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Exporting Finnish education by sailing around the world – kick-off seminar in Istanbul on June 1st, 2016

Press Release   •   May 29, 2016 20:15 GMT

 Exporting Finnish education by sailing around the world – kick-off seminar in Istanbul on June 1st, 2016

In June, the Finnish Meretniemi family of five will set sail on a voyage around the world. The six-year sailing trip will make Finnish educational expertise internationally available; a unique digital school will be created onboard the boat, and a number of education export events will be organized along the route. The first of the events, a Turkish-Finnish co-operation education seminar is arranged on June 1st, 2016 in Istanbul.

According to Tuomo Meretniemi, the father of the family, the idea of combining a voyage around the world and education export arose from the need to solve the children's education; during the six-year voyage, the children would be aged 4–14, in other words, of school age.

–However, we quickly understood that the challenges of the digital era we were trying to solve were the same that schools around the world were dealing with. Finland has top expertise in education, technology and innovations, and we can make this expertise available globally during our journey, states Meretniemi.

–The Meretniemi family's voyage around the world is an excellent opportunity to prove in practice how Finnish education expertise can be localized with the help of technology, confirms Program Director Seppo Keränen from Finpro's Education Export Finland growth program.

The education export project, named Sail for Good Education, is joined by more than 20 companies and organizations, many of which are members of Finpro's Education Export Finland network and are helping to create a digital school onboard the boat.

–We will act as a living laboratory for new types of learning methods, technologies, learning platforms, and digital learning materials. We want to act as an example in applying the new and advanced Finnish Curriculum, explains Meretniemi.

In addition to knowledge and skills related to all things digital, Finns have a great deal of valuable expertise in, for instance, the development and consultancy of education, teacher training, and the development of learning environments, says Keränen.

Finnish and Turkish experts present at the Istanbul event

First of the education seminars is arranged at the Bahcesehir University on June 1st, 2016 from 1 PM to 5.15 PM. The event is hosted by Finpro in co-operation with the Finnish Embassy in Ankara. The welcoming remarks are given by Ms. Nina Vaskunlahti, Ambassador of Finland to Turkey.

There will a panel discussion “Learning of Tomorrow” providing the audience information of the ingredients of the Finnish education success, insights of the future of education and considerations on how the Finnish model could be localized to Turkey. The panelists from Finland are Ms. Maarit Rossi, Founder & Chair, Paths to Math, Top 10 Finalist at the Global Teacher Prize and Mr. Topi Litmanen, PhD, Chief Educational Scientist, Claned Group, and the panelist from Turkey are Mr. Prof. Dr. Mustafa Özcan, Dean of Education Faculty, MEF University and Mr. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Selçuk Özdemir, CEIT at Gazi University, Bilisim Garaj Akademisi.

The Meretniemi family will be present and sharing their story. After the seminar the participants have possibility to network with the family, Finpro and Embassy representatives and with the participating Finnish companies: Claned, Dramaforum - Petra's Planet, EDUfinn, ISKU, KOULU Group, Lenovo, Paths to Math.

Several Road show events during the journey

After kick-off in Turkey, several road show events will be arranged along the Sail for Good Education journey. There are plans to arrange seminars at first also in Tunisia, Morocco, Brazil, and Argentina.

The Sail for Good voyage will begin from Finike, Turkey on June 8th, 2016. The Meretniemi family will visit 72 countries and will return to Finland in the autumn of 2022. For more information on the voyage, please visit:!sail-for-good-digital-education/cxfk

More information

Nilufer Alapinar
Senior Advisor
Finpro, Turkey
+90 532 374 1310

Talha DayiJunior Advisor
Finpro, Turkey
+90 551 204 0489


  • -Seminar Invitation including profiles of the presenters and the participating Finnish companies
  • -Description of the new Finnish Curriculum

About Finpro

Finpro helps Finnish SMEs go international, encourages foreign direct investment in Finland and promotes travel to Finland. Finpro is a public organization consisting of Export Finland, Visit Finland and Invest in Finland. Our almost 240 professionals work in 37 Trade Centers in 31 countries and 6 offices in Finland.

Finpro – Growth for Finland

Sail For Good expedition is a private initiative based on a sailing adventure around the world during 2016-2022 by Meretniemi family from Finland with three children. The goal is to experiment new ways to utilize technology and digital learning methods to enable education for all children anywhere, anytime.

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