Image by Kristaps Grundsteins

Finland

Delegation Members

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Elina Lepomäki

Politician & Chairwoman Libera

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Olli Rehn

Governor Bank of Finland

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Jan Vapaavuori

Mayor of Helsinki, Former Minister of Economic Affairs

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Bengt Holmström

Nobel Laureate & Prof. of Economics at MIT

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Pekka Vauramo

CEO Metso &

Former CEO Finnair

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Jussi Herlin

Vice Chair Kone

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Ilkka Kivimäki

Former Chairman Slush & Partner Maki.vc

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Miika Huttunen

CEO Slush

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Anne Berner

Board Member

SEB Group

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Risto Siilasmaa

Chairman Nokia

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Laura Raitio

Chairwoman Raute Oyj and Helsingin Diakonissalaitos & Board Member Hellti, Solidium Oy and Boardman Oy

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Mika Ihamuotila

Chairman and principal owner Marimekko & Chairman Rovio

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Andreas Saari

Former CEO Slush

Image by Element5 Digital

Field of Excellence

Education

In 1968, the Finnish parliament introduced legislation to reform the education system. This included free comprehensive schools for children between seven and sixteen, which was controlled by local municipalities and teachers. The motive behind the idea was that every child would have a very good public school education. Finland spends 30 percent less on primary education per child than many larger countries because money is better spent on learning than administration or fancy classrooms with the newest technology.

Generally, students in Finland start school at the age of seven, which is one year later than other developed countries, as children are stimulated to live their childhood to the fullest. In school, there are hardly any tests that define their progress and the teachers are also not evaluated. By 2006, Finland was first out of 57 countries in science and mathematics and second in reading.

 

The key tenets of the Finnish education system consist of:

1. Equal opportunity for all

2. Common journey

3. Fun not fear

4. Whatever it takes

5. Maximize the pupil’s potential

6. Integrated

7. In teachers, we trust

 

With these, Finland upgraded its human capital to one of the best international performers in a short period of time. This shows that in a knowledge-driven economy, knowledge improves competitiveness. Of course the Finnish wonder is to a certain extent due to its culture, but nevertheless offers, for those who are open, many common sense lessons.