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Future Education 2017

HE Ms Paula Parviainen

Ambassador of Republic of Finland to Singapore

HE Ms Paula Parviainen became Finland’s 7th Ambassador to Singapore in September 2015. Prior to that, Ms Parviainen served four years as Minister, Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of Finland in Beijing, PRC. She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1995 and has served on postings in Singapore 1996-1999, Paris, France from 2003-2007 and at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations in New York from 2007-2009. HE Ms Paula Parviainen has a Master’s Degree in International Relations from Abo Academy, the Swedish speaking University in Turku Finland and Master Studies in Corporate Communications and Public Relations at the Boston University, in Massachusetts, USA.

HE Mrs Jayalekshmi Mohideen

Guest of Honour, Singapore's Ambassador to Republic of Finland

Mrs Jayalekshmi Mohideen is currently Singapore's Ambassador to the Republic of Finland, resident in Singapore. She is also the Managing Director of Galerie Belvedere (S) Pte Ltd. Mrs Mohideen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Honours (Class II Upper) degree from the then University of Singapore in 1967. She was a Visiting Fellow in Public Administration at Queen Elizabeth House,University of Oxford, for the Trinity Term in 1978 under a Colombo Plan Fellowship. Mrs Mohideen began her career in the Singapore Administrative Service in May 1967 with postings to the Ministry of Defence and the Public Service Commission. She joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in August 1976 where she helped to restructure and modernise the Ministry and its overseas operations. On 23 November 1989, Mrs Mohideen was appointed Ambassador to Belgium (with concurrent accreditation to the European Communities, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and The Holy See). On her return to Singapore in December 1992, Mrs Mohideen was appointed Deputy Secretary (Management) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1994, she was seconded to the Economic Development Board for two years as Senior Consultant and provided consulting advice on behalf of the EDB and Singapore Government to other Governments, UNDP and the World Bank. She was appointed as Singapore's Non-Resident Ambassador to the Czech Republic from April 2000 to December 2006. In August 2007 she was appointed Non-Resident Ambassador to Finland.

Mr Jan Vapaavuori

Mayor, City of Helsinki

Mr Jan Vapaavuori was elected Mayor of the City of Helsinki in June 2017. Prior becoming mayor Jan Vapaavuori was Vice-President of the European Investment Bank (2015-2017), Minister of Economic Affairs (2012-15) and Minister of Housing and Development as well as Nordic cooperation (2007-2011). Jan Vapaavuori has been a member of the Finnish parliament from 2003-2015, representing the National Coalition Party. He holds a degree in law from University of Helsinki.

Mr Richard Henry

Head of School, GEMS World Academy, (Singapore)

Mr Richard Henry has worked in the education sector for nearly 30 years, in 3 continents and across a network of thousands of schools. Raised in Australia he began his teaching career in the state and private education systems of Queensland, Australia. Richard moved to Jakarta, Indonesia at a prominent school and was shortly promoted to Principal of Secondary School and later to Head of School for K-12. In 2011, he began work for the International Baccalaureate based in The Hague, The Netherlands. As Head of School Services for Africa, Europe and the Middle East he was responsible for overseeing the authorisation and evaluation of all IB schools in those regions. He then became Head of Development and Recognition working with all schools implementing IB programmes as well as engaging with government ministries and higher education institutions. In 2015, Richard moved to the USA and took up a new role within the IB as Director of Global School Services before joining GEMS World Academy (Singapore) in 2017.


Ms Kirsti Lonka, Dr.

Professor for Educational Psychology, University of Helsinki

Ms Kirsti Lonka is Director of the Research Group of Educational Psychology in the Faculty of Educational Sciences at the University of Helsinki. She is also Extraordinary Professor, Optentia Research Focus Area at North-West University, South Africa and Advisory Board Member of Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. Kirsti Lonka advocates phenomenon - or project-based learning, a collaborative way of teaching, which allows students to choose a topic relevant to them and base subjects around it. Her specialties are higher education, medical education, teacher education, and postgraduate education (PhD students). Currently, Ms Lonka is working on innovations in higher education and engaging learning environments (ELE).

Wiredminds.fi    Kirstilonka.fi

Mrs Maarit Rossi

Paths to Math, Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize Finalist 2016

Mrs Maarit Rossi is a math teacher, CEO of Paths to Math Ltd and former secondary school principal. Last year Maarit Rossi was one of the top 10 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize and in 2017 part of the jury at the Global Teacher Prize Academy. Maarit Rossi is driven to prove math is not boring but challenging, stimulating and fun - a tool to make sense of the world rather than a list of rules. Her students often learn outside the classroom by taking unconventional approaches to real-life problems. With a colleague she met on a Fulbright teaching exchange, Maarit Rossi produced Paths to Math, a website offering Math resources in three languages. She ran STEM subject projects for the Economic Information Bureau for Finnish Industry, forging close links with schools in other countries, and worked as Project Manager for the EU New Opportunities for Women program.

www.pathstomath.com, www.inspirationalmath.com, Maarit Rossi introduction video

Mr Topi Litmanen, Dr.

Chief Educational Scientist, Claned

Dr Topi Litmanen (PhD) works as a Chief Educational Scientist in Claned Group. He has over 10 years of experience in designing and realizing digital learning solutions in professional settings. He has been in charge of both designing various learning products as well as implementing them. In educational research, he has focused on the effect of learning design elements on the learning process and learner experience.

Mr Lasse Leponiemi

Partner & COO, HundrED.org

Mr Lasse Leponiemi has been working with youth education and career planning since 2003 and is currently Partner and Chief Operating Officer at HundrED.org. HundrED is a non-profit company set up to seek and share inspiring innovations in K12 education between teachers and schools in Finland, but has now grown global. At HundrED.org Lasse Leponiemi is leading the innovator support functions and platform development to serve HundrED network of teachers and innovators. As a part of HundrED he has been developing and implementing education innovations such as Triplet News, Campus Seminars, Xprt application and many others. As a hobby, Lasse Leponiemi has been building NGO Mentors of Finland. The non-profit organization mentors unemployed young people free-of-charge to find a job. The organization helps 700 young people annually with the success rate of 87%.


Mr Serdar Ferit

Co-CEO and Co-Founder, Lyfta

Mr Serdar Ferit is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Lyfta, an exciting EdTech start-up that helps teachers engage and nurture active global citizens. Mr Ferit creates innovative media concepts, using Virtual Reality, 360 storytelling and mixed media methods to tell powerful stories on social topics. Mr Ferit has also inspired hundreds of students through his lectures and workshops on engaging storytelling methods. www.lyfta.com

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SF100 Seminar & Expo – Designing Future Education 21.9.2017

Speakers' Bios


Module 1: Finland and Singapore – Two Super Powers in Education


Module 2: Practical Solutions for Bringing up Lifelong Learners


Future & Digital Learning:

Ms Marjo Kyllönen, Dr.

Head of Development Service Unit, City Helsinki

Dr Marjo Kyllönen is as a head of Development Service Unit in Helsinki. She is leading the expert and development services in Education Sector in the City of Helsinki. Education sector provides education services from early childhood education up to the adult training. We have approximately 13 000 workers and 160 000 customers: small children, pupils and students.
Dr Kyllönen has a long history and experience in Education sector, mostly in basic education. She has worked in a leading possession for basic education services as at General Education division in Helsinki over 10 years ( since 2004) providing education from 7 – 15 year. She has PhD in Education. She defended her doctoral thesis on Future School and Leadership in December 2011. After defending her thesis she further developed the concept of future school and its role and prospect in society.

She has also a degree in primary and early childhood education and has worked as a pre and primary school teacher before her appointment to administrative work 2001.

She has been appointed to various committees on national level among other issues national core curriculum work, pupils welfare, pupils assessment. On city level she’s in the lead for curriculum renewal and implementing the Future School concept in Helsinki. She has also various publication on the area of pre and basic education; Future School, leadership, evaluation, multicultural issues, multi-professional co-operation.

Future school concept has arisen international interest and during the past year Dr Kyllönen has been visiting as a key note speaker in various countries around the world. June 2015 she had a TEDx talk on the subject in Hamburgh and January 2017 in VilnusTEDxED.

Dr Kyllönen does a lot of voluntary work promoting children’s education in developing countries, which is really important top her.

Mr Riku Alkio

CEO and Founder of seppo.io

Mr Riku Alkio is the founder and CEO of seppo, a company that promotes new ways to motivate students with game based learning and pedagogical use of mobile technology. Mr. Alkio is a former teacher and experienced teacher trainer, and also a popular lecturer. He has given presentations in many European countries as well as in the UEA and Brazil. Mr. Alkio has broad international network of pedagogical experts.


Ms Mervi Pänkäläinen

Co-founder and CEO, The Mighty United

Ms Mervi Pänkäläinen, M.Sc.(BA), is the Co-founder and CEO of The Mighty United, a company that helps children develop their belief in their own future. She is a passionate innovator with a background in design thinking and change leadership. The Mightifier® is a positive peer communication tool with measurable impact on classrooms. Mightifier has been recognized for both design and innovation on the national and international stage including the Webby Awards. Mightifier was shortlisted amongst the top 5 educational solutions and has won a prestigious Red Dot Award: Communication Design 2017 in the Education applications category.

Ms Pia Solatie

Co-founder & Director

Ms Pia Solatie, MSc (Econ), has over 20 years of experience in marketing research, co-creation and creativity training. She is the co-author of “Creative Child”, a book published nationwide in China.

Dibidogs is an award-winning TV-animation. Dibidogs has been co-created with children, and has reached more than 50 million viewers. The second season will highlight Finnish early childhood education and offer engaging AR-experiences for the whole family. Nature, sustainability and green energy are among central themes in Dibidogs-adventures. http://www.dibidogs.com

The first Dibi Academy will open its doors in Beijing in October 2017, and will offer Finnish early childhood education hobby lessons for children under the age of 5. Learning through play in a familiar group, emphasizing children’s curiosity, discovery and problem solving are of key importance at Dibi Academy. The curriculum has been certified by Kokoa Agency ltd. http://www.dibiacademy.com

Mr Preetam Rai

Education Technologist, Ngee Ann Polytechnic

Mr Preetam Rai is an Education Technologist with the Centre for Learning and Teaching Excellence at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. His focus is on integrating emerging and collaborative technologies into the teaching and learning initiatives.

Preetam is also an Apple Distinguished Educator with a keen interest in promoting learning communities. He collaborates with organisations across South East Asia to run peer-learning projects such as the Singapore Barcamp, the Yangon Educamp, and the Open Schools in Vietnam and Cambodia.

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Balanced children, balanced environment:

Ms Kristina Kaihari

Counsellor of Education, Finnish National Agency for Education

Ms Kristina Kaihari is Counsellor of Education at the Finnish National Board of Education and an expert in History, Social Studies and Economics including Entrepreneurship Education. She is Head of the National Curriculum work for History and Social Studies/Economics subjects in Basic and Upper Secondary Education and has been involved in the Future Competences development process during the recent curriculum reform. Kristina Kaihari is, in addition, coordinator for Finland at the Council of Europe Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education (EDC/HRE). She has also worked as an analyst at the OECD/Education.

Ms Tiina-Maija Toivola

Economic Information Office (Finland): Me and my village-entrepreneurship learning concept

Ms Tiina-Maija Toivola is the Chief Operating Officer of Me & MyCity at the Economic Information Office. Tiina-Maija Toivola has an academic background in social sciences and education and first started working for Me & MyCity in 2013. She leads a team of 25, running the eight Me & MyCity learning environments around Finland. Me & MyCity is a Finnish education innovation, a study module and a learning environment for 6th-graders and 9th-graders. The Me & MyCity learning environment utilizes hands-on simulation where students act as employees, consumers and citizens learning about society, working life and economy. Based on the Finnish core curriculum Me & MyCity has been named as one of the best learning innovations in the world. Me & MyCity is coordinated by the Economic Information Office which is a non-profit organization promoting the future needs of Finnish industries. 

https://yrityskyla.fi/en/Me & MyCity video, Tiina-Maija Toivola introduction video

Mr Ben Furman M.D

Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist

Ben Furman is a renowned Finnish psychiatrist. In Finland, he is well known for his many books on psychology and parenting as well as for a popular TV-talk show he hosted for several years on national TV. Dr Furman is an internationally sought-after trainer of solution-focused psychology, an increasingly popular positive and strength-based approach to solving problems and improving human relationships. Ben Furman is also a member of an innovative anti-bullying movement based on a solution-focused peer-support approach, which was initiated by Mr Sauli Niinistö, President of Finland, in 2017.

Ben Furman - Seminar presentationhttp://www.benfurman.com/en, Kids'Skills, Ben Furman introduction video

Ms Milla Kokko

CEO & Co-Founder of HEI Schools – international early childhood programs

Ms Milla Kokko, MA, is one of the founders of the Helsinki International Schools (HEI Schools). Her professional background is in the fields of international brand and concept design, marketing and communication strategies. HEI Schools is a preschool concept based on high quality Finnish early childhood education, co-founded with the University of Helsinki. Embracing the Nordic values of accessibility and openness, HEI Schools has developed an easy-to-implement franchising model offering curriculum, teacher training modules, a design concept for learning environments as well as carefully selected learning materials.


Pihla Meskanen

Founder and Director, Arkki

Ms Pihla Meskanen, Architect, MSc, educator, is founder of Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth. She has been awarded the Finnish Children’s Culture State Award, and was chosen to the Art Educator of the Year.

Since architecture is intrinsically interdisciplinary, bridging the humanities and the sciences, architecture education for children is an exceptional discipline to develop key competences such as complex problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration.

Based on 24 years of know-how, Arkki International has developed a licensing program of teaching modules, described methods, and project specific working tools and materials. It currently operates in 3 countries and 13 cities in Europe. Arkki focuses in mediating architectural understanding and design thinking to children and youth between ages 4 to 19.

www.arkki.net https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_KSCG6fKdM&t=46s

Mr Tero Vanhanen

Mr Tero Vanhanen works for Fira; an innovative, rapidly growing Northern European construction company with ambitious targets to renew the traditional construction industry. A trained architect, Mr. Vanhanen has held executive roles in real estate, real estate development and town planning. He will show how to co-create user driven multipurpose building blocks. www.fira.fi