angle-left Team Finland UK’s newsletter 1/2019

Team Finland UK’s newsletter 1/2019

Welcome to this year’s first issue of the Team Finland newsletter! This newsletter covers some highlights of our past and future events. We publish the newsletter online, but if you'd like to be added to the direct emailing list, please contact us.

The year 2019 started very actively for Team Finland UK network. We generated many interesting discussions on various issues from the Future of Smart Cities to Finland’s Housing First policy, thus advancing cooperation with some of the best experts in Finland and the UK. 

The Future of Smart Cities - Cases from London and Helsinki event

The Embassy of Finland in London organized a seminar on the Future of Smart Cities – Cases from London and Helsinki on 12th of February at the Residence of Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen. Ethical data, smart cities and service design were the event’s main themes. The event gathered almost 100 guests from Finland and the UK. The speakers included Jan Vapaavuori, the Mayor of Helsinki and high-level experts such as Cormac Whelan, the CEO of Nokia UK and Ireland.

Mayor Vapaavuori's visit to London led to a new digital co-operation between Helsinki and London. London and Helsinki’s chief digital officers, Theo Blackwell and Mikko Rusama, signed the City to City Digital Declaration, which sets out several areas of cooperation in the fields of artificial intelligence, open data, and digital innovation.


Read more: London and Helsinki announce new digital co-operation

Housing First seminar

The Finnish Institute and the Finnish Embassy in London organized a seminar entitled Housing First: Ending homelessness across Finland and the UK with Crisis UK on the 6th of March to introduce the successes of the Housing First model in Finland and Britain. The event took place at the Finnish Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen’s Residence. The guests included around 60 experts, journalists and politicians, among them the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire.

The Finnish Institute: Finnish model to tackle homelessness in the spotlight in London 
The Big Issue: Helsinki put the homeless into homes. Budapest banned them

Building future relations in health event

The Building Future Relations in Health event took place at the Ambassador of Finland’s Residence on the 19th of March. The event was arranged by collaboration with Business Finland and Kuopio Health. A group of health technology companies and other industry stakeholders - including research organisations - from the Kuopio region, and few other Finnish companies attended the reception, to share their expertise and to exchange views on health and wellness with UK health industry stakeholders. All 91 attendees enjoyed exciting and insightful speeches from industry experts from UK and Finland, and the reception encouraged valuable connections between Kuopio and London, and Finland and the UK in general.

Business Finland: Digital health & wellbeing solutions available anywhere and anytime 
Business Kuopio: Kuopio goes London

Information on Brexit

In Finland, each Ministry is responsible for dealing with the aspects of Brexit that affect its administrative branch. Responsibility for the overall coordination of the process lies with the Prime Minister’s Office, whose website provides comprehensive information about Brexit organised by topic. The administrative branch of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs includes trade policy, foreign and security policy and development policy, as well as matters concerning consular services. Our Embassy has also collected answers to frequently asked questions about EU citizens rights. Please see our website for more information: Brexit and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Please also see the EU Citizens' Rights website, a service delivered on behalf of the European Commission, for information events on Brexit and support available for EU citizens around the UK.

Markku Keinänen Finland's new Ambassador to the UK from June

Markku Keinänen has been appointed as the new Ambassador of Finland to the United Kingdom from 1 June 2019. Ambassador Päivi Luostarinen, who has been in charge of the Embassy since 2015, is returning to Finland this summer. Counsellor for Foreign Affairs Markku Keinänen is currently Under-Secretary of State for External Economic Relations. His career at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) includes posts in Madrid, Brussels and London. In Madrid Keinänen served twice: first in 1989–1992 and then as the Head of Mission in 2009–2013. In London, Keinänen was the Deputy Head of Mission in 2007-2009.

Finnish Embassy in the UK: Markku Keinänen Finland's new Ambassador to the UK from June

Upcoming events:

Chelsea Flower show

For the very first time in its long history (since 1862), Chelsea Flower Show will have a Finnish signature garden titled The Roots in Finland Kyrö Garden. The garden is designed by Mrs Taina Suonio, a garden designer and environmental biologist. She has previously been involved with CFS many an occasion, but this is her first solo design. The garden will showcase traditional Finnish plants including meadow plants, juniper and the Finnish national flower, lily-of-the valley. Old Finnish barn planks, granite and contemporary Finnish design will also be incorporated into the garden.

Read more: Roslings Manor Gardens 
RHS: The Roots in Finland Kyrö Garden
Kyrö Distillery Company: Kyrö Distillery Company

Feminist Swearing Night

Feminist Swearing Night returns to the British Library. The open-mic event provides an opportunity for all participants to let off steam in a like-minded environment. Whether it’s injustice, inequality or patriarchy as a whole that’s causing anger, the attendees of the night are invited to rant, cite a poem, share a rhyme or sing their anger away. People are also invited to take part in a workshop preceding the night’s main event. The workshop will give tools to anyone interested in hosting their own Feminist Swearing Night and making it safe, comfortable and joyful for all. Brought to London in collaboration with the Finnish Feminist think tank Hattu, The Finnish Institute in London and the British Library.

The Finnish Institute: 3/5 Swearing feminists need no filter

Technology and the Future of Travel and Transportation

Business Finland and the Embassy of Finland, in partnership with Digitalist Group plc - the customer experience and smart ticketing specialists - will be hosting a presentation and networking event on Wednesday 15th of May in London. The event will explore recent technological developments and innovations and their potential for industry transformation in the short to medium term. Industry leaders from both Finland and the UK will be guest speakers and there will be an opportunity for invited members to exchange views and network. The guests will mainly be drawn from the following industry segments: airlines, ferry companies, river/lake cruise companies, coach companies, tourist venues and places of interest, travel service providers and relevant media players. If you are interested in the event, please contact: [email protected]

Nordic Season at the Brighton Fringe

Brighton Fringe Festival includes a Nordic Season this year. The festival takes place in mid-May and the specially curated season boasts 50 events from 12 awarded companies from Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. Nordic Season’s Finnish acts include for example Samira Elagoz’s Cock Cock… Who’s there? and Reality Research Center’s Sleeping Beauty, both critically-acclaimed and provocative pieces.

The Finnish Institute: 13–18/5 Nordic Season brings best of Nordic shows to Brighton Fringe Festival 

You might've noticed that the Finnish Embassy in London launched a new website in March! Visit the new website here. 


If you'd like to be added to the direct emailing list of this newsletter, please contact us via email (minttu.taajamo(at) or sanomat.lon(at)

If you would like to be kept updated on Finnish cultural events in the UK, please send an email to pirjo.pellinen(at) Thank you!