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Success stories from the happiest country in the world

Credits: Marimekko

Finnish design icons Marimekko on a display.

In this newsletter...

Finland has been named the happiest country in the world by the UN World Happiness Report five times in a row. Discover inspiring success stories and read about the reopening of one of the most legendary hotels in Finland.
Credits: Marimekko

Finland is named as the happiest country in the world - 5th year in a row

The Finns have long been considered to lead one of the happiest lifestyles, resulting in Finland being named the happiest country in the world by the United Nations World Happiness Report in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 – and now in 2022.

Finnish happiness can be attributed to a number of factors, and many Finns credit it to their connection with nature and the outdoors with over 90% of Finland covered in either forest or water. Overall, more than 150 countries were assessed by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. The report took into account factors such as perceived freedom, honesty, welfare, good health and generosity.

Finland secured the top spot with a score that was “significantly ahead” of other countries in the top 10. The Nordics overall were commended for strong social cohesion, excellent balance between family and working life, and free education and healthcare. The authors of the report also viewed that the region merits special attention for their generally high levels of personal and institutional trust, and handling of COVID-19.

Read more here.

Two women are cheering in the front of a lake in the Etelä-Konnenvesi national park, Finland..
Credits: Julia Kivelä

The 23rd International Symposium of Adapted Physical Activity in Jyväskylä was a success

The University of Jyväskylä and Finnish Society of Sport Sciences, with the International Federation of Adapted Physical Activity hosted the first Online International Symposium of Adapted Physical Activity (ISAPA) on June 15-18, 2021.

Almost 400 people from 44 countries logged into the ProspectumLIVE online event platform. Due to different time zones, the daily schedule was staggered in order to allow all participants have a prime time broadcasting. The 4-day programme included 7 keynotes, 2 Nordic panels and 8 parallel sessions with oral presentations, innovative sessions, and mini symposia. Poster presentations were available at the virtual exhibition hall throughout the event.

In addition to the scientific programme, there were interactive online events: scenic videos of Jyväskylä were broadcasted to the attendees, quizzes with prizes on offer, fitness session broadcasted by Special Olympics athletes from Africa, and Meet Your Keynote Speaker -sessions.

The feedback from the attendees was generally positive and lessons learnt for future ISAPAs to consider hybrid events that allow people from around the world to attend ISAPA.

Read more about the event here.

a boy in a wheelchair and an assistant in a competition.
Credits: Erwin Borremans

CONNECT Route Development Forum gathered airlines and airports in Tampere

Over 500 participants from 45 different countries gathered in Tampere in February 2022 for the 18th Route Development Forum. It was the first major international congress in Finland since the spring of 2020, and the first face-to-face Route Development Forum in two years.

“We chose Tampere to be the host of CONNECT 2022 because it offered an altogether different concept from previous events. Tampere purposefully positioned the hosting around the winter theme, CONNECT with ice, which was both daring and very original. Even more so as we had staged the 2 previous CONNECT events in the Mediterranean (Italy and Turkey). The destination provided a rich offer which combined the discovery of stupendous nature, fabulous hospitality, and the possibility to experience the Finnish lifestyle in wintertime”, says Ms Karin Butot, CEO of CONNECT – Route Development Forum.

The three congress days consisted of altogether over 3,000 one-to-one meetings, several keynote speeches and panel discussions, as well as social activities and programmes.

Read more about the event here.

A speaker presenting in a seminar while other panelists are sitting in chairs and listening.
Credits: Teemu Toikka

Carbon wise meetings - Responsible choices and communications

Organising events and meetings generates greenhouse gas emissions. However, even carbon wise events are entirely possible. Good examples of this are Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in 2019 and the Finnish Conference on Vocational and Professional Education Research in 2021. In carbon wise events, all possible greenhouse gas emissions are sought to be avoided or reduced, and, eventually, the unavoidable emissions are offset. The choices made and their implementation are monitored and communicated openly.

During the Finnish Conference on Vocational and Professional Education Research, the Circular Business Models research group of the Turku University of Applied Sciences monitored the event’s climate impacts through the CarbonWise project and calculated the carbon footprint caused by all the arrangements. The calculation considered the travel and accommodation arrangements of the keynote speakers, all catering, materials used and waste management. All emissions of the event will be compensated in cooperation with the City of Turku units for urban construction and climate and environmental policy by planting trees in the Turku city region.

The participants were informed about the sustainable choices beforehand, including the vegan catering and the compensation included in the participation fee. In addition, a calculator was published on the event website, enabling participants to determine the emissions caused by their travel and accommodation, and to find out about various voluntary compensation opportunities. After the event, the participants were informed about the total carbon footprint of the event, the allocation of the compensation fee and the implementation of the compensation.

Read the article and interview with Jaana Lindgren, Turku University of Applied Sciences, on the Turku Convention Bureau website.

A smiling woman sitting in an auditorium.
Credits: Mika Okko

Completely renovated Original Sokos Hotel Ilves reopens in Tampere

One of the most legendary hotels in Tampere, Original Sokos Hotel Ilves, has gone through a major renovation and has recently reopened. The hotel boasts 336 rooms, 5 restaurants and 11 meeting rooms. The hotel rooms, private sauna and meeting rooms have splendid views over the city.

The largest conference room, Ballroom, provides space for events of up to 450 people. The room’s eye-catching centrepieces are its gorgeous Italian crystal chandeliers. The Ballroom can also be divided into three sections. This versatility makes it equally suitable for cocktail events and dinners.

The Maisema cabinet on the 19th floor provides a fantastic view over the city of Tampere. The cabinet’s location is unparalleled, the view from the cabinet stretches all the way to Ratina Stadium. The cabinet is bright and divided into two parts: one side has the sauna and dressing rooms, while the other is a beautifully furnished meeting and conference space. The Maisema cabinet is ideal for events of 20 people.

An aerial view over the city of Tampere, the facade of the Sokos Hotel Ilves at the front.
Credits: Sokos Hotels
Inside of an Iittala store with vases, plates and flowers displayed

Finland Convention Bureau provides complimentary information, consultation and assistance to all congress organizers and meeting planners.
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