Jaan Siitonen (purple sweater) is leading a workshop at Magma Academy 2022.


Think Tank Magma, renowned for its commitment to unravelling the complexities of Finnish society, is gearing up for a second Magma Academy, scheduled to commence on 26 October 2023. Through a selection of distinguished speakers, the academy offers valuable insight into the culture, history, and politics of Finland.

Richer understanding of our society

The academy's aim is to bridge the knowledge gap by providing insights into Finnish society's nuances, from its bilingualism to its history, politics, and beyond. Directed at people in their 20s and 30s, the objective is straightforward: enhance newcomers' understanding of Finnish society to make them feel more at home.

"There's a pressing need for intelligent individuals from other countries to better understand Finnish society and its customs. These are insights that typically aren't intuitive. The academy offers a gateway to a richer understanding of our society," according to Nils Erik Forsgård, director of Magma.

Magma Academy's mission is twofold. According to Forsgård, "One aspect is to show people coming from other countries that they are genuinely needed and very welcome in Finland."

"Secondly, we're acutely aware of the challenges people from other countries face when adapting to Finnish society. If our academy can contribute even slightly to people feeling more welcome, then we've achieved our goal," Forsgård added.

Consequently, the institution is dedicated to fostering a welcoming environment for international individuals in Finland. The academy underscores Finland’s embrace of diversity in its teachings.

High quality networking

Since 2014, Think Tank Magma has offered similar courses directed to Finnish- and Swedish-speaking audiences. These bilingual courses, conducted in Swedish and Finnish, have been well-received, and the academy has had limited spaces available. The programme's success led to the addition of an English version, ensuring a wider reach.

"While we represent the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, which comprises approximately 290,000 individuals, our minority perspective is invaluable for newcomers who, in a sense, represent a new minority," states Forsgård.

The course programme is divided into two modules, encompassing guest lectures, seminar discussions and social events.

"A significant component of the course is the chance to network," said Henrika Jakobsson, coordinator at Magma Academy.

Though not explicitly designed to prepare participants for the job market, the academy furnishes them with a deeper understanding of Finnish society, including its employment dynamics and unwritten rules. This knowledge can be priceless for those aiming to thrive in Finland's job market.

While it isn't primarily business-oriented, Magma Academy offers a platform for networking. "By inviting guest speakers, participants can network with peers and also engage with top-tier lecturers," Jakobsson commented.

"The academy has broadened my understanding of Finland's job market. We had opportunities to learn and network with eminent speakers from Business Finland and FiBan, which enriched my grasp of the start-up culture," shared Garry Normoyle, a private entrepreneur behind Dare to Design, a start-up crafting bespoke furniture.

"Magma provided the connections I needed within Finland's entrepreneurial community. It also helped adjust my expectations regarding the start-up ecosystem and financing, readying me for the realities ahead," added Normoyle.

Who can participate?

Magma Academy welcomes individuals in their twenties and thirties residing in Finland, with a minimum qualification of secondary education completion. Proficiency in English is crucial as courses are conducted in English. The fee for Magma Academy is €50, which includes lectures, meals, and even a study trip to Tallinn. This nominal fee simply serves to ensure the commitment of the admitted participants.

Module 1 on Thursday, October 26th 2023 at 4 pm to 8 pm (including light meal and mingle)

Module 2 on Thursday, November 9th 2023 at 4 pm to 7.30 pm (including light meal)

An excursion to Tallinn on Saturday, November 18th 2023.

Place: Central Helsinki (except for the excursion

How to apply:
Apply by September 30th at the latest by filling this form.

Sonali Telang - HT