Opening Ceremony, 14 June at 14.00–16.00
Minister Maria Ohisalo
Maria Ohisalo has served as Minister of the Environment and Climate Change since 7 June 2022. Prior to this, she served as Minister of the Interior (ministry for internal security and migration) between 2019-2021. She has been Chair of the Greens in Finland since June 2019 and was elected as a Member of Parliament in April 2019. Ohisalo has a PhD on Sociology and the title of her thesis is “Crumbs at the Bottom of a Welfare State. Charity Food Aid and Subjective Well-Being of the Disadvantaged”.
Between 2015-2019 she was the Vice-Chair of the Greens in Finland and has worked as a researcher on issues related to social exclusion. She is a council member in the Helsinki City Council and was a member of the Helsinki City Board from 2017-2019.
Ohisalo is a keen cyclist and collector of vintage video games. She lives with her spouse and daughter in Helsinki.
© Finnish Government
Kath Scanlon is Distinguished Policy Fellow at the London School of Economics. An economist and planner, she focuses on understanding the impacts of national and local housing policies and expenditure. She is an expert on the financing and allocation of social and affordable housing, and edited the authoritative book Social Housing in Europe. Her research spans a range of housing and urban topics, from international comparisons of mortgage product offers to investigation of how community-led housing schemes benefit residents and wider neighbourhoods. Kath has lived and worked in seven countries and speaks Spanish, Italian, Serbian and Danish but not (yet) Finnish.
Tuomas Toivonen, Master of Ceremony
Tuomas Toivonen is an architect and educator. As a practicioner he has designed and built housing (and saunas), urban designs and strategy, taught architecture theory and building design. He is also the co-founder of Kulttuurisauna (a public bath) and New Academy (an architecture education project), and -as part of New Academy with Brussels based Dogma office- has recently co-published and exhibited a roadmap towards new forms decommodified, affordable housing development and ownership.
Closing Ceremony, 17 June at 14.00–16.00
Danny Dorling works at the University of Oxford as a professor in the School of Geography and the Environment. He was previously a professor for a decade at the University of Sheffield, and before then a professor at the University of Leeds. His earlier academic posts were in Newcastle, Bristol, and New Zealand. His most recent book, with Sally Tomlinson, is ‘Rule Britannia: Brexit and the end of Empire’ concerning what the 2016 EU referendum, 2019 ‘exit’, and 2020 reality reveals. In 2018 he published “Peak Inequality” on issues of housing, health, employment, education, wealth and poverty in the UK. In 2020 he published a book with Yale University Press on: “Slowdown: The End of the Great Acceleration—and Why It’s Good for the Planet, the Economy, and Our Lives. And, jointly with Annika Koljonen: Finntopia: what we can learn from the world’s happiest country, with Agenda publishing and Columbia University Press “ He is a patron of the road crash charity RoadPeace, and in his spare time he makes sandcastles.
Minister Hanna Sarkkinen
Hanna Sarkkinen is Finland’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health. Sarkkinen is a second-term Member of Parliament from Oulu who was elected to Parliament in 2015.
Hanna Sarkkinen’s political thinking is guided by social and economic justice, equality between people and ecological sustainability. Important political priorities for the Minister include poverty reduction and social security reform, reducing unemployment and safeguarding fair working conditions, strengthening mental health and wellbeing, and taking sustainable development into account in all political decision-making. Hanna Sarkkinen holds a Master of Arts degree.
© Finnish Government
Elina Hiltunen is a futurist, D.Sc. (Business administration) from Aalto University, School of Business, and M.Sc. (chemical engineering) from Helsinki University of Technology. Forbes has listed her as one of the 50 leading female futurists in the world. She is an experienced keynote speaker who has delivered hundreds of lectures about various topics of the future in Finland and abroad. Currently she is also studying at the National Defence University, Finland and making her second PhD thesis on the topic of how to use science fiction in foresight process of defence organization.
Elina has written / co-written 14 books altogether. Four of them are about the future. One is a science fiction book with seven stories about the future. Two of the future books have been translated into English as well.
Hanna Dhalmann has worked as Housing Program Manager at the city of Helsinki since the August 2021. She is also a board member of Helsinki City Housing Company (Heka) that is the largest lessor in Finland. Dhalmann is also the chairman of the board of Helsingin Asumisoikeus Oy HASO that is a right-of-occupancy housing company owned by the City of Helsinki.
Before starting her work at the City of Helsinki, Dhalmann worked for eight years at the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA). ARA is a government agency implementing the housing policy in Finland. ARA grants subsidies, grants and guarantees for housing and construction and supervises the use of the government subsidized housing stock. Dhalmann worked in ARA as a Director of Housing Development and Information Service Unit and as a Senior Specialist specialized in the prevention of homelessness, housing advisory services, residential segregation and suburban development and R&D in housing.
Dhalmann holds a Ph.D. in urban geography.
Anni Laurila, Master of Ceremony
Anni Laurila is a Finnish architect who goes beyond traditional borders to bring solutions to global challenges. She has been described as a world healer and “super-intelligent” in the media, e.g. Kauppalehti, YLE Teema, MTV, Aalto University and Tekniikka & Talous.
Anni graduated from Singularity University’s Global Solutions program, which brings together visionaries to solve the world’s biggest problems through advanced technologies and entrepreneurship. As an architect, Anni has done building and urban design in Finland, China and Africa.