Management by heart ❤

Starting point: I am confused.

It was almost a year ago when I attended two online courses of Regenerative Tourism offered by Turismo Regenerativo, based in Chile, owned by Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda. It was the answer to my wondering mind and I was in heaven when learning together with like minded persons, most of them from Latin America.

I have been launching the ideas of regeneration since then. I also have organized a beautiful online event together with Carlos and Martín and was a partner to organize a great webinar with Anna Pollock and Anna Drozdowska as key speakers.

I have had an opportunity to introduce presentation about regenerative tourism to the representatives of the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Visit Finland organization. I also have been invited to several webinars in Finland and I was a speaker at the international Responsible Tourism Congress in Helsinki. I have been adding introduction of Regenerative Tourism to my training contents. I have attended two more training sessions (RegenLab and Context mapping) to learn more with others.

And now – why am I so confused?

I have the feeling that I have not done enough and I have not been understood. I’ve also come across headlines and content from regenerative tourism that don’t match what I’ve learned and it’s been frustrating.

I have started to produce an online course about regenerative tourism in Finnish but I am not sure that I can get any paid attendees to it, neither have I received funding for development projects even I have been trying to get some.

I don´t normally get stuck or hesitate, neither I use to hand over. I won´t this time either. It´s about a process and time is needed for all of us to move on to the next level.

Next step: Understanding and reflecting

I have spent money on development, and now as a solo entrepreneur I am worried whether I will be able to do any useful business out of it. At the same time, I know in my heart that the path I have chosen is the right one.

And then, right at this moment of greatest doubt, I opened the computer and in front of me came Anna Pollock’s article ”Breaking my silence”. She started the article by explaining why she has not been writing a lot lately: ”I haven’t been writing because, as a person whose trade requires that she better understand the context in which tourism operates, I couldn’t ignore the ever-widening gap between what we talk about within our sector, and what’s happening around us.”

I totally agree. This is why I am confused. I am also confused of so much talking and so little acting. I also have been running through words and their meanings in my mind as there are some trendy words in Finnish Tourism sector such as ”leading with management”, ”digitalization” and ”sustainability”.

Regenerative Tourism is not among them and actually I prefer it won´t be just an empty word but a meaning and a way of thinking.

Next one to come. Knowledge based management combined by management by heart

Knowledge based management means decision-making based on the right information, where the right information is obtained by analyzing data. It refers to decision-making based on up-to-date and high-quality information. The information used in decision-making has been collected in the past and can be used in procedures aiming at rational decision-making.

I am not against knowledge based management but I prefer to combine it with management by heart. As I have been working in responsible tourism for many years I think the work done can be used as basis of transformation and regeneration.

When tackling the problems caused by overusing the nature resources and by causing greenhouse emissions, the data can be used to make us understand cause and effect relationships and act as needed. Following the indicators can motivate us on our way to act in more regenerative way, specially when re-designing destinations. Publishing data in understandable way is crucial as figures without everyday references do not help.

With the definition of ”management by heart” I here lead your thoughts to regeneration as I have learnt it (some articles can be found in my blog Regeneration). It´s about learning to define the sense of place, it´s about honest willingness to respect the nature, be part of it and learn from it. It´s about learning together, crossing the boarders, changing the mindset and not turning the back on the most difficult problems.

We need to face the reality and be part of transformation. We cannot be bystanders and wait for someone else to solve the problems. The both ways of management are needed and we should make room for different thinking and trust the power of positive dialogue.

The happy end

By writing this text and after reading Anna Pollock´s article I have achieved peace and my thoughts have become clear. I keep on following my path and the next step to come will be finishing the online course. No matter if I won´t get paying customers as I can use the materials also for other purposes and opportunities are sure to come.

The fact that I have learned from others and together with others and then produced content according to my own values for different media, has been useful. I also have learnt to use new tools such as flow map, context map and Ikigai to re-design my own company´s way of doing and would love to share such experiences with others.

To finish I want to thank you for following my blog ❤

The online courses (in couple of weeks also the one of Regenerative Tourism in Finnish) can be found here: Mood of Learning

ps. There are some practical examples of regeneration, such as Shepherd Holiday in Finnish Lapland and Love Forest Finland – concept.

Put the helmet on – safemodern subculture is here

Young man having a coffee break in the woods

What comes after transmodern culture

I had a very good conversation with my son, grown up now, about cultural evolution and regenerative tourism. I told him I am eager to understand what are the values that guide human behavior and choices after or in addition to transmodern values. I also told that I see a logical connection between cultural evolution and regenerative thinking.

I explained what I mean by cultural evolution to my son by using the symbolic hats I use when talking about my thoughts to any audience; the traditional wearing a cap, the modern wearing an academic graduation cap, postmodern with a fancy wig and the transmodern wearing a green wilderness hat. As a bonus I have added a sub-profile of transmodern which I call an ”ultra-ecologist” with green glasses on. She/he makes choices based only on ecological values and e.g. refuses to fly.

Regeneration is a process of understanding

I also told my son that I have been a little stuck with the production of regenerative tourism education content. I want to learn and understand more and at the same time I feel like it´s not about offering a course or two, but it´s about inviting the interested ones to regenerate together, to change the mindset and to understand all what surrounds us in an holistic way.

It´s about unselfish love to nature and willingness to produce well-being for oneself, for others and for nature. I keep on saying that regeneration is a process and it takes time. It requires a deep understanding of how nature operates, heals, flourish and regenerate itself. Regeneration invites and forces us to slow down, to observe and to understand our role as part of the universe and the nature.

I am preparing material (in Finnish) and I will invite you soon to experience this process together, if you wish.

Safemodern – subculture of transmodern

My son went through idea of cultural evolution, the profiles and the values behind them. He also understood very easily that many of us are actually a mixture of several profiles based on values. Then he said in very firm and inspired way:

The fifth profile wears a helmet, maybe a mask, also. It could be called safemodern!

And he continued: The values behind the behavior rises from the need for a sense of security at all levels. We are (and we have been) forced to go back from the transmodern appreciation of communality to more individual thinking as we try to ensure the safety of ourselves and of our loved ones. We no longer act so globally because we feel security in the neighborhood is more important. This does not rule out the possibility that we are aware and interested in global situations.

Then he hurried to meet his friends, leaving his mother (me) in a state of excitement.

Safemodern cares about nature and is realistically optimistic

As in cultural evolution before, I hope the transformation will include the good we have embraced. I hope the safemodern persons emphasize the holistic nature of human, health care, science and life phenomena. Indeed, I hope that safemodern wants to be involved in regeneration.

It makes sense that safemodern will characterize by ecological thinking and planetary consciousness and understands that caring for nature is essential to avoid security-threatening eco-disasters, uncontrolled refugee flows and epidemics. Caring for nature is essential for food security. Safemodern, as well as transmodern persons are ready to pay to clean up the environment, stop pollution and stop the greenhouse effect.

Safemodern, bearing in mind the transmodern values, are in favor of optimism, but as a representative of its time and experience, safemodern may be less optimistic than its transmodern predecessor about peaceful solutions while talking about geopolitical crises and physical security and is more sympathetic to defense alliances and the financing of armed defense.

From cyber security to health security

In a digitalized world, cyber security is, of course, part of the basics of safemodern persons´ everyday life. Digital applications will be used more and more to help safemodern persons´ life in many ways. At the same time, misinformation and over-reliance on technology worries.

Health security is crucial. At all levels, the importance of foresight is emphasized and therefore the importance of science and management by knowledge is also maintained.

*)Health security defined by WHO: Global public health security is defined as the activities required, both proactive and reactive, to minimize the danger and impact of acute public health events that endanger people’s health across geographical regions and international boundaries.

From emotional security to closing words

I could go on for much longer, but I will end this post here: The ability to respond to weak signals and changes are key to a successful safemodern business. I believe that alongside digitalization, safemodern people also value emotional security, genuine encounters and deep feelings.

As an enabler of emotional security, tourism has a role to play by connecting people globally and encouraging people to accept diversity regardless of the religion neither the sexual or political orientation.

Thank you Daniel for the inspiring conversation!

Thank you, dear reader, for following my blog!

Please, note: Safemodern might be a subculture of transmodern culture and maybe we will call it as ”newmodern”, ”neomodern” or ”remodern”. This text is based on the conversation with my son, added by some thoughts of mine. I am interested in understanding human behavior through a change in values and became familiar with the subject for the first time when I completed my master’s degree in 2014 at the University of Lapland. There is no accepted academic background behind this theory and text, yet 🙂

With love,

Anu

Regenerative thinking goes beyond sustainability

While destinations try to implement their best practices for sustainable tourism, forerunners already focus on regeneration. Is regenerative tourism just another trendy term amongst others, or what does it mean in practice – and why is it important?

This article has originally published in Finnish (suomeksi) by Saana Jaakkola, Valpas Media, in comercial cooperation with Mood of Finland company (owned by Anu Nylund). Saana Jaakkola has translated the article in English.

In December 2021, a small but enthusiastic group of Finnish travel professionals interested in the transformation of the tourism industry joined an online event organised by Anu Nylund. Through her company, Mood of Finland, Nylund offers educational and tourism services focusing on responsible and sustainable tourism.

Not all participants were from Finland. The keynote came from Chile; Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda from Turismo Regenerativo inspired the participants with real-life examples of a new, refreshing type of tourism. Regenerative tourism.

The Global Regenerative Tourism Initiative gathers together tourism professionals, entrepreneurs, influencers and the locals living with the impacts of tourism from all over the world. The collaborative platform aims to urge a global mindset change from sustainable and responsible towards a regenerative way of thinking and action.

When talking about regenerative tourism, this is where we need to begin: from a complete change of mindset.

What is the purpose of tourism?

Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda led the participants for a virtual adventure to the Southern tip of South America, in the middle of Patagonia’s breath-taking and pristine landscapes. Far away from people, far away from everything.

Picture: Pixabay free

Then, they dropped a question: what is the purpose of tourism? Why would tourists need to be taken to this remote, untouched destination?

– Tourism has to serve another kind of purpose than just entertaining tourists, Carlos Briceño said.

Until now, tourism developers worldwide have thought about what a destination could give to tourism and tourists. Regenerative tourism turns the question around and asks what could tourism and tourists give to the destination. How could tourism increase the well-being of the local environment and people?

– We have to think about how we could take travellers to these pristine locations in a way that benefits the destination. How could we help tourists create a deep and meaningful connection with the place, not only with its beauty but also the problems and threats that put it in danger? Briceño specified.

The principles of sustainable and responsible tourism have instructed us to minimise the negative impacts of travel. Regenerative mindset teaches us that reducing the downsides isn’t enough. It teaches us to build back better.

By its simplest definition, regenerative tourism ensures that tourism positively impacts the destination. Tourism should bring improvements instead of just minimising the negatives, leaving the place in a better condition than before.

In reality, regenerative tourism goes further than this.

Raising awareness of regenerative tourism in Finland

Finland aims to be the world’s leading destination of sustainable tourism. Yet, there hasn’t been much discussion over regenerative tourism in Finland.

Anu Nylund believes the situation is about to change.

Nylund has started her journey along the path of regenerative tourism by following and learning from the world’s best-known experts and influencers. One of them is Anna Pollock, the founder of Conscious Travel and one of the most famous specialists and advocates in regenerative tourism.

Anu Nylund has put regenerative thinking into practice with Love Forest Finland. Her concept encourages people to plant trees and supports the protection of old-growth forests and marshland restoration through the Finnish Natural Heritage Foundation. ”By planting a tree in the soil, people rediscover their long-lost connection with nature”, Nylund has noticed.

Nylund has studied regenerative tourism on an extensive online course hosted by Turismo Regenerativo. Currently, she’s preparing a series of webinars and workshops in collaboration with Finnish and international experts – including Anna Pollock, Carlos Briceño and Martín Araneda – to raise awareness of regenerative tourism in Finland.

It’s not going to be an easy task.

– We need a complete change in the way we think about tourism. We have to let go of old habits and stay open and receptive to new ideas and information. Regenerative tourism isn’t about individual actions; the transition requires plenty of committed people and significant structural changes, Nylund emphasises.

Not everyone will be able to do so, Nylund believes.

– Some people aren’t willing to change, and that’s our greatest challenge.

New metrics for measuring success

For decades, visitor numbers and tourism income have been the leading indicators of success. The common goal has been to increase both, no matter the true costs.

Less attention has been paid to the negative impacts that tourism causes to destinations, their environment and natural resources. The development of tourism facilities, services, and infrastructure has taken its toll on natural areas. Often tourists also consume utilities, such as water and electricity, vastly more than the locals.

These success rates have been followed more intensively during the pandemic than ever before. Meanwhile, the climate and biodiversity crises stay forgotten in the background, even though tourism plays a two-faced role in them; tourism worsens the environmental issues that will massively influence the future of the whole industry.

Regenerative mindset requires defining new and more humane metrics for measuring success.

Carlos Briceño shared a real-life example from Costa Rica, where success is measured by the number of hummingbirds returning to the area after winter instead of the annual increase of visitor numbers.

Experts aren’t exaggerating when they talk about the significant changes required. Anna Pollock, one of the world’s leading specialists on regenerative tourism, often quotes Albert Einstein:

”The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. No problem can be solved with the same consciousness that created it.”

We can’t solve problems by acting and thinking the same way we did when we created the issues we face today. And that’s why a complete change of mindset is required; we have to acknowledge that people are part of nature, part of planet Earth, where everything – and everyone – is connected.

Nature persistently regenerates itself to ensure it can keep flourishing. Us, people, would need to do the same.

From continuous growth to continuous flourishing

The most well-known example of regenerative thinking comes from farming. Regenerative cultivation heals the soil and produces climate benefits by increasing biodiversity and improving the soil’s capacity to preserve and sequester carbon. Healthy soil provides a more abundant harvest, much to the producer’s advantage.

Regenerative cultivation helps the soil flourish. How could we transfer this mindset into tourism?

Anu Nylund talks about the sense of place. It means including the local community in tourism development starting from step one.

– When discussing regenerative tourism, the key is to ask the locals how they see their home and how they would like it to be preserved for generations to come. What are the main aspects they want to share with tourists? What are they most proud of, why do they want to live there and, most importantly, what kind of visitors do they wish to invite there?

Nylund emphasises that regenerative thinking requires innovative efforts for restoring the environment and preventing disadvantages instead of quietly watching the slow devastation of the destination.

Prevention isn’t only better for the environment and local communities; it’s also economically more viable policy than finding ways to rehabilitate a ruined destination.

– In practice, it could mean restoring an abandoned village school for tourism activities instead of new buildings, Nylund specifies.

There are notable examples of regenerative tourism from Belgium to Patagonia and New Zealand but also in Finland. Anu Nylund benchmarks Lapland Shephard Holidays, a new concept for rural tourism designed in terms of local well-being.

Instead of continuous growth, regenerative tourism pursues continuous vitality and flourishment. Therefore we need to consider how tourism could make destinations and their communities flourish.

But how could we change our mindsets towards regenerative thinking in a world where responsibility and sustainability remain distant goals?

International traveller – the change agent of the future

Our virtual trip to Patagonia started to provoke thoughts and conversations among the participants. Some of them shared memories of destinations that lost their sense of place in only two years when a small, idyllic village surrounded by subtropical forests transformed into a hotel-filled tourist destination chasing ever-growing visitor numbers. Gone were the forests, together with the village.

Some participants questioned Finland’s outspoken goal to become the world’s leading example of sustainable tourism. How could we possibly change our mindsets towards regenerative tourism when more Charter planes carry one-day visitors from the UK to Lapland and back than ever before?

– Travel companies can earn their income with fewer visitors, but it has to come from the strategy. We need significant changes and decisions about future ways of doing business to preserve our nature. This transition needs to be supported financially, states Nylund.

She believes that travellers play an essential role in the changing environment. Nylund refers to travellers as change agents of the future, the empowering force requiring actual benefits for the destinations. Every avid traveller can – and a growing number of travellers will – think of ways to leave their travel destination in a better shape than before.

This force could affect tourism for example in Lapland.

– What if it was the travellers who say they don’t want to travel to Lapland to help it stay authentic? If travellers were to make that choice, the decisions would need to follow.

Nylund challenges local communities worldwide to consider how they would get by if the visitor numbers would crash permanently. What would be the new, regenerative services to help the destination flourish and locals earn a living with fewer visitors?

– We’re most likely heading towards time and age where travellers say they rather pay for destinations not to welcome tourists. They’ll prefer virtual trips, where local professionals guide them through their travel destination, and it will be enough as they know it’s the only way to rescue it.

Nylund refers to a well-known phrase that states: Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

Regenerative tourism goes further than this. It aims to nurture the environment to ensure enough fish for future generations.

– This applies to Finland, too. At the moment, we’re on the road of overfishing, reaching the limits of the destination capacity. We have to change our mindsets, or we’ll be heading for the worse.

Einstein already knew it. As Anna Pollock often refers, no problem can be solved with the same consciousness that created it.

Ajatuksia onnellisuudesta ja yrittäjyydestä

Jaettu ilo on kaksinkertainen ilo

Vuoden vaihtuessa 2020-21 olin mukana kauniissa ja onnellisessa kohtaamisessa. Vieras oli tullut Pariisista, ranskalainen toimittaja, joka halusi ymmärtää mitä suomalainen onnellisuus oikein on. Minua pyydettiin viemään hänet metsäkävelylle ja kertomaan ajatuksiani luonnosta kumpuavasta onnellisuudesta. Voit lukea lisää vierailusta täältä: Nature based happiness

You can read this article in English here: Some thoughts about happiness and entrepreneurship

Sää ei ollut kovin kaunis, mutta itse asiassa muistamme usein paremmin tapahtumat, jotka eivät ole liian täydellisiä, vaan hetkeen liittyy myös haasteita, kuten tässä tapauksessa räntäsade. Täydellisyys on harvoin ikimuistoinen kokemus!

Haluamme yleensä myös jakaa onnellisimmat hetket muiden kanssa, ja niin oli tässäkin tapauksessa. Kutsuin kollegoita tekemään tästä tilaisuudesta erityisen meille kaikille. Tuo päivä ei olisi ollut läheskään yhtä kaunis ja tärkeä minulle, jos en olisi jakanut sitä muiden kanssa. Jaettu ilo on kaksinkertainen ilo. Kiitos Jonna (Metsänautti), Risto (Adventuristo) ja Ullis (Ullis Travel Studio)!

Mikä tekee sinut onnelliseksi – oletko samaa mieltä PERMA -testin kanssa?

Yalen yliopisto on käynnistänyt erittäin suositun, ympäri maailmaa tunnetun verkkokurssin nimeltä PERMA -testi. Se lupaa kertoa meille, mikä on onnen salaisuus. Testin nimi tulee sanoista Positive emotions (positiiviset tunteet), Engagement (sitoutuminen), Relationships (ihmissuhteet), Meaning (merkitys) ja Achievement (saavutus).

On helppo olla samaa mieltä testin kanssa siitä, että kiitollisuus ja se, että emme vertaa itseämme muihin, ovat onnellisuuden perustekijöitä. Olen toteuttanut näitä käytännössä pitämällä kiitollisuuspäiväkirjaa ja muuttamalla sisäistä puhetta itselleni armollisemmaksi jo muutaman vuoden ajan ja totta on, että tunnen itseni onnellisemmaksi.

Ystävällisyys mainittiin tärkeänä onnellisia ihmisiä yhdistävänä indikaattorina. Ystävällisyys ja toisten auttaminen epäitsekkäällä tavalla saa meidät tuntemaan olomme onnelliseksi. Uskon, että kiitollisuus ja ystävällisyys yhdistettyinä empatiaan liittyvät myös tasa-arvoon ja syrjimättömyyteen. Olen kirjoittanut tästä enemmän toisessa artikkelissa: Thoughts from the happiest country in the world…

Keskittymiskyky liittyy sitoutumiseen ja saavutuksiin. Kuten onnesta kertovassa linkin artikkelissa todetaan, voimme parantaa omaa keskittymiskykyämme meditoimalla. Hyvä uutinen monille on se, että rauhoittuakseen ei tarvitse tehdä mitään virallista meditaatioharjoitusta monimutkaisten sääntöjen mukaan, vaan tarvittaessa vain tuijottaa ulos ikkunasta tai keskittyä hengitykseen.  (HS 25.12.2020 Hyvän mielen…)

Tekeekö vapaus sinusta onnellisen?

Kun suomalaisen filosofin, Timo Airaksisen pyydettiin määrittämään onnellisuus, vastasi hän seuraavasti:

” Jos katsoo ihmisiä, niin nehän tavoittelevat kaikkea muuta kuin onnellisuutta: menestystä ja parempaa työpaikkaa, kalliimpaa autoa ja asuntoa. Onni on niin abstrakti käsite, että minä korvaisin sen tyytyväisyydellä. YLE (03/2021)

Filosofi pitää sellaisia arvoja kuin hyvyys, totuus ja kauneus varsin hienoina onnellisuuden määrittelyssä, mutta tarpeettoman juhlallisina. Airaksisen mukaan vapaus on ihmisen tärkein arvo. Hän kertoi, että hänen tiedostamaton päämääränsä koko elämänsä ajan on ollut vapaus ja viittaa vapaaseen kulkemiseen niin ajatuksissa kuin fyysisestikin. Kirjojen kirjoittaminen, matkustaminen – kaikki on ollut pyrkimystä pois normaalista arjesta ja yhteiskunnasta.

Airaksinen antaa ohjeeksi seuraavan: Elämän tarkoitus on tulla sellaiseksi kuin on, eli toteuttaa itseään. Tulla ulkoisesti samanlaiseksi kuin on sisäisesti.

Onni ei siis löydy ainakaan siitä, että yritämme olla sellaisia kuin luulemme muiden meidän olettavan olevan. Olisiko tässä meille hyvä lupaus ja tavoite, ei vain ensi vuodeksi, vaan koko loppuelämän tavoitteeksi.

Paremman tulevaisuuden rakentaminen tekee onnelliseksi

Vapaus tekee minutkin onnelliseksi, eikä vain yksityiselämässäni, vaan myös töissä. Oman yrityksen perustaminen antoi minulle vapauden ja mahdollisuuden toimia omien arvojeni mukaan. Olen kiitollinen vapaudesta, mutta en pidä sitä itsestäänselvyytenä, koska kaikilla ei tässä maailmassa todellakaan ole vapautta tehdä valintoja. Kirjoitin näistäkin ajatuksista tässä artikkelissa: Thoughts from the happiest country in the world…

Tiedän ja ymmärrän oikein hyvin, etten yksin voi pelastaa maailmaa epäoikeudenmukaisuudelta tai ympäristöongelmilta, mutta voin tehdä oman osani ja vaikuttaa muiden kanssa. Parasta, mitä minulle tapahtui vuonna 2021, oli löytää samanhenkisiä ihmisiä, jotka opettivat minulle paljon uutta.

Osallistuin kolmelle espanjankieliselle Uudistavan matkailun -kurssille. Sain uutta inspiraatiota ja olen ollut lähes hämmentynyt siitä, miten elämä todella johdattaa juuri oikeiden ihmisten luo, juuri oikealla hetkellä. Elämä tuntuu olevan palapeli, jonka puuttuvat palat löytyvät, vaikka ei edes tiedä mitä oikeastaan etsii.

Erityisterveiseni menevät tänä vuonna Carlos Briseñolle ja Martín Aranedalle (Turismo Regenerativo), Amanda Selivonille (Ekoways), Anna Pollockille, Anna Drozdowskalle, Anna Rinteiselle ja Nani Angulolle uuden oppimisesta, aidosta tuesta ja välittämisestä, positiivisesta dialogista. Odotan innolla, että pääsemme jatkamaan reilua ja kaunista yhteistyötä ensi vuonna.

Oman näköinen ja oloinen yrittäjyys

Mood of Finland täyttää neljä vuotta 1.1.2022 ja nyt voin paljastaa yhden salaisuuden. Kun perustin yritystä ja tein liiketoimintasuunnitelmaa starttirahahakemusta varten, turhauduin valmiisiin lomakkeisiin ja Exceleihin, vaikka johdatin myös opiskelijoita tekemään samoja suunnitelmia osana opintojaan.

Olin lukenut kirjoja ja tutkimuksia transmodernista yrittäjyydestä gradua tehdessäni vuosia aikaisemmin ja halusin perustaa yritykseni nille arvoille. Jaoin ajatuksiani espanjalaisten ystävieni kanssa ja he tukivat minua, mutta en löytänyt Suomesta samanhenkisiä yrittäjiä. Suunnitelmiani oli vaikea kirjata exceleihin.

Sitten jotenkin sattumalta ja onnekseni päädyin Sampsa Fabritiuksen kokoamaan Transformative Entrepreneurship (Transformatiivinen yrittäjyys) tapaamiseen Helsinkiin. Se oli mahdollisuus ja tilaisuus, joka vahvisti uskoani toisenlaiseen yrittäjyyteen. Tapaamisen aikana meitä pyydettiin kirjaamaan liikeideamme Ikigaita hyödyntäen. Se antoi sillä hetkellä vahvistusta omaan tekemiseen.

Transformatiivinen oppiminen oli minulle jo tuttua. Sen perusajatus on päästää irti vanhoista ja totutuista ajatuksista ja tavoista toimia, ottaa vastaan avoimesti uutta ja ainakin testata sitä omaan tekemiseen.

Transmoderni yrittäjyys ja uudet työkalut

Pari viikkoa sitten RegenLab-yrityksen jäjrestämällä Uudistavan matkailun kurssilla minua pyydettiin kirjoittamaan liikesuunnitelmani uudestaan neljä vuotta aikaisemmin tutuksi tulleella työkalulla. Ikigai on yksinkertainen menetelmä, joka johdattaa huomioimaan tärkeimmät elämän perusarvot. Se houkuttelee ajattelemaan suuria asioita ja kirjoittamaan ne pieneen tilaan.

Nyt minun on tehtävä toinen tunnustus; Ikigai tuntuu myös yksinään liian suppealta menetelmältä ja olen ottanut vapauden päivittää yrityksen suunnitelmia yhdistämällä käytettävissä olevia menetelmiä ja työkaluja. Opettelen nyt käyttämään toista uutta työkalua nimeltä ”Uudistava Flow Map” ja jaan mielelläni kokemuksiani myös muille.

Eri tavalla toimiminen ei tarkoita taloudellisesti kannattamatonta yrittäjyyttä, koska mitään yritystoimintaa ei voi eikä kannata jatkaa, jollei se ole taloudellisesti kannatavaa ja kestävää.

Useiden menetelmien ja oppien yhdistäminen yrityksen kehittämisessä on vapautta ja uuden oppiminen ja oppimisen käytäntöön vieminen tekee minut onnelliseksi nyt tulevaa vuotta kohti siirryttäessä. Onnellinen olen myös silloin, jos pystyn tarjoamaan asiakkailleni ja yhteistyökumppaneilleni uutta ja kiinnostavaa sisältöä – sellaista, jonka avulla tämä maailma on hyvä paikka elää myös tulevaisuudessa.

Kiitos, että seuraat blogiani!

Rakkaudella, Anu

Lopuksi jaan videon, jonka tein yhtenä kurssityönä Uudistavan matkailun opinnoissa suomeksi, englanniksi ja espanjaksi. Se on pieni tarina siitä, miksi Mood of Finland on juuri sellainen kun se on.

Some thoughts about happiness and entrepreneurship

Shared happiness is double happiness

It was at the end of 2020 when I had a beautiful and happy encounter. We had a visitor from Paris, a French journalist, who wanted to understand the secret of Finnish Happiness. I was asked to take her to a forest walk and tell my thoughts about happiness based on nature. You can read more about this visit here: Nature based happiness

Voit lukea tämän artikkelin suomeksi täältä: Oletko sinä onnellinen, kysyy hymyilevä yrittäjä

The weather was not very nice, but in fact, we often remember better the events when the beautiful is accompanied by a small adversity – like wet sleet in this case. Perfection is rarely a memorable experience. We usually also want to share the happiest moments with others and so was the thing in the case of organizing the event to the French journalist. I invited other colleagues to make this opportunity a special moment. That day wouldn’t have been nearly as beautiful and important to me if I hadn’t shared it with others – shared pleasure is double pleasure. Thank you Jonna (Metsänautti), Risto (Adventuristo) and Ullis ( Ullis Travel Studio)!

What makes you happy – do you agree with the PERMA -test?

Yale University has launched very popular online course known around the world called PERMA -test. It promises to tell us what the secret of happiness is. The name of the test comes from words Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement.

It´s easy to agree that gratitude and the importance of not comparing ourselves to others is some of the basic factors. I have put it into practice by keeping a gratitude diary and making inner speech more merciful to myself for some years now and I feel more happy.

Kindness was mentioned as an important indicator which unites happy people. It´s easy to agree that being kind and helping others in unselfish way make us feel profoundly happy. I think that gratitude and kindness are related also to equality and non-discrimination. I have written an other article with such thoughts here: Thoughts from the happiest country in the world…

Capability to concentrate is related to engagement and achievement. As it was said in the article about happiness, we can improve our own ability to concentrate: all you have to do is meditate. Good news for many of us is that we don’t have to do any formal meditation practice according to complex rules; we can just stare out of the window or focus on our breathing.  (HS 25.12.2020 Hyvän mielen…)

Does freedom make you happy?

A Finnish philosopher, Timo Airaksinen, was asked to define happiness and answered as following (03/2021):

”If you look at people, they are looking for everything but happiness: success and a better job, a more expensive car and housing. Happiness is such an abstract concept that I would replace it with contentment”

The philosopher considers such values as goodness, truth and beauty to be quite fine when defining happiness, but unnecessarily solemn. According to Airaksinen, freedom is the most important human value. He told that his unconscious goal during the whole life was freedom and refers to free movement both in thought and physically.

Writing books, traveling – everything has been an endeavor away from normal everyday life and society for him. He also told that the purpose of life is to become as one is, to realize oneself; to become externally similar to what is internally.

Could this be a good goal and promise for all of us, not only a New Year´s promise but a lifelong goal.

Acting for better future can make us happy

Freedom makes me happy, not only in my private life but also in professional path. Starting my own business allowed me the freedom and opportunity to act according to my own values. I am grateful but I don´t want to take freedom as granted as not everyone in this world has freedom to make choices.

I am well aware that I cannot save the world from injustice or environmental problems alone, but I can do my part and make an impact with others. The best thing that happened to me in 2021 was to find like-minded people who still taught me so much new.

I attended three Regenerative Tourism courses, two of them organized by a Chilean company called Turismo Regenerativo and the third one organized by a Spanish company RegenLab. I’m still on the path to new learning in transformative way.

I got very inspired and almost confused about how life really leads to just the right people, at just the right moment. Life is really like a puzzle whose missing pieces can be found even when you don’t even know what you’re really looking for.

My special thanks this year go to Carlos Briseño, Martín Araneda (Turismo Regenerativo), Amanda Selivon (Ekoways), Anna Pollock, Anna Drozdowska, Anna Rinteinen and Nani Angulo for your genuine support and a desire to work together. Looking forward to continue to do fair and beautiful things together next year. I am honestly grateful and touched.

Freedom to find your own way to act brings happiness

Mood of Finland company has its fourth anniversary the 1st of January 2022. Now I can reveal one secret. When I started a business and made a business plan for a grant application, I got frustrated with the ready-made forms and excels although I also led students to make the same plans as part of their studies.

I have read books and studies about transmodern entrepreneurship and caring economy while finishing my Master thesis some years earlier and wanted to establish my company based on such values. I shared opinions with my Spanish friends and they supported me, but I didn´t find same-liked entrepreneurs in Finland. My plans were difficult to enter into excels.

Transmodern entrepreneurship and new tools

Then I somehow and luckily ended up in a meeting of Transformative Entrepreneurship led by Sampsa Fabritius in Helsinki. I was faced with an opportunity and a situation that strengthened my belief that there was another kind of entrepreneurship. During the meeting we were asked to write down our business idea using the Ikigai tool. It was something I needed at that moment.

Couple of weeks ago, in one of the Regenerative Tourism courses, I was asked to write down my plans again using the same tool. It is a simple method but leads to important basic values of life. It forces you to think about big things and write them down in a small space.

Now I have to make another confession; Ikigai also feels too schematic and instructive on its own and I have taken the liberty of making my own business plans by combining the methods and tools available. I am learning to use another new tool called Regenerative Flow Map and will be happy to share my experiences for others as well. Combining many methods and doctrines is what I call freedom and makes me happy now when facing the upcoming year.

Operating in a different way does not mean economically unprofitable entrepreneurship, because no business can and should continue unless it is financially viable and sustainable.

I wish happiness to all

The turn of the year, as well as the celebration of the summer solstice, have been and still are a time of magic and beliefs also here in the northernmost part of Europe.

With a loud bang, evil spirits have been harassed and happiness has been foretold and assured in various ways. It was also believed that there is only certain amount of happiness and it is only enough for some. Next year’s happiness was divided into pieces and was given at the turn of the new year. Attempts was made to ensure one´s own share of happiness, for example, by visiting as many places as possible on New Year’s Eve and staying high-spirited all day long. Believe whoever wants to – I hope there is unlimited amount of happiness and it will be shared in fair way – all the year round.

I continue the tradition I have experienced and enjoyed when living in Spain. I’ve modified it a bit so that instead of wishing, I express my gratitude. Every year I eat 12 grapes to the beat of the clock at midnight, and I thank in advance for 12 good things in my life happening next year.

Hope you all the best for 2022!

Thank you for following my blog.

With love, Anu

Finally, I will share a video in which I share the background behind Mood of Finland company in English:

Aquí les comparto un video en el que comparto el trasfondo detrás de Mood of Finland, en Español:

Uudistava pysähdys. Case Lapin Paimenlomat.

Tammikuu koronavuonna 2021 verkossa

Tammikuisina hyvin pimeinä perjantai-iltoina istuin kotona Hyvinkäällä, kun tietokoneen ruudun toisella puolella oli joukko pohjoisen Suomen kyläläisiä. Alkuun oli tunne, että oli minä ja he, mutta vaikka kylmää sinistä valoa puskevan näytön läpi oli vaikeaa oikeasti tutustua ihmisiin, tämän joukon kanssa oli jotenkin lämmin yhteys alusta asti. Useammin kuin kerran mietin, että mitähän minulla on heille annettavaa – aito tekemisen ja ajattelun tunnelma kun tuli niin vahvasti läpi. Lampaista, lehmistä ja paimentamisesta ei minulla ollut minkäälaista kokemusta. Tai no, kokemusta, kyllä… jonkinlaista, mutta etäistä ja vähäistä.

Muistan miten Merja oli jo valmiina linjoilla ja hetkeä myöhemmin Jari tuli mukaan töistä kotiuduttuaan. Muistan miten Ville otti välillä yhteyden kännykällä lampolasta ja Jukka Pekka kuvaili kotitilansa ympäristöä ja kertoi siellä järjestettävästä taidenäyttelystä. Muistan miten Elina ja Markku pohtivat, osaavatko laittaa rajoja työn ja vapaa-ajan, vieraiden ja oman elämän välille.

Sain olla mukana suunnittelemassa ja kehittämässä paimenlomakonseptia lappilaisiin kyliin. Metsähallituksen paimenlomat ovat olleet suuri menestystarina eikä arpaonni suosi ikinä kaikkia paimenlomalaisia, hakijoita kun on montakymmentäkertaa enemmän kuin paikkoja tarjolla. Tähän tarpeeseen konseptia siis tullaan tarjoamaan.

Palvelumuotoilu ja yhteiskehittäminen olivat luontaisia keinoja konseptoida palvelua. Puitteet ja osaaminen oli olemassa ja minun roolini oli fasilitoida, nostaa esille vahvuuksia ja pontetiaalia. Rohkaista ja välillä kyseenalaistaa.

Muistan miten vaikuttunut olin niiden paikkojen kuvauksista, joissa osallistujat asuivat. Puhuttiin kuudesta kylästä ja innostuin siitä, että suurin osa kylistä oli tuntemattomia, idyllisen kuuloisia yhteisöjä, joissa kylätalolle kokoonnutaan tansseihin ja talkoisiin, joskus syömään yhdessä, naapuria tervehditään ja kutsutaan kahville. Muistan myös, kun lopuksi projektin vetäjä epäili pienesti mahtaako vieraita tulla ja minä sanoin aidosti innostuneena, että minä ainakin tulen.

Kesä vuosia sitten Lopella

Kävelin linja-autoasemalta kohti lapsuuden kotia. Pari vuotta nuorempi veli ajoi vastaan ja hetken olin ilosta hämmentynyt; oliko juuri ajokortin saanut veli tullut siskoaan vastaan! Veli hidasti, mutta ei osoittanut aikeita pysähtyä. Enkä olisi kyytiin mahtunutkaan – en ainakaan apukuskin paikalle. Se oli varattu vaaleaverikölle, jolla oli hieman pullottavat, punareunaiset silmät ja valtavan pitkät vaaleat ripset. Kiharat koristivat päätä ja suu kävi koko ajan, samaan tapaan kuin purukumia pureskellessa.

Veli morjensti ja häntä nauratti. Niin nauratti minuakin. Tuona kesänä lapsuuden kodin puutarhan kesälampaat saivat erityistä kohtelua; erityisesti tämä yksi kesävieras, jota kyydittiin autolla, joka askelsi veljen perässä keittiöön ja oli mukana saunanlämmityksessä. Lampaiden kanssa keskustelu oli kesähuvitusten aatelia. Näistäkin kesäkokemuksista oli sittemmin siis hyötyä; edes jonkinlaista kosketusta lampaisiin oli sentään ollut, kun paimenlomakonseptia alettiin kehittää.

Kesäkuu 2021 Hyvinkää

Tammikuun lopetuspalaverissa olimme keskustelleet markkinointimateriaalista, myyntikanavista ja visuaalisesta ilmeestä. Jäin pois hyvillä mielin, kun oma osuuteni oli viety maaliin ja luotin siihen, että osaavat tekijät hoitavat homman kunnialla loppuun. Toivoin karttaa ja kivoja tarinoita – ja niitä minä sain, kun kesällä lähdin kartoittamaan lupaamani vierailun paikkaa ja ajankohtaa. Lapin Paimenlomista oli tehty visuaalisesti ja sisällöllisesti hienot materiaalit!

Olin luvannut mennä ja siitä lupauksesta pidin kiinni, vaikka vielä pari viikkoa ennan sovittua ajankohtaa en ollut saanut yhtäkään reissukaveria vahvistamaan lähtöään. Olen reissanut paljon yksin, mutta nyt vastuu eläinten hoidosta hieman painoi enkä luottanut omaan tekemiseeni yksin.

Aluksi halukkaita lähtijöitä oli kyllä ollut, sitten joukko hupeni, ja lopussa koossa oli onneksi mitä parhain joukko suvun naisia kolmessa polvessa valmiina seikkailuun. Perustin ”Ladyt laitumella” whatsapp- ryhmän, johon kirjoittelin varustelistoja ja tietoja kohteesta. Kotimaanmatkailun tyypillinen piirre, viime hetkellä varausten tekeminen, näkyi myös tässä meidän matkasuunnittelussa. Pari päivää ennen lähtöä päätimme ajaa ilman yöpymistä Hyvinkäältä Tampereen kautta Viirinkylään.

Heinäkuu 2021 Viirinkylä: saapuminen

Olisin halunnut mennä kaikkiin kyliin ja kaikkien emäntien ja isäntien luokse ja jossain vaiheessa kesää olin haaveillut kylästä kylään paimenloma-tourneesta, mutta se jäi nyt ehkä jonakin muuna ajankohtana toteutettavaksi. Monen tekijän summana varasin meille loman Arton reilun sadan lampaan paimenina ja majoituksen Kemijoen varressa sijaitsevaan mökkiin. Meidät toivotti tervetulleiksi Arton sisarenpoika tyttöystävänsä kanssa ja jo silloin saimme kokea, mitä vieraanvaraisuus ja välittäminen täällä tarkoitti.

Ensimmäisenä iltana lähdin reippaasti uimaan ja opin heti ensimmäisestä kokemuksesta, että Kemijoessa on virtausta, jota ei rannalta katsomalla huomaa. Seuraavilla kerroilla aloitin uinnin vastavirtaan ja annoin sitten myötävirran tuoda takaisin kotirantaan. Myöhemmin selvisi myös syy siihen, miksi vedenpinta oli viikonloppuna matalammalla kuin arkena; viikonlopun pienempi sähkön käyttö vaikutti veden pinnan laskuun mökin kohdalla. Vesivoimala näkyi uimapaikalle ja ihmisen vaikutus luontoon konkretisoitui.

Iltaisin saunoimme, grillasimme ja vietimme ihanan kiireetöntä aikaa neljän naisen tiiminä, joka harvoin arkena ehtii pystähtyä keskustelemaan, nauramaan ja kokkaamaan yhdessä.

Heinäkuu 2021 Viirinkylä: perehdytys ja paimentyöt

Arto tuli ensimmäisenä aamupäivänä perehdyttämään meitä paimentyöhön. Meillä oli vastuulla kolme laidunta, joissa oli yhteensä 118 lammasta. Paimentyöhön kuului kerran päivässä lampaiden laskenta ja tarkastus, että kaikki voivat hyvin, kuivikkeiden lisääminen suojiin ja leipätarjoilu.

En osaa edes kuvailla sitä vieraanvaraisuuden tunnelmaa, ystävällisyytttä ja välittömyyttä, jota Artosta huokui, kun hän aamupäivällä tuli mökille, istui meidän kanssa pitkän tovin kahvilla – ja kertoi omaa tarinaansa. Kiirettä ei ollut, ei ensikohtaamisella eikä koskaan sen jälkeen.

Ei aikaisia herätyksiä kukonlaulun aikaan eikä suorittamista. Oli upeaa kuunnella, miten Arto puhui lampaista, kotikylänsä tunnelmasta ja siitä työstä, mitä nyt varsinaisen työuransa jälkeen on lähtenyt tekemään. Lampaat ovat tilalla villantuotantoa varten; Arto keritsee ja naisystävä Hilkka karstaa ja pesee villlat sekä kehrää langoiksi. Pässejä päätyy teuraaksi, eikä se vaikuttanut olevan Artolle sen helpompaa kuin veljelleni aikoinaan kesälampaista luopuminen.

Ihmettelin aluksi, miten Arto voi tunnistaa lampaat ja muistaa niiden nimiä. Mutta kun me vietimme aikaa laitumilla ja muistimme hoitaa myös tehtävistä mieluisinta, lampaiden rapsuttelua, opimme mekin tunnistamaan jo muutamia persoonia muiden joukosta.

Musta puskijapoika oli ensimmäisenä päivänä vieraanvarainen, mutta rohkaistui ja otti meistä mittaa aina riehakkaammin, mutta sympaattisella tyylillä. Minni, Iines ja Tiinu texel- lampaat oli helppo erottaa kokonsa vuoksi. Laitumilta löytyi myös Pekka ja Pätkä, Urkki ja Pena, Tarja, Sylvi ja Aman. Jokaisella laitumella oli myös ne haikeat hyvästeltävät, jotka tulivat lähtiessä saattamaan portille saakka ja kauneinta oli, kun alkuun säikyistä ja aroista kartistoista tuli meidän ystäviä.

2020-luku. Uusi-Seelanti, Amsterdam, Viirinkylä ja Vanttausjärvi

Olen entistä kiinnostuneempi uudistavasta liikkeestä ja edelleen uudistavasta matkailusta. Paimenloma on erinomainen esimerkki siitä, mitä tapahtuu, kun pysähdytään määrittelemään mikä elämässä on merkityksellistä, millaista tulevaisuutta haluamme rakentaa ja millaisia vieraita omaan kylään kutsua.

Uudistavan matkailun ytimessä on ajatus siitä, että yhteisöt itse määrittelevät sen tavan ja sisällön, miten haluavat omaa paikkaansa kehittää, miten tuottaa hyvinvointia ja auttaa luontoa uusiutumaan. Yhteisöjen asukkaiden tulisi löytää vastaukset kysymyksiin siitä, mitä rakastamme tässä paikassa, mistä me olemme ylpeitä ja mikä meille on tärkeintä. Palveluja ei tuotteisteta tuotteistamisen vuoksi, vaan edistämään yhteistä hyvää. Matkakohteiden sijaan puhutaan yhteisöistä.

Uudistavan matkailun taustalla vaikuttaa ihmisten halu ja tarve etsiä ja löytää terveyttä, hyvää oloa ja huolenpitoa – ja halua osallistua hyvän tekemiseen. Uudistava matkailu pitää sisällään kestävän ja vastuullisen matkailun periaatteita, muistutuksen kantokyvyn merkityksestä ja ajatuksen siitä, että matkailun tulee tuottaa enemmän hyötyä kuin haittaa. Uudistavassa toiminnassa ei unohdeta taloudellista kannattavuutta, vaan viedään toiminta edelleen seuraavalle tasolle osallistamalla yhteisöt ja eri alojen toimijat toimimaan yhdessä, ilman rajoja.

Minä olen joidenkin vuosien ajan hakenut vaikutteita ja tietoa uudistavasta matkailusta seuraamalla ensisijaisesti kansainvälisiä vaikuttajia Anna Pollockia ja Daniel Wahlia. Tunnetuimmat kohteet, joissa uudistavaa toimintaa on sovellettu matkakohteissa löytyvät Uudesta-Seelannista ja Amsterdamista, Daniel Wahl vaikuttaa Mallorcalla Espanjassa.

Minä julistan Suomen uudistavan matkailun esimerkkikonseptiksi Lapin Paimenlomat!

Voit lukea lisää uudistavasta matkailusta blogikirjoituksestani: Regenerative Tourism

Voit tehdä hyvää ja vaikuttaa osallistumalla paimenlomille!
Laita seurantaan: IG @Lapin Paimenlomat ja FB Lapin Paimenlomat

Arton kanssa pääsimme kyläyhteisöä hyödyttäviin talkoisiin; Arto karsi kylätalon pihapiirin pajukkoa, me keräsimme oksia ja teimme niistä kerppuja, jotka lampaat saavat kuulemma jouluherkkuina muistona tästä kesästä.

KIITOS Annika ja Lotta, että kutsuitte minut mukaan tämän konseptin suunnittelun!
Tämä on ollut yksi kauneimmista työtehtävistä!

KIITOS kaikki tammikuun työpajoihin osallistuneet!

ERITYISKIITOS Arto!
LÄMMIN KIITOS Merja ja Jari!
Olen onnellinen, että verkossa tehty työ konkretisoitui aitoon ja ikimuistoiseen kokemukseen!

KAUNIS KIITOS Mamma, Minna ja Thelma ihanasta matkaseurasta!

Voit katsoa kuvakoosteen Paimenlomasta tästä.

Ja lopuksi, kiitos Sinulle, joka luit tämän artikkelin ja seuraat blogiani.

Anu

Matkani jatkui vielä Pyhä-Luostolle ja edelleen Sallaan, joissa vaelsin kauniissa kesäsäässä, hiljaisuudessa ja luonnosta nauttien. Kotiin palasin autojunalla, yksin. Muut suvun naiset olivat nousseet junaan Rovaniemellä yhteisen paimenloman jälkeen.

You can read this article also in English: Regenerative Tourism: Case Shepherd Holiday in Finnish Lapland

Thoughts from the happiest country in the world: How happiness could be shared equally?

I walk in the forest and don´t need to be afraid of anything

For the fourth year in a row Finland ranked as the happiest country in the world, according to this year’s World Happiness Report. The annual, independent survey is organised by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. (Yle.fi)

It takes into account factors such as healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, gross domestic product (GDP), generosity, social support from friends, perceived corruption, as well as recent emotions of the respondents, both good and bad.

I am well aware that I’m privileged as I live in a safe environment, in a stable and developed society. I can walk alone in a forest or where ever I want for hours without fear of being threatened. I am also well aware that there are millions of persons who live in fear and in inhuman living conditions.

I understand that happiness, if we really want to define it in universal way is not easy target. Finnish Emeritus Professor of Practical Philosophy Timo Airaksinen answered as following in an interview where he was asked to define happiness:

”If you look at people, they are looking for everything but happiness: success and a better job, a more expensive car and housing. Happiness is such an abstract concept that I would replace it with contentment”

Those goals mentioned above might be typical in western countries among those with traditional and modern values as well as in developing countries where the share of the middle class is growing. Fortunately the values are changing; change in values is important not only for happiness and equality, but also for sustainable future. The more we seek immaterial happiness, the less we cause harm to the environment.

I laughed and felt joy yesterday – today I am confused and sad for a reason

For the World Happiness report about 1,000 respondents in each country were asked to, for example, rate the quality of their lives on a scale of zero to 10. Other questions included how many times respondents laughed or felt joy and satisfaction the previous day. Conversely, the survey also took into account negative emotions such as asking how often respondents had felt worry, sadness or anger the previous day. (Yle.fi)

I was laughing a lot yesterday while talking on the phone with my mother and again in the evening when having a dinner and watching a movie with my son. I tend to laugh a lot, I have positive attitude and I don´t have any significant worries in life. However, that doesn’t mean I’m not worried or indifferent to others.

While reading the news about Happiness report I could not ignore this sentence:

The southern African country of Zimbabwe was listed at the bottom of the happiness rankings. Meanwhile the 20 countries found at the bottom of the list were located in Africa, many of which were dealing with difficult situations, unrest or even civil war. (Yle.fi)

At the same time I feel happy and proud that Finland has been ranked as the happiest country in the world, I feel confused and sad. I feel empathy for the people living in the countries that are the least successful in this report. In my opinion, those countries should be included in the headlines and let their inhabitants tell their story.

Living in global south doesn´t mean that happiness can´t be achieved but however, much remains to be done towards equality and equal living environment.

If we ever again have opportunities to promote what happiness is by the stories of local people as we did in Finland in 2019 (Rent a Finn) I would appreciate a project where the Africans and Finns (and other Nordics) meet each other sharing tips for happy life. We all certainly would learn from each other.

Freedom and happiness

The philosopher presented earlier in this article, Timo Airaksinen, considers such values as goodness, truth and beauty to be quite fine, but unnecessarily solemn. According to Airaksinen, freedom is the most important human value. He told that his unconscious goal during the whole life was freedom and refers to free movement both in thought and physically.

Writing books, traveling – everything has been an endeavor away from normal everyday life and society for him. He also told that the purpose of life is to become as one is, to realize oneself; to become externally similar to what is internally.

It is easy to agree with the arguments of the Finnish philosopher. I admit that freedom is also important to me, especially professionally as it provides opportunities to make choices based on values.

Today, however, my thoughts are with those for whom freedom of choice is not self-evident.

One of Finland’s most noticed news in mid-March (2021) was a report on the Democratic Republic of Congo which is the world ’s fourth poorest country, but full of riches: gold, diamonds, uranium, copper – and cobalt.

The report brought to our attention the brutal truth about unofficial diggers and children digging up toxic cobalt by hand in dangerous conditions. Cobalt is needed e.g. in smartphone and electric car batteries.

Lapsia
Picture: YLE 14.03.2021

Demands are now being made that unofficial diggers should be recognized as an official part of supply chains. Formalization would mean, for example, giving diggers fenced areas, fixed prices and protective equipment.

A decent wage would be essential: when adults had a livelihood, children would not have to work in the mines. In other words, child labor will not be eliminated as long as its root causes are not addressed.

“If parents earn a dollar a day, the kids won’t be in school even if you build 50 schools,” says researcher Siddharth Kara.

I wanted to brought this phenomenon to our attention as an example to remind us that not everybody in this world has freedom to make choices.

Hope and action make me happy

When facing problems or reading news about unfair incidents, I try to think of ways to influence. I often refers to Paolo Freire´s book called Pedagogy of Hope and some of the thoughts he had made well-known worldwide. My favorite is a reminder that there is hope, but hope without action remains hopefulness.

”Paolo Freire´s concern for social justice and education in the developing world remains as timely and as inspiring as ever.  Pedagogy of Hope is a testimonial to the inner vitality of generations denied prosperity and to the often-silent, generous strength of millions throughout the world who refuse to let hope be extinguished.”

In Finland, we all know a fairy tale where ”fools” carry light to a dark cottage with a sack. It has been a good lesson to understand that action is needed but not any kind of action is helpful.

One of the key solutions to make the world more equal is in education. Not only in education export from Finland to developing countries but also in sharing stories for Finnish children (and adults) to strengthen empathy and giving examples of how to act for better future – together and without blaming anybody.

Awareness of problems and distress of others does not deprive us of our right to be happy.

What makes you happy in this exceptional time

At the end of this writing I bring you back to the Happiness report . Unlike in previous years, the happiness index included surveys on how countries have dealt with the coronavirus pandemic that has shaken the world for more than a year. (Yle.fi)

The causes of negative feelings included weakened economies, health worries of the respondent or a relative as well as job losses and difficulty finding employment. Meanwhile, respondents said positive feelings during the pandemic year had been prompted by volunteering, exercise, caring for a pet or a feeling of general gratitude. (Yle.fi)

Did you find some familiar feelings in the text above? Would you like to share your thoughts about happiness?
Please, do so by leaving a comment below.

You can read an other blog article about happiness here: Nature based Happiness

Thank you for following my blog!
I hereby invite you to a Forest walk with some thoughts of mine.

With love, Anu

Moving from responsibility to regenerative tourism?

From sustainable development to responsible action

When the warm sea breeze caressed my face in the early years of my tourism profession in the 1990s, I looked at the horizon and contemplated the next professional move, which I was that time deciding by myself.  It was a new situation as during the previous five years my employer had made the decisions for me. I was working as a tour guide abroad, working summer seasons in mainland Spain and Mallorca and winter seasons on Canary Islands and Caribbean.  

During those years, the experiences we exchanged with colleagues, were mainly on how many flights a year we had taken, where the best bars were found and where the nicest guide apartments were. Customers didn´t get many advices where to buy responsible souvenirs and how to support locals.  We didn´t  clarify the background of the products or services.

The 1987 Declaration on Sustainable Development of the World Commission on Environment and Development, chaired by Gro Harlem Brundtland, had not yet been implemented in the training or orientation program of foreign guides, but awareness began to knock and interest began to arouse. Globally sustainable tourism was defined.

 

Benidorm on yksi Euroopan suurimmista rakennetuista matkailukohteista. Korkeita rakennuksia ja pitkä hiekkaranta. Kun alueella on paljon ihmisiä, infrastruktuurin pitää olla riittävä

I observed, wondered, and worried about the changes I noticed first in nature and then in the carrying capacity of the built environment (especially water outages, waste problems and run off waters).

Quite quickly, I questioned the way local people were left outside without appreciative involvement and a clear opportunity to benefit of tourism financially. I followed this unfair development first in the all-inclusive destinations in the Dominican Republic , then on my own trekking trip in Mexico, and finally in my working environment in Benidorm on the Spanish coast, where I  settled down at the end of my reflections.

I was not alone with my thoughts, although I received astonished comments from companies in both Spain and Finland when I spoke about the subject. Responsibility was thought to be a mere item of expenditure, a nonsense of “greenies” and contrary to profitable business.

The principles of responsible tourism were published in 2002 at the first International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Cape Town (Cape Town Declaration 2002):

Responsible Tourism is about making better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. Responsible Tourism requires that operators; hoteliers, governments, local people and tourists  take action to make tourism more sustainable.

 I followed news from the conference and my mind was overwhelmed by the burning need to find out how responsibility differs from sustainable tourism. I found and offered answers in my bachelor’s thesis at the University of Lapland in 2010.

Subsequently, awareness increased further with the adoption of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development Agenda2030 at the UN Summit in 2015. Agenda2030 combines previous UN Millennium Development Goals and the Sustainable Development Agenda based on the Rio Conference on Environment and Development. All UN member states are committed to the goals and derived from them the strategy and action plan – Finland with others.

Now we live in the 2020s  – what happens next?

Travel destinations are better places for locals to live and tourists to visit (at least should be). We have learned to make choices that cause the least possible harm to the environment and local communities. We understand where emissions come from and how the carbon footprint can be reduced. We avoid destinations where locals have risen to the barricades due to the side effects of overtourism. We support local small businesses. We do not buy unethically produced products and services and do not fly unnecessarily.

Just as in the early 2000s I wanted to understand responsibility, some years ago I wanted to learn more about new definitions of tourism.  

The answers did not come to me quite directly. I would have liked to find my way to Irene Ateljevic´s Academy of Hope, which was never founded, I was inspired by Rosa María Rodriguéz’s publications on transmodern tourism and made a business plan appropriately combining theories and experiences of the transformative and caring economy. I named my Master’s degree thesis ”The Yellow Book of Tourism” (2013) and in doing so I learned a lot. I founded Mood of Finland company based on what I had learnt in 2018.

Everything I write above was in the past tense. I wanted to see over the past and the present. I wanted to understand what was the next level we are now moving on. Anna Pollock led me to the edge of the new.

From Conscious to Regenerative Tourism

As we move from reducing harms to doing good in holistic way, we are on the verge of reform. Producing added value and giving the opportunity to do good.

I red Anna Pollock’s first definitions of regenerative tourism in early 2019, and the topic began to come up more often  with an emergency caused by the Covid19. Maybe the crisis was needed to a real stop to find a new direction.

Val Guiña Matias

This picture is a memory of Chile. I helped clean up a small artisan shop after the earthquake in 2010 in Valparaiso.

Regenerative tourism is believed to provide solutions for tourism recovery. The importance of co-operation is emphasized and cross-sectoral co-operation is encouraged. Anna Pollock offers e.g. these items in response to the question of what should be taken into consideration now:

  • Changing our mindsets – the way we see, be and do tourism, community by community, host by host
  • Exploring and expressing what it means to be fully human, fully alive and living in harmony with nature
  • Coming together in communities to break down the barriers that isolate tourism from other sectors.
  • Regenerative Tourism: moves us from “doing less harm” past “ doing more good” to becoming partners-servants of nature to help life thrive and evolve.

Please, read more about Anna Pollock´s excellent thoughts by following her in LinkedIn and visiting this page.: Conscious Travel

So, when facing tourism in regenerative way, we in addition to pay attention to the environment and people and minimizing harm, we are tempted to do more good and provide services that enable us to achieve a renewed outcome. Concrete actions for regenerative tourism may first be those in which we repair the damage already done or pay special attention to those who/what has received less attention.

Give back more than you take. 

The theory requires to be followed by concrete action. The first example comes from agriculture, where negative impact on biodiversity loss is identified. Regenerative agriculture refers for example to farming practices that aim to restore soil biodiversity, sequester more carbon and this way mitigates climate change and improve water circulation.

In tourism businesses, equality, non-discrimination and inclusion have received little attention. Regenerative tourism can mean diversifying work communities; according to Agenda2030 goal number eight, everyone should have  opportunity to work and experience being major in one´s own community.

Recruitment has traditionally sought the best possible input-return benefit, but now this equation can and should be viewed with new eyes, with new values. Recruitment is a message of values and an opportunity to influence the surrounding society.

As an example of a regenerative travel service, I raise my Mood of Finland company’s concept called Love Forest Finland, which is in the early stages of its life cycle.

The core of the concept is to offer guests the opportunity to plant a symbolic Tree of Love, show love to the person or object they want, buy a certificate printed on handmade paper and donate money to protect old forests. Guests are given the opportunity to do good on nature´s terms and by offering job for small business owners as well as craftsmen. Locals and guests are invited to plant trees together.

Leaving the place better than it was before our visit

As a definition of Regenerative tourism I have also seen this:
Leaving the place better than it was before you found it
 
 
The above objective could be applied as a human indicator when measuring the success of tourism by the happiness and well-being of the locals (for example in such places as Vanuatu). When also adding the value given to the environment  I find it beautiful way to understand tourism in holistic way. Local communities and nature have given us so much, now it´s our time to give back.

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It is time to end this reflection and say goodbye to you. Finally, let me give you a few more thoughts to consider:

How do we, as entrepreneurs, ensure that locals are happier and the environment has benefited from the visit?

As service providers we are used to do our best to make our customers happy. Let´s keep on doing so, and in addition ensure that locals and the environment receive the attention they deserve. 

As tourists, we strive for well-being and happiness for ourselves when travelling. How could we do good and leave the place better after our visit?

 

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Thank you for following by blog. 
I will appreciate any comments. 
With kind regards, 

Anu
Owner and Founder
Mood of Finland Oy
http://www.moodoffinland.com

Nature based Happiness

a woman hugging and kissing the tree

A French journalist challenged COVID-19 to understand Finnish happiness

As we were living the period of long awaited Christmas Holidays, there were not so many seizing the opportunity to host a French journalist coming to Finland at short notice – to discover the secret of happiness. I did not hesitate a moment when I was asked by Helsinki Marketing to take Corine (our guest)  for a forest walk and talk about nature and happiness.

There was an other reason that visiting Finland in December 2020 was not the easiest moment to come; crossing the borders was not self-evident as we lived in a time of strict travel restrictions because of COVID-19. Corine had taken the COVID-19 test twice with negative result and we agreed to wear masks indoors and keep safety distance outdoors.

I could have hosted the visit by my own, but it´s not the way I want to work. So I contacted other entrepreneurs to share this experience. Doing together makes me happy and it´s one of my company´s main values.

We were four entrepreneurs taking care of Corinne during her visit to Lake Tuusula. Risto Karjalainen (Adventuristo) and Jonna Granroth (Metsänautti) took care of the beautiful winter picnic by open fire during our forest walk. Our national artists as Jean Sibelius, Pekka Halonen, Eero Järnefelt and Eino Leino used to gather together to this same place (Sarvikallio) with their families to have picnic and to get inspired by nature.

Ulla-Maija (Ullis) Rouhiainen (Ullis Travel Studio)  guided us to the stories of the famous artist community of Lake Tuusula and later hosted Corinne´s  sauna experience in Helsinki.

Facts about happiness

Finland has ranked once again to be the number one in the UN´s Happiness report.  It takes into account factors such as healthy life expectancy, freedom to make life choices, gross domestic product (GDP), generosity, social support from friends, perceived corruption, as well as recent emotions of the respondents, both good and bad. (More info Forbes 26052020)

At the beginning of our meeting Corinne wanted to know if Finland’s success in the happiness survey surprised me. No, it didn´t – considering the factors measuring happiness.

I was thinking about happiness a lot three years ago when making the decision to establish my own company and taking an economical risk in my personal life. It was clear to me that establishing own company was about freedom to make life choices, possibility to live according to my values and about having a meaning in my professional life.

If I hadn´t dared to establish company in a country like Finland, I would have been quite a coward as we live in a very supporting society. I have had opportunities to study and got multiple skills – so I trust that if  I am willing to work and adapt to a basic standard of living, if necessary, I survive. Taking account the theme of  our meeting and the studies related to this article, it´s not, of course, only about surviving in life but also about finding the happiness and you can´t measure all in money.

The secret of Happiness

Yale University has launched very popular online course known around the world called PERMA -test. It promises to tell us what the secret of happiness is. The name of the test comes from words Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement.

I red an article about PERMA -test some days before meeting Corinne. The article not only confirmed my thoughts of happiness but also taught something new. Which I totally agree is that gratitude and the importance of not comparing ourselves to others is some of the basic factors. Based on my experience it works; I have been practicing gratitude by writing gratitude diary and changing my inner talk to myself for some years now and I feel more happy.

Kindness was mentioned as an important indicator which unites happy people. It´s easy to agree that being kind and helping others in unselfish way make us feel profoundly happy. I think that gratitude and kindness are related also to equality and non-discrimination.

Capability to concentrate is related to engagement and achievement. As it was said in the article, we can improve our own ability to concentrate: all you have to do is meditate. Good news for many is that you don’t have to do any formal meditation practice according to complex rules; you can just stare out the window or focus on your breathing.  (HS 25.12.2020 Hyvän mielen…)

Nature brings Happiness

With the journalist we had some silent moments and breathing exercises in forest as a prove of simple, nature based meditation. We also talked about relationships, the importance of human contact and the lack of it in these days.

a woman hugging and kissing the tree

Picture: Katja Tähjä

We really can´t replace human touch of anything but I invited Corinne to hug and even kiss the trees as it´s totally safe even during COVID-19 and also our way to calm down and get good feeling. Well-being effects of nature, such as lowering blood pressure, have been proved by  researches worldwide.

Many of my foreign friends had said that what makes us different in Finland from our neighbors is our way to connect with nature. It´s something primitive and beautiful where respect and willingness to keep on sustaining our traditions connects with the wisdom that is passed from one generation to another.

Nature indeed makes me happy, in all seasons and wherever I am. My nature is diverse and it´s open to anybody who respects its uniqueness and power which is stronger than us.

I want to thank for this opportunity to work together with wonderful professionals in my last working day in 2020.

Thank you Corine for you inspiring visit in Finland! Hope to see you here again!
It was a beautiful experience to stop and reflect on what happiness really is.

Today I am happy to celebrate the third anniversary of my company Mood of Finland Oy
My decision three years ago to follow my dreams and taking the risk has been worth of it.
I feel very grateful!

Thank you for following by blog.
Wishing you happiness and all the best for 2021!
With love,
Anu

ps. The journalist mentioned in my blog has published a professional article about  Happiness Le Monde – La vie Magazine in French. She was hosted by Helsinki Marketing (Sara Jäntti)

And finally, I invite you to watch the video of some ”haiku” poems I have been writing last year (in Finnish). They are a mixture of nature, love and a hint of melancholy.

Rakkauden Metsä tarjoaa mahdollisuuden vaikuttaa

Rakkauden Metsä – matalan kynnyksen kokeilujen tulos

Rakkauden Metsän tarina alkoi maaliskuussa 2016. Idea on jalostunut, jäänyt välillä kokonaan uinumaan mahdottomalta tuntuneen toteutuksen vuoksi ja taas noussut kohti uusia kokeiluja.  Voit lukea tarinan alkuvaiheista täältä: Rakkauden Metsä 

Rakkauden Metsä – konsepti rakentuu uudistavan palvelutarjonnan ajatukseen;  pyritään haittojen vähentämisen ohella ja sijaan etsiä keinoja, joilla voimme tehdä enemmän hyvää, tuottaa positiivisia vaikutuksia ja korjata jo aiheuttamiamme vaurioita ympäröivään luontoon ja paikallisyhteisöihin ja kulttuuriin. Lue lisää aiheesta täältä: Uudistava matkailu

Rakkauden Metsä – konseptin idea on yksinkertaistunut vuosien varrella. Lopullinen idea on seuraava:

  1. Symbolisen rakkauden puun voi istuttaa haluamalleen kohteelle tai ihmiselle (puolisolleen, lapsilleen, lapsenlapsille, isovanhemmille, työyhteisölle, jo menetetylle läheiselle yms).
  2. Puun voi istuttaa mihin tahansa luvanvaraiselle paikalle, vaikka omaan puutarhaan tai omistamaansa metsään.
  3. Puun istutuksesta ostetaan todistus, johon kirjataan puun tiedot ja Rakkauden puun tarina.
  4. Jokaisesta maksetusta todistuksesta lahjoitetaan 10 euroa Luonnonperintösäätiölle ikimetsien suojeluun. Hiilinielujen lisäämisen ohella on tärkeää tukea toimia, joilla varmistamme luonnon monimuotoisuuden säilymisen.
  5. Vaihtoehtona tarjoamme vanhan ”kummipuun” suojelemista

Leuto syksy mahdollisti puiden istutuksen vielä lokakuussa. 25.10.2020 Lopen Rakkauden Metsään istutettiin puu menehtyneen ystävän muistolle. Jokaisella Rakkauden puulla on tarina ja merkitys.

Rakkauden Metsä Loppi

Rakkauden Metsä on yritykseni Mood of Finlandin alatoiminimi ja rekisteröity tuotemerkki. Olen avannut Rakkauden Metsä – nettisivut ja verkkokaupan suomeksi ja englanniksi. Markkinointimateriaalia ja todistuksia löytyy myös ruotsiksi, saksaksi ja espanjaksi. Rakkauden Metsä on globaali mahdollisuus tehdä hyvää ilman rajoja.

Yksi Rakkauden Metsän haaste on löytää paikkoja, joihin puita saa istutta. Etsimme ja neuvottelemme kaiken aikaa istutuspaikoista, koska haluamme varmistaa yhdenvertaisen  vaikuttamisen mahdollisuuden niillekin, joilla ei ole omaa paikkaa puulle. Yhteiseen paikkaan puun isuttaminen lisää myös yhteisöllisyyden tunnetta.

Yhtenä ratkaisuna istutuspaikkaongelmaan lunastin aikoinaan isoisovanhemmilleni kuuluneen pienen metsäpalan Lopelta. Tulen tarjoamaan sinne ja muillekin alueille pienia metsäretkiä joiden aikana istutetaan Rakkauden puita. Ensimmäiset Rakkauden puut isutettiin kauniin aurinkoisena, lähes helteisenä päivänä kesäkuussa 2020 ostamaani metsään: Rakkauden Metsä Loppi 

Rakkauden Metsä Vuosaari

Idean alkutaipaleella hanketta lähti tukemaan Helsingin kaupunginvaluutettu Leo Stranius, jonka aloitteesta Helsingin Vuosaareen avattiin Rakkauden Metsä 28.8.2020. Vuosaaren Rakkauden Metsä on projekti, jonka toteutuksesta on vastannut Helsingin kaupunki.

Leo Stranius teki aloitteen Helsingin Vuosaaren Rakkauden Metsästä. Avajaisissa puheen piti myös Anni Sinnemäki

Kaupunkilaiset saivat varata  puuntaimen etukäteen ja kaikki 280 puuta istutettiin niille varatulle paikalle yhden tapahtumapäivän aikana. Voit lukea lisää tästä: Rakkauden Metsä Vuosaari 

Rakkaudesta metsiin ja luontoon

Rakkauden puun istutus on kaunis hetki. Sen kaikki puun istuttaneet ovat yksimielisesti todenneet. Nimikkopuu, jota voi käydä tervehtimässä vahvistaa yhteyttä luontoon entisestään. Rakkauden puu on kaunis symboli ja tapa kertoa välittämisestä ja rakkaudesta. Rakkauden puun tarina täydentyy ja kulkee mukana muistoissa.

Sinä voit istuttaa Rakkauden puun, olla mukana kasvattamassa Rakkauden Metsää ja suojella luontoa!

Lue lisää  ja osallistu tästä: Rakkauden Metsä

Kiitos, että seuraat blogiani!
Ystävällisin terveisin,

Anu