Stefan Wallin, Member of Parliament and Chair for the Swedish Parliamentary Group

MP Talk gives members of parliament the opportunity to share their views on Finnish society with an international audience. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Helsinki Times.

You would have been called insane if, a little over a year ago, you had said that Brits would vote to leave the EU

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Ivar Virgin, Senior Researcher at the Stockholm Environment Institute

Smallholder farms – those that are mainly family-focused – will be key to keeping the African continent well fed in the decades ahead. But a transformation agenda is needed that includes supportive government policies, institutional reforms and long-term investments in infrastructure.

Despite more than a decade of high economic growth and promising development,

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Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, former President of Mexico.

By one measure, there are two billion hectares of degraded land around the globe. Restoring it to arable conditions could not only help put food on the table, it could create twice as many jobs as smokestack industries.

The tension between urban and rural populations in countries around the world is emerging as a 21st century polarizing political force,

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Enrique Tessieri, sociologist and editor of Migrant Tales

An op-ed piece published by the Helsinki Times on April 11 by Finns Party (PS) MP Ville Taavio is a good example of why migrants, minorities and sensible Finns should react and be concerned about the type of country some politicians want to steer Finland towards becoming.

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Alexandre Winter, CEO and Founder of Placemeter

Urban areas will be the setting for future growth. Optimizing them for that eventuality will depend on just how "old" they really are.

Cities are the future of our world for a very simple reason: Our planet’s population growth in the next 30 years will be primarily absorbed by cities.

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Alemayehu Mariam, Professor of Political Science at California State University

On March 29, President Mika Hannula of the Tampere University of Technology issued a statement that announced: "It is the decision of the Academic Board that [Prime Minister of Ethiopia] Hailemariam Desalegn will not be conferred as an Honorary Doctor at the 2017 conferment ceremony." The reason given was that Mr. Hailemariam "will be unable to attend".

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Marianne Niemelä, Green party candidate for Helsinki

Election Talk gives candidates running in the municipal elections a chance to discuss their views on the increasingly international aspect of Finnish society, as well as how this will affect their work if they are elected. Voting will take place on 9 April 2017. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Helsinki Times.

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Shelley Poticha, Director of Urban Solutions at the Natural Resources Defense Council

Urban areas have a front-row seat for global issues like climate change and social welfare. Increasingly, it will be these spaces that provide the leadership and the wherewithal to address them.

As governments around the world struggle to deal with the burdens of globalization and shifting social politics, focus has turned to cities as the drivers of innovation and the problem-solvers of the future.

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Tino Singh, Green party candidate for Helsinki

Election Talk gives candidates running in the municipal elections a chance to discuss their views on the increasingly international aspect of Finnish society, as well as how this will affect their work if they are elected. Voting will take place on 9 April 2017, with advance voting between 29 March and 4 April. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Helsinki Times.

An interview with Tino Singh

Many people in Finland know Tino Singh. Whether this is from his days in musical theatre and dance, his pop music in the 1990s, his business activities, or his role as an activist, he’s a popular chap. Taking a break from his busy schedule, I sat down with Tino to discuss his life in Finland and his decision to stand as a candidate for his hometown of Helsinki in the upcoming municipal elections to be held on April 9th, 2017.

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Peter Hackman, Swedish People’s Party candidate for Helsinki

Election Talk gives candidates running in the municipal elections a chance to discuss their views on the increasingly international aspect of Finnish society, as well as how this will affect their work if they are elected. Voting will take place on 9 April 2017, with advance voting between 29 March and 4 April. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Helsinki Times.

Finland is becoming increasingly international and there are now a record number of people living here with foreign, non-European backgrounds. Some have come to Finland because of marriage, others have come here to study or work, and some have received asylum due to refugee status. In addition to work, participating in education at various levels is the best way to integrate and become an active part of Finnish society. It is therefore very important that these people have free access to education, at all levels, here in Finland.

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Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing

Housing has become a principle vehicle for wealth concentration across the globe, reaping huge profits for some, but also causing displacement, evictions and drastic inequality at an unparalleled scale for millions more.

Paper money is becoming old-fashioned. The new way to flaunt wealth, or make more of it, is housing. It’s the new currency, representing $163 trillion in global wealth, or almost triple the world’s GDP. Housing as a commodity has usurped housing’s traditional purpose – to shelter, protect and provide a home.

Four walls and a roof is now crude terminology for dollar signs and investment opportunity.

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