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.

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: