Delegations of the Northern Future Forum

Nine countries from northern Europe will participate in the Northern Future Forum. The delegations will be headed by the countries’ prime ministers. The delegations will include a number experts and practitioners, who will join the discussions alongside the prime ministers.

Information about the delegations will be updated soon.

See also Themes and Presentations.

(Updated 3.11.2014)

Moderators and guest speakers of the Northern Future Forum

The prime ministers will divide into groups and participate in four discussions held in parallel. Each discussion will hear three introductory contributions by experts, after which the prime ministers will discuss the topic, led by a moderator.

The working groups will discuss, among other things, the promotion of general business conditions, financial issues, and links between businesses and research. Good examples, for example from the cleantech sector, will also be presented.

More information about the moderators and the guest speakers will be updated soon.


Mr Jaani Heinonen

Mr Jaani Heinonen is the Deputy Director General of Team Finland / Ministry of Employment and the Economy. Team Finland covers Finland’s external economic relations, the internationalization of Finnish enterprises, investments in Finland and the country brand.His main responsibilities so far have included e.g. the formation of the Team Finland services, the reform of Finpro and the implementation of regional customer teams and service models in Finland.

Besides advising companies and organizations on cooperation with China, he was also a member of the project group in 2004 that advised the Finnish Prime Minister on Finland’s strategies in the Global Economy. In 2003 he was selected by Sitra as one of 20 “Finland 2015-Future Makers” that set together a strategy for the Finnish Success Factors and Challenges for the Future. Mr Heinonen is a member of several Finnish working groups and committees on China and also an alumni of the German BMW Foundation’s Asia-Europe Young Leaders and World Young Leaders Forums.

Ms Ulla Hiekkanen-Mäkelä

Ms Ulla Hiekkanen-Mäkelä is executive director at Tekes, the Finnish funding agency for innovation. She heads the marketing and communications unit which works in close collaboration with Team Finland, Tekes customers, partners and suppliers in Finland and internationally. Her previous position in Tekes was executive director customer process, responsible for customer acquisition, innovation coaching,segmentation and relationshipprocesses and offering development. She was also active in developing services to Finnish SMEs and growth companies in several Ministry projects. In 2013 Tekes funded companies, universities and research organizations with 577 Million Euros. Tekes is a public agency under the Finnish Ministry of Economy and Labour.

Before joining Tekes 2008, she worked 24 years in private industry in KONE Corporation, one of the leading elevator and escalator companies in the world. Her latest the positions were Vice President Sales Development and Assistant Vice President, Strategic Customer Management. She has extensive international experience in business process development, service business, customer service and marketing and has worked 10 years abroad, in UK, Belgium and Germany.

Ms Hiekkanen-Mäkelä received her M.Sc. degree in International Business and Marketing at Helsinki School of Economics in 1986. She has also attended business and strategy programs at IMD, London Business School and Hanken&IFL

Mr Jari Jokinen

Mr Jari Jokinen is Chief Development Officer at Aalto University. He has previously worked as Project Director for Aalto University as well as Counsellor of Education and in other positions at the Department of Education and Science Policy at the Ministry of Education. He has also served as a Counsellor at Finland’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels and as Chairman of the Education Committee for the Council of the European Union.

Ms Inka Mero

Ms Inka Mero is a seasoned global business leader, entrepreneur and startup investor. She is deeply passionate about building growth companies, which have their root in disruptive technology and business innovation.
During her career Inka has founded and/or invested in 30+ growth companies. As a founder and chairwoman of KoppiCatch seed investor and accelerator company, she brings over 18 years of technology and strategic marketing experience in industries as diverse as internet, e-commerce, media, media tech, mobile and telecom.

Inka is among others the Executive Chairwoman of IndoorAtlas, company providing ubiquitous indoor positioning technology, as well as hands-on Board Member at Klevu, an e-commerce search company. She is the ex -Head Coach of Startup Sauna non-profit accelerator, and Board Member of Nokian Tyres Plc and the non-profit organization Startup Sauna Foundation, with an active role in building the Nordic startup ecosystem. 

Ms Leena Mörttinen

Ms Leena Mörttinen is Director at the Confederation of Finnish Industries EK. She holds Doctoral Degree in Political Science (Economies). Previously she has held various positions including Chief Economist as well as Head of European Affairs at Nordea Bank. She has a strong central bank background having served as Senior Economist at the European Central Bank and as Adviser at the Bank of Finland.

Ms Kati Tiainen

Ms Kati Tiainen is currently working with Microsoft Global education Devices and mobility team as global Business development Director.

She works closely with national education leaders, MoEs, Education partners and NGOs. Previously Kati lead the global Partners in Learning for Schools program which developed and delivered education transformation models and resources that any school, or  school system can use to help students to achieve their full potential. Program was active in +100 Countries and helped School to create Culture of innovation to support their transformation. Prior to Microsoft she was developing a content rich t eLearing service Opit at SanomaPro publisher.

Kati is a Finnish K-12 educator. She has Master’s Degree in Education and has background working for the Teachers Union of Finland and has political experience as a Member at the Board of Education City of Helsinki and MoE’s Advisory Council for Youth Affairs.

Mr Pekka Timonen

Mr Pekka Timonen is the General Secretary of Centenary of Finland's Independende project at Prime Minister's Office. He has previously worked as the Executive Director of World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 and Cultural Director of City of Helsinki. Mr Timonen lectures internationally on innovative cities and design.

Mr Saku Tuominen

Mr Saku Tuominen founded Broadcasters Ltd, the most succesful Finnish independent tv production company in 1989 and sold it to Sweden. In 2008-2010 he was the Chief Creative Officer of Zodiak Entertainment, the world´s 3rd largest tv production company in London. In 2010 Saku Tuominen founded Idealist Group, a production company of ideas, that has various activities ranging from digital media to the future of office work, from education to improving suburbs. He has been teaching creativity & innovation in more than a hundred companies around the world and in Aalto University in Helsinki. He has written 8 books, mostly about about creativity, the future of office work, good life and Italian cuisine.

Guest Speakers

Ms Veera Heinonen

Ms Veera Heinonen is an experienced communications professional, civil servant and journalist, who has led teams in communications and media environments. She is currently Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Sitra – The Finnish Innovation Fund. Sitra is a future-oriented organization that promotes Finland’s competitiveness and the well-being of the Finnish people. Prior to joining Sitra Ms Heinonen worked as the Spokesperson for the President of the Republic of Finland and Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She has lived and worked in four different countries.

Mr Risto Siilasmaa

Mr Risto Siilasmaa is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia Corporation.  He joined the Nokia Board in 2008 and became Chairman of the Board in May, 2012.

Risto is the founder of F-Secure Corporation, a Finnish internet security and content cloud service provider and served as the President and CEO of the company between 1988 - 2006. Since then he has held the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors.

He is also a member of the Boards of Directors of Mendor Ltd and the Confederation of Finnish Industries, vice chairman of the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries and member of the European Round Table ERT, Tsinghua SEM Advisory Board and International Business Leaders Advisory Council for the Mayor of Beijing.

Ms Tuula Teeri

Ms Tuula Teeri, Ph.D. is the first President of Aalto University since April 1, 2009, with her second 5-year term starting April 1, 2014.

During her scientific career, she was a pioneer of forest industrial biotechnology and the development of biomimetic materials. Tuula Teeri has held research and leadership positions in different universities and research institutes. She is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, Technology Academy Finland, and the Swedish Academy of Technology in Finland.

She is a cofounder of SweTree Technologies.

Ms Lenita Toivakka

Entrepreneur at heart, Minister Lenita Toivakka's job is to boost Finnish innovations, expertise and help local companies succeed globally. She strongly believes in the vital  role of small and medium sized companies in creating growth. As a Minister for European Affairs, Minister Toivakka promotes better regulation as the key for growth within the EU. On her free time she is an enthusiastic yogi and stand up paddler.

(Updated 5.11.2014)