Wasa Future Festival: Attracting global talent a key issue at YoungTalk23

YoungTalk23, Wasa Future Festival
Moderators Laila Fe Balinggan and Sabbir Ahmed Bhuiyan open the YoungTalk23 event at Wasa Future Festival.
2 min

Every year, Wasa Future Festival brings together young people, international talents and local entrepreneurs. Joakim Strand, Chairman of the City Council in Vaasa, promises that decision-makers will listen to the ideas of young people.

The air is full of anticipation as YoungTalk23, one of the events at the week-long Wasa Future Festival, starts on Tuesday evening. The theme is how to make our region attractive to young people and international talents. Moderators Laila Fe Balinggan and Sabbir Ahmed Bhuiyan, both young international talents themselves, do a brilliant job of engaging the audience.

“We will look for solutions together,” the moderators say as they introduce the programme, which focuses on co-creating solutions. Over a few hours, different teams will work on hatching ideas, identifying problems and hopefully solving them.

City official promises to listen

Joakim Strand
Joakim Strand

One of the event’s inspirational speakers is Joakim Strand, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the City Council in Vaasa. Mr Strand opens with a few words about Vaasa’s rich history, but quickly notes that history is not enough to build the future. He says that attracting young, talented people is the most important question for the future.

It would be extremely valuable if we could attract one or two, or why not a hundred, boys and girls with the same innovative mind as John Wickström, the engine manufacturer who helped build the foundation of Vaasa’s energy cluster.

At the same time, Joakim Strand promises that the city will listen to the ideas developed during the event and consider them carefully.

Discussing the role of companies

Tuomas Saikkonen
Tuomas Saikkonen

Another question up for debate is the role of small and medium-sized enterprises as arenas and incubators for international talent. Many company representatives are in the audience, ready to discuss this.

One such company representative is Tuomas Saikkonen, CEO of Vilpe. Mr Saikkonen is also the second inspirational speaker of the evening. In his speech, he notes that the world is big and that attracting talented people is difficult.

“In addition to great practices, I think that storytelling is important,” says Tuomas Saikkonen.

Tells the company’s own story

As an example of storytelling, Tuomas Saikkonen mentions Vilpe’s own venture into social media. Despite the fact that Vilpe’s products, such as ventilation solutions, are not exactly hot in the media, the company has managed to gather a massive follower base on TikTok.

“We just tell our story and show what it’s like to work at Vilpe,” says Tuomas Saikkonen.

This storytelling leads to Vilpe getting many comments and contacts from people all over the world who want to come and work for them in Vaasa.

We may take things like a good work-life balance for granted, but in countries like the United States, where many people work extremely hard, our everyday life can be highly sought after.

The full event and group presentations can be found in the Youtube livestream.

Wasa Future Festival is an annual event held in Vaasa with the aim to create positive development for the region, for Finland, and for the world as a whole. This year’s festival is held on 7-12 August, attended by many Finnish top politicians, industry executives, young people and international thought leaders.

Participating in Wasa Future Festival is free of charge and open for everybody. The events are held in English, Finnish and Swedish.

Our parent publication Vaasa Insider partners with Wasa Future Festival to report from the events in Finnish and Swedish. Read more on www.vaasainsider.fi.

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