We are pleased to introduce you to the keynote speaker(s) and panellists of the fifth CSR event at Hanken School of Economics: Finnish labour market 2.0 – Integration through Innovation

The panellist of each panel represents persons and organizations with knowledge and experiences about the topics of discussion: enablers and disablers in the Finnish labour market, and innovative praxis and solutions for integrating refuges into the Finnish labour market. The list of panellists will we updated as they are confirmed.


Opening Speech:



Karen Spens 

Rector, Professor of Supply Chain Management
at Hanken School of Economics






Keynote speaker:

  maryan.jpgMaryan Abdulkarim
Activist, freelance writer and public debater.

Maryan Abdulkarim is a feminist, freelance writer and activist. Maryan was born in Mogadishu, Somalia but moved to Finland when she was seven. She has worked as an expert in multiculturalism at the Population Association  (Väestöliitto) and as a Research Assistant at the University of Helsinki. She is the vice chairman of the Feminist Association Union (Naisasialiitto Unioni).

Photo by HBL





Matti Sarvimäki
Research Fellow
at Aalto University, Department of Economic

Matti Sarvimäki is a Research Fellow at the Department of Economics, Aalto University and a Senior Researcher at VATT. He has previously been a post-doctoral researcher at the London School of Economics and an Yrjö Jahnsson Fellow at MIT. His work on the labor integration of immigrants has been published in the Journal of Labor Economics and the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.




Mustafa Salam Abdalmee
Volunteering for organizations

Mustafa Salam Abdalmee has been in Finland for 7 months. He has worked as a volunteer for multiple organizations including Startup Refugees and Mustafa has an education in Civil Engineering from the Al-Mustansyria University of Baghdad, Iraq. Back in his home country he has worked for the international healthcare company Novartis.




Maadh Alsammarraie
COO at Zharity

Maadh Alsammarraie holds a B.S. in Thermal Energy System from the American University of Iraq. He has also studied at the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania in Greece. Maahd has been in Finland since 2015 and strongly believes in integration through work. He works for Zharity which is a startup company supported by Startup Refugees. Zharity helps asylum seekers in Finland with finding work through their web service.



Elie El-Khouri
Business Advisory
at Newco Helsinki

Elie El-Khouri has 8 years of experience as an authorized business adviser at Newco Helsinki (YritysHelsinki). Newco Helsinki offers support and mentoring services to the new and already established entrepreneurs in Helsinki region. In recent years approximately one third of their clients have been immigrants. El-Khouri is a construction engineer originally from Lebanon and he has been involved in many political, cultural and volunteer activities in Finland. Earlier he has worked as an entrepreneur in several fields as well as a project coordinator at Culminatum Innovation.




Sonja Hämäläinen
Ministerial Adviser
Ministry of Employment and the Economy

Sonja Hämäläinen works as project manager in a project aiming to shorten the time between refugees´ arrival in Finland and their entry into the labour market - with attention to the needs of both refugees and employers. Sonja Hämäläinen says this is the kind of 'enabling action' Finland and the refugees here currently need!





Mikko Räsänen
Senior Adviser, Employment and Immigration Policy
Confederation of Finnish Industries (Elinkeinoelämän keskusliitto)

Mikko Räsänen has been a Senior Adviser Confederation of Finnish Industries EK since 2001. Mikko is a lawyer and has been the employers’ representative in several legislative reforms concerning Aliens Act, Employment Services and EU rules on migration.






a Ilmoni
Content Director  
at KSF Media

Susanna is the content director at KSF Media, which is the largest Swedish speaking commercial media company in Finland. She has been a journalist for more than a quarter of a decade and has been working at KSF Media for 10 years, in different positions such as news director and feature director.

Susanna Ilmoni on KFS's involvement in Recommend a Refugee:
“ KSF is involved in Recommend a Refugee because we think it's important to do something concrete for the values we live and work by. Talking about refugees KSF Media has chosen to see people arriving in Finland as an asset, not a threat. We want to welcome them and make them feel at home, and we strongly think we can learn from each other. Yes, we know everything is not going to be sunny and easy integrating these people, but they need to get a fair chance; something meaningful to do, a job. That is why KSF together with the Finnish Red Cross and SEK&Grey communications launched the platform Recommend a refugee.”





Östen Wahlbeck

Doctor of Philosophy, Adjunct Professor, Senior Lecturer in Sociology
University of Helsinki

Östen Wahlbeck is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at University of Helsinki and Adjunct Professor of Sociology at University of Tampere. He holds a PhD in Ethnic Relations from University of Warwick, UK (1997). He is the author of the monograph Kurdish Diasporas (Macmillan 1999) and a number of edited books , including  Debating Multiculturalism in the Nordic Welfare States (together with Peter Kivisto, Palgrave 2013). He has published more than 20 international refereed academic articles in the field of international migration and ethnic relations, including articles in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Journal of Refugee Studies, Ethnicities and Mobilities. In addition, he is the author of numerous book chapters published in various languages. His research interests include transnational migration, immigrant businesses, refugee studies, and integration policies. He has been the project leader of several large research projects in these areas funded by the Academy of Finland.

His academic activities are presented at: