The first speakers of the Europe in Action conference have been announced


The Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services of Finland Krista Kiuru is the official patron of the conference.

Welcome to Europe in Action 2021: Skills conference from 8th to 11th of June 2021. The theme for this year is SKILLS. The four-day virtual conference will bring together people with intellectual disabilities, their family members and professionals to discuss together people’s equal opportunities to find employment and participate in civil society. The program provides interesting information, examples and perspectives for decision makers, employees of organizations and disability services, as well as employers who want to develop the diversity of their work community.

The patron of the conference is the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services of Finland Krista Kiuru. On the opening day of the conference we will see a greeting from the Minister to the conference participants.

First speakers of the conference are announced. They are an Associate Professor in Disability Studies Hisayo Katsui, a philosopher Frank Martela, a futurist and inventor Perttu Pölönen and a Director of Corporate Relations and Responsibility, at Lassila & Tikanoja, Jorma Mikkonen.

Hisayo Katsui, Assiociate Professor of Disability Research at the University of Helsinki, talks about the employment of people with disabilities from a human rights perspective. Disability research strives for equality in both the research process and research results. Katsui also talks about how disability is reflected in the state of employment. Katsui performs on Tuesday the 8th of June.

Frank Martela is a philosopher, writer and postdoctoral researcher whose topic at the conference is the significance of life. Internal motivation, self-direction, enthusiasm and their leadership are themes that Martela likes to talk about. Martela says he wants to create new ways of thinking that strengthen people’s ability to live a good life. Martela will perform on Wednesday the 9th of June at 9 CET.

Perttu Pölönen will speak about the future of working life. Pölönen is a futurist, inventor, author, columnist and composer. Pölönen has invented the Sävelkello invention, which facilitates the study of music theory, won the largest European youth research competition, studied future technologies in Silicon Valley, founded an educational company in Myanmar and wrote books that have become successful. Pölönen speaks on Thursday the 10th of June at 9 CET.

Jorma Mikkonen will speak at the conference about a diverse working life. Mikkonen works as the Director of Public Relations (SVP Public Affairs and Sustainability) at Lassila & Tikanoja. Mikkonen’s presentation is on Thursday at 13 CET.

Perspectives from all over Europe

In the parallel sessions, the themes include co-operative work, job coaching for supported employment, identification and utilization of one’s own skills, employment of a person in need of support, development of work and day-to-day activities, civic and association activities. The conference’s diverse program provides information and inspiring examples from Finland and elsewhere in the World.

The keynote speeches of the conference will be recorded so that participants can watch them at a time that suits them best.

Preparations for the event have already begun in the last year. “It is great to be a part of the Europe in Action 2021: SKILLS conference. We are building a diverse and interesting conference program. I’m particularly excited about our theme skills. In the Inclusion Finland KVTL, we want to promote the idea that we all have skills that should to be in use. A person with a intellectual disability can be an active actor and involved there where others are. We are going to make history by holding the first fully virtual Europe in Action conference. Fortunately, remote connections and technology make it possible to hold a conference even during the covid-19 pandemic, so everyone can participate and join the discussion safely. So, let’s make history together and meet at the conference!”, says Mari Hakola, a working life expert and event organizer.

Registrate to Europe in Action 2021: Skills conference by using this link. (The link will open in a new window.)