Embassy staff met with Finlandia Foundation young leaders
Finlandia Foundation National, the organization that promotes Finnish-American culture and fosters ancestral ties to Finland, launched their Young Leaders Board in early 2021. Ambassador Mikko Hautala and other members of our staff were thrilled to meet the group at the embassy in August.
How do today’s younger Finnish-Americans connect to their ancestry? What do they find interesting about Finland?
This is what the Young Leaders Board (YLB), a group of millennial Finnish-Americans brought together by Finlandia Foundation National(Link to another website.), is seeking answers to. In August, our embassy staff had the pleasure of meeting six representatives of the Board who all had different stories and backgrounds. Some of them spoke fluent Finnish, while others were at earlier stages on their language-learning journey. A few of them had one or two Finnish parents and others had grandparents who had once emigrated to the U.S. from Finland.
Young Leaders Board is now tasked with an important mission: to get fellow young Finnish-Americans familiar with Finlandia Foundation National and inspire them to explore their roots. They have recently launched a LinkedIn group(Link to another website.) for young Finnish-Americans and created a curated Spotify list(Link to another website.) of their favorite contemporary music from Finland.
During the meeting, Ambassador Hautala and the embassy staff exchanged views with the YLB on many current topics, such as Finnish-US trade relations, Finland’s international defense cooperation as well as Finland’s country image and the Embassy’s public diplomacy work. The YLB told about their work to date, and goals for the future. The meeting resulted in lots of fruitful discussions on Finnish-American experiences and ways to serve this large community in the United States.
“It was really useful to hear firsthand experiences and insights from young Finnish-Americans: what aspects of modern Finland they find the most interesting. Many of them expressed wishes to improve their Finnish skills, get chances to work for Finnish companies and travel to Finland. I welcome this great initiative by Finlandia Foundation National. We are eager to see what this impressive group comes up with, and the Embassy will continue close collaboration with the Young Leaders Board," said Suvi Järvelä-Hagström, Cultural Counselor of the Embassy of Finland.
Read more about the Young Leaders Board on the Finlandia Foundation National website(Link to another website.).