Different faces of Lapland

There are always different versions of the story for every place we have been to. And for Lapland, each visitor has his or her own interpretations.

My first impression of the place is familiarity with the unfamiliar stuff.

Lapland is not a new place to me. There are always, however, something new to explore every time I am here. It is about fun and insights as well.

I was here for the first time in ...  (continue reading)

Getting acquainted with post-Nokia Finland

So what has changed within the last 12 years in Finland? This is a question I kept hearing from Finns during my FCP alumni week in Finland; the question I also occasionally asked myself while meeting various people and enjoying life in Helsinki or Rovaniemi.

Strangely enough, the last time I visited Finland was 12 years ago in 2004. (Perhaps, because of living close to Finland, a delusive feeling ...  (continue reading)

Experiences of conducting interviews in Helsinki

What a day was yesterday! During the FCP every day something new and unexpected happens. The programme is so dense that it feels as if we arrived here many days ago already, but in fact Wednesday was only the third day of our stay here.

In addition to the common meetings, we also started to work on our individual assignments. I remember in 1998 one of the several striking moments was to interview ...  (continue reading)

Education and equity: twin pillars of Finnish culture

Platitudes about education are not hard to find. Education is “the key to success in life”. It is lauded as “our greatest natural resource” and proclaimed to be “the single most important job of the human race”.

But all this implies that education is a uniform, unchanging force for good. Far from it: education is shape-shifting and can serve myriad purposes, whether indoctrination or ...  (continue reading)

Finland, Russia and Ukraine: experience of crisis-solving

My interview day was the most awaited part of the whole FCP programme. You may be surprised because while some of the FCP participants interviewed energetic business leaders from, for example, Kone and Nokia, I had meetings with very punctual and reserved people from the Finnish Government. ...  (continue reading)

My Finnish August

Indian summers were at their peak and it was 4 PM on a sweltering early June afternoon. I was quickly rushing through different New Delhi roads laden with the gorgeous natural spread of yellow amalstas (cassia fistula) flowers.

I had to reach the Embassy of Finland situated on Nyaya Marg in Chanakyapuri region of the capital in next 15 minutes. The embassy was going to give its decision on my visa ...  (continue reading)

Finland Is More Fantastic Than Any Other Fantasy

Before I came to Finland, what I’d known about this northern European country is its high rankings in many international comparisons of national performance such as the Global Peace Index or Technological Achievement. However, after numerous meetings with politicians and professionals, visits to business enterprises andinstitutions, trips to different parts of Finland, I ...  (continue reading)

“We have a voice that we never had before”

Alexander Stubb is Finland’s most popular politician – at least on Twitter https://twitter.com/alexstubb – where he shares everything from company visits to Ironman training with his 76.000+ followers. In 2011 he was appointed Minister for European Affairs and Foreign Trade of Finland. We were lucky to have him over for ...  (continue reading)