing Partner, Heidrick & Struggles “ is a company originally from Chicago working in executive research and talent management. The youngest executives hired through us are around 35 years old, so when I refer to the young I am referring to that age group. In my opinion, the attitude the young have towards work hasn’t changed as radically as the media sometimes depicts. In my experience it’s the meaningful challenges and the monetary compensation that are still considered signiﬁcant. At least among the people we associate with—persons wanting to advance as business executives, that is. However, there have been some visible shifts in attitudes. Nowadays, young executives think more about where they want to work. There was an interview where a young executive asked his potential employee “Why should I work for you?” The interviewer hesitated and didn’t immediately know how to react. A question like that used to be ill-mannered. We’ve also noticed that people are reluctant to work in, for example, the tobacco industry. The younger generation questions traditional work times. They are eager to work on projects: working really hard for a few months and then resting for a couple. The problem is that executives rarely have that choice.
The future will require leaders to have more and more social skills. Leadership is for the most part interaction with other people. A leader can no longer order his or her subordinates around, but instead he must use other means to get people to move in the same direction and achieve things. It is connected to equality and a larger way of socio-political thinking. Instead of traditional headhunting, a continuous research of young talent (in talent pools) will become important. An executive needs to be encouraging, inspiring and energetic. And it the end it’s also a question of personality. When we look for a leader, we look for a person.“
SAM INKINEN, 39, Media and future researcher, author “ work is connected to a more general change in culture, society and technology. The industrial age is changing into an age of information and services, where experiences and innovations are emphasised. From the viewpoints of the labour market, social processes and decision makers the role of the service industry, creative knowledge work and information-intensive processes will gain importance.” The knowledge work of tomorrow is connected in networks and demands agility. Situations often change rapidly and it is essential to be able to react
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quickly. On the other hand strategic and long term planning also become more important: predicting the future and also shaping it. On the level of megatrends, developing characteristics in the forthcoming years will include the fragmentation of work history, the population aging, risk management, as well as ecological and ethical matters. The new era and creative knowledge work require a new kind of leadership and ways in which work is organised. Clinging on to the paradigm of the past can lead to unwanted results. Then again, the signiﬁcance of change is often exaggerated and the hype can exceed substantial change.
Knowledge work of the future will be challenging and contain many uncertainties. That is something we have not been taught to tolerate. However, this type of work is unpredictable by nature. Creative and information-intensive work includes making continuous choices and focusing resources in the right areas. One key factor is impact, or how the resources at use (money, time, people) are directed in the right way. Instead of the quantiﬁable amount of work, it’s the quality of work that’s becoming important. The information society is ﬁlled with paradoxes. One of them is that, unlike in the “techno-paradise” prophecy from decades ago, creative knowledge workers are under demanding and constant pressure. There is never enough time, there is always a deadline around the corner, too many ongoing processes at once… and so on. Stress management and the ability to relax are often tested when time is limited and you’re in a constant hurry. It’s a bit amusing how in the 80s we presumed that robotics and high technology would take us into substantially shorter working hours. The future of working is tied to the essential question of organising and directing work, knowhow and resources. Maybe we should consider a broader view into employment and creating jobs by moving towards a four-day workweek?
TIMO LESKINEN, 39, Personnel Manager, Fiskars* *Fiskars has a staff of over 3600 people in more than twenty countries.
“ work is not uniﬁed. At least for as long as items are being manufactured there will be production work, not just creative and knowledge work. Naturally automation will increase, and development and design will demand increasing amounts creativity, knowhow and innovation. Work will not be the same for everyone, and not all workers are alike. That’s why there is a need for a variety of diﬀerent kinds of employers. The ability to take others into consideration will be emphasised. Individual accomplishment is not fashionable.
As knowledge and knowhow grow on an international level and information spreads rapidly, what you know is no longer essential. Instead the emphasis is on how you use what you know. In our case, we have to understand what the consumer wants. When we have a perception of the consumer, we have to channel that information into production, sales, maintenance and marketing: all operations of the company. Creative workers (nearly all work is creative) value opportunities to develop and the possibility to do whatever inspires them. They also regard how close the employer’s values are to their own. Globalisation aﬀects all companies. If you want global advantage, your rules and operational models need to be partially similar within the entire company, regardless of the country. Local culture should be beneﬁted from instead of fought against. In Asia, for example, income and one’s position in hierarchy are important, while Finnish whitecollar workers value freedom, creativity and a social security network. Leadership will become more important in the work of the future. People will come to a company that has a good brand and a positive image as an employer. The most common reason for leaving will be bad leadership. In every company, there are times when work demands extra ﬂexibility from the worker. In ﬁnancial management, for example, the turn of the year is always challenging. But arrangenment has to work both ways: if the worker is ﬂexible, the company will have to show ﬂexibility on another occasions by oﬀering opportunities to rest. Company culture that constantly emphasises working hard is short sighted. A person can work a lot, but too much work will cause a decrease in quality. The hours on the clock don’t always correlate with the results. The attitude towards work time must change.”
LIGNELL & PIISPANEN An internationally recognised connoisseur of liqueurs :
Unique tastes from wild nature are what the success of Lignell & Piispanen relies on today, even more than before. The company has a reason for conﬁdence in what they do. Matters of taste can be argued on, but international recognition of skill and knowhow is something that can’t be denied.
The latest acknowledgement comes from one of the world’s biggest competitions in the quality of alcoholic beverages, the IWSC in the United Kingdom. The company’s berry liqueurs–Kuningatar, Lakka, Lakka Light and Vadelma– emptied the trophy table. In a way there is nothing newsworthy about it. Lignell & Piispanen’s success story in international competitions is nearly as long as the company history. For example, the company’s Mesimarja liqueur (Arctic bramble) received a gold metal at the famous world exhibition of Paris, already in 1900. “Being a family business has meant dedication in taking care of product development, quality and tradition. The knowhow has been treasured, enriched and handed down from generation to
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the next for over 150 years,” Managing Director Hemmo Rossi says. The company has always appreciated the wild and arctic berries that get their unique and exotic ﬂavour from the short intensity of the Nordic summer, when the sun barely sets at all. At present, Lignell & Piispanen’s collection includes more than ﬁfty products, providing the company with success in competitions in every established category of drinks. The selection still includes products, majority of them, born already in the 17th century. But that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t move forward, quite the contrary. The company is now working on developing innovative design products for demanding consumers with a preference in natural tastes. Like the vintage mulled wine Loimu, that gets its ﬂavour from natural berries and is a popular product during the Christmas season. The factory of Lignell & Piispanen is in Kuopio, in the same area where the Royal Distillery was built in 1783 by the King of Sweden.
THE IMAGE OF FINLAND PAINTED BY THE BRUSH OF A SOVIET ARTIST
The role of Soviet artist Ilja Glazukov as the court painter of the Finnish president was a topic of discussion in the 1970’s. Kiasma, the Museum of Contemporary Art, is bringing a piece of political history to the present.
, with thickframed glasses resting on his nose stands in the middle of the painting. That is what President Urho Kaleva Kekkonen (1900-1986) looked like. Why is it then, that the painting caused a stir in the 1970’s? Let’s dig a bit deeper into history. Urho Kekkonen is the longest serving president in the history of the Republic of Finland. He was in oﬃce for a continuous period of over 25 years, until he lost his physical health in 1981. Kekkonen is remembered especially for his merits in handling eastern relations in a politically diﬃcult period. The struggle over power by greater political forces cast a shadow over Finnish politics nearly throughout Kekkonen’s presidency. Finland’s geo-political role as the only western-minded country sharing a border with the Soviet Union was strategically sensitive. Kekkonen was feared and respected. He crushed many of his competitors with ruthless tactical manoeuvres and took advantage of his eastern relations in internal politics to an extent where he was considered irreplaceable. Kekkonen was a master in the power game of politics.
But that wasn’t the only reason for his success. Kekkonen was popular, charismatic, sensitive and athletic—a perfect role model for a people searching for a national identity. When the portrait artist Ilja Glazunov arrived in Finland to paint the president in 1973, Finns were shocked. Why was a Soviet artist working as the President’s court painter? Furthermore, Kekkonen was a taboo in Finnish art. It was diﬃcult for the people to understand that it was about cultural diplomacy between Finland and the Soviet Union. It goes without saying that Glazunov’s painting wasn’t accepted without criticism. The portrait was called tame and foreign. “Who is this man?” people were asking. The portrayed person didn’t look like “our” president. Details of the painting, like the red-chested bird sitting on a branch, were scrutinised for political meanings, which they might not have had.
Glazunov’s style diﬀered from the oﬃcial ideological conception of art during the time: instead of social realism, his touch was romantic and stylised. Ironically, Glazunov’s popularity ended around the same time as Kekkonen’s reign. “Ilja Glazunov and Finland”, the exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, presents Finnish society of the seventies through a phenomenon of the art world. For Kiasma, the exhibition is above all an opportunity to oﬀer the visitor a story about not only Finland, but also about the relationship between political power and art. “The Glazunov-phenomenon also reﬂects the negative sides of the commercial art world, like the uncontrollable publicity surrounding the artist and rumours about replicas, high prices and suspicious deals on paintings. Every ﬁeld has its own glazunovs. They are artists whose works talk about the accepted taste of a particular era in commercially successful art, and have been used as means in political action or creating an image,”says Jari-Pekka Vanhala, Senior Assistant at Kiasma.
”Ilja Glazunov and Finland” in Kiasma from May 21st. www.kiasma.fi
DISAPPEARED Some people complain that childhood is lost. It may well be the case, but is it a symptom of something even more serious? : - : : /
”13-- the way in the world,” claims a prominent business man sitting on a chair on a stage. The crowd, mainly European business leaders, around one hundred men and considerably fewer women, bursts into an accepting laughter, with a tone sounding like they were collectively sighing “how cute!” My status attending this conference is a listener. I am not allowed to report, so I won’t tell you the name of the conference nor the speakers nor the place where it was held. It doesn’t really matter, since those things are not the point. The point is this: do 13-years old girls really rule the world? Let’s start the speculation from the little laughter the claim evoked in this crowd. From the viewpoint of these people, yes, 13-years old girls really do have plenty of power. First, many of these people are CEO’s or members of board in companies whose survival depends on young girls’ interest in their products and ﬁnding them trendy enough to spend their money on. Second, even
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the people in the companies, which do not deliver for the youth, are somehow depended on the mood swings of teens and even younger kids. As authors of the book Consumer Kids – How big business is grooming our children for proﬁt, Ed Mayo and Agnes Nairn write, children of any age have an astonishingly strong inﬂuence over a parent’s purchases, be it a car or a holiday destination. In the past children used to be the ones who listened to adults. However, in the past twenty years or so there has been a major shift in attitudes. Last year a teenage boy claimed a disconcerting status in the international media and the world’s ﬁnancial hotspots from London to Tokyo. The boy was 15-years old Briton, Matthew Robson. You probably read about Robson in The Financial Times or The Guardian. He was the one who according to the news “shook the City” by writing a report stating stuﬀ like: “No teenager that I know of regularly reads a newspaper, as most do not have the time and cannot be bothered to read pages and pages of text while they could watch the news
I was horriﬁed when I was told that in the States one should not wear the same clothes two days in a row to school. In Finland, I had a habit of wearing the same outﬁt for one week, with no one questioning my personal hygiene.
summarised on the internet or on TV” and “Whilst watching TV, adverts come on quite regularly (18 minutes of every hour) and teenagers do not want to watch these, so they switch to another channel, or do something else whilst the adverts run”. Robson wrote the report while taking part in his school’s Workday experience scheme in Morgan Stanley. According to Times online Robson’s supervisors said that the report was one of the most thought-provoking and clearest insights they had seen. Worrying? Yes. Not so the report Robson wrote, but the fact that Wall Street analysts get all excited by “the news” of teenagers not wanting to pay for media or not being bothered to read long texts. Somehow the global economic meltdown does not strike me as odd anymore. . This argument has been heard around Finland for couple of years now. I don’t know if this idea makes sense to people from other nations. My American friend at least gave me a quizzical look when I stated this to him, even though books on the subject come out from the United States, too. In Finland, this argument is rooted in a romanticized vision of childhood: Summers spent swimming in a lake, winters skiing in snowy ﬁelds, and all the spare time spent in play with little toys, preferably handmade from a pine code, as my parents’ generation used to do.
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Children of any age have an It is easy to understand that nature plays a strong part in the ideal Finnish way of life. Brands, marketing and shopping malls are deﬁnitely not included. And in fact, it is not so many years ago that life really was like that. As a child I, for example, still spent weeks during summers hardly seeing a shower, since I splashed around a lake most of the time anyway. And during winters skiing was a natural part of life, not just a fashionable form of exercise that it is today. I did have toys made in China instead of the local pine code, but the only brands I consciously knew of were Levi’s, Pepsi and Coca Cola. Others, I did not care about. The concept of shopping was introduced in my life during my year as a high-school student in the United States. I was 15 and still not very aware of brands. But I soon learned to love American style shopping malls. Before that I don’t actually even remember purchasing anything other than ballet shoes and other dance gear. I was horriﬁed when I was told that in the States one should not wear the same clothes two days in a row to school. In Finland, I had a habit of wearing the same outﬁt for one week, with no one questioning my personal hygiene. The values of consumer society have taken over Finland during the past 15 years. Of course the emergence of brands had already started earlier, but the hard truth is that even as late as in the 80s most Finns did not have enough money to spare for anything extra. For Finns the argument of a lost childhood actually means the innocence of childhood is lost amid a consumer society, where children and teenagers are an increasingly targeted consumer group. This means that they have not only learned to consume in order to gain acceptance among peers, but also to judge others by their consuming habits. said to be one of the most important areas of marketing. Lately, the media has concentrated
astonishingly strong inﬂuence over a parents purchases, be it a car or a holiday destination.
in worrying about the growing elderly population, but there are still plenty of teenagers and children in the world ready to learn the power of brands. The old rule “teach them young” is still apt. “If you want someone to be your a friend of your brand in the future, you must start building up a relationship with them when they are young,” says Mikko Ampuja, Business Development Manager of research company 15/30, which does research among young adults. It is the kind of communication children seem to learn easy. Some time ago I went on a date with a man who has a three-year old girl. He told me that the girl already speaks “with brands”, stating for example that she wants a Calvin Klein skirt or a Ralph Lauren shirt. Ampuja disagrees with me in that the opinions of the youth get too much attention these days. He thinks the youth is not heard enough. However, we agree on the way this is visible in our society. Looking at many commercials targeted at the youth, one can’t but wonder what happened to being a teenager. In many commercials teenage years are shown as a period of constant party, love aﬀairs and astonishingly fun times with friends. The only crack in the perfect picture might be a pimple (but even that, of course, can be zapped away with a right product). Where is the existential pain of the youth that I remember going through? Where are the moments, when ﬁnding your way in the world had nothing to do with wearing a right brand of jeans? Where is the rollercoaster of emotions created by falling in love for the ﬁrst time? Where are all the problems that can’t be solved by ordering a ringtone for your mobile phone or drinking Coca Cola? Youth marketing has distorted the
way we see being young. “Teenagers themselves laugh at this sort of advertising,” Ampuja says. “It is easy to see that it is produced by some middle-aged people sitting in a conference room with no knowledge of the life of the young.” The problem is, ads aimed at the youth sometimes represent a more idealized youth than the real thing. The party and care-free attitudes are an illusion created by adults. It is how we would like to remember our own youth. It is our take to forget the moments of shaky hands and sweaty armpits when we felt inadequate to face the world. Ampuja thinks young people should get to participate in the ad business targeted at them. Among better commercials, two things could be improved. First, according to a 15/30 Research, ethical and ecological consuming is the biggest trend among the young in Finland. The problem is there aren’t many products or services aimed at the youth that would ﬁll this category. Second, the youth is often treated as a homogenous group. In reality the young are as heterogeneous as us adults. This idea was presented in the 90s by Canadian writer Naomi Klein in her book No Logo. She said that most global ad campaigns concentrate in selling an idea of a global teen market, which in reality does not exist. “Too many people still think in terms of what they see in their own social circles. Most CEO’s and Marketing Managers of big companies are very wealthy, which means their children are powerful consumers as well,” Ampuja says. “But that is not the reality for most young people.“ The other day, as I was crossing a road and waiting for a red light to change, I overheard two young boys discussing their options for a candy purchase. They were probably around 12 and dressed according to our harsh winter this year. “We should go to Citymarket*. They have a better selection of candies,” the other one said. “No, there is an S-Market* too. Let’s go there. It is cheaper,” responded the other one. “No, Citymarket has better selection.”
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“But S-Market is cheaper!” The discussion continued. I didn’t hear a possible conclusion, but clearly these two young boys were very diﬀerent types of consumer already at young age.
In Western societies we are still ﬁrmly in love with freedom and the good old saying: “You can be whatever you want to be”.
’ our “whiz kid” Robson, the one who excited Morgan Stanley by writing that teens like to ﬂip TV channels during commercials. I admit being slightly amused by the attention Robson received, but the one thing that his report showed very clearly, was that kids use a wide variety of media—some of it “old media” like print, some of it “new media” such as music downloads from the internet. Today’s children and teenagers grew up in a world that diﬀers from the world where us adults grew up in one very important way: They have no memories of the days before the internet and mobile phones. But how important is this memory actually? We may sometimes exaggerate the importance slightly. Especially because, quoting this March’s issue of Time magazine, we like to believe we live in an era of unprecedented change. According to Finnish Professor of Sociology, Terhi-Anna Wilska, adults are often far too amazed by the technological abilities of the young. If your kid has an avatar in Second Life or surfs on Youtube, it still doesn’t mean that she or he is somehow insuperable. The adventures in the virtual world might seem like magic to you, but be assured, they aren’t. I say internet has made adults lazy. Children and teenagers are left to hang around in the virtual world while adults whine about not being able to do anything about it, since they don’t understand it. We need a reality check. Most things in the internet are created by adults. Regardless of how much you’d want to believe that 13-year-olds rule the world, a fact is they don’t really invent anything. They simply consume what adults produce for them—be it virtual toys in Habbo or Bratz Dolls (which at
least I ﬁnd to look like a bunch of badly made up prostitutes). Adults are too quick to succumb into a state of horror over how strange the world of the young is these days. Is it really so strange? Or just a reﬂection of the adult world? 2007 book, Consumed, American political theorist Benjamin R. Barber states his worries regarding the infantilization of adults. By infantilization he means adults acting like children in a sense of not being able or willing to defer gratiﬁcation. He is probably onto something. If Aristotle would be resurrected from the dead, he would probably want to return to his grave immediately. In the Western world, we don’t exactly live up to his ideals anymore. Pleasure no longer needs to require hard work and discipline is no longer valued high. In Barber’s opinion this is caused by the way capitalism presents itself in the contemporary consumer society. In the past, capitalism promoted hard work and self-discipline, until a problem presented itself. People had worked hard and earned enough material pleasures to live on happily, but the capitalist markets needed to keep selling things—things that people no longer neither wanted or desired. The only way capitalism could survive was to mingle with identity politics. Consuming has always marked differences between social classes, but only in the recent past it has been used in forming identities. Ampuja says that, according to their studies, about 30 %
of Finnish young adults between the ages 15 to 30 now say that they present their identity and personality by their consumer choices. In Western societies we are still ﬁrmly in love with freedom and the good old saying: “You can be whatever you want to be”. Every adult should know that this is not true. I, for example, have a very limited scope of things I can be. I am good at two things; doing physical exercise and writing. I can desire to be something else, but the truth is I most likely won’t be. But since watching Disney’s Pinocchio, I have been made to believe that if I wish up on a star, anything I dream can become true. Later on the idea is bombarded by the massive self-help industry making millions of dollars out of our dreams. This promotes another twisted idea, that we could somehow control our own destiny. But let me be honest here. Most of the time we can decide which brand of running shoes we choose to buy, and even there the choice of the brands are scarce. Being an adult is to accept who you are, not a constant identity project acted out by shopping. Only once us adults ﬁnd that self-conﬁdence again will children have room to be children.
* S-Market and Citymarket are Finnish grocery stores. In this article I am not stating that the other one is cheaper or that the other one has a better selection of candies. I am simply referring to the young boys who happened to stand next to me on a street.
MUXLIM FROM FINLAND Muxlim.com founder Mohamed El-Fatatry’s business has spread from the corner of his living room to New York. "This is just the beginning," he assures. : It’s easy to see that someone is about to realise his wildest dreams. But El-Fatatry hasn’t come to this point over night.
. Internet service that
- Helsinki is grey, but the downtown Helsinki oﬃces of social media website Muxlim.com show no traces of the greyness. An incoming visitor is greeted by a glass ball art piece and a row of bright-coloured armchairs. The chairs are in the Muxlim.com theme colours; blue, red, green and yellow. A herd of people exit the meeting room. The people are dressed more casual than in your average oﬃce, wearing jeans, hoodies and sneakers—with an occasional exception of a shirt and a suit. Then a man steps out of the meeting room wearing a Stetson hat and a broad smile. He is Mohamed El-Fatatry, 25,
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the founder and CEO of Muxlim. com, a million euro business. “We have the house warming party of the new oﬃce tonight and everyone has to wear a hat. I don’t dress like this everyday,” El-Fatatry defends the colossal headpiece. He bought the hat on a business trip to Las Vegas, from where he has just returned. Lately he has been collecting a lot of frequent ﬂyer miles with Muxlim.com expanding to the USA. The company already has an oﬃce complex rented in New York City. “Can I show you some pictures?” ElFatatry asks and presents me with colour prints of the skyscraper oﬃce’s view, in day and night time lighting.
combines the features of Facebook, Myspace and Youtube. El-Fatatry founded the service in 2006. On the site you can meet other users, collect your own web of friends, watch and share pictures and videos, chat, follow blogs, and take part in polls. The site also includes muxlim pal—a virtual world where you can build your own avatar. At the moment Muxlim.com reaches tens of millions of people from 190 countries. Five percent of the users are non-Muslim. “I founded Muxlim.com, because the sites already designed for Muslims felt alienated from the everyday life of people. All of these sites revolved around religion. I’m a Muslim myself and like to talk about things outside religion as well. This got me thinking, why there were no sites where Muslims could discuss the current Billboard hits or Oscar -winners.” Muxlim.com is not a religious site, but El-Fatatry says it supports the Muslim lifestyle and culture. From the start, the site has also been open for non-Muslims. Advertisers have found the potential of the site as well. No wonder why. It reaches 150 million Muslims. That’s a hefty market share for people interested in reaching the international Muslim audience. “Even though we would reach 10 million people more every year, we would still be just scratching the surface. So, I don’t think we’ll run out of things to do with Muxlim.com in the near future,” El-Fatatry smiles. “It didn’t take us long to gain global interest. Nowadays a few newspapers and magazines even use us as a source of information. They include The Times, Guardian and Time-magazine.”
In fact, Time has just interviewed him the day before our interview. He discussed matters such as why today only 20 percent of Muslims live in the Arab countries or Middle East, the traditional idealistic strongholds of the Muslim world. “The journalist also wanted to interview my father and younger brother who are visiting Finland. My father told him he is very proud of me. It made me feel very good.” The father is also partially responsible for the son’s initial spark of interest in the IT world. El-Fatatry, who was born in Egypt, became interested in computers, and especially the Internet, in his teens. His father was the Editor-in-Chief in the biggest newspaper in Dubai. It was using his father’s work computer that young Mohamed got his ﬁrst taste of the worldwide web already in 1997—long before the average Dubai resident. The joy was boundless when he realised that WWF wrestling results were available online in real time. The matches were two seasons behind on local television. “I went to my fathers editing oﬃce at 6pm and we left at 3am, when the paper was sent to the print. I was online the whole time. I became quite a superhero at school, being able to predict next year’s wrestling champion. That’s when I realised the power of the Internet!” Later El-Fatatry studied information technology at an American university and worked, but at the same time he was sure that there was more to be learned. He was searching the net for further study opportunities and bumped into the free education system in Finland. El-Fatatry made an excursion to the north and became assured that he would like it here. And soon he started his studies in the Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. “Many thought I was crazy when I left my steady job for a school in Finland. I am grateful for my parents who have always trusted and supported me. Our family is spread out all over the world at the moment,” El-Fatatry says referring to his brother and sister, who all study abroad. At Helsinki Metropolia El-Fatatry got the idea of a web community for Muslims. The teachers encouraged him, even though his schoolmates thought he was a bit dotty. How could anyone start a Muslim website in Finland? Finland is not even near any countries with major Muslim population.
“Who’s the sucker now?” El-Fatatry smiles. The original name of El-Fatatry’s business was MuslimSpace, a social and entertainment-centred online portal targeted at a Muslim audience. It caught on and received a lot of interest in the media. After Helsingin Sanomat, the biggest newspaper in Finland, wrote of the small but interesting company, El-Fatatry received a call from Pietari Päivänen. The two men met, their interests and chemistry clicked, and in the end of their meeting Päivänen was ready to invest 50 000 euro to Muxlim. “I actually received three calls; one from Pietari, another from the USA and a third one from Belgium. I chose Pietari, because I thought it would be good to have a Finnish business partner, if I run the company from Finland.”
He is Mohamed El-Fatatry, 25,
Prize. For me the most important thing was that Nokia received the same award ten years ago,” says El-Fatatry, who chose Finland as the country for his studies partially due to Nokia’s reputation. El-Fatatry is constantly asked why Muslims need their own online community, if they use Western entertainment websites as well. He explains that just a few years ago you couldn’t upload Muslim material on Youtube without receiving a lot of unpleasant feedback from other users. He wanted to create a Muslimfriendly community, where no one would be mocked. El-Fatatry has received a lot of praise for the friendliness of his community. “Most Muslims are normal people who love their families. The picture of Muslims that the media boosts is not always truthful. For example, a recent study shows that over half of the Muslim reportages have to do with only one percent of Muslims.” With Muxlim.com, people always talk of a good idea. Most good ideas are simple. El-Fatary says he was just in the right place at the right time. He thinks Muxlim.com could have been founded by anyone, also by a non-Muslim. “It is hard to believe now, but the online community could just as easily have been founded by some other Muslim named Mohamed. This is a commercial company. I knew what I was doing, because I wanted to use this kind of a service myself. That I admit.” That’s a good way to sum the recipe for a perfect product: Make something that you would use yourself.
50 people. The company has oﬃces in Helsinki and New York. “At times it feels weird that our lives revolve around this business. I, for example, haven’t unpacked my suitcase in years. On my recent business trip to the US, I visited three states in one day. And I didn’t think there was anything weird about it.” There have been attempts to buy the successful business, but El-Fatatry has been reluctant to sell an unﬁnished product. “At the moment one maybe could get a few million for this business, and live happy in Hawaii with the money, but what would be the point. Everything else is much more interesting than money at this point. And I can assure you that this is just the beginning. We have so many possibilities for development,” El-Fatatry says. Currently, there is plenty of work to be done. El-Fatatry travels more than six months of the year and says he suﬀers a continuous jetlag. He is also a wanted speaker. This spring he has given a speech at the Presidential Entrepreneurship Summit organised by President Barack Obama in Washington. A few months ago El-Fatatry made the list of the 500 most inﬂuential Muslims. In February he received the 2009 Internationalization Award of the President of the Republic from the Finnish President Tarja Halonen. “The knowledge of the Internationalization Award spread across the Muslim world and people reacted to it like it was a Nobel
the founder and CEO of Muxlim. com, a million euro business.
FROM SHAPE MAKING TO SENSE MAKING There’s a lot more to design than just beautiful objects. Its real purpose is to make life better. Helsinki, elected as World Design Capital for 2012, is taking design far beyond its traditional borders to all kinds of projects, from improving public services to redeﬁning subway colours. : :
cup, for example. A lot of time has been put into designing it. When the cup ﬁnally has the best shape possible, it becomes a utility for the breakfast table. The idea behind design is simple: good design makes life easier for people. In Finland, design is also applied beyond its traditional horizons, in areas where its use can be more or less surprising. “Including design in health care, for example, doesn’t mean decorating hospital waiting rooms with pretty vases. In this case design means wide scale planning. It’s been used to make hospitals more functional and shorten the line of patients,” says Pekka Timonen, Cultural Director for the City of Helsinki and head of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 project. Helsinki is a small city among great metropolises, but it’s not short on potential to be a design centre. The venture is a possibility for Finland’s capital and its neighbouring areas to develop in leaps and attract international design specialists. The year is a cause for celebration also for Finnish design education, especially the Aalto University and Lahti Institute of Design are involved in the planning of the project. Helsinki is working to actualise plans that might not be possible without the title granted by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design. “Design is like an engine that we want to use to enhance our city’s economic competitiveness and create humane solutions in all divisions of society. Design equals creativity, with a purpose of creating pleasure and enhancing the quality of life. This is what traditional design is also about: quality that creates joy for years to come,” Timonen says. Helsinki is interested in unique solutions that can be applied all over the world. How does the option of using a mobile phone to buy an SMS ticket in the city’s public transportation sound? Capital venture will see numerous exhibitions and events related to the ﬁeld, like seminars and workshops. “I’m certain that our eﬀorts in design
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will not remain unnoticed by anyone visiting the city,” Pekka Timonen states. For easy access to a wide range of design, Timonen recommends heading for Design District Helsinki. It’s an area in downtown Helsinki with a concentration of professionals in the ﬁeld: 25 streets with 180 sites such as jewellers’ shops, bars, galleries, clothing stores, design companies and hotels. WDC Helsinki 2012 is also going to have a strong presence online, both as a key factor in reaching people and as an open platform for sharing ideas. Preparations for the design year have already begun, but it won’t all be ﬁnished in 2012. Being a design capital is a process of several years and many results won’t be visible until afterwards. “The World Design Capital venture exists because the world needs examples. The purpose is to encourage cities to take advantage of design on a broad scale,” Timonen sums it up. www.wdc2012helsinki.ﬁ/en www.designdistrict.ﬁ www.worlddesigncapital.com
SHIFTING PARADIGMS Yrjö Sotamaa, designer and Professor of design innovation, has worked for years to form a relationship between designers in Finland and China. This year Finnish Aalto University and Chinese Tongji University will establish a joint project called Aalto Design Factory Shanghai. Q: Design Factory, originally a project of University of Art and Design Helsinki, was established in 2008. What was the original idea behind the project? A: Several reasons have lead to founding Design Factory. First, Finland has a very good university system, but often the level of teaching is not good at all. Pedagogically it is very teacher-centered and lecture-based. Aalto University has promised to create a new learning culture in which teaching will be made more student-centered. The biggest promise we’ve made is this: We try out new pedagogical approaches, which will include a strong interdisciplinary element. Q: What does Design Factory require from the students? A: In order for teaching to be more student-centered, students need to be active. It is a very intensive way of learning, since students really need to contribute to their own learning which requires a lot of commitment. But this is exactly what many students want. They want challenges that cannot be dealt half-heartedly. Q: In Design Factory students work in the actual world and sometimes collaborate with companies. How does that beneﬁt corporate world? A: There are many kinds of companies, of course. Some companies understand that collaborating with a university will help them see things a bit broader. This kind of collaboration can be seen as a window to the future.
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Q: The agreement to establish Aalto Design Factory in Shanghai was signed in January. What makes Shanghai such a special city in China? A: Shanghai has a special history. It is a place where East and West have truly met. The British and the French came there and as a result cultures clashed. Nowadays the city is a fascinating mixture of communism, market economy and Confucian thinking. It is also the most liberal Chinese metropolis and they value entrepreneurship high. It is a very dynamic and creative city. Q: The emphasis our society gives to design and on how things look sometimes bothers me. Do you think that design can ever become more democratic? A: Inherently design’s nature is not democratic; it is meant to create ways to stand out from the crowd. Be it people, companies or countries, they all use design in order to deﬁne their individual character. But yes, how design could be used to promote equality and democracy is very important question in the design world. A shift is taking place in how people perceive things, the relationship to consuming is gradually changing. It will just take a while. Today designers emphasize holistic thinking based on human needs, and design is becoming more and more signiﬁcant to society. This way design by its true nature is democratic.
What? AALTO UNIVERSITY Aalto University is an outcome of a merger of three Helsinki universities: Helsinki School of Economics, University of Art and Design Helsinki, and Helsinki School of Science and Technology. The new university, named after the renowned Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, started operating last autumn.
CHINA’S SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Q: What makes Shanghai such a special city and a suitable place for Aalto Design Factory? A: Design and innovation are Shanghai’s core characteristics. It is one of the most dynamic cities in the world. It is both intercontinental and intercultural in a way that makes it a very special city for China. In addition, it is also the home for Tongji University, long known for it’s excellence. Q: China is very well known as a manufacturer but Chinese brands less heard of, apart from the likes of Huawei and Lenovo. How do you see the future of Chinese branding? A: China is currently in transition from being a manufacturer to becoming an innovator. Innovation is the core where business, technology and design meet. Some encouraging examples of this meeting are happening as we speak. Q: Sustainability should be an important aspect of design in the future. In your opinion, will China be a leader in this trend? A: Sustainability will be part of how Chinese branding and innovation will look like in the future. Most likely China will not spring a brand like Louis Vuitton. Rather something with a more lifestyle appeal to it will emerge. Sustainability will be a natural part of a brand like this. The whole paradigm of the country will shift towards sustainable development.
Q: What role do university students hold in this transition? A: Students have a very important role. It is the young people who will change the world. The method of teaching will change too. The case is no longer that the teacher has knowledge, which she or he will give to students. The new methods of learning will need a new style of learning environment as well. This will be provided by Aalto Design Factory Shanghai. I hope we will not just teach, but create opportunities and encourage learning in many ways. Q: I know this question is a bit too large, but I will ask it anyway. What image do the Chinese have of Finland? A: Finnish brands play a major role in the image people have of this country. Designers, of course, know of Alvar Aalto and others, but if we talk about middle class Chinese people, their knowledge is mostly based on Nokia. It is a brand that has a very humane and innovative image. And you know, these days brands have a cultural image. For example, most Chinese do not know what or where Sweden is, but they know what Ikea is.
What? AALTO DESIGN FACTORY Aalto Design Factory is a project of Aalto University. Aalto Design Factory in Helsinki started operating in 2008. In Shanghai, the local Aalto Tongji Design Factory will start operations in 2010. Aalto Design Factory aims to facilitate new pedagogical approaches, innovations, and collaborations between students and companies.
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Professor Lou Yongqi from Tongji University, Shanghai, visited Finland this winter. He talked about Aalto Tongji Design Factory in Shanghai and China’s transition from being a manufacturer to being an innovator.
YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED CEO of Finland-China Development & Exchange Centre, Erlin Yang has lived in Finland for over 20 years. In this section he answers questions often asked by the Chinese. : It’s 5 o’clock in the afternoon on a beautiful summer day in Helsinki. People lounge on the grass in Esplanadi park, the street side cafés are crowded and no one seems to be in hurry. : When do Finns work? : The length of a Finnish working day is set in the law. A normal working day is 7,5 hours and people work 5 days of the week. When you take away the coﬀee breaks, the actual working hours are even less. This is possible because Finnish people work eﬃciently during their working hours. Employees are professional with a clear focus on their work, and bureaucracy is fairly easy. The values of the Finnish people also lay an important role. Finns are proud of the quality of their work, and it is important to them. : A traveller sits onboard an airplane. The seatbelt is fastened as the ﬂight attendant has just announced that the plane is landing in Helsinki-Vantaa airport in 10 minutes. However, there is no city at sight; only forests, ﬁelds and lakes. : How do Finns manage to preserve their nature? : Nature is valuable to Finns. You can see it in politics. Finland focuses on environmental politics, but the respect for nature is an even broader subject. Finnish children learn already in school that nature has to be looked after. : Finland has only 5 million inhabitants, yet it has managed to spring international business like Nokia, Vaisala and Wärtsilä that can be found in China, for example. The level of education has to be very high. : If my children want to study in Finland, is it possible? : Finland is a free country, so basically it is possible. Finland has a good education system and everyone has a possibility for education; there is no tuition in the academia, and the people who can’t get in the university can study through the open university system. To get in a Finnish academy, one has to pass an entrance exam. Chinese people are used to studying hard, so normally the exam shouldn’t be too diﬃcult.
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: - :
MESMERIZED BY CLOUDS Chao An, 23, came from Beijing to study in Aalto University in Helsinki last August. P “Northern Europe has been a common dream for Chinese people of my age group. I didn’t know too much about Finland before I came here; mainly Nokia, Santa Claus, and that Finland is a beautiful and cold country with lots of snow. I also had an image about Europe—the buildings being old and decorated, the streets made of stones instead of asphalt, and people strolling around peacefully.”
P “In China I had a tutor who had spent a year in Finland. She told me about Finnish people, explaining that it is not easy to make friends with a Finn, but once a Finnish person is your friend, he or she is really a good friend. I ﬁnd the people here very friendly. Often when I ask directions from a stranger, they lead me all the way to see the place I am looking for. I am so touched by this kind of kindness.” P “What I like most about Helsinki is how people live together with the nature here—there is no conﬂict. I can see forests and trees everywhere, even in the city center. Also, the air is very clean, and I love the clouds here. In China, clouds seem to reside way up in the sky. Here they seem very low. I am even doing a project on this in school.” P “When I was in high school, I fell in love with fashion. Nowadays my attitude to fashion has changed. I don’t see it as being about clothes and jewels anymore, but more about an attitude towards life. I like how Finnish people really love domestic brands such as Marimekko and Iittala.” P “It was once a very cold and rainy day, dark in the streets and no one around. A group of us students went to the café in Seurasaari (Villa Angelica). It was like an illusion in the middle of the cold and darkness. It was more like someone’s house than a café. There was tea and cakes everywhere, but no one around!” P “I would advice anyone coming to Helsinki to forget all about the clichés of travelling. Do not just go through all the famous sights. Don’t make a schedule. Slow down. Just walk around, in this city you don’t have to worry about getting lost.”
WIRELESS FUTURE : - : : :
Three years ago Maija Itkonen came up with a table that charges mobile phones. The forthcoming years will show how far Powerkiss will go. , two things were needed to inﬂuence Maija Itkonen, 33. Without them she would not be sitting by this café table, making notes in her little notebook with an image of a heart split in two on the cover. The two things: necessity and an inspiring teacher. She was taking part in a course on innovation at the Helsinki School of Economics. The course included writing a business plan. “I went to see the teacher in advance and told him that I’m a design student. And that I don’t know so much about business plans,” Itkonen tells me. The teacher was Italian Pier A. Abetti, a 90-year-old professor who has made his career in the United States. Speaking about him makes Itkonen’s eyes light up. “Abetti told me it didn’t matter.” Itkonen sat down by her desk and started thinking. What things had she heard people complain about lately? Cords. People had complained to her
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HAVE A GOOD IDEA?
about cords. In ten minutes, in the middle of the lecture, she wrote a preliminary business plan. “It looks like some people here are just playing computer games,” Abetti said, and gave Itkonen and her computer a glance. It was 2007 and Powerkiss–the cordless mobile phone charging system–was born. two small, white objects. The ﬁrst one you attach under the table, and the one that looks like a USB-stick you attach to the device you want to charge. The result is a table that charges devices. Isku and Kinnarps are some of Powerkiss’ manufacturers, and the tables can be found at the Via lounge at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, for example. That’s as far as Itkonen wants to explain the technical features. “Nobody buys technology. People want a user experience,” she says. User experience consists of the product’s entire life span: from the place you buy it and the package it comes in, to what you need to do to start using it and what happens to it when it’s no longer used. “Maybe some men in red overalls will come to pick it up,” Itkonen grins. Whatever the case, a good idea is not enough. Resources, both mental and material, are also required. In the case of Powerkiss, the most important mental resource is Itkonen herself. She is an energetic woman who ﬁrst got an education as a professional musician. That’s when her commendable work ethic developed (she still plays wind instruments once a week at the Helsinki City Theatre). She is clearly not afraid to take a leap into the unknown, but has the intelligence to do it feet ﬁrst.
In 2007 she studied in the International Design Business Management program at the School of Art and Design. The program was a collaboration involving the School of Economics and the School of Science and Technology. She also worked at a research lab at the School of Science and Technology. “I had a feeling that all the resources I needed were available and I was surrounded by people who could answer my questions,” she says. “I believe in a strong sense of community and that innovation lives in networks. You just have to ﬁnd the courage to rely on them.” Innovations without money never leave the drawing table. As soon as the concept was created, Powerkiss won the Venture Cup competition for new ideas. The prize money wasn’t that big, but winning brought a lot of free publicity and media attention. After Venture Cup, Powerkiss was included in a funding program of Tekes (The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) and now Finnvera (a government owned investor) will provide ﬁnancial security for some years. “Finland has an unbelievably wellorganised funding program,” Itkonen praises. “Sometimes it’s just not used correctly.” The problem is that funding is usually meant speciﬁcally for product development, and marketing is often neglected. “This can easily lead to situations where the product is ﬁnished, but no one has thought about who’s going to buy it,” Itkonen explains. Powerkiss has proceeded in a diﬀerent way. The product has been marketed all along and the brand has been developed in various ways. It is present also as we speak: the dented heart on the cover of Itkonen's notebook is the Powerkiss logo.
Finland has a system for helping entrepreneurs develop their projects. Funding and help in developing ideas can be arranged by Tekes, Sitra or the Foundation for Finnish Inventors, for example. Technopolis is a listed company that oﬀers premises and advice for new informationintensive companies. Karri Hautamäki, The Director of Technopolis OnLine, tells us where future investments should be made in Finland: “Commercialising innovations is a risky business, so help is needed. The viewpoint should be shifted to see that it’s not only technical development that needs funding, but also commercialisation and branding. When there is support, the right areas of innovation and success stories will come to us. They could be in clean tech, printed electronics or service innovations.”
FINNS INVOLVED IN ECOCITIES
WORLD FAME WITH QUALITY RESEARCH Cleen Oy, or Cluster for Energy and Environment Incorporated, is a cluster of top Finnish minds in the energy and environmental industries. Its aim is to advance the level of Finnish research and internationalisation, and to tighten collaboration between research institutes and funders in the ﬁelds of energy and environmental business. The Cleen vision predicts that energy and environment will be Finland’s leading industry in 2050, and that Finns will be among global market leaders. www.cleen.fi
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CLEANTECH FINLAND Cleantech Finland is a cluster of about 200 Finnish environmental technology and clean tech companies (FECC is also part of this cluster). Its goal is to help small and medium sized Finnish enterprises make their business international. In practise, the functions are realised through four expertise centres, one of which is the Southern Finnish province of Uusimaa. The area’s most important projects include environmental monitoring, energy eﬃciency in urban areas and oil spill recovery. Environmental monitoring means improving the level of expertise in the ﬁeld of environmental measuring and linking it to ICT, in which Finland has been traditionally known for its expertise. Energy efﬁciency refers to a ﬁeld of business that has risen out of the necessity to monitor energy consumption in urban environments, related to living and traﬃc, for example. Creating new alternatives is also part of the activity. Oil spill recovery is related to the preservation of the Baltic Sea area. wwwcleantechcluster.fi
SOMETHING’S GOING ON! Bits and pieces of what is happening in clean tech in Finland.
If you have a question concerning environmental issues and doing business in either China or Finland, Finnish Environmental Cluster for China FECC can help you. FECC is a project started by the Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2006. It has a comprehensive contact network in China, including businesses and local oﬃcials. With a population of 1 billion, China is a tremendous growth opportunity for the small and medium sized businesses of tiny Finland. China’s EcoCity projects create special opportunities for environmental businesses. EcoCities are born of China’s aims to transfer close to 400 million of its inhabitants from rural areas to cities. Two of these projects, Gongqingin and Danyang, have been partially realised by Finnish DigiEcoCity Oy, also involved in FECC. www.fecc.fi
WHAT IS CLEAN TECH? The terms clean tech and environmental technology are widely used, but what do they actually mean? signiﬁcant phenomenon in our society in the ﬁrst decade of the 21st century has been the accommodation of sustainable development in people’s everyday lives. The term has settled in virtually all facets of our everyday life. Businesses from clothing manufacturers to energy suppliers have used it to describe their
philosophy. Along with sustainability, clean tech and environmental technology have also found their way into our everyday discussions. ”I use the term environmental technology to talk of technologies that are clearly working for the beneﬁt of the environment. Clean tech is a broader term. It includes all the processes and technologies that are environmentally positive,” says Executive Vice President Kari Larjava of VTT Technical Research Centre, who has been involved in the Finnish EcoCity-project in the MenTouGou district of Beijing. The growing concern of climate change has been a driving force in clean tech. Decision-makers all over the world are almost unanimous in their view of the need for a profound change in the way people and societies consume. How it can be achieved divides people in two camps: the ﬁrst one believes that consumption should be cut radically, the second thinks that with the right technology consumption can be made less burdensome for the environment. All means are needed, due to
the enormity of the challenge. Larjava provides an example of what clean tech could mean in house building. “Twenty years ago people talked of low energy buildings. Nowadays we are already aiming for zero energy buildings, meaning buildings that consume no energy, because they produce energy that can be fed backwards to the smart grid.” However, the very deﬁnition of clean tech and environmental technology has its challenges. European Union has only recently started the veriﬁcation process of environmental technologies to get everyone on the same page, even vaguely. “It takes a pretty high level of knowhow to understand what technologies are good for the environment,” Larjava says. “In the entirety, technology gets tangled with social sciences and especially economics. We also have to be able to take the impact of the whole process and the entire duration of its lifespan into consideration.” Only then we can genuinely talk of sustainable development.
Suomi â€“ Finland
Postage stamps from Finland at Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Itella Corporation, Philatelic Centre P.O. Box 2 00011 ITELLA, Finland Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: +358 204 51 5580 44!! W E LC O M E TO/goshopping FINLAND www.posti.fi
A TASTY DEAL The food and the milieu of a restaurant must work seamlessly together in a business meeting. A local kitchen is ideal to bring the parties together—after all what’s the point in doing Finnish business over escargot or sushi? Below, a group of Finnish business experts reveal their oases for a perfect meeting.
SAVOY, Helsinki EEROPEKKA RISLAKKI, Editor in Chief, Viisi Tähteä -magazine
CLARISSE BERGGÅRDH, CEO, Sanoma Magazines Finland
AINO SALLINEN, RECTOR, University of Jyväskylä
”Strindberg oﬀers good Scandinavian food. The service is excellent. Also the location and beautiful park view deserve a commendation.” R One of the biggest terraces of the city is a perfect spot to follow the Pohjoisesplanadi stir. The Library bar, adjacent to the restaurant, is ideal for relaxed meetings. Pohjoisesplanadi 33,
”This cosy restaurant offers personal delicacies and excellent wines. The service is friendly and competent. The presentation of the menu and the wines keeps sparking admiration in international guests.” R The menu emphasises local ingredients and includes for example little perch ﬁshed from nearby Lake Päijänne. Cabinet for 12 people, also meeting rooms for 10 and 25 people.
"Savoy is a classic location, with a long tradition in business meetings. Chef Kai Kallio’s food philosophy is based on Hippocrates’ idea: let food be your medicine. In Savoy, a ﬁne dining attitude joins hands with local ingredients and a true understanding of the eﬀects of food. Light food just doesn’t do the trick in a meeting.” R The restaurant’s interior is preserved to house the original touch of architect and designer couple Aino and Alvar Aalto. Cabinets range from private to up to 32 people. Eteläesplanadi 14, www.royalravintolat.com
Yliopistonkatu 23, www.hotelliyopuu.fi 45
Kämp Galleria is an elegant shopping centre in the heart of Helsinki. It has more than 50 shops, high-quality services and restaurants on three floors. Welcome! OPEN • MON–FRI 10–20 • SAT 10–17 • SUN 12–16 (SUMMER TIME)
READ A BOOK FICTION
Solar The new novel by the top British author deals with climate change.
So Much for That The masterful storyteller tackles a talked about subject in her new release: the American health care system.
Snuﬀ Only Palahniuk can write such an entertaining yet intellectual story of a porn movie shoot.
The Shaking Woman or a History of My Nerves Intellectual Siri Hustvedt goes on a journey into herself and her personal health.
Liberalism and Prostitution A very topical information package about prostitution, without the unnecessary sentimental fuss.
Design Driven Innovation Never settle for what already exists. Design Driven Innovation tells you how to create new markets.
Just a Job , . , . A current book about the ethics of work. Work is never just work. The same laws of ethics that apply to life should also apply to work.
Fast Strategy Co-written by Mikko Kosonen, the President of Finnish Sitra, this book deals with a strategy to keep your company up in the accelerating currents of the business world.
A QUEST FOR FINNISH OSTRICHES One American journalist gets to fulﬁll his dream of being among Finnish ostriches. :
Africa. Or so I thought. The limitations of this thinking becomes rather quickly apparent when you are in the middle of the Finnish countryside, in the village of Nurmijärvi, about a forty minute drive from Helsinki, being swarmed by a ﬂock of these birds who think your jacket is something that they can eat. Is dark fabric really so tasty? As these ostriches, all of whom were born in Finland, push me against the side of their pen it is not clear exactly what they are looking for. Bugs, bits of plants? I’d like to believe my jacket is free of such edibles. The ostriches think otherwise. Up close their long necks dart around, serpentine and strong. Their nibbling leaves chunky, dark brown spittle. They pull at the cloth, stabbing the air around me with their pointed breaks, look-
ing down with large, round, uncertain black eyes. I have no backup. Lahja, my co-pilot and bodyguard, is meters away on the other side of the fence, watching the onslaught of pecking birds and chatting with Sirpa Granholm. What they can be so nonchalantly discussing while I am being pecked, I don’t know. Jan, Sirpa’s husband and co-owner of the Ketola ostrich farm, is in the pen with me. He, however, is only laughing. He holds up a hand and an ostrich latches onto it, chomping down on his thinly gloved ﬁngers. Jan only laughs more. “This man loves his birds,” I think. “There’s no way he’s about to save me.” Jan does love the ostriches. He strokes their feathered heads and pushes them around, treating the birds like oddly shaped wrestling bodies. He has
been raising ostriches for sixteen years. Hierarchal creatures, the dominant male ostrich is established every year in ﬁghts at the beginning of the mating season. He then chooses his primary female, who he mates with before mating with other females. To be accepted by the ostriches, Jan must be tougher than the dominant male, a massive dark winged loner named the Body Man, who stands by the fence looking out over the countryside as the rest of the ﬂock pecks and nips at my jacket. The Body Man became the dominant male six years ago. He is big, but not the biggest male. Yet, according to Jan, when the Body Man was young he had more energy than usual. He didn’t walk, he was running all the time. From this start he grew into the top bird. The Body Man doesn’t bully the other ostriches, however. He is “nice”, but when it comes to ﬁghts, he wins. He does not ﬁght Jan, however. His hand on the Body Man’s back, Jan eﬀortlessly leads the top bird away from the fence. Asked how he can dominate even the Body Man, Jan ﬂexes his arm muscles. “This takes maintenance,” he says. “I push their necks down. The birds are lower than I am, they bow down, many females come to me.” “Sure they do,” Sirpa laughs. is exactly as it sounds. A farm where ostriches are raised for their meat, feathers, eggs, and hide. The parts are turned into various products from ostrich feather boas to make up to meat sold in speciality shops. Dusters to purses to decoratively painted eggs. The extent of the products that can be made from ostriches make one wonder why they are not in greater demand. Why do ostriches not rank among chickens, cows, lambs, and pigs as a source of previously living consumption? More importantly, how did ostriches come to exist in the ﬂats of southern Finland? I ﬁrst asked myself these serious questions in September 2008, recently arrived back in Finland from the Middle East. To unwind in the sense of taking a break or vacation you need activities that are diﬀerent from those that you
usually engage in. To come to this took some thinking, but, theoretically, the eﬀect of such activities produce refreshment, stamina and renewed vigor, something that I was then desperately seeking. I don’t remember how it came about exactly. There was the exclamative confusion of “an ostrich farm, what the heck is that?” Then my friend Marja was quickly up and on Google. By the end of the month a van had been procured, or, rather, ‘borrowed’ from an unsuspecting workplace and up highway E12 two Americans and ﬁve Finns went, some bouncing around the back of the van, others seat belted properly in the front. “There is a very high interest in Finland for such things,” Sirpa says. “People come all the time to see the ostriches.” This was the ﬁrst time I visited the ostrich farm. Sirpa guided us to look at the ostriches. They trotted about the pen. The males had black feathers, the females brownish grey. Watching them, your mind registered the sight. There was no stretching savanna around these ostriches, only some grassy ﬁelds that ended with the dark trees of the Finnish forest. Sirpa told us that the birds withstood the cold winters by adding a layer of fat to themselves, which they worked oﬀ by the summer. Ostriches might be native to Africa, but they could withstand Finnish winters. These birds were adaptable. I admired that. Then Sirpa stated the rules. Ostriches are powerful animals. A kick or hard peck could be fatal. Jan has experienced it at ﬁrst hand. “I don’t remember anything,” he says. “Something happened. The next thing I knew I was on the other side of the barn.” Usually Jan always wears dark clothing-grays and blacks-around the ostriches. One day he returned home and, not to keep them waiting, went to feed the ostriches without changing into his normal attire. He was wearing a blue shirt instead of the usual colors, and snapped back to consciousness
with his chest badly bruised and unable to breathe normally. “They didn’t recognize me as the boss,” he says. Since he was not wearing his usual clothing, the ostriches had not been able to determine who Jan was. Sirpa took him to the local doctor and tried to explain that he had been kicked by an ostrich. The doctor couldn’t believe this. He thought Jan had been drunk and seen something that was not real. “It was an ostrich,” Jan told him. “Do something! I can’t breathe.” The doctor called to the nurses. “This is something you have to learn,” he said, pointing to Jan’s chest. “This is what it looks like when an ostrich kicks you!” Getting kicked isn’t the only trouble Sirpa and Jan have had with the ostriches. Once, while visiting the nearby village, they learned that ﬁve of the ostriches had gotten loose. They were wandering around a neighbor’s ﬁeld. Four ostriches were easily returned to the pen, but a ﬁfth evaded them. Sirpa and Jan got into their old jeep and tried to herd the ostrich, a young female, back into the pen. But the jeep was too slow. When running, ostriches can quickly reach speeds of up to 80 kilometers an hour. The jeep could not accelerate quickly enough to catch up with the ﬂeeing ostrich. “The ostrich started to play with us,” Sirpa says. “It would run, turn around and wait, like it was saying, ‘are you coming or not?’ Then it let the car come very near. Then it started to run again. We couldn’t catch it.” After several hours of trying to herd the ostrich into the pen with the jeep, they decided it was impossible. The bird outran them every time. They got out and eventually managed to lure the ostrich close with alfalfa pellets. Then Jan grabbed the ostrich’s head and put a hood over it. “When its head is covered its very easy to transport,” he says. So, the ﬁrst time at the farm, we had
-There was no stretching savanna around these ostriches, only some grassy ﬁelds that ended with the dark trees of the Finnish forest.
to stay back from the birds a few meters from the fence, admiring them at a distance. The disappointment set in. I had imagined, at the least, wrestling one of the birds. I wanted to come to some mutual understanding of avian/human relations. Looking without coming close is frustrating and most certainly not refreshing, but...no touching allowed. To be fair, the farm oﬀers the possibility of an ‘ostrich safari’ where visitors can safely come closer to the birds. There has never been any accidents with the visitors and Sirpa and Jan want to keep it that way. Still, I wanted direct contact. Being initially denied made me want it more and I began scheming ways to get close to these Finnish ostriches. small number of incidents and Sirpa and Jan’s round the clock watchful dedication, the Ketola ostrich farm is one of the most successful out of the twenty ostrich farms operating in Finland. Approximately four thousand visitors come to the farm every year during the summer time to see the birds. About ﬁfty groups visit per year. The farm also hosts weddings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, birthdays, and christenings. An ostrich farm might seem like an odd place to host a party or event, but the tucked away location amidst the spacious and quiet Finnish countryside has made it successful. “I think it is a combination of the environment, extra with the ostriches,” Sirpa says. “There’s the buildings and the space. People are looking for some-
thing unusual and extra.” Laughing, she describes a wedding last summer where the ostriches lined up along the fence and watched the ceremony. “They were the guests too!” she says. Ostriches are friendly birds. They are curious about what goes on around them, if slightly awkward about it. This meant we shared a certain kinship. And so that is why, fourteen months after my initial visit, when Jan opens the gate and allows me to slip inside the ostrich pen, I feel that surge of satisfaction that comes from living out a dream. I am amongst Finnish ostriches. Of course the ostriches are now pecking and pulling at my jacket, pants, boots, and recording equipment. I am pinned against the fence. There is no where to go. No savior in sight. New questions quickly form. Will one of the ostriches decide to land a hard peck across the side of my head? My eyes? And what about being kicked? Ostrich feet are gnarled and thick and tipped with a single, enormous claw meant for scratching at the ground to lay nests for their eggs. I try to slip pass them, but they follow me, their faces close to mine-purplish blue circles surround their eyes-quizzically trying to ﬁgure out what I am, their orange beaks coming down forcefully upon my chest, their massive feet scratching at the snow. I know the ostriches are only curious. But will I, like Jan, end up in a hospital trying to convince a doctor that I have, indeed, been kicked by an ostrich? But, of course, shouldn’t the doctor already know that ostriches are, also, from Finland?
OSTRICH FARMING AROUND THE WORLD Ostrich farming began in South Africa in the late 19th century. By 1913, over one million ostriches were being raised commercially around the world. Today, there is no comprehensive data on ostrich farms currently available. Ostriches are farmed in the EU, Israel, US, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Egypt, among tens of other countries, largely on privately owned property. It is still a relatively new type of farming. Ostrich farms were not established in England until the 1980s. A 1997 study showed that 300 000 ostriches were slaughtered in South Africa that year, producing 9 000-10 000 tons of meat. Though it is not sold in most grocery stores, the demand for ostrich meat in most European countries is continuous and it is frequently sold in specialty stores. Ostriches have been associated with wealth and power since ancient times. Early Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all kept semi-domesticated ostriches. The ancient Egyptians believed the ostrich feather symbolized justice and truth.
RETURNING HOME The Finnish ﬁlm director Renny Harlin became famous for his Hollywood movies, such as Die Hard 2 and Cliﬀhanger. He returned to his home country to direct a ﬁlm about an icon of Finnish history, Marshal Mannerheim. : - :
Harlin was (and still is) the only Finn successful in Hollywood, and became a sort of an incarnation of the American dream.
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RENNY HARLIN Finnish ﬁlm director, born 1959 in Riihimäki. Studied in the Helsinki School of the Arts until moving to Los Angeles in his twenties. His ﬁrst feature ﬁlm was Born American in 1985. Directed ﬁlms including Nightmare on Elm Street 4, Die Hard 2, Cutthroat Island, Drive, Cleaner. Harlin has been ﬁlming Georgia in spring 2010, starring Val Kilmer.
The civil war of Finland seems distant. In reality however, it was more or less only a lifetime ago when Finns were divided in reds (the working class) and whites (the burgeois), and fought each other in a war that demanded more than 35 000 human lives. The leading ﬁgures included Lieutenant General Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, a Finn who had spent most of his adult life serving in the Russian army. Later on he became the President of Finland. Mannerheim’s story is fascinating. He wasn’t interested in school and wasn’t accepted into cadet school until the third attempt. At age nineteen he moved to St. Petersburg and was accepted into the cavalry school of the Russian army. Serving under the Tsar he advanced to the position of general. When Finland became independent from Russia in 1917, the middle-aged Mannerheim returned to Finland to start the army. The years Mannerheim spent in Russia were ﬁlled with diﬀerent phases and trips. The story goes that his happiest years were from 1906 to 1908. He spent them pretending to be a Swedish explorer and rode to China. “They were the only times in Mannerheim’s life he didn’t spend in war conditions,” says another Finn, also around ﬁfty and returned to his home country this spring 2009. He is ﬁlm director Renny Harlin, 49. Harlin is sitting at the end of the meeting table at the studios of Solar Films, a Finnish ﬁlm production company. He is best known for the Hollywood ﬁlms he’s directed, like Die Hard 2, Cliﬀhanger, Deep Blue Sea and Exorcist: The Beginning. Now he’s ready to direct his ﬁrst Finnish project since the 1980s. Mannerheim is on his way to the silver screen once the funding of the project is secured. ” ' Frozen Wastes, Renny Harlin Is the Hot Young Director Behind the Sizzling Action in Die Hard 2”, People Magazine wrote as the title of an article about Harlin in September 1990. Back then Harlin was (and still is) the only Finn successful
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in Hollywood, and became a sort of an incarnation of the American dream. “When I was ﬁfteen, I said I would become an American ﬁlm director,” he tells me. Harlin grew up in Helsinki and already shot Super 8 ﬁlms as a child. After high school he chose to apply to the School of Art and Design instead of pursuing an academic career, shocking his father, a doctor, and his mother, a nurse. His parents were certain that their son’s future was in jeopardy. In their opinion people who graduated from the school in question became unemployed radicals. Another shock followed when Harlin dropped out and decided to head for Hollywood. Young Harlin sent his clips to everyone who’s anyone in Hollywood, including people like Steven Spielberg. He wondered why there were no answers. Together with Markus Selin–his Finnish friend who later became known in Finland as a ﬁlm producer and is behind the Mannerheim ﬁlm–Harlin gathered up money and wrote the script of their ﬁrst ﬁlm in Selin’s basement in Lohja. The year was 1989. Once ﬁnished, they sent the script to the other side of the Atlantic, to the American actor Chuck Norris. “Just like that. We had gotten his address somehow. We didn’t know about agents. Or anything, for that matter,” Harlin says. Chuck Norris’ assistant called the eager Finnish duo in about a month, letting them know Norris had liked the script. Harlin and Selin were happier than ever, but not necessarily surprised. “That’s exactly how we thought it was supposed to go, we thought,” Harlin laughs. The men sent Norris an advance check, without a contract. They had full-page advertisements for the ﬁlm in the biggest magazines in the business, Hollywood Reporter and Variety. They travelled to the Cannes Film Festival and hired a producer and cameramen. “By next summer everything was ready for ﬁlming in Finnish Lapland. We were practically standing there, holding signs that said Welcome to Finland,
Harlin didn’t ﬁt in the Finnish movie scene either, because for him ﬁlm was entertainment.
waiting for Chuck to arrive. They kept calling us, saying that Chuck would arrive soon. The ﬁlm crew was standing around and money was going to waste. Then it started to snow,” Harlin tells me. Norris never showed up in Lapland. He went to Thailand instead, to shoot Missing in Action 2. “That’s when me and Markus burst into tears,” Harlin says. Eventually the ﬁlm was ﬁnished in 1985, titled Born American. It had Chuck Norris’ son Mike Norris in the lead role and the premiere was in Hollywood. “We thought success would start then and there,” Harlin says. “It didn’t.” Instead of success the two ended up running out of money and having their credit cards cancelled. Harlin spent the next few years taking buses around Los Angeles in search for work, living randomly in friends’ garages and cheap motels. Then, one morning three years later everything changed. Harlin woke up in his motel room and went to pick the day’s papers. He had become a star overnight. He had directed a ﬁlm Nightmare on Elm Street, and it got great reviews. Harlin went on to work with actors like Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone and had famous girlfriends, like Laura Dern and Geena Davis, who he was married to for several years. success in Hollywood could make Harlin feel accepted in Finland. He had been a “weird kid” already in the college. He was looked down upon by most people in the School of Arts for moving to the States. The showing of Born American was prohibited a few times in Finland, because it was considered violent and too hostile towards the Soviet Union. The ﬁrst thing that set Harlin apart from his fellow students was that he had directed advertisements already while studying. “Advertisements were seen as capitalistic junk,” he says. But he didn’t have that many op-
”I was thinking that everyone in the Finnish movie business thought I was a fool and a failure. Coming home was not an option.”
tions. His father had died a few years earlier and he had to support himself. He also felt he was learning more shooting advertisements than at school, and the wages were good too. “Everyone was taking the train to school. I bought a Range Rover and parked it on the schoolyard. It didn’t exactly enhance team spirit,” he says. Harlin didn’t ﬁt in the Finnish movie scene either, because for him ﬁlm was entertainment. In Finland, ﬁlm was perceived as art. To understand it, you need to look at the history of Finnish ﬁlm. The golden age was already before the 50s, when a lot of ﬁlms were produced and the theatres were full. Television arrived in the Finnish home after World War II. In a small country that meant the movie theatres were left empty. At the same time the technology needed to produce movies evolved and making ﬁlms became more expensive. Another way of putting it is that Finnish ﬁlm ran out of money and turned into art funded by the government. “A ﬁlm had to include a social commentary,” Harlin says. Popular subjects were alcoholism, unemployment and other forms of alienation from society. “In America however, going to the movies has been a form of entertainment. The culture is diﬀerent in that aspect, even musicals are very popular over there,” Harlin states. talent, Harlin’s success is due to stubbornness and faith in a personal dream, and fear. “One of the reasons I managed to
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keep doing it was that I would have been ashamed to come back to Finland with my tail between my legs. The School of the Arts and the controversy of Born American made me think that everyone in the Finnish movie business thought I was a fool and a failure. Coming home was not an option.” When the dream of being an “American movie director” came true, Harlin had already started thinking about another one: to direct a ﬁlm in Finland. Which brings us back to the ﬁlm about Mannerheim. It’s a project that has been in preparation for about a decade. There are over 20 versions of the script. Mannerheim spent a great deal of his life in Russia, so shooting will most likely take place there as well, and possibly also in China and Germany. Harlin is feeling tense and a bit strange. “It’s a big change. But I’ve come back out of free will, and I can use all I’ve learned.”
Harlin has been studying Mannerheim and his era for the ﬁlm. “The most shocking thing is how little time has passed. Both of my parents lived through the wars, but as a child it felt very distant. It was just black and white people on television. Now you understand that they were ﬂesh and blood, and that the world hasn’t really changed that much. This is the point I want to make.” The ﬁlm about Mannerheim will be entertainment with content. “Every single Finn knows the Mannerheim statue in front of Kiasma, but how many know his story and the sacriﬁces he made to do what he did?” * The interview was made in the summer of 2009. Since then problems have occurred in the funding of the Mannerheim ﬁlm and its destiny remains unclear. Recently Harlin has been directing a movie called Georgia, starring Val Kilmer and Andy Garcia.
CARL GUSTAF EMIL MANNERHEIM Secretary of State (1918-1919), Chief of Defence (19391945) and President (1944-1946). Born 1867 in Asikainen, died 1951 in Switzerland. Studied in the Finnish Cadet School and was expelled for bad conduct. Continued his studies in the cavalry school of the Russian Army. Came back to Finland after the country became independent in 1917. Was married to Anastasia Arapova, daughter of a Russian general. The marriage ended in divorce. Was promoted to General Lieutenant in the Russian army Received the only title of Marhal ever granted in Finland in 1942.
CONTROVERSY IN THE MONASTERY The Finnish Orthodox Church takes an nontraditional path to expansion. :
, the makings of Pokrova’s famous borsch-carrots, garlic, beets, and onions-are spread across the wooden countertop. There are other, secret ingredients, but they are known only to Pokrova’s founder Father Hariton Tuukkanen, a former Helsinki restaurateur and chef. “I ﬁrst went to a monastery when I was ﬁfteen,” Hariton says. “They said I was too young to stay. They said I should go and make food for people because I love food more than I love God.” According to Orthodox Christianity, throughout life a person maintains their unique personal identity, no matter how close to God they become. No place typiﬁes that view more than Pokrova, a registered ‘association’ of the Finnish Orthodox Church in the county of Kirkkonummi, a woodsy place thirty kilometers outside Helsinki with large, if rapidly shrinking, tracts of empty land. Pokrova has all the attributes of an orthodox monastery – a church, dwellings for monks and visitors to focus on prayer, a community of parishioners – yet it has not oﬃcially been given the title of monastery. This does not bother Hariton. He changes into a black robe, puts on a skuﬁa, the tall black hat worn by Orthodox priests, and sits at the head of a long table in Pokrova’s main building. From the ages of ﬁfteen to eighteen he served as a novice at New Valamo
monastery in Heinävesi, but it was only after a nearly forty year hiatus from monastery life that he founded Pokrova, one of the most controversial additions to the Finnish Orthodox Church since its inception. “Pokrova is an interesting phenomenon,” says Juha Riikonen, a professor of Orthodox religion at the University of Joensuu. “Their leader, Father Hariton, has quite strong Russian roots, but after all, connected the monastery to the Finnish Orthodox Church.” Listening to Hariton speak, it is clear he is aware that Pokrova is a contended issue. There is a slight grin on his face and he has the amused diction of a regaling story teller. If religion is deﬁned by traditions and customs, then Hariton has not followed many of the rules. Not that he is seeking any kind of penance. To make a life in fulﬁllment of one’s dreams requires grace, something that Hariton knows only too well. 1.2 of the population of Finland is Orthodox. About 61 thousand out a population of 5 million. Yet Orthodox Christianity stands equal to Lutheranism in Finland as one of the two national religions. This comes from a tumultuous history. Orthodox or ‘eastern’ Christianity arrived in Finland from Russia in the 12th century, only a short period before Western Christianity arrived from Swe-
CONTROVERSY BETWEEN THE FINNISH AND RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH 1923 the Finnish Orthodox Church declares itself independent from the Patriarchate of Moscow and joins the Patriarchate of Constantinople. 1945 Metropolitan Grigori of Leningrad and Novgorod arrived in Finland demanding the Finnish Orthodox Church rejoin the Moscow Patriarchate. The demand had heavy political undertones as the Finnish Communist Party had just won a number of posts in the ﬁrst postwar parliamentary election. Metropolitan Grigori declared that the exchange of sacraments and prayer between the two churches was broken oﬀ until the Finnish Church rejoined the Patriarchate of Constantinople. 1948 the Moscow Patriarchate agreed that Finnish Church could be independent if it ﬁrst rejoin the Russian Church. In 1955 the Finnish Orthodox Church rejected the demands of the Moscow Patriarchate. 1957 the Holy Synod of Moscow-the highest church authority in Russia-recognized the Finnish Church as part of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
den. At the time most people in Finland were practitioners of Shamanism, worshipping a number of diﬀerent gods that revolved around speciﬁc aspects of nature. Karelia gradually became largely Orthodox due to its proximity to Russia while western Finland, then part of Sweden, became Lutheran. It was only in 1919, two years after Finland became independent from Russia, that the Finnish Orthodox Church broke away from the Patriarchate of Moscow. Aware that they were too small a church to appoint their own Patriarch, but wanting to escape Russian inﬂuence, they joined the Patriarchate of Constantinople, over the harsh denunciations of Moscow. In 1923, articulating their independence a step further, the Finnish Church switched from using the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in church ceremonies. The Gregorian calendar, the international standard, was already in use throughout Finland. The Julian calendar, however, had been used by Orthodox Christians for centuries. Dates on the two calendars are slightly diﬀerent. For instance, Christmas on the Julian calender falls on 7 January, thirteen days after the more commonly used date of 25 December. The change in calendars, a move backed by the Finnish Senate, further cemented Finland as a Western country, sovereign from Russia, their massive eastern neighbor. Immediately however, concerned that they were becoming cut oﬀ from Russia, members of the Russian Orthodox community in Finland founded the private Pokrovskaja and Nikolskaja associations. They continued to use the Julian calendar and maintained their ties to the Patriarchate of Moscow, despite living in Finland. Even today, though the Patriarchate of Moscow has recognized the autonomy of the Finnish Church, new Russian Orthodox ‘associations’ have been established in Finland in Turku, Pori, and Vammala. One of these organizations, the St. Seraphim of Sarov Memorial Association, states their mission is to “act under the Russian Orthodox Church and promote Russian culture in Finland.”
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“We don’t see these two old communities as a problem,” says Finnish Metropolitan Ambrosius. “These new communities are a problem. It is not according to Orthodox tradition for other patriarchates to enter Finland without having active cooperation. Why come to establish their own small communities?” When he founded Pokrova, Hariton’s Russian roots were immediately questioned. Raised in a Russian speaking family in Lappeenranta in 1953 and having spent time working in Moscow, there were concerns that he was a member of the Russian Church and might align Pokrova with the Patriarchate of Moscow. Although Hariton was baptized in the Finnish Church and follows the Gregorian calender, Pokrova follows Russian Orthodox traditions. The rumors surrounding Pokrova continue, but are best analyzed by examining Hariton’s own connection to the divine. book Balkan Ghosts the American journalist Robert D. Kaplan recalls visiting the Orthodox
monastery of Rila in Bulgaria. “…she turned over a large key that opened onto a cold and whitewashed cell: here, I thought, I could blissfully live out my old age, and die.” In today’s fast moving world, the attraction of monastic life is not hard to understand. The quiet sanctuary and absence of the material world oﬀered by monasteries allows for a greater ease and connection to the spiritual. Most monasteries were built during a more severe and dogmatic time, however. A visit to a monastery's church usually dispels some of this comfort. There, the icons and frescos of saints and angels are meant to impress the almighty power of God. To some the details of their faces may oﬀer absolute forgiveness. To others the tiny ﬁgures stare accusingly, secure in their knowledge that no matter who has entered the church, they are most certainly, sinners. The church at Pokrova is a departure from that. Inside, the intricately painted yellows, oranges, whites, and subtle reds create a warm feeling. The tiny ﬁgures depicted in the icons appear
to be more companions than judges, their eyes kind yet focused. Outside, during the spring and summer, dozens of diﬀerent types of ﬂowers blossom alongside berry bushes that produce two thousand liters of berries a year. “Before you could just go to the forest, dig a hole and start praying,” Hariton says of church building. “Other people would come. You can’t do that now." After being told to leave New Valamo at eighteen, Hariton traveled in Europe and Turkey, working as a chef. During this time he claims to have gone to church at least once a week and on holidays, but otherwise lived a fairly typical secular life. “I divided my money into three parts,” he says. “One part travel, one part disco, one part stock.” He was twenty-two and working in a Helsinki restaurant when he saw an ad in the Helsingin Sanomat advertising a position for a chef in an embassy. The ad did not say which country’s embassy or where he would work. Hariton applied for the job and forgot about it. One
month later he was surprised to receive a letter in the mail requesting he go to the US embassy. “I did not know what I was harming or what I had done,” he says. Hariton went to cook at the US Embassy in Moscow. He smiles, but recounts few speciﬁcs from his time there. “I was young. There was disco and alcohol involved. There were too many adventures to talk about. You don’t want anyone to know. It was a paradise. The diplomatic ruble was equal to eight normal rubles. For twenty-four rubles you could have everything. It was a three year adventure in Moscow.” Amidst this debauchery he saw communist life and felt that it was “miserable.” After three years he had to get out. “I started to miss things of my own culture. Even though it was boring [in Finland] it was safe.” Nearly ten years passed before he worked in Russia again. After running a restaurant in Tampere and serving as the chef to the Finnish Ambassador to Kenya, he returned to Russia during perestroika. The Soviet Union would
soon fall. Hired to run a restaurant opened by Finnair and a company called Russian Interest, he was tasked with teaching the restaurant’s two hundred employees to be Western thinkers instead of Soviet thinkers. This was no easy task and Hariton had his hands full:“It was diﬃcult. I had to teach them how to make a proﬁt.” One of the most confounding challenges he experienced while running the restaurant was the loss of kitchen utensils and dish ware. A guard was stationed at the restaurant’s door and the employees were searched on their way out, but still pots and pans, plates and silverware disappeared, sometimes leaving the kitchen nearly empty. The employees were taking home what they wanted, simply bribing the guard and walking oﬀ. Hariton shakes his head at this. After three years, he returned to Finland, this time to stay. He had spent most of his life traveling, living in Russia and Kenya and making numerous shorter trips to countries around the world. Work consumed his life yet religion was something he kept returning to. “It followed wherever I went,” he says. successful restaurants in Helsinki, Hariton began regularly visiting the Konevitsa Monastery on Lake Ladoga in Russia. He lived part time at the monastery, but wanted to raise his children in Finnish culture. He called Kirkkonumi County and asked where he could buy land. “Why do you want the land?” he was asked. “For a monastery,” he said. “Are you mad?” the country representative said. Then he asked, “Who is the head of your bank?” In 1995, then Archbishop Johannes gave Hariton a written blessing to found a private monastery and he bought land to build Pokrova. While there are also privately owned monasteries in Russia and Greece, according to Riikonen their establishment does not follow Orthodox tradition. “The Orthodox Church has a very strong communal message,” says
Riikonen. “The churches are open for all and not any individual services can be held, because there is only one herd and one shepherd. This means that there cannot be private monasteries or church buildings.” With someone from a Russian background holding masses in his private monastery, many members of the Orthodox Church wondered what Hariton was doing. Others simply asked him for donations. The controversy became larger when Metropolitan Ambrosius decided to ordain Hariton as a priest. Though Hariton had already agreed to join Pokrova with the Finnish Church, many within the church suspected Ambrosius ordained him to keep him from joining the Moscow Patriarchate. Ambrosius suspected that Hariton wanted to be ordained and knew he could easily could have been ordained by the Russian Church. Ambrosius however claims to have made Hariton a priest out of acknowledgment of Pokrova’s growing community. There is a shortage of Orthodox priests in Finland, yet church membership is growing by about one thousand people a year. A priest sometimes came from Helsinki to say mass at Pokrova, but could not come often enough to meet the demands of the community. “Pokrova is a strong addition to the church,” says Ambrosius. “It will become a larger community and a monastic community.” Ambrosius may have wanted to ordain Hariton to strengthen the church, yet Hariton claims to have been surprised. "The train has already passed by," Hariton said, as he did not have any theological education. He needed time to think. After asking ﬁfty members of the orthodox community if they had any issue with him becoming a priest and ﬁnding they did not, Hariton was ordained in Uspenski Cathedral in Helsinki on 15 November 2008. He never attended seminary, but according to Ambrosius bishops are entitled to ordain ‘half priests’ or non-stipendiary clergy at their own discretion. “No priest should be ordained without theological education,” says
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Riikonen. “Unfortunately, sometimes our bishops ordain men without any theological studies.” Pokrova may not exactly follow orthodox tradition, but it functions in a way that would make most believers proud. Airi, a retired Finnish woman who lives in the city of Vantaa, is one of the ﬁve regular volunteers at Pokrova. She helps Hariton prepare the borsch, tends the gardens, and sings in the choir. A Lutheran for most of her life, she converted to Orthodoxism four and
half years ago after she discovered the warmth and inclusiveness oﬀered by the Orthodox Church. “I did not know any Orthodox before,” she says. “I had no kind of idea how they would be. Lutheranism is like a business. It is stiﬀ and cold. Orthodox service is lyrical. It is beauty to listen to.” Another volunteer named Ulla agrees with her. Though she is still Lutheran, Ulla is considering converting to the Orthodox Church as well. She ﬁrst came to Pokrova a year ago with a friend and heard that they needed more singers for the church choir.
A pensioner, Ulla walks to Pokrova nearly every day from her house in a nearby village. She still attends Lutheran services on Christmas and other important holidays, but otherwise worships at Pokrova where she enjoys being welcomed without judgement over her background.
“When I was small the Orthodox persons were a little mystical. I was curious what they were. They had their own way. We didn’t have them.” A pensioner, Ulla walks to Pokrova nearly every day from her house in a nearby village. She still attends Lutheran services on Christmas and other important holidays, but otherwise worships at Pokrova where she enjoys being welcomed without judgement over her background. “The main thing is not the religion. It is the music. I love the orthodox music. It fascinates me, the sound. It is very traditional. The harmony of it sounds more alive.” Along with the music, another reason that Ulla comes to Pokrova is because of its size. Lutheran church communities can be very large; the members do not necessarily know each other, attending mass once a week and then going about their lives. At Pokrova the congregation is smaller and tighter. People get to know each other and according to Ulla are very friendly and warm. “Lutherans lost the humanity,” she says. “It is very far away from a person. The only thing that gathers people now a days is Christmas. Lutheran priests never ask you to come for lunch. Father Hariton says, ‘Please, there is a lunch.’ You can sit and talk. It is more familial.” Hariton may not have followed the rules, but through sheer force of personality and opening Pokrova’s doors he has found supporters. Even if Pokrova had not quickly been made an ‘association’ of the Finnish Orthodox Church he gives the impression that he still would be living a monastic life, inviting those that want to come to read the bible and attend services with him. A man who has remained close to God his entire life, he has no time for the contention between the Finnish and Russian Orthodox Churches. “There is no such thing as a national church. It is only nationalism. There is only one Eastern Orthodox Church.”
Icons Icons are considered to be a visual aid to making in making prayers. They decorate the walls of churches and are often carried during religious celebrations. Icons can be made from metal, stone, or wood. They can also appear as painted frescos and on pieces of cloth. According to Orthodox traditions, icons may never be more than three quarter bas relief to avoid any resemblance to pagan sculptures. They generally depict Mary, Jesus, saints, and angels, but should not depict God, who according to Orthodox tradition does not have a material form. Nearly every part of an icon symbolizes something, especially the colors the artist chooses to use. The color gold represents the radiance of heaven. Red represents deﬁne life. Blue represents the color of human life. White represents the essence of God. Some Orthodox Christians believe in “wonderworking” icons, or icons which have miracles occur in front of them or exclude myrrh, a holy oil. It is believed that God is performing the miracles through the icon, not that the icon is performing the miracle itself.
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THE STORY In the 17th century, industrial entrepreneur William Ruth built a mansion for his wife Fanny in the middle of Karhula industrial area in Eastern Finland. For generations it was the home for the families of diﬀerent factory managers. Then it became a place for indulging the guests of Ahlström Corporation. For the last few years it has served as a mansion hotel owned by Next Hotels. History is visible in the interior of the mansion, with antique from diﬀerent eras as well as ﬁreplaces designed by Alvar Aalto.
THE LOCATION Karhulan Hovi is located in the immediate vicinity of the centre of Karhula in Eastern Finland, about ten kilometres from the city of Kotka. It’s only a ﬁfteen-minute walk from the bus station in Karhula, with good connections to virtually anywhere in Finland.
THE ROOM I am the only guest at the mansion and my room is a chamber at the end of the building. In the past it functioned as the laundry room. Five windows, with a view of beautiful nature, a beige-toned interior and a remarkably comfortable bed make the room adorable. Every room in Karhulan Hovi is unique and the meeting rooms and lounge areas are also lovely.
THE CONCEPT : -
Karhulan Hovi serves individual guests and group parties alike, and also functions as a venue for weddings, birthdays and other events. I’m told that recently there have been a lot of 80th and 90th birthday receptions. This is not surprising, when you consider the changing age demographic of Finland.
PLUS & MINUS
R A beautiful hotel that gives you some insight into how wealthy people of the past lived in Finland
Q A tiny, but very bright red light in the heating system. I used the tape in my luggage to cover it.
26 48600 www.nexthotels.fi
HILTON HELSINKI STRAND THE STORY The ﬁrst hotel was opened in the current location of the Hilton Helsinki Strand Hotel in 1988. At the time it was the most luxurious hotel in Helsinki, up to par with international standards, including meeting rooms and rooms with bathtubs. Typical of the 80s, the interior was built in atrium style to create a sense of space inside the hotel. The décor is made partially of Finnish granite and includes works of famous Finnish artists, among others Oiva Toikka, known for his glass birds.
THE LOCATION Hilton Strand Helsinki is located in the immediate vicinity of the Hakaniemi marketplace and metro station, about a ten-minute walk away from the city centre. Kallio, the famous neighbourhood nowadays favoured by media people and artists, is also located nearby the hotel.
THE ROOM The rooms exude a deﬁnite 80s mood, but it doesn’t bother. As a result, the rooms are much more homely than in many design hotels and it is easy to ﬁnd oneself enjoying your stay indoors. My room has a view to the sea. At one glance I can see two very diﬀerent sides of Helsinki: the 70s concrete suburb Merihaka on the left and the bourgeois Kruunuhaka on the right. Guests staying in an Executive room can enjoy access to a lounge space, with available snacks and drinks. Gym, sauna and a pool are situated on the top ﬂoor of the hotel.
HILTON HOTELS IN HELSINKI Hilton operates three hotels in Finland, all located in Helsinki metropolitan area. Besides Hilton Helsinki Strand, the company runs Hilton Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (still one of the most pleasurable hotels I have stayed in) and Hilton Helsinki Kalastajatorppa, which is located in beautiful natural surroundings just outside Helsinki city centre.
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PLUS & MINUS
R The TV is in a cupboard, with closable doors. A brilliant idea.
Q Bathtubs were a hotel room must in the 80s. I like showers more.
4, 00530 www.hilton.com
THE STORY The castle-like home of Hotelli Linna was ﬁnished in 1903 and at ﬁrst served as the Polytechnician’s Association’s headquarters. The architectural style of the protected building represents Finnish national romanticism. The building was transformed into a hotel just over twenty years ago. Since 2005, it has been operated under Palace Kämp Group.
THE LOCATION Hotel Linna is situated about a 10 minute walk away from the Helsinki city centre, in the immediate vicinity of the restaurants and shops of the Punavuori district. The hotel is easily accessible by car, foot and public transportation.
THE ROOM Hotelli Linna has just undergone a renovation. I get a special treatment. I ask for a quiet room and get one on the fourth ﬂoor—it turns out to be the only room of the ﬂoor! The room is only accessible by a staﬀ elevator. Peace and privacy is guaranteed. The room is spacious and pleasurable. I get a good night’s sleep.
PLUS & MINUS
The room could have a bigger television.
PALACE KÄMP GROUP Palace Kämp Group is a Helsinki-based group of lifestyle businesses and services. The company runs restaurants and quality hotels, including the most famous hotel in Helsinki Hotel Kämp, as well as the Kämp Gallery shopping centre. For Helsinkians Kämp equals luxury.
29 00180 ..
WOMEN, FOOTBALL AND A FULL-TIME COACH The success of the Finnish women’s national football team is at a level, which the men’s national team has yet to reach. The winning streak continues, now with a full-time coach replacing the previous part-time coach. : :
playing football for ages. The news is that the Finnish women’s national team is doing well. So well in fact, that they hired the ﬁrst ever full-time coach. The Swedish Andrée Jeglertz took charge of the team in January of 2010. He is known for his career with one of the most successful women’s teams ever, Umeå IK. Jeglertz is described as a coach with a big heart for football. Closing a four-year contract with a full-time coach is a big leap for women’s football. The team has been lead by a part-time coach ever since it was founded in 1973. The rise of the Finnish women’s national team began ﬁve years ago in the European Championships where the team reached the semi-ﬁnals. “It’s true. The team’s success began in the 2005 European Championships and success is what we are interested in,” says Project Manager Outi Saarinen of the Football Association of Finland. The European Championships took place again last year, this time in Finland. The home team was eliminated in the quarterﬁnals, but organising the event gave a boost to the self-esteem of women’s football in Finland. The event brought high-level professionals to the country, from turf experts to marketing professionals. The games received domestic and international media coverage. Eurosport even broadcast nearly all of the matches live. It was a major achievement for women’s football, where the spectator benches are usually ﬁlled with women, children and families.
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For the sake of comparison it is worth mentioning that Finnish women rank 16th in the Fédération Internationale de Football Association FIFA’s yearly ranking, while men remain 54th. Even though women’s football is far more successful, most of the money is still used on men’s teams. The economic resources are generated by men’s football, but the diﬀerence in wages between men and women is still remarkable. Be that as it may, Outi Saarinen is reluctant to make assumptions on equality based solely on wages. “Background work and the quality of the activity are more signiﬁcant than wages. It’s important to have enough money to give women an opportunity for an elite level of training,” Saarinen points out. Getting a full-time coach was not obvious for the Finnish team. There are still numerous European countries where women are trained by part-time coaches. “We have acted according to the team’s development. Previously there was no need for a full-time coach, but now things are moving in a new direction. We have taken steps towards the highest level and the Finnish national team has a lot of potential for development,” Saarinen assesses. Collaborative partners have also understood the value of women’s football. During the 2005 European Championships women still played in men’s uniforms. Later a collection was designed for them. They also got their own tour-
nament ball for the 2009 games. “Clothes are more signiﬁcant for women than men. On the other hand this is more an issue of social norms, rather than one related to football,” Saarinen ponders. Women’s football has developed in leaps also on global scale. Sixteen countries are competing in this year’s World Championships, but the 2015 games will see the participation of twentyfour teams. European football coaching is based on club activity. It’s not possible to examine the women’s national team without taking the non-professionals into consideration. Football is Finland’s most popular team sport with over 25 000 registered female players. The highest level of football is developing, but one of coach Andrée Jeglerzt’s biggest challenges lies in developing the junior and amateur levels of female football. It will also aﬀect the future of the national team. Club activity is important, because active training takes place in these teams. In addition to the clubs, keeping women on the pitch is another great challenge. A lot of women stop playing at a young age, just when they should be turning professional. If they don’t end their careers, they often get drafted to top international teams. Finnish talent should be harnessed to work for its own country. “The promised land of women’s football is Finland,” Saarinen says.
THRILL OF SHOPPING Going shopping is no longer just about shopping. Shops are meeting places, where people spend time, get inspired and learn things. Shopping gives people experiences as well as a chance to intent to buy their dreams. Shopping in Finland is a book that gives you insight to the best places for Finnish experience in going shopping. : :
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Q: You wrote the book Shopping in Finland in collaboration with your Italian husband Luca Pipoli. The book features 31 shops in ﬁve Finnish cities. How did you end up selecting them? A: Our goal was to create a “Shopping Street”, a symbolic route that takes you to some of Finland’s most interesting shops along the way. We wanted to create a concept with diﬀerent kinds of cafés, grocery stores and shops that sell fashion, electronics and design. We included small entrepreneurs as well as internationally known Finnish brands. Q: Author Susanne Markkanen, what is Shopping in Finland about? A: It’s like a trip that leaves you with an experience about Finnish culture to take home with you. The shops reﬂect our culture. We have a lot of small entrepreneurs that operate outside the chains, shops with delightfully personal selections and bold choices. The shops emphasise quality, simplicity and ecology. Another distinctive feature in Finnish shopping is the slow shopping phenomenon: taking your time and wandering around.
Q: If you had one day to shop in Finland, where would you go? A: I would start with a breakfast in downtown Helsinki, then drive to Fiskars, which is less than a hundred kilometres to the west. There I would buy some handmade ceramics and enjoy the small boutiques in an atmosphere surrounded by nature. If I still had some time left, I would drive to Porvoo for a cup of evening tea. A distinctive feature in Finland as a shopping country is that you can choose your shopping environ-
ment. They range from lively downtown Helsinki to the peaceful and idyllic small towns with a historical atmosphere. Q: What’s the most Finnish thing you can buy in Finland? A: There’s hardly a single household in Finland that doesn’t use Iittala or Marimekko products. A lot of them are manufactured entirely in Finland, making them especially domestic. The Mariskooli bowl, Aalto vases and Moomin cups are traditional souvenirs. Q: What’s your opinion on No Shopping Day? A: Experience shopping doesn’t mean you should always be buying something. You can enjoy the atmosphere of shops for free just as well. It’s good to sometimes stop and think about your own consuming habits. Organic and Fair Trade products are recommendable. I believe that everyone should have a right to enjoy experience shopping, but also occasional impulsive purchases. www.shoppinginfinland.fi
Какой дом тебе по душе? Бревенчатый дом, сделанный из финской древесины, экологичен, красив, надежен и эффективно сохраняет энергию. Деревянные дома Finnlamelli спроектированы согласно законам природы. Зимой в них сохраняется тепло, а летом - приятная прохлада. Благодаря вентилируемой структуре, бревенчатые дома обеспечивают здоровую жизнь.
Среди широкого выбора предлагаемых нами моделей Вы всегда найдете свой собственный дом! Finnlamelli Oy Simo Piiparinen тел. +358 40 735 6817
LIVE2011.COM –A NEW WAY TO EXPERIENCE CULTURE Have you ever been to a mesmerising art exhibition or dance performance, and wanted to share the experience with someone who’s been to it too? The people working on Turku’s coming year as the European Capital of Culture have an answer to this yearn. Live2011.com aims at creating an online Capital of Culture. :
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2011 will be a special year for Turku, as it will become the European Capital of Culture. Thousands of cultural events will take place in the city during the 12-month period: photo exhibitions, opera, installations, nature treks, media art...
Europe has had Capitals of Culture since 1985, but Turku is the ﬁrst one to extend its domain online. The digital Capital is a social network built around culture, with incorporated web and mobile services. It allows visitors around the world to access Turku’s selection of culture. You might not make it to Turku in person, but you can still enjoy the oﬀerings—whenever, wherever. The Live2011.com site serves as a mediator between the organisers and the audience. It aims at creating new forms of experiencing, participating and doing. “Of course, the internet can’t replace an authentic, physical experience one can have of culture. From our part, the digital Capital of Culture simply means an active, socialising and experiencecentred online community. It will present our selection both traditionally
and, above all, in a new digital way. We do not want to just provide oﬃcial information of our events. Rather, we want to oﬀer a possibility for an active participation in the events, and a chance to create your own content. This way the Capital of Culture will be for example accessible from one’s mobile phone,” says Jarmo Röksä, the project manager of the site. Social media is a buzzword of the moment, but what does Live2011.com oﬀer in reality? “We oﬀer a chance to experience culture broader and more deeply than ever before,” answers Röksä. In practise this means that visitors can read event descriptions, news and blogs, assess what they see, and discuss the content with other visitors as well as the organisers. By creating your own proﬁle, you can add your own pictures and video clips of the events. Several of the highlights of Turku’s year as the Capital of Culture will be documented online, some of the events even live. The city has an initiative for activating users: active online participation earns points to your Live2011-proﬁle.
The points will get you both digital prizes and concrete beneﬁts, such as tickets to special exhibitions. Live2011 collects various media content to one place. Animations, movies, games, demos, and other multimedia art has been partially realised in collaboration with Finnish media-related schools. An essential part of the site is Live2011 Grand Prix, the biggest media art and new media competition in the world. The competition aims at ﬁnding innovative multimedia works that expedite the spreading of culture. The award-winning works will be presented at EXPO2010 Shanghai next fall. Thus far the competition success stories include for example a mobile guide that directs the user to the best cultural tips in the city. Live2011.com opens in June 2010 and develops towards 2011. The site will not close in the end of 2011, instead it aims at serving Finnish culture far into the future. www.live2011.com www.turku2011.fi
What is your log house like? A log house made of Finnish wood is ecological, energy-efficient, beautiful and strong. Finnlamelli log houses function according the natural environment. In the winter, the logs store heat, and in the summer they provide coolness indoors. Thanks to the breathing structures, log houses provide healthy housing.
You are sure to find a log house of your own from our wide range! Finnlamelli Oy
Simo Piiparinen tel. +358 40 735 6817 email@example.com
FEAR OF FLYING
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. About ten people have gathered around me—they are getting ready to lift me in the air. I hate this so much. I’ve been in this situation before, more than 15 years ago when I was still in school. I wasn’t able to relax back then, and only learned to dislike exercises like this designed to improve my conﬁdence in other people. No, my body is my body and I like to take care of it myself, thank you very much. All of you, stay away from me, I want to scream. But I am a grown up now, attending this course, designed by Finnish airline Finnair, partly due to my job. I am afraid of ﬂying and this course is suppose to help me get rid of the fear, which keeps getting worse every time I step on a plane. I get a little conﬁdence boost from the fact that these people around me understand my fear. During the two days we have spent together, it has become clear that besides the fear, we also have another thing in common: We like to be in total control of situations, which makes it a bit hard for us to trust other people. Why is this the case? Each of us most likely has a complex story behind our fears and pursuits to control, providing enough material for years of psychoanalysis. But this is a 3-day course and we don’t have enough time for that. The approach is more cognitive. No dwelling
in the past, but learning to control our fear now. That’s the irony of the fear of ﬂying in a nutshell. In order to let go of our fear, us control-freaks need to learn to control the one thing we can’t control— our emotions. I noticed that my fear of ﬂying was getting out of hand, when every time the crew onboard a plane I was on started their preparations for landing. At the same time I started staring attentively at the digital map on the screen in front of me and became worried whether the pilot would remember to land or not. Most times I really needed to concentrate in order to stay on my seat and not go and knock on the cockpit door to remind the pilot of his little task ahead. The other sign of my fear was that I had started feeling slightly aggressive towards other passengers. My concern was if they were as ready to react in a case of emergency as I felt I was. It seemed to me they behaved in a way I regarded careless and un-attentive. It seemed my fellow passengers were telling jokes and laughing, enjoying their in-ﬂight entertainment program and, God save us all, playing digital games on a console, while in my thoughts we were all very likely heading towards a major disaster. The only time I fold my hands to pray is when the plane takes oﬀ. If I didn’t, I’d have a strange feeling of a possible
I like to keep my feet ﬁrmly on the ground; I am afraid of ﬂying and I get claustrophobic even when thinking of diving. The problem is, I love travelling, and ﬂying is a regular part of it. So, I decided to attend a course provided by Finnish airline Finnair designed to help people like me to get rid of the fear.
punishment by God for not doing so by blowing up the plane. Sounds weird? It is. I don’t really believe it in myself, even when I feel it. But I am not alone. It is relieving to hear the stories of my fellow classmates. We are not very individualistic, I notice. Superstitious thinking* is very common in people who are put in situations that they cannot control and feel fear due to that. One of the men has special underwear for ﬂying. He simply won’t get on a plane if he’s not wearing them. Some people carry cuddly toys, some have rings or necklaces that must be worn in uncontrollable situations. That is why it is very important for me to let these people around me lift my body and to put all my trust in them. Even though this course provides a valuable amount of information on ﬂy-
ing and the laws of physics, teaches us how to cope in an emergency situation, and simply gives us a chance to ask all the questions we ever wanted to ask about ﬂying, it is necessary for us to touch the emotional side of our fear too. I close my eyes, sweat and let them lift me. It feels surprisingly good, and I am ready for the next days challenge: a ﬂight to Copenhagen and back. Just to provide an example of how a mind of a person constantly prepared for a disaster works, before the ﬂight me and some other women in the course developed a totally new fear. This one hadn’t even occurred in anyone’s mind before: What if there was a terrorist among us ready to blow up the plane? After all, each one of us were allowed a moment in the cockpit during the ﬂight. Now, even though it is hard to think
Superstitious thinking is very common in people who are put in situations that they cannot control and feel fear due to that.
of why anyone would want to blow up a Finnair ﬂight from Helsinki to Copenhagen, we managed to assure ourselves that this would be the course of the events. As crazy as it now sounds. What happened? We all stepped on a plane; some crying, some a bit more relaxed. We all got to visit the cockpit during the ﬂight, many of us women returning giddy and giggling with excitement—myself included. I don’t remember how it looked in the cockpit or if the sky was blue or not. But I do remember that the co-pilot looked very strong with well-developed biceps and chest muscles, and that he had completed his military service in the Air Force. Some very primitive part of my brain took over, some remainder from the days we still lived in caves. I was certain the plane could not crash. And yes, I know it wasn’t the biceps and the pectoralis that kept the plane in the air, but a bit of superstitious thinking helps sometimes.
NIGHT TIME STORIES M A RKUS HENT TONEN
ﬁnd stories in metropolises, ﬁctive or true ones. Night Time Stories continues on the themes of my previous work: the interactive relationship of individuals and urban environments. Only, the imagery of this series is more reﬁned. In Night Time Stories each single picture tells a story, sparks questions in the viewer and, in doing so, works as a graphic short story that blurs the edges of reality. Big cities are full of opportunities, but they can also shut oﬀ an individual completely. The mood of the series is melancholic. I shoot metropolitan inhabitants and the people who have moved into the cities in their most weak, intimate moments. The pictures in the series portray human emotions from loneliness to detachment and frustration. Will people ﬁnd what they’re looking for in the big city? Night Time Stories was awarded the 2nd prize at the Intenational Biennale of Photography in Kalingrad, Russia in 2009. After that the series has been shown in the Victor Barsokevitsch Photographic Centre in Kuopio and in Galerie Vanessa Quang in Paris in February and March. Galleria Uusitalo will show the series in Helsinki 2011. My work on the series continues.
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CREATIVE AND ENDURING Finnish designer Vuokko Nurmesniemi replaced her company’s plastic bags with paper ones already in 1968. A few years earlier she had created a dress that was worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, among others. : - :
1964, Nurmesniemi was awarded with the Lunning Award, instituted by Frederik Lunning, the owner of Georg Jensen Incorporated. Nurmesniemi had been working for Finnish design house Marimekko for almost ten years and was largely responsible for the company’s success. She had her doubts about accepting the recognition, granted yearly to a designer for the advancement of Nordic design. Even though seven years earlier she had already won the gold metal for glass design in the Milan Triannale. “Many of the previous awardees were people that I admired greatly. I felt I was too young and needed to grow as a person to accept something so immense,” Nurmesniemi tells me, now at age 80, sitting in her bright and spacious seaside home in Helsinki. The house was designed by another Lunning award winner, Nurmesniemi’s late husband and one of the most famous Finnish designers, Antti Nurmesniemi. There’s a blue-coloured, sturdy Pehtoori coﬀee pan he designed for Wärtsilä on the kitchen table. Next to it is a big, transparent piece of glass art by another great Finnish designer, Oiva Toikka. The three, Toikka and both Nurmesniemis, are part of the genera-
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tion that took Finnish design abroad and made it internationally known after the World Wars. Finland’s history in between Sweden’s wellbeing and the enormity of Russia is visible in Finnish design. Urbanisation began after the wars, creating completely new needs. “Apartments were small, objects had to be designed to function in limited space. During the time Finnish industries were doing well due to the war indemnity payments to the Soviet Union. There were plenty of jobs available,” Nurmesniemi explains. Unlike in cultures where the upper class has long traditions, Finnish design was born from practical needs and developed into something majority of the people could embrace as their own. This idea was present even in the shirt that Nurmesniemi designed for Marimekko in 1957. To this day, the Jokapoika (Everyman) shirt has held its place among the distinguished classics of the company. Nurmesniemi has rab her own clothing brand since the sixties, and her exhibition at the Röhsska Art Museum in Göteborg just ended. The museum also featured simultaneous exhibitions by the English Vivienne Westwood and
French Chanel. The Finnish Embassy called Nurmesniemi the last great modernist in the press release for the exhibition. It would have been just as appropriate to call her the ﬁrst great advocate of sustainable development in the world of fashion. Still sitting by the table, I ask about her opinion on the current eco fashion trend. She bursts into laughter. “I was talking about protecting the nature in 1968,” she states. Her eyes were opened at her summerhouse by the sea, when a Russian oil tanker got stuck near by and leaked oil into the water. “The army showed up to wash the shore with god-knows-what kinds of poisons. Both the ﬁsh and the birds died. That’s when I thought that the entire Baltic Sea was in great danger.“ As a result of this event, Nurmesniemi took some “steps backward”, as she puts it herself, in running her company Vuokko. This included replacing plastic bags with paper equivalents. From today’s perspective these were signiﬁcant steps forward, steps that a lot of companies still don’t have the insight to take.
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K IR SI PÄ I V Ä N I E M I
FOOD & DRINK CAFÉ KASINONRANTA A summer café by the beach in Lauttasaari. Take buses 65A or 66A front of the Sokos department store. , .
COTELETTE ET CAVIAR
SHOPPING MIUN The dresses of Ilona Hyötyläinen are simply adorable! There are so many must-haves in the new collection alone. The best thing is that the clothes are made in Finland. 14.
LIIKE A good selection of Finnish brands. There’s a chance you’ll meet the designer if you visit. 25.
PUNAVUOREN PEIKKO Fun and useful things for children, such as toys and clothes. Lesser known brands. A place for impulsive shopping. 15.
DESIGN FORUM SHOP Products by a variety of designers (mostly Finnish). Accessories, jewellery and decorative items for your home. Drop by to admire the ﬁnest in Finnish design. 7.
A small lunch café and deli in the neighbourhood of Eira. Unbelievable salads. I could eat here every day. 24.
SIS. DELI+CAFÉ Healthy and ecological. Delicious salads, sandwiches and pastries. The terrace of the cafe is located almost opposite to the Stockmann department store. 4.
HIMA&SALI Full during lunch hours, but the service is good and you never have to wait for a hot meal. The salad bar is excellent and the grilled salmon is always good. The easiest way of getting there is by subway to Ruoholahti. , 1.
RAKU YA A friend of Japanese food has to mention at least one Japanese restaurant. This is a stylish restaurant with excellent food right next to the Kauppatori Market Square. 14.
2 OR+ BY YAT The ﬂagship store of this Finnish clothing brand. In addition to their own collection, they also represent selected labels from Finland and abroad. 9.
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KIRSI PÄIVÄNIEMI is a designer for ChoCho bags.
NIINA KURKINEN is a model and entrepreneur, who runs her own Nina’sboutique in Helsinki.
FOOD & DRINK
NIIN : KUR A K IN EN
THE CAFÉ AT TAMMINIEMENTIE A wonderful spot, especially during summer. The cinnamon rolls with vanilla sauce are delicious. 8.
SILVOPLEE A raw foods restaurant in Hakaniemi, where I often have lunch. 3.
KABUKI I ate my ﬁrst meal in Kabuki back when there were no other Japanese restaurants in Helsinki. Nowadays Helsinki has more restaurants, but I am yet to ﬁnd a reason to eat elsewhere. 12.
VILLIPUUTARHA I have fallen in love with the milieu of this café in Kallio. 13.
HOTELLI KLAUS K
My store. The collection includes Manolo Blahnik, Marn and Dries van Noten, among others. 13.
A nice hotel in which each room is characteristically unique. 4.
PLAY IT AGAIN SAM
This has been my choice for manicures and pedicures for years. 27.
A second-hand shop in Kruununhaka with a collection of wonderful vintage clothes, jewellery and hats. 2.
WUNDER A shop in Punavuori with an excellent selection of street fashion. 5.
PINO This is where I buy lamps, notebooks, kitchenware and other fun things for my home. 22.
J A NNE
FOOD & DRINK NOLLA Excellent music guaranteed. Great interior, good food and Cosmopolitans. 21.
KOLME KRUUNUA A restaurant famous for its atmosphere and interior. Classic dishes and authentic service. To be in this restaurant is to be in Finland. 5.
GASTONE The best carpaccio in town and a recommendable pannacotta. The competent staﬀ will guide you to the wonders of the wine list. 5.
FARANG Unbelievable Asian taste experiences. Despite my seafood allergy I am able to enjoy a fantastic dinner without symptoms. 3.
SHOPPING POPOT SNEAKERSTORE A relaxed attitude and professional service, lots of specialities in sneakers. 7.
GALLERY A hefty collection of nice, relaxed clothes. Street brands. 3-5, 5..
BEAM Stylish specialities, both clothes and shoes. Friendly vibes behind the counter. 13–15.
DESIGN FORUM FINLAND SHOP A good, versatile selection of Finnish design, including gifts, shoes and accessories for yourself or as a gift. There is also a nice café. 7.
STUPIDO SHOP A brilliant record shop, with an always up-to-date selection. I still prefer buying records rather than ﬁles. 23.
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JANNE LAX is a Helsinki-based shoe designer. He runs his own sneaker brand St Vacant. —www.saintvacant.com
A strikingly beautiful mural on the wall and cheap beer. Great location close to the Senate Square. The perfect place to start an excursion to the Kruunuhaka neighbourhood, and its the beautiful architecture. End your walk with a dinner in Kolme Kruunua. 13.
TIGER OF SWEDEN – A brand which saw daylight already in the early 20th century in Sweden and has since become a major player in Nordic fashion. Tiger of Sweden has a great selection of relaxed but stylish clothes for adults of any age. SCHOFFA – A couple of years ago two young men, Joen Schauman and Markus Nordström, decided to launch Schoﬀa, a shop which oﬀers bespoke shirts for men. Nowdays Schoﬀa has established clientele, and also sells ready-made shirts. CELLINI – Cellini sells lovely clothes for women. It has a good collection of trendy Danish brands, such as Munthe plus Simonse, Designers Remix Collection and By Groth. DELLA MARGA – High fashion hasn’t yet really taken over Finland, but Della Marga has distinguished itself in selling international fashion brands such as Sonia Rykiel, YSL and Chanel. VALHRONA – French luxury chocolate brand Valhrona’s shop in Kämp Galleria deﬁnitely makes a day. In addition to delicious chocolate, one can refresh by having a cup of coﬀee and enjoy a piece of chocolate cake with it. www.kampgalleria.ﬁ
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DOUBLE JEOPARDY American TV show The Daily Show with Jon Stewart aired an episode that has stuck with me ever since. This is not unusual as such, since The Daily Show combines current aﬀairs with smart comedy, and I love the show. This episode, however, had a special meaning for me, as it probably did for every other Scandinavian living in the U.S. It was called The Stockholm Syndrome. First a little background to help all non-U.S. readers to understand the joke. When the United States government last year decided to distribute taxpayers’ money to failing banks and car companies becoming thus a part-owner of these companies, and on top of that had the audacity to suggest a universal health care plan, there was only one question in the mind of many a frightened American: What are we, Sweden?! ‘Turning into Sweden’ is literally the slogan that conservative commentators use to instill terror into their audience about America’s dire situation. Sweden, the land generally liked for the blonde ladies and the music of Abba, has become a symbol of the ultimate worst-case scenario facing the United States. For a happy citizen of a Nordic country such as myself, this American view of us (and by us I mean all Nordic countries, since Sweden tends to stand in for all of us in the U.S.) may come as a surprise. Apparently, we are the most unfortunate people on earth. This is where The Daily Show comes in. facing each other. Taking turns, they bombard each other with words. A: “Free health care.” B: “Grey’s Anatomy.” A: “Free education.” B: “Pro Football.” A: “Ingmar Bergman.”
B: “Twitter.” A: “Midnight sun.” B: “Baconnaise.” That last one stops person A, the Swedish Social Democratic politician Leif Pagrotsky. What is Baconnaise, he rightfully asks. It is a food product sold in a jar consisting of bacon and mayonnaise, explains person B, Wyatt Senac. Senac is The Daily Show’s reporter, who has been sent to Sweden to take a look at the terrible future awaiting America. Pagrotsky and Senac are playing a game, in which Pagrotsky says one great thing about Sweden (Free health care!) and Senac counters with one great thing about the United States (Grey’s Anatomy!). On his visit Mr. Senac sees factories and Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus and tries to elicit testimonies from the unsuspecting Swedes about how horrible their lives are. Without much success. The show’s ironic take on American view of Scandinavia would sooth the soul of any Scandinavian. At least somebody sees the absurdity of America’s Swedophobia! Because let’s face it, in my opinion living in Scandinavia is in many ways superior to living in America. This is a topic for another column, but just to make the argument, let’s go with Leif. Free health care. Free education. Rye bread. (My addition.) So why do Americans fear Scandinavia, and Europe in general, so much? hinted at in a piece by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and in the conversation that ensued at the Times website. Krugman argued that Americans see Europe as an economic disaster because Americans believe so strongly that if a person is not afraid of ending up on the streets, they won’t work as hard, and that will cause the society to collapse. ‘Socialism’ is spat out as a cussword,
‘Turning into Sweden’ is literally the slogan that conservative commentators use to instill terror into their audience about America’s dire situation. and it seems that no amount of pictures of clean Scandinavian streets or tall, healthy Europeans heading to work in their successful companies can change that. Well, I can personally testify that I have never, ever in my life felt as much in jeopardy as I do living in the U.S. I fear for my life (because of the cost of health care) and I fear ending up on the streets (because of the lack of welfare). And I’ve yet to see this fear contributing to my work ethic in any positive way. I don’t know how Americans feel when treading the streets of Europe, but European, be warned. Once you enter the United States, you’re in double jeopardy: ﬁrst because of the lack of a safety net in America, and second because of the existence of one in your own country. Which peril is more real – take your pick. Bergman or Baconnaise?
NOT ONLY FOR THE KIDS .
Finnish writer and a continuous favourite of Finnish audiences is one and the same woman: Tove Jansson. Jansson (1914–2001) created moomins, the famous white characters with big snouts, which still manage to mesmerise new generations of children worldwide. The ﬁrst Moomin wbooks, Comet in Moominland (1946) and Finn Family Moomintroll (1948), represented classic children’s literature with rich and adventurous storytelling. The last ones, Moominpappa at Sea (1965), and especially Moominvalley in November (1970), already targeted at a more grown up audience with subtle and wistful undertones. As a kid I remember thinking that the later books were slightly weird. My mother on the other hand regarded them high. After her moomin books, Jansson wrote a bunch of brilliant novels for grownups. This side of her career has long been all too unrecognised outside the Nordic countries. The True Deceiver (1981), with a recent high quality English translation, will hopefully spread the word of this hushed secret. It should be noted that Tove Jansson represented the small but pertinent Swedish-speaking minority in Finland. At the moment only approximately 5 per cent of the population of Finland is Finnish-Swedish.This is why Jansson wrote in Swedish, and perhaps due to this she is unfortunately sometimes also considered a Swede, this obscene claim can even be found printed in the back covers of some translations. The True Deceiver is Jansson at her
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wildest. The most signiﬁcant portions of the book take place in a small seaside village in the middle of a cold and snowy winter. It is a story of the collision of two very diﬀerent women. Illustrator Anna Aemelin is rich, esthetical, passive and prone to philosophical speculations. Katri Kling on the other hand is poor, cynical, imperative, practical and determined. The duality can be heard even in the characters names: the hard, aggressive Katri Kling versus the soft, silent Anna Aemelin. In the story Katri tries to scheme herself and her sulky little brother to become a part of Anna’s life, and being the eﬃcient woman she is, she manages with ease. The encounter changes both women’s life in an unexpected way. One of the key moral themes of the novel is honesty. How valuable is it to actually know the truth, or to say it out loud? The subtle and passive Anna is intrigued and astonished by Katri’s sincerity and candour, even though she interprets it as lack of politeness and social skills. The theme is close to the hearts of Finnish people. Finns consider themselves especially honest. It is part of our self-knowledge and aﬀects for example how we raise our children. My foreign university teacher once said that when British children are told at home to ”always be nice,” Finnish children are told to ”always be honest.” Even the early Moomin-books drew their enchantment from subtle moral and psychological themes. They are remarkably complex for children’s books, ﬁlled with sophisticated and intriguing
One of the moral themes of the novel is honesty. How valuable is it to actually know the truth, or to say it out loud?
elaborations of life’s little complexities, that can be too much for children to grasp. In The True Deceiver Anna says that fresh meat makes her nervous, just like ﬂowers, because they demand your full attention. It might well be that she says this just to engage in a conversation with Katri, who only brings her canned food from the store. Jansson is particularly skilful in her depictions of these kinds of dilemmas and feelings. The author’s other novels for grownups are signiﬁcantly more soft: for example The Summer Book, which is a charming, symphathetic childhood portrayal and the intelligent artist depiction Fair Play. But, all the same, they are just as anti-sentimental and wise as her beloved children’s books.
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Published on Mar 14, 2012