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Designing Better Life – Helsinki Meets Japan

Organised on 7 December 2021 by the City of Helsinki, the Designing Better Life – Helsinki Meets Japan hybrid event brings together Finnish and Japanese health and education pioneers.

Designin Better Life – Helsinki Meets Japan is part of the City of Helsinki’s Designing Better Life series. The main theme of the events is creating good life through design – whether functional architecture or the design of new technology. 

The Designing Better Life – Helsinki Meets Japan event for health and education professionals is organised both as an on-site event in Tokyo and an open virtual event. Event languages are English and Japanese.

You can register for the virtual event here: Designing Better Life – Helsinki Meets Japan ヘルシンキと日本を結んで (

Programme, 7 December 2021

Innovating for Better Healthcare

8:00–9:30 Finnish time

15:00–16:30 Japanese time

The Helsinki Metropolitan Area is an excellent location for developing new, innovative health tech solutions. Out of the 400 or so health-related startups in Finland, one hundred are located in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. Together with other actors, they form one of the largest health-related startup ecosystems in the world.

A key feature of our health ecosystem is collaboration: universities, research institutions and companies consistently work together to pursue exciting innovation. Moreover, the City of Helsinki provides the companies with opportunities to test their health and well-being innovations in real-life environments with end-users and city employees.

The Finnish economy is knowledge-based: it lives and breathes research and innovation. Thanks to its unique genetic heritage and electronic health data records, Finland is an exceptional goldmine for research. Finland also has a wealth of experienced talent for creating new health tech solutions.

  • Opening remarks, Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki
  • Helsinki Health Innovation Ecosystem, Helsinki Partners – Maria Lavonen, Senior Business Advisor
  • Fujitsu activities, collaboration and opportunities in the Helsinki Health Ecosystem, Fujitsu Japan Limited – Kei Noritsugu, Manager, Healthcare Solutions Development Unit
  • Helsinki Health Ecosystem Opportunities, Vision of Takeda, Takeda – Sanna Venetvaara, General Manager
  • FinnGen research project on genomic data and how to participate in practice, FinnGen – Dr. Aarno Palotie, Professor, Research Director
  • VTT as an innovation partner in Smart Health, VTT – Kari Kohtamäki, Key Account Manager
  • Metropolia Proof Health – preclinical research and test infrastructure for companies, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences – Dr. Minna Elomaa-Krapu, Innovation Director
  • Virtual Home Care, VideoVisit – Ben Hasselblatt, Head of Global Sales
  • Better tools for pharmaceutical development, FinnAdvance – Joel Noutere, CCO
  • Independent life at home with medicine dispensing robots – Nordic experience, Evondos – Eetu Koski, CEO
  • Closing words, Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development, City of Helsinki

Rethinking Education with AI

10:00–11:30 Finnish time

17:00–18:30 Japanese time

Finland has a proven track record as the home of world-class education. Our educational system is based on high-quality, comprehensive education that is inclusive and universal.

We are keen to share our know-how to promote education and learning globally. The Rethinking Education with AI event presents some of our leading, research-based education technology companies that utilise AI in their solutions.

Finland applies innovative new technologies in teaching and learning. Personalisation of education and the changing roles of teachers and learners also require the development of new smart, research-based solutions. These new solutions promote an inspiring, efficient and productive learning environment where students genuinely hold the key to unlocking their potential through education.

  • Opening remarks, Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Helsinki
  • Education in Finland as seen from Japan, Aya Watanabe, Associate Professor, Tsuda University, College of Liberal Arts, Department of International and Cultural Studies
  • Empowering language learning with robots, Curious Technologies – Johanna Hemminki, Founder and CEO
  • Future-proofing Education with Sustainable AI: Case Universities of Applied Sciences, HeadAI – Anu Passi-Rauste, Head of Growth
  • Where digital learning goes wrong and how to change it, Claned – Mariam Shodeinde, Chief Growth Officer
  • Making future AI makers, Code School Finland – Sirkku Tahvanainen, Head of Education and AI Education Specialist
  • Helsinki EdTech Ecosystem, Sonja Malin, Senior Business Advisor, Helsinki Partners & Miikka Neuvonen, Business Advisor, City of Helsinki
  • Closing words, Marja-Leena Rinkineva, Director of Economic Development, City of Helsinki


City of Helsinki & Helsinki Partners


Business Finland, Embassy of Finland in Tokyo, the Finnish Institute in Japan, Fukuoka Directive Council

Photo: Jussi Hellsten