| 01.09.2021

Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen in the Opening of the Academic Year: Finland needs more economics

There is a need for more economic thinking, discussions and reasoning in Finland. This was emphasized by Helsinki's newly elected mayor Juhana Vartiainen, who spoke to the new students at the opening of the academic year at the Hanken School of Economics on Wednesday.

The event was streamed at Hanken in Helsinki and broadcast online. You can watch it here.

“Economic offers a good basis for explaining basically all societal phenomena. We need a comprehensive and deep understanding of the various sectors of the economy to understand the development of the society and our current challenges. Without excellent knowledge of economics, we cannot solve so many problems”, stated Vartiainen, who has a doctoral degree in social sciences with economics as his major.

The climate change and the adaptation to it and the challenges of the aging population are some examples of areas where thinking in economics is currently needed, according to Vartiainen.

In his speech, Vartiainen emphasized the importance of universities offering internationally competitive education and attracting foreign talent to Finland. He also emphasized the importance of Nordic co-operation.

In her speech, Rector Karen Spens, like Vartiainen, emphasized the importance of attracting international talent to Finland and also working towards ensuring that they stay. Other themes that Spens addressed in her speech were the importance of lifelong learning and of investing in research in Finland.

“If we want Finland to keep up in the development, it is now time to invest in research and education. It has been said that investments are made in education, but there does not seem to be an understanding that if we choose not to invest in research, we are undeniably in process of weakening education at the same time. They are and cannot be seen as separate issues at universities”, Spens brought to the fore.

The program also included greetings from Jannica Fagerholm, chair of the board of Hanken, and Daniel Karlsson, chair of the board of the student union.