Finland is named as the happiest country in the world - 4th year in a row
The Finns have long been considered to lead one of the happiest lifestyles, resulting in Finland having been named the happiest country in the world by the United Nations World Happiness Report in 2018, 2019, 2020 – and 2021.
Finnish happiness can be attributed to a number of factors, and many Finns credit it to their connection with nature and the outdoors with over 90% of Finland covered in either forest or water. Overall, more than 150 countries were assessed by how happy their citizens perceive themselves to be. The report took into account factors such as perceived freedom, honesty, welfare, good health and generosity when listing each country.
Researchers pointed to Finland’s high level of trust among its population as being one of the reasons behind it topping the list once again, “helping to protect lives and livelihoods during the pandemic”. The report also identified citizens’ confidence in their governments as being a contributing factor in explaining each country’s COVID-19 death rates.
IEEE 22nd International Workshop on Multimedia Signal Processing was a virtual success
Despite being forced on-line due to covid-19, the IEEE 22nd International Workshop on Multimedia Signal Processing was a success, according to General Chair of the event, professor Atanas Gotchev (picture) of Tampere University. With an anticipated attendance of 150 delegates, the on-line event attracted an impressive 680 registered participants.
In order to make the virtual congress feel as real as possible, a lot of work was put into improving and stimulating interaction between participants. Professor Gotchev explains: “We set the program so that sessions were meeting twice: first to listen to the presentations and ask quick questions and then second time, in more informal breakout rooms, to discuss more profoundly and longer. Participants appreciated that setting.”
The IEEE 23rd International Workshop on Multimedia Signal Processing will be held live in Tampere in 2021.
Independent discovered how Lahti earned its place as the Green Capital of Europe. With urban ski sharing (picture), Finland’s purest waters and a plan to be carbon neutral by 2025, this little-known city more than deserves its year in the spotlight, finds Tim Bird in his article.
Proximity to nature is a constant reference point in the Green Capital project, but also in everyday Lahti life. The pine forests and steep slopes of Salpausselka ridge lend themselves to summer hikes and winter sports, and towering ski jumps are among Lahti’s landmarks. City attractions include a sports museum, celebrating the heritage of annual cross country ski and ski jump events. A novel urban ski-sharing scheme, the first in the world, is the winter equivalent to the bike share available in snow-free months, and an imaginative step towards encouraging carbon neutral transport.
Clean water is one of the central themes, as well as an intended legacy of the Green Capital programme, along with carbon neutrality, a waste-free circular economy and a green urban environment. Vesijarvi’s plentiful fish, with succulent white pike-perch (zander) a speciality, are prominent at Lahti’s many restaurants, the “slow-food” menus of which also feature game, berries and mushrooms, as well as breads baked from local oats and rye.
You can now visit some of the most popular meeting venues in Helsinki virtually. Helsinki Convention Bureau has prepared virtual site visits to showcase the options for events.
Messukeskus Helsinki Exhibition & Convention Center is the largest venue in Finland and one of the largest venues in the Nordics. In addition to its fixed auditorium for 4400 people, the venue offers exhibition halls, a conference wing and a hotel – all under one roof. Take a virtual tour here.
HELSINKI CONGRESS PAASITORNI
Helsinki Congress Paasitorni offers an inspiring environment for all kinds of meetings, events and gala dinners. The characterful conference venue together with the adjacent hotel offers a unique combination for 8-800 people. The site visit starts here.
Kämp (picture) is a luxurious hotel and event venue right in the heart of Helsinki with a rich and prestigious history. It serves as a unique venue for meetings and banquets. Enter the hotel here.
Practical information for those planning an event in Finland
We collected some practical information for those planning an event in Finland. The kit includes information on general health and safety measures, arriving and moving around, safety protocols in venues, and coronavirus situation update.
General health and safety measures regarding coronavirus in Finland include avoiding physical contact, maintaining a safe distance from other people and observing good hand and respiratory hygiene. Finnish health authorities require using face masks in public transport in large cities and recommend using it in other situations where it is difficult to maintain 1-2 m distances from other people. By April 25, the vaccination rate in Finland was 27.4 %.
When the time is right, and traveling is safe again, we can assure that traveling to Finland continues to be memorable, responsible and health safe. When our borders are open to travel, we can show all event planners that we have safe conditions for travel, face-to-face encounters and business events.