Pasi Alonen and Erika Kailaanmäki of Finland compete during the Wife Carrying World Championships in Sonkajärvi, Finland on July 1, 2017.


Chances are you've heard of Finnish designer Alvar Aalto, but how about Kaj Franck or Tapio Wirkkala? To celebrate Finland’s centenary, CNN takes a look at the greatest innovators in Finnish design over the last 100 years.

Moving to the current day, Finnish exports are on the rise and Supercell plan on turning Finland into the Hollywood of gaming, while China sees Rovaniemi as a potential destination for its “Arctic Corridor” railway.

Last but not least, Finns Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen beat out the competition and triumph at the 2017 Wife Carrying World Championships.

Finland's greatest innovations from the last 100 years
CNN Style

“ Given how familiar Finnish markers and motifs have become -- from Nokia phones to Moomins books -- it's remarkable that Finland has only had 100 years to imprint itself on our consciousness. Throughout that time, design has always been at the forefront of the nation's identity.

In 1917, when the country declared its independence from Russia, there was a strong desire to explore and articulate what it was to be Finnish.

Architects and designers became nation-builders, tasked with giving shape to the new homes and civic spaces that the country needed, as the economy grew and the once agrarian society began to industrialize. Their ambitious agenda was social, optimistic and forward-looking, and democratic design emerged as a significant characteristic of the fledgling country. ”

Original article was published by on 06/07/2017 and can be found here.

Finnish exports rise 27% in May

“ Finnish exports rose 27 percent in May from a year ago, preliminary data showed on Friday, adding to signs that the economy is recovering after a long period of stagnation.

Economic output in the euro zone country is still below levels prior to the financial crisis of 2008 due to a string of problems, including the decline of Nokia's former phone business and a recession in neighbouring Russia.

Preliminary data from the national customs office showed the value of Finnish exports in May at 5.5 billion euros ($6.3 billion) and the value of imports at about 5.3 billion euros.

"These are strong numbers. It's the first time since 2010 that monthly exports break the 5.5 billion threshold, and only the second time since 2008", said economist Juhana Brotherus from Hypo Bank. ”

Original article was published by on 07/07/2017 and can be found here.

Supercell grants €250,000 to Aalto University

“ Clash of Clans developer Supercell has granted €250,000 to the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture in Finland. The grant will also be match funded by the government to bring the investment to €500,000.

The School of Arts, Design and Architecture educates people looking for careers in game design, digital media, visual design, film and architecture.

"Finland is already one of the best places in the world to develop games,” said Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen.

“We hope that the co-operation we're starting with Aalto will make it even better. We want to make Finland the undisputed nexus of the world, a sort of Hollywood for gaming. We'll achieve this goal if we can attract not only Finnish talent, but also top international minds. ”

Original article was published by on 05/07/2017 and can be found here.

Finland could serve as China’s Arctic gateway
Asia Times

“ It was a meeting that could easily pass unnoticed. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang met with Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä on June 27 in Dalian, China, during the annual World Economic Forum meeting known as Summer Davos.

The upshot of their tete-a-tete was that China and Finland pledged to enhance bilateral cooperation in Arctic affairs and areas such as manufacturing and urbanization. Most important, Li told Sipila that China wanted to bolster communication with Finland in international and regional matters, specifically in the context of China-EU and China-Nordic cooperation.

The growing collaboration between the world’s second-largest economy and a small Nordic nation of 5.5 million people highlights a little-known fact: China’s One Belt, One Road (Obor) project has an Arctic angle – and Finland could play a pivotal role. ”

Original article was published by on 02/07/2017 and can be found here.

Finns win annual Wife Carrying World Championships
The China Post

“ Finns Taisto Miettinen and Kristiina Haapanen have won the Wife Carrying World Championships in Finland, beating the competition by two seconds.

The competition has been held in Sonkajärvi in eastern Finland, some 500 kilometres north of Helsinki, since 1992.

Contestants brave a 253 metre-long course and have to deal with several obstacles, including a water obstacle one metre deep.

According to the rule book, wives may be “your own, the neighbour's" or "one you have found." “

Original article was published by on 02/07/2017 and can be found here.

Dan Anderson – HT

Photo: Lehtikuva / Timo Hartikainen