I am a 30-year-old global citizen from Helsinki, with a mission to create a sustainable future. I want to become a member of Parliament so that I can help build a more sustainable, humane and open Finland and world for us all.
I graduated from the University of Helsinki with a Master of Science in human geography. I currently work for a nonprofit organization that strives to improve equal access to hobbies for local youth. I am involved in the city politics of Helsinki.
I live in a two-bedroom city apartment with my partner and our 17-year-old exchange student. My hobbies include handstanding, ultimate frisbee, cycling and rollerskating to work, knitting woolen socks and gardening on my balcony. I enjoy slow and warm summer days on the cliffs by the Baltic Sea.
Participating in city politics
I have been involved in Helsinki city politics for almost six years. I am currently a vice member of the City Council, chair of the Youth Committee, vice member of the Culture and Leisure Committee and board member of Urheiluhallit Oy (which manages the city’s sports halls). The first four years I was a vice member of the Sports Committee.
In city politics I am hugely motivated by the good decisions that I see being made for our future every week. During my time in the City Council I have made an initiative to increase the number of collectively used cargo bikes and a motion to expedite the building of recreational spaces for youth.
In City Council meetings I have made statements about preventing the climate crisis, reducing car traffic, and the importance of affordable housing. I have also participated in shaping the city's budget: we negotiated more resources to preventing inequality, to covering pay raises for city employees in low-wage industries, and to climate friendly solutions in traffic, energy and nature protection.
In the Culture and Leisure Committee I have made a motion to reserve money for energy investments of the sports facilities, so that for example swimming pools and ice hockey arenas would be heated and cooled with more sustainable energy forms.
My experience in political participation also goes back to my studies at the University of Helsinki, where I represented the Green Party in the Student Union for two terms. In addition, I have been a board member in several organizations over the years.
Towards a more sustainable lifestyle, with personal and collective decisions
I first started to think about the state of the Earth when I was in high school. I switched from traveling by scooter and car to using public transportation and cycling instead. I encouraged my family to recycle and once I started living on my own, I started to cook vegetarian food. Since then I have continued striving towards more and more sustainable choices. For example, in 2020 I challenged myself to a year of not buying anything, and last year our household’s mixed waste was reduced to one single bag. I have requested a sign for vegetable protein to my local grocery store and fought for collecting plastic recycling in my apartment building.
A sustainable lifestyle is like a game, in which one can always progress and challenge one’s thinking and actions. While I want to encourage everyone towards sustainable choices with my own actions, I also strive to make a difference in the bigger picture, whether it be in politics, at the workplace or in the different organizations I am a member of, or by investing and making donations.
Global citizenship as identity
The global world has been strongly present in my life from a young age. I started school at an international class at the age of five, when my family lived a year in Israel. Watching the UN peacekeepers work sparked my interest towards international relations and security.
In high school I spent a year in the United States as an exchange student, and saw Obama being elected as a president for the first time. I admired the free hobbies and the sense of community they created, but was not fond of the double standards and the society being dependent on consumerism and cars.
During my time in university, I was awarded a grant and headed to Madagascar for an exchange year. I learned two new languages and made new friends at the University of Antananarivo. On the city streets I saw poverty and the hazards it can create on a bigger scale than ever before.
I wrote my Master's thesis about global citizenship. In Nairobi I interviewed young Kenyan students who had spent a year in the United States on student exchange. They had strong faith in the future and believed that together we can make a lot of good happen. However, it's still important to note that not everyone has an equal opportunity to grow up as global citizens.