Heikki Aalto-Alanen is the grandson of architects Aino and Alvar Aalto, who has previously served as vice chairman of the Alvar Aalto Foundation, been a member of Artek’s Board of Directors, member of the Alvar Aalto Academy Board, and held other positions maintaining Aino and Alvar Aalto’s artistic work and heritage. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Alvar and Aino Aalto Estate Ltd. Heikki Aalto-Alanen is a lawyer by profession and has worked in the financial world.
His book MIRROR LIKE AN OCEAN REFLECTING YOUR SMILE tells the story of Alvar and Aino Aalto, depicted through their correspondence, photographs and drawings.
As a child, Maria Pettersson’s dream job was to be an international adventurer. Instead, she became an award-winning journalist, the editor-in-chief of several magazines and a serious history geek. She has worked for the biggest newspapers, radio stations and TV channels in Finland. She has travelled in over 70 countries, got married in Vegas and spent her honeymoon in North Korea. Her hobbies include games and roleplaying, observing big machines, studying small Slavic languages and visiting dead dictators. She currently lives in Helsinki, Finland.
Emilia Lahti is a doctoral candidate, entrepreneur, international leadership trainer and leading expert of the global phenomenon of sisu. She is also a published academic writer and the founder of the Finnish Association for Positive Psychology. Her writings have appeared at CNBC, The Creativity Post, Happiness Daily, and SisuLab.Com. She has also founded a non-profit organization called Sisu Not Silence that is focused on building futures free of patterns of abuse. She is passionate about research that translates to practical tools to enable growth and wellbeing in the everyday life.
As a part of her research and quest to understand how individuals unearth dormant life energy, Emilia trained to complete Ironman triathlons and a 2400km/50-day run/bike journey across New Zealand, and joined a martial arts academy in the mountains of North China. Her upcoming first international book Gentle Power: Accessing the Ancient Wisdom Within to Face a New Era is the result of a decade of research and life on five different continents.
PERTTU PÖLÖNEN is a futurist, inventor and an inspirational speaker. He has won the EU’s biggest science competition for youth and studied exponential technologies at Singularity University, based at NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. The MIT Tech Review has named him as one of 35 Innovators Under 35 in Europe. In the Finnish media, Perttu has been called a gentle highbrow and fearless inventor. Future Skills has been an instant bestseller in Finland!
Jessikka Aro (born 1980) is a Finnish journalist working for Finland’s public service broadcaster Yle. In September 2014, she began to investigate pro-Russian Internet trolls, but became a victim of their activities herself.
In 2019 she was notified that she was to receive an International Women of Courage Award but this was mysteriously rescinded just before the ceremony.
AAPO ROSELIUS is a resercher and a nonfiction author, who has studied extensively the Finnish Civil War and the history of the 1920s and 1930s.
OULA SILVENNOINEN, PhD, is a historian and an author of narrative non-fiction who specializes on the upheavals of the modern era within the Nordic and Baltic sphere. Among other topics, he has published on the themes of policing, war, fascist movements and the Holocaust. His works have been translated also into German, Swedish and Estonian. Oula Silvennoinen is currently based in the University of Helsinki, Finland.
Lotta Sonninen works as an editor of Finnish fiction and has also translated a lot of nonfiction. She got the idea for The Little Book of Bad Moods when working on yet another book on positivity. On her free time, she plays in a band and has tried to be funny on a stand-up comedy stage as well.
Author photo by Päivi Puustinen
Mia Kankimäki is the author of two best-selling books which blend travelogue, memoir, biography and women’s history. After taking a master’s degree in comparative literature at the University of Helsinki and working diligently in Finnish publishing, in 2010 she left her job and traveled to Japan to write her first book. Her books have received several literary awards, for example the Best Travel Book of the year 2013, the HelMet Award 2015, and Otava Book Foundation’s Non Fiction Award 2020. She currently lives in Helsinki, Finland, whenever she’s not traveling for her next book project.
Mia has been enthusiastic about Japanese culture for years, and is a qualified ikebana teacher of the Sogetsu school. Her first book Things That Make One’s Hear Beat Faster took her to Kyoto where she has spent long periods of writing and making research ever since. Kankimäki’s second book The Women I Think About at Night has sold over 36,000 copies in Finland and the translation rights have been sold to 15 territories, including USA and China.
Author photo by Otava Publishing
Frank Martela, PhD, is a philosopher and researcher of psychology specializing in the question of meaning in life. His articles have appeared in Scientific American Mind, Harvard Business Review and Salon and his work has been featured on Quartz and on the BBC. His research has been published extensively in numerous academic journals such as Journal of Personality, Journal of Positive Psychology, Journal of Happiness Studies, Metaphilosophy, Southern Journal of Philosophy, Review of General Psychology, and Organization Studies. He has spoken to more than one hundred audiences worldwide, including invited lectures in universities on four continents, including Stanford University and Harvard University. He’s been interviewed by the New York Times, Fitness, Vice News, and Monocle Observer among others. He is based at Aalto University in Helsinki.
Outside of work, Frank is a father to three lovely children (currently 8, 5, and 3 years old), an amateur-level soccer player, with an occasional skiing trip in the winters. He is made in Green Bay, so Packers holds a special place in his heart.
Carita has always enjoyed saunas and takes a sauna with her family nearly every day. In 2010, she founded Sauna from Finland, because she felt that there was simply not enough discussion of saunas, especially from the perspective of health and wellness. Also, saunas had acquired a “macho” reputation, and that they were not being discussed from perspectives that would interest women. The organization’s mission is to create the world’s best sauna experiences and she loves her work because it allows her to advance an idea that she is personally so passionate about.
TIMO HONKELA has researched artificial intelligence and machine learning for over 30 years, and served as a professor in three universities, including his current post as Professor of Digital Information Research in Helsinki University. The Peace Machine is his testament, in which he talks about his life work in hopes of inspiring other people to continue the important work.
KONSTA KLEMETTI & HARRO GRÖNBERG have worked for several leading game companies in Helsinki and now form the core of the story-driven transmedia studio Action Squad Studios.
Raisa Cacciatore MD, is a child psychiatrist, special competence in adolescent health, specialist physician, and an EMDR Europe Accredited Practitioner. She provides training to professionals and to parents and has written many textbooks and works of nonfiction, including Save the Boys. She is currently writing her dissertation on the topic of supporting children’s sexuality. Raisa has received lifetime achievement awards from the Finnish Cultural Foundation (2011) and the Association of Finnish Non-Fiction Writers (2016), as well as the State Award for Public Information (2017).
Erja Korteniemi-Poikela is a midwife, nurse, clinical sexologist, and nonfiction author. She has had a long career working with the sexual health of adults, children, and adolescents, and has co-authored several nonfiction books with Raisa Cacciatore. Erja was chosen Midwife Innovator of the Year in 2000, and in 2004, received the School Health Deed of the Year award from the Finnish Association of School and Student Health for her work on the Steps to Sexual Maturity learning materials published by the Finnish National Agency for Education.
The duo’s previous collaborations include several books for adolescents, parents and professionals alike.
Laura Ertimo is a geographer and author. She has previously worked in publishing of geography-related non-fiction and maps, and now she writes full time, specializing in children’s non-fiction. A recurring theme in her work is the holistic worldview, the interaction between phenomena, people and nature.
Author photo: Anna Autio.
Helsinki-based writer, editor and broadcast journalist Katja Pantzar was born in Finland and raised and educated in Canada. A freelance member of the Finnish public broadcasting company Yle’s news team, Pantzar is a regular contributor to Blue Wings, the in-flight magazine of Finnair and Helsinki correspondent for Monocle 24.
She is the author of three guides to Helsinki: The Hip Guide to Helsinki, Helsinki by Light and 100 Things to Do in Helsinki. Finding Sisu is the first book Pantzar has written that will be published outside of Finland.
Jorma Ollila became the pre-eminent European businessman of his generation during his time as CEO of Nokia Corporation from 1992 to 2006. Ollila currently works as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Royal Dutch Shell and at Outokumpu. He has master’s degrees in economics from the London School of Economics, in engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology and in political science from the University of Helsinki.
Against All Odds: My Emotional Journey with Nokia (Mahdoton menestys: Kasvun paikkana Nokia, Otava 2013), Ollila’s autobiography of the company that created a global mobile revolution, was 2013’s bestselling narrative nonfiction book in Finland, and was selected as one of the year’s most fascinating books by the influential Suomen kuvalehti magazine.
Harri Saukkomaa, co-author of Against all Odds, is a well-known media expert, entrepreneur and author of several nonfiction books.
Dr. Kari Nars has a long and distinguished career in various high banking positions in London, Washington and Paris, and as a director of Finland’s central bank and Ministry of Finance. He has published several books, and was chief editor and main writer of Excellence in Debt Management by Euromoney Books in London.
Dr. Tuula Karjalainen is a Finnish art historian and non-fiction writer who has previously worked as a director of the Helsinki Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki. As the author of Tove Jansson’s biography, Tuula Karjalainen has become an expert not only on Jansson’s works but also on her several decades of personal correspondence and journals.
Ben Furman is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, trainer of solution- focused psychotherapy, and author. He has written several books on mental well-being and psychotherapy.
Ben Furman is one of the developers of the Kids’ Skills method.
Rights to his works are sold in e.g. English (Australia), Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.