Welcome to our second Team Finland newsletter, hope you enjoy it!
Alongside with the daily duties in promoting Finland and helping Finnish companies, Team Finland network has been busy organizing interesting events this autumn, including a seminar on artificial intelligence, corporate wellness event and a visit of Finnish Father Christmas. Team Finland network also warmly welcomes Emilie Gardberg, new Director of the Finnish Institute in London, and Ilkka Räisänen, new Alternate Board Director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to London.
Emilie Gardberg has started her four-year term as the director of the Finnish Institute in London. Gardberg has a wide experience in leadership at the cultural sector. She has previously worked as a director of Turku Music Festival and as an intendant of Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and spend the autumn 2017 as a scholar in Washington DC, at Wilson Center, which is one of the world’s leading think tanks. She teaches arts management and leadership as a visiting lecturer at several universities.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to help build a new, post-Cold War era in Central and Eastern Europe. Today the EBRD supports transition, progress towards market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative. It has its headquarters in London but operates in more than 36 economies across Europe, Central Asia and North Africa, from Morocco to Mongolia. To understand the role of the EBRD and the opportunities it offers for Finnish companies and professionals, Team Finland interviewed Ilkka Räisänen, Alternate Board Director at the EBRD and former Ambassador of Finland in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyz Republic.
The bank can provide financing for projects in various fields, and its channels for procurement can provide lucrative contracts. According to Räisänen, EBRD involvement in the projects guarantees that its high standards are applied and one can be assured of uncompromised quality. In countries where the Bank operates, Finnish companies can make use of local expertise in the EBRD Resident Offices to find new project business opportunities. There is especially demand for Finnish products and know-how in projects that call for green solutions.
The Embassy of Finland organised an event in November for Finnish businesses in the UK on how they can prepare for the UK’s departure from the European Union in co-operation with Business Finland and Finnish-British Chamber of Commerce.
Preparing for Brexit is a joint task that has to be performed by the authorities and also by the other stakeholders involved. It requires steps to be taken by EU institutions, national and regional authorities, businesses and citizens. Preparedness measures cannot prevent the changes resulting from the UK’s withdrawal, but they can be used to help mitigate the impact.
Please see the website of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for more information: Preparedness for the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union.
The Embassy of Finland in London organized a seminar on the future prospects and challenges of artificial intelligence on 30th October at the residence of Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen. The objective of the event was to shed light to Finnish and British expertise in AI and AI’s impacts on policy, research and business. It also aimed to enhance the co-operation between the two countries and different sectors in the field of AI.
The speakers for the event included experts such as Risto Siilasmaa, Chair of the Board of Directors for Nokia and Pekka Ala-Pietilä, Chair of the EU's High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence and top researchers and business leaders. Among the topics discussed were co-operation between the public and the private sector, role of women in the field of AI, ownership of the data and where Finland and the UK are at the moment and aim to be in the future.
On August 30th, key representatives from Team Finland met with Finnish businesses at the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki for Team Finland Day, an event organised once a year by the Team Finland network. The event provided an opportunity for Finnish companies to share experiences and meet Team Finland experts from Business Finland’s global network.
During the day, Team Finland held 30 clinics that provided information from various market areas and explained what kinds of internationalization services are available for Finnish businesses. The clinics provided a great opportunity for Finnish business to hear stories from companies that have successfully entered new international markets. The Finnish businesses also had an opportunity to book one-on-one speed dating sessions with Ambassadors and Business Finland representatives from the Global Network. 12 companies took part in these speed dating sessions.
The United Kingdom was represented by Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen and Perry Le Dain, Senior Advisor at Business Finland UK. The UK clinic provided overviews of Brexit and doing business in the UK. Two Finnish companies HappyOrNot and Mobidiag provided case studies on their UK market entries. The companies interested in the UK market were keen to hear about the routes to the market, what kind of strategic partnerships they should establish and how Business Finland can support their market entry process.
The organizers of the Team Finland Day were Business Finland and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finnvera, Tesi, Finnpartnership and the Finnish Chambers of Commerce.
For more information regarding Team Finland Day, please contact:
Perry Le Dain, Senior Advisor at Business Finland, perry.ledain(at)businessfinland.fi, Tel. +44 (0)7867 781 237
Corporate wellness is an important topic both in the UK and in Finland. On 6th November, the Embassy of Finland and Business Finland, together with Hintsa Performance, organized an event at the Finnish Ambassador’s residence on how to maintain sustainable high performance. At the event, Mika Häkkinen, two-time Formula 1 World Champion, shared lessons learned during his career including the importance of balanced life and team work. ”Change takes time. In the end, it’s the marginal gains that make the big difference”, Häkkinen explained.
Leading individuals and organisations from both countries and from large variety of business sectors attended the event. Alongside with discussing the importance of well-being, the focus was on high tech innovations and performance improvement solutions from the fields of exercise, wellness, and related management solutions.
Team Finland network encourages everyone to think about one of the key learnings of the event: optimise, don’t maximise.
The first week of December was filled with Christmas spirit when Father Christmas came all the way from Finnish Lapland to visit London and Brighton. In London he visited Monocle Christmas Market and brought joy and presents to two children’s hospitals. In Brighton, in collaboration with Brighton Fringe and Mayor of Brighton Dee Simson, Father Christmas and Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen visited a children’s hospital and met with school children on Brighton Pier.
Father Christmas’ visit to Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton was also also captured by ITV Meridian: https://twitter.com/itvmeridian/status/1069945795120635906.
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