"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better." – Maya Angelou
Priska Niemi-Sampan is a social psychologist (VTM) and the co-founder of Mixed Finns.
Mixed Finns is a nationwide community that serves mixed race Finnish people by providing peer support and increasing awareness about antiracism in Finland. Their goal is to increase knowledge about antiracism in Finland by widening the Finnish identity (especially amongst third culture Finnish persons and youth), increasing vocabulary and discussion about antiracist themes in the Finnish context, creating safe spaces for racialised people in Finland and engaging diverse Finnish populations. Some of the association's work includes:
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Priska has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
1. From idea to action
2. Building a brand
3. Creating a community for minorities
4. Academics to action (how to use your academic knowledge in activism and communications)
"You are a negotiator. Every day."
Semih Ersöz the CEO at Sopu Academy, an edtech company focusing on improving negotiation skills of young people and adults. Founded in 2021, Sopu Academy has collaborated with learners and educational institutions in 9 countries. Prior to Sopu, Semih has worked with hundreds of startups as a mentor and advisor. He has also designed training programs for startups, as well as high school and university students.
In his free time, he likes to dance Argentinian tango, go for hikes, and cycle.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Semih has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:
Semih has experience in marketing, business development and project management, and would be happy to support entrepreneurs in areas relevant to his experience. In addition to that, he's able to help entrepreneurs with their everyday negotiations with their partners, employees, customers and investors.
"The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently." – David Graeber
Sakari Mesimäki is a social anthropologist studying how people are trying to change the world through startup entrepreneurship, in a context where many have lost faith in more traditional types of civic engagement (such as through politics) and where the social role of entrepreneurship has expanded to solving environmental and social problems as a primary goal. He has spent about a year in the Finnish startup ecosystem, hanging out at events, doing numerous interviews and getting involved with some startups as well. His research also included a stint at the state's investing company Tesi.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Sakari has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:
While Sakari does not identify an entrepreneur, he has developed some knowledge and networks related to entrepreneurship in general and impact entrepreneurship in particular, which he would be happy to share with participants.
Professionally his core expertise is in communications, which he have practiced at consultancy in Tokyo, on a freelance basis thereafter and where he also draws on background in linguistic anthropology. He also has some experience in commercially applied anthropology, and can help you think critically and creatively about how different people might understand and engage with your idea in different ways. Lastly, he can also advise you regarding qualitative research approaches to understanding these differences better and validating your idea.
"The universe takes care of all its birds"
Laura Haapala has been self-employed in a variety of roles for around 20 years. At the moment I'm working at the Helsinki Think Company focused mostly on developing services provided for entrepreneurs, building the community and sparring entrepreneurs in the early stages of their businesses. I'm also putting the final touches for my doctoral thesis on the quality of the working life of the self-employed. Oh, and I teach boxing techniques as well.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Laura has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
Laura has a lot of experience working in media and culture. She's also specialised in the first steps of entrepreneurship, for example how to turn one's skills into a product or service, what kind of company form would be suitable for one's needs, how to concretely start a business and how the entrepreneur's social security system actually works.
"The business world is not easy and it is not pink, it is hard, it requires sacrifice and dedication. However, making a positive impact at the end of the day makes it worth it."
Pedro Gensini is a project manager and entrepreneurship expert with knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship product/service development, monitoring & evaluation, and agile project management. He also has great expertise in liaising private, public, and non-profit organisations for achieving positive impact and common goals. He has 8 years of experience in cross-cultural work environments, and can conduct business in English and Spanish.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Pedro has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:
"How hard could it be?"
Mikael Malmivaara has, for well over a decade now, spent his time doing stuff. A lot of stuff.
He's been a journalist & video producer, the country manager for an events company, a twice-bankrupt four-time entrepreneur, the chief of operations of a restaurant group during COVID-19, the sales guy for a few start-ups, a local politician, a freelance event host, a tour guide and sometime production assistant at a whiskey distillery, a Michelin-star level waiter, a generalist consultant for small and medium businesses looking for help in any number of things, a sommelier, the marketing lead for a tech company's Finland office, an office drone, a board member & president of a handful of associations in University and beyond, and lately, the communications & community relations guy for the Helsinki Incubators, writing texts much like this one and building bridges between the University of Helsinki and Universities, companies, and governments in France, Japan, the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, South Africa, and probably a few others as well in order to help the Helsinki Incubators' participants have the best chances of finding opportunities across the world.
He has a BA in Business Management & Entrepreneurship from the UK, an MSc (Econ.) in Entrepreneurship & Innovation Management + Creative Sustainability from Espoo, and dreams of one day having a PhD in Entrepreneurship from somewhere cool.
His guiding principles are to always ask for help when you need it, pick up the phone and call whenever possible, and never be afraid of failure or just trying things to see how it all works out.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Mikael has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:
As a generalist and jack of all trades, Mikael is glad to chat about just about anything, and if he doesn't know the answers, he can probably guide you to someone who does. However, here are some of the things he might have something to say about:
“If the problem can be solved, why worry? If the problem cannot be solved, worrying will do you no good.” – Buddha
Topias Elonkehrä is here for you! He's here, because he's gotten so much help during his 7 years on the entrepreneurial path. He's participated in incubators, in mentoring relationships, and had asked for help hundreds of times. And always, he's gotten help from kind experts. In his eyes, Finland is a rare place where you can send a LinkedIn message to any unfamiliar Finnish expert, and they'll usually answer and offer sparing or help for free! Been there, done that, and you should try it too!
Topias, then, is here because dozens of great people have helped him, and he wants to give back.
He's done mentoring for a few years, having done it as an entrepreneur (for money), as a friend (for free), and as a volunteer (for free) like now for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE or at Boomi ry (the Business students at the Tampere University).
His new company is building an online social platform for value-driven entrepreneurs and those who would like to become one, so he's "pretty deep" in business advising, mentoring & impact/social entrepreneurship. If you're curious, you can follow his company on Instagram for more info: goodmission.fi
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Topias has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:
"Together we create the best ideas, especially when working in diverse teams."
Rosa Salmivuori has eight years of experience in working with early stage teams, startups and entrepreneurs. Her passion lies in testing and pitching, helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful businesses.
Rosa’s academic background in social and cultural anthropology has equipped her with a deep understanding of how groups and communities function, as well as how people behave in different social and cultural contexts. This expertise allows her to help entrepreneurs navigate the complex world of business with a unique perspective.
Having previously served as a CEO of a medium sized company, Rosa understands the administrative aspects of running a business and can provide valuable insights to her mentees. In addition, she has been building a community for student entrepreneurs, fostering a supportive and collaborative environment that empowers young entrepreneurs to succeed.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Rosa has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
"Life is damn good if you choose it to be!"
Sami Ekmark is one of the founders of Commu, an app for communities to help each other. In less than two years, Sami and his two co-founders built the biggest peer-to-peer aid app in Finland, with over 30 000 users nationwide.
Sami's personal background is from the mental health sector, and he is one of three identical triplets.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Sami has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:
Sami has a solid entrepreneurial mindset, and can help identify what's important when setting up a startup. In addition, Sami is glad to share the story and lessons learned from setting up Commu.
“The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently.”
As a design anthropologist, Sanna Rauhala keeps asking why and challenging assumptions, those of others and those of her own. Understanding the meanings and values behind human actions and interactions is key to building successful services and strategies. To understand others, we must also understand how our own point of view affects our interpretation.
Sanna is a vocal supporter of ethical and inclusive design, sustainable AI, world-centric design, and cross-functional ways of working - and a bit of a space anthropology enthusiast with a keen interest in the cultural aspects of robots, our senses, and gaming.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Sanna has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
"Let's take on loneliness — together!"
Timo Kuusisto is a co-founder of Kaverisovellus, a free service designed for adults looking to find new friends – a challenge for many adults. With the help of Kaverisovellus' free app, users can look for others who they share values, hobbies, or interests with, and try to strike up a friendship with them.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Timo has offered the following special skills he can be of help with:
Kaverisovellus is a certified social enterprise, and their mission is to tackle societal issues, namely reducing loneliness and improving social wellbeing. They're committed to developing society around them long-term, and Timo is happy to help anyone looking to figure out how to do the same, as well as those seeking to understand how to be a certified social enterprise.
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world"
Arla Joensuu is an experienced entrepreneur and creative professional with years of experience in marketing, business development, and communications. She is also one of the co-founders of Kaverisovellus, a free service for adults looking to find new friends.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Arla has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
Henna Pursiainen is a social scientist interested in societal impact, sustainable working life, and continuous learning. Currently focused on facilitating sustainable careers and alumni impact at Aalto University, Henna has previously acted as public sector consultant and CEO of Dare to Learn, an international learning festival and platform. She has also taken on leadership positions in NGOs, such as Allianssi, the National Youth Council in Finland.
Henna is keen to share thoughts on, for instance, the following questions:
• How to combine a value-based approach with running a business or leading an NGO?
• How to forge partnerships with businesses, NGOs, or the public sector?
• How to design sustainable careers or assess impact?
• Why care about societal impact?
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Henna has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
"The best way to predict the future is to create it" — Drucker
Ira Stening identifies herself as an entrepreneur, growth minded mentor, and a practitioner of strategic foresisght to build resilient teams and organisations for environments characterised by VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous).
Her professional background of over 20 years, is with multinational corporations in the construction, telecommunications, and energy sectors on topics relating to strategic competitiveness and she's held various roles ranging from Market Analyst to Corporate Director and Vice President. As a practitioner of strategic foresight she works with Nordic, EU, and North-American clients leading projects in the domains of higher education, science & research, energy & infrastructure, and public service. Recent themes include Futures of Work, Futures of Education, Coupling of geopolitics & technologies and Virtual worlds & Metaverses. She values highly the opportunity to mentor startup founders and their boards on growth & sustained competitive edge as she finds it highly energising and it serves as a platform of additional learning and inspiration.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Ira has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
"What we work on, and how, is an expression of who we are, and of the world we wish to live in."
Ilona Mooney is a startup founder, an angel investor, coach and advisor. Her company Work Ahead develops technology that enterprises and investors use for hearing feedback directly from workers and smallholder farmers in emerging markets. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Ilona lived in six countries, worked for organisations like EY and the United Nations, and started a programme for startups solving global development challenges at the technology conference Slush. She holds Master of Science in Technology from Aalto University.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Ilona has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
"Compassion is the new cool."
Elina Pöllänen is a project manager and RDI specialist working with social entrepreneurship. She has insight in new business development, the LEAN startup method, and service design. Elina is interested in developing and promoting socially and ecologically sustainable and impactful solutions.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Ilona has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
"The development process is also a journey to oneself."
Kirsi Verkka works as the development manager of participatory budgeting in Helsinki and is a professional in development and democratic innovations. She believes that renewing democratic processes, channeling collective wisdom and enabling people to find common ground through deliberation are key aspects towards more democratic and sustainable societies. The meaning and values of the work has been important factors guiding her throughout her long the career as she has been working on various themes of sustainable development.
Kirsi has a background in education and it has helped her to develop a systemic approach to democracy innovation and citizen participation through the wide experience in the field of education, sustainable development, youth participation, teacher training and curriculum development.
Kirsi has strong experience in development projects in public administration and she has been one of the pioneers who have brought the design thinking and methods into public administration.
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Kirsi has offered the following special skills she can be of help with:
"I cannot do all the good that the world needs, but the world needs all the good that I can do" — Jana Stanfield
Varpu Savolainen has expertise in circular economy through academia and entrepreneurship. She has been involved in plastic recycling startups and has planned and executed prototyping and piloting in minimising and utilising urban plastic waste streams. Curiosity is her driving force and leads her to learn the unexpected.
She has first hand experience of how seamless teamwork is the key in making ideas come to life, but it is not given enough efforts in a lot of teams. When working hard towards a goal, celebrating the little achievements is often forgotten. She believes that celebration is one of the best motivators, and will forever be an advocate for it!
As an on-call advisor for SÄRÖ/FRACTURE, Varpu has offered the following special skills she can be of help with: