The Good Life, the Finnish way

Man walking dog in Töölö, Helsinki on a December afternoon

Tytti Määttä, Mayor of Kuhmo and Finland’s most influential spokesperson for rural areas, recently published an excellent column “Vitality to the countryside with a five-point programme” (original column here:
Since some of you may not be daily followers of this fine publication Maaseudun Tulevaisuus (The Future of the Countryside”), with Tytti’s permission, I will paraphrase her points here (originally relating to the rural areas), as I think they provide excellent reminders and positive words of encouragement and motivation for us all, whether speaking of rural or urban Finland, or perhaps even of your own country, wherever that may be.
1) Don’t feed into a negative cycle and lack of vision
It is important to know the course of history, to keep an eye on future forecasts and to be sensitive to the developing megatrends around us. But do not let the forecasts paralyse you into acceptance and inaction. Such forecasts are projections of what may happen, if we do nothing, not statements of unalterable truth. A lack of future prospects and vision will stifle all development, no matter where you are.
2) Talk about the qualitative aspects of development and live in the present
While bearing in mind that according to current forecasts, Finland is experiencing population decline, demographic indicators are just one measure among many. Perhaps investigating and visualising these other indicators, e.g. for well-being and quality of life, for example, could help us create a more positive outlook.
3) Tackle the challenges and seize the moment
We are all fully aware that significant challenges exist. Rather than hiding from them, let’s tackle them straight on, let’s come up with new solutions, build networks and be inspired by good practices, wherever you may find them.
4) See the potential and exploit the opportunities
We live in the smartest and happiest country in the world. See the opportunities around you, encourage young people to seize them and let’s build on them together. The world is our oyster.
5) Spread the positive message
Most people across the globe have probably never heard of your region. You can help to decide what kind of image of Finland and of your home region will be promoted – why not spread a positive message, it is after all with such messages that we can feed into positive development.

December morning in Mathildedal, Finland

Published by phenomenalfinland

A political scientist, living in Helsinki, passionate about the future of our welfare state and curious about new phenomena and new ways, methods and practices capable of making our society better. Aspiration in life: to become the person my dog already thinks I am.

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