Country of Origin
Country of Residence
Where are you from?
I was born in Kemijärvi, Lapland, but I moved to Tampere 30 years ago when I met my husband, Marco. We have been living in the Tampere area since we were married. Now we live in the centre of Tampere, in the historical Finlayson area.
What would you like to tell about yourself?
I am social, having a warm and open personality and am also the mother of two adult sons. Our eldest son is married and has already graduated from Tampere University. Our younger son is currently studying there. I am master of administrations (public governance, municipality management) and master of education. I am also a teacher of history and civics. My husband and I have a shetland sheepdog, Nalle, who takes me walking at least three times a day. I have roots in Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium and Great Britain. Finnish language is my mother tongue, however I also speak both English and Swedish fluently. I’m very interested in history, philosophy, society, sciences and politics – and I love music, singing and playing piano, reading books and watching movies. I also go to the gym at least 3 times a week, taking care of my physical condition. I would love to travel around the world as much as possible to see different people and cultures – and I never tire of finding new, fantastic places of the world!
What makes Tampere special for you?
Tampere has a very interesting history. The inhabitants of Tampere are warm and I have a huge network of friends here. Nature here is also special – we have lakes and parks just around the corner. Even though Tampere is among the biggest cities in Finland, it’s still possible to live in the city center and enjoy of the nature and historical athmosphere – all at the same time! One special place in Tampere is very near our home – it’s called Näsinkallio, a green park with beautiful palace Milavida and museum and where you can find Tallipiha. It’s a historical ’village’ with small boutiques, selling e.g. handmade chocklate and handicrafts – and several kind of events seasonally, like medieval feast. There’s also a small coffee place. This kind of unique and historical places are the diamonds of the city!
Tell about your professional activities
I work as a teacher in High School, teaching history and civics. I have also previously worked in Finnish Parliament as an political adviser/assistant and personnel manager in an international organisation. I write blogs about administrational and educational issues for Hallintoakatemia (academy of administrations) and my master’s thesis of education will soon be published in a nonfiction book dealing with empathy based method in research.
What is your involvement in international activities?
I remember our family always somehow being involved with people from different countries and cultures, having them as friends or relatives through marriages, for example all my nieces/nephew speak English as their mother tongue. When I was a child, my Aunt’s Japanese friend lived with us for half a year. As a young girl I worked three summers as a tourist guide in a museum. It was a relevant environment for a girl, who has always been interested in history and lived her whole life in the international atmosphere! When my husband was a trainee in a hospital in Jerusalem, we lived there for some months, seeing and experiencing the life of the Middle East. All my adulthood we – as a family – have made friends with foreign people and always tried to help them if they have difficulties, to get involved in Finnish culture and systems. I also worked for many years in an international organisation as a personnel manager, having my colleagues in personnel administrations around the world. My job was to keep contact with other managers and also our personnel with email and skype before and after I sent our workers around the world – mainly to Africa (e.g. Ethiopia, Tanzania), Asia (Nepal, India, Thailand, Kambodza..) and Pasific Area.
In the future I would love to be more involved in helping foreign people here in Tampere – whether they come here as tourists or if they have come to stay and live here. I want to make them feel welcome!
What is your mission as a Tampere Ambassador?
My desire is to promote Tampere – where ever I can – as the best place in the world to work, visit and study! For me Tampere is a very special and unique city with all the elements that I need in my life. It has given me my higher education, work and a great life in all, so promoting Tampere is a very easy task for me!
My dream is to get a straight railway connection to St Petersburg from Tampere, quicker railway to Helsinki and also better flight connections. It would increase our business life and courage orchestras, organisations and countries to use our excellent offering of halls and services even more than they do now! My dream is also that around the world people would increasingly be aware of Tampere and plan to travel here as well.
What potential do you see for Tampere in the future?
Tampere is and will be the greatest educational centre in Finland with many excellent high schools and higher education, gathering thousands of students around Finland. I see that Tampere could promote itself as an educational centre even globally, because of its excellent education, research and international connections.
I love seeing children growing here, because as I mentioned earlier, Tampere has succeeed to keep the nature, history and culture alive despite of the population growth – making the feeling of a city of green, not asphalt! The City of Tampere has made many investments to make the growth of Tampere possible – to enable hundreds of thousands of people to move easily and to live in nice areas.
I also see a lot of potential in the Tampere business and cultural life! We have the best experts in the country working to do local business, export and making Tampere business life alive with the help of the city of Tampere. Tampere also has theatres, Tampere hall and other cultural enviroments and multiple orchestras, choirs etc.
In all, I see so much potential in Tampere, that it would be impossible to count them all. But one thing is sure: making connections and having the best network, working together with each other, Tampere will be one of the best success stories – not only in Finland, but also in Europe and the whole world!