• Summit for changemakers, social innovation and impact...

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Making waves for social innovations

Waves summit encourages everyone to take part in creating a sustainable future and make change happen. 

If you are passionate about getting inspired, learning new things and connecting with people interested in tackling the most significant challenges we stand before, Waves is for you.

We want to create a platform for increased collaboration across sectors and challenge you to take action towards reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals and creating a better tomorrow.

Most importantly – we want to invite you to join the celebration of the changemakers, social innovators and impact entrepreneurs. Welcome! 

Accelerating Changemaking

At Waves, changemakers can network, get visibility, and find new ideas and tools for changemaking as well as meet potential investors.

You will experience what can be achieved through social innovation and learn ways of developing your role in supporting and accelerating change.

Read more
Waves is for you

Waves is for you

Waves is a one day summit in Helsinki that brings together our society’s forces of change, actors committed to social innovation and systems change: Changemakers, innovators, academia, impact entrepreneurs, private and public actors, and investors.

We will hear keynote speeches, presentations, panel discussions, take part in workshops as well as connect, network and enjoy each other's company.

Read more about the speakers below.

Agenda

This year's theme is enabling change:

9.00-10.05
Main Stage + Online
Societal transformation: Together we can
Main Stage + Online

9.00-9.10 Welcome by Ashoka

9.10-9.30 Setting the Scene, Hannah Kuper (Professor in Epidemiology at LSHTM, The Missing Billion initiative)

9.35-9.55 First Ashoka Fellow in Finland, Markus Raivio (CEO at Kukunori)

9.55-10.05 Q&A and session facilitated by Ashoka

 

10.15-11.30
Main Stage + Online
Strengthening changemakers
Main Stage + Online

Head, Heart, Will: Building capabilities for transformative change making”, session led by Sara Lindeman, Leapfrog Projects with talks and a panel discussion.

 

Stage 2
Rethinking investment strategies
Stage 2

10.15-10.45 “Partnering for and investing in highly stigmatized themes”, Cristina Ljungberg (Co-founder, The Case for Her)

10.45-11.15 “Creating something new from shared history and values – Changemaker’s story”, Maria Ahlström-Bondestam (Chair of Unicef International Council, Chair of Ahlström Collective Impact)

11.15-11.30 Discussion and questions facilitated by Evita Chiang Zanuso (Head of Strategic Partnerships, Katapult Foundation)

 

Online
Introducing systems thinking tools for changemakers
Online
12.30-13.15
Main Stage + Online
Creating ecosystems for change
Main Stage + Online

“Collaborating for impact - Reflections on corporate social responsibility and partnership”, Åsa Skogström-Feldt (CEO of IKEA Social Entrepreneurship) & Liisa Smits (CEO and founder of Ignitia)

Discussion facilitated by Agata Stafiej-Bartosik (Ashoka)

 

13.20-14.20
Main Stage + Online
Empowering young changemakers
Main Stage + Online

Youth panel with Benjamin Pitkänen (Co-founder, Viral Vegans), Ronny Eriksson (Co-founder, Ambitious Africa; Co-founder Norders), Salaado Qasim (Co-founder of the Peace and Well-being organization), moderator Eli Ingvarsson (Ashoka Nordic)

 

Stage 2
Workshop: Imagining and making futures (In Finnish)
Stage 2, in Finnish

Mikko Dufva (Leading Specialist Foresight, Sitra)

 

Online
​​​​​​​Pioneers in impact financing
Online

13.20-13.50 Building impactful new business models to power social change. Mark Cheng (Founder and Managing Partner, Social Innovation Circle)

13.50-14.20 Creating a thriving ecosystem for social innovation by boosting impact finance. Building bridges between social entrepreneurs and investors. Dr. Markus Freiburg (Founder and CEO, FASE - Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship GmbH)

 

14.45-16.00
Main Stage + Online
Supporting social and environmental impact start-ups
Main Stage + Online

Moving people, capital and tec for good”, Evita Chiang Zanuso (Head of Strategic Partnerships, Katapult Foundation).

Panel discussion moderated by Sara Lindeman (Co-founder and CEO, LeapFrog Projects)

 

Stage 2
Workshop: An exercise for impactful collaboration (In Finnish)
Stage 2, in Finnish

This workshop guides changemakers to look at their endeavour from various perspectives and opens up glitches for new connections, Hanno Nevanlinna (Co-founder, Creator of New at Futurice)

 

Online
Workshop: Collecting the needs of changemakers
Online

Facilitated by Systems Change Finland

 

16.10-17.10
Main Stage + Online
Panel: In Finland, how can we become great at transformative social innovation?
Main Stage + Online

Panelists: Elisa Vepsäläinen (StartUp Refugees), Mårten Knuts (Krogerus), Mari Tikkanen (Scope Impact), Neslihan Dane (SKY ry Suomen kulttuurienvälinen yhteisö ry), Ari Evwaraye (Head of Strategy, Ministry of the Interior).

 

17.10-17.25
Main Stage + Online
Changemaker closing words
Main Stage + Online
17.25-17.30
Main Stage + Online
Thank you and what next?
Main Stage + Online

Please note that this year’s Waves Summit is a hybrid event.
This means that some of the content during the day will only be available in person.

The sessions that are held on the Main Stage will be live streamed online throughout the day. There will also be sessions that are accessible online only. Links to the online sessions together with the Main Stage sessions will be sent to all attendees after the Summit.

Are you making waves for change as...

Attend the live event* with 200 attendees for a full in-depth experience in Helsinki, Finland. The summit creates a space for collaboration across sectors where you will experience new connections and gain insights on pathways towards a sustainable future. 

Live tickets* 49 €
Online tickets 19 €

You will receive the instructions for participating after registration.

* You can also attend the summit online. Please note that the amount of tickets is limited.

For any inquiries, contact us here.

During the summit, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with innovative impact entrepreneurs and organisations who are already building a sustainable future. 

Live tickets* 139 € 
Online tickets 49 €

The event is especially intended to support and accelerate social innovation in Finland. We warmly welcome investors and funders, business leaders, policymakers, as well as researchers to answer the needs and strengthen the field of changemaking in Finland.

*Please note that the amount of tickets is limited.

For any inquiries, contact us here.

Do you want to attend the Waves summit as a media representative or influencer?

Sign up quickly, as there is a limited amount of media-passes available.

You can participate at the summit either in person or online.

Anyone passionated about societal change and innovative ways of creating sustainable impact is invited!

Meet the speakers

Ari Evwaraye

Ari Evwaraye

Ari Evwaraye has strived to be a changemaker and impact evangelist in government and the field of human security. As Head of Strategy at the Finnish Ministry of the Interior, Ari has furthered initiatives related to equality, human rights, feelings of safety and social impact within the policy area of internal security.

Phenomenon- and human-centric approaches, as well as co-creation, foresight and systemic solutions, get him excited. In addition to his professional engagement, Ari has been active in a few NGOs aiming for a brighter future for people in vulnerable positions.

Åsa Skogström Feldt

Åsa Skogström Feldt

Åsa Skogström Feldt is leading IKEA Social Entrepreneurship BV. Åsa has been the global president and CEO of The Hunger Project in New York and the CEO of The Hunger Project Sweden.

She has also established social entrepreneurship in the supply chain at IKEA of Sweden, being the head of marketing for Sony Ericsson in Germany, corporate communications director for Aspiro and marketing communications manager for Ericsson Mobile Communications in the Middle East and Africa.

Benjamin Pitkänen

Benjamin Pitkänen

Benjamin Pitkänen is a passionate vegan activist and one of the founding members of the Viral Vegans Animal Rights Association. Benjamin's work in front of animals has been covered in the big Finnish media outlets.

Benjamin runs Viral Vegans with his team, holds speeches at various events, and does social media activism. He wants to wake people up to think about how our consumption habits relate to animals' exploitation and killing.

Cristina Ljungberg

Cristina Ljungberg

Cristina Ljungberg is a Co-founder of The Case for Her, a philanthropic investment portfolio addressing the key women’s health issues of menstruation and women’s sexual health & pleasure. Before The Case for Her, Cristina established the foundation Giving Wings in 2010.

She is also an active board member for the global non-profit, Acumen, focused on poverty alleviation through impact investing and leadership development, as well as AFRIpads, a manufacturer of reusable cloth menstrual pads.

Dora Hietavirta

Dora Hietavirta

Dora Hietavirta is a professional who is always curious and thinks beyond the obvious or accepted. Her most recent interests are complex systems, regenerative systemic design, and urban development.

The lenses that Dora constantly sees the world through are learning and community development.

Elisa Vepsäläinen

Elisa Vepsäläinen

For the past five years, Elisa Vepsäläinen has led the rapidly growing Startup Refugee, which supports people with refugee status in entrepreneurship and employment.

In her work, she has focused on promoting social responsibility and effectiveness, while also building relevant brands and bringing together different actors to address societal challenges.

Evita Chiang Zanuso

Evita Chiang Zanuso

Evita is Head of Strategic Partnerships and also leads on the Impact Academy at Katapult Foundation. Prior to Katapult, she was part of the Senior Management team at Big Society Capital, a leading UK social investment institution.

She has served on a number of Boards including the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, RCB plc and Bethnal Green Ventures.

Gunta Krumina

Gunta Krumina

Gunta Krumina is an innovative, professional business development consultant, as well as a systems change facilitator and advocate.

She designed and led systems thinking workshops and training together with team members from Systems Change Finland. One of her visions is to bring forward the best of systemic innovation for a better, sustainable, and inclusive world.

Hannah Kuper

Hannah Kuper

Professor Hannah Kuper is a Co-founder of the Missing Billion Initiative. She is also the co-director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She is an epidemiologist by training, having attended Harvard University and Oxford University. The main focus of her work is on health and healthcare access of people with disabilities in low and middle-income countries.

Hanno Nevanlinna

Hanno Nevanlinna

Hanno Nevanlinna is one of the founders of Futurice. He has walked the path from a startup to an international company. Hanno is one of the masterminds of the Futurice culture as well as Lean Service Creation methodology.

During 2004-2009, Hanno innovated, planned and built Finland’s largest photo sharing service Kuvaboxi. From 2008 to2010, he founded the Futurice UX consultant team and during years 2010-2013, Hanno led as head of HR Futurice to be the first company ever to be selected as Europe’s best workplace twice in a row.

Lina Santamäki

Iina Santamäki

Iina Santamäki is a regenerative leader, systems thinker and bridge-builder with a vision to co-create a just and sustainable future for all.

Her latest degree, an M.Sc. in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, combines systems thinking and complexity science, strategic leadership and sustainability science, and thus provided her with the skills and knowledge to facilitate and lead processes for systems change. Currently, Iina is an entrepreneur and a Specialist at The Finnish Innovation Fund, Sitra.

Liisa Smits

Liisa Smits

Liisa Smits has developed an accurate and reliable weather forecast system for the tropics. By making it accessible to smallholder farmers the service empowers them to make educated decisions to increase efficiency and agricultural yield. 

While monitoring climates in different parts of the world as part of a NASA research project, she discovered that the formula for calculating weather patterns and forecast for the tropics was extremely unreliable. Liisa then decided to use her skills and background to make a sustainable impact and founded Ignitia.

Mari Tikkanen

Mari Tikkanen

Mari Tikkanen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Scope Impact. She is also the Co-Founder of Innovation Lead, Missing Billion. Mari leads the Scope by developing new ways of delivering social impact.

Prior to co-founding Scope in 2008, Mari worked for 15 years on women’s and children’s health and rights, including for WHO South-East Asia Region, UNFPA, IPPF, AMREF and Aurat Foundation in Pakistan. She has more than 25 years of experience in the field of development and health.

Maria Ahlström-Bondestam

Maria Ahlström-Bondestam

Maria Ahlström-Bondestam co-founded The Eva Ahlström Foundation in 2010 and have since continued the work for underprivileged women, and children that began in the late 19th century.

Maria Ahlström-Bondestam initiated, co-founded, and chaired the HAPPY and TOGETHER projects, working for a more equal and sustainable world. In 2020, Maria initiated a collaboration called Ahlström Collective Impact with the aim to make strategic investments with impact to support the realization of the United Nation’s SDGs together with UNICEF. In 2021, she was elected Chair of the UNICEF International Council.

Mark Cheng

Mark Cheng

Mark Cheng is the Founder and Managing Partner of Social Innovation Circle, a global coaching platform for social innovators. Mark is an impact investor who has raised and invested over $250M into social impact organizations around the world.

Since 2010, he has been the Senior Advisor on Social Finance at Ashoka, and has coached and mentored many social impact founders in how to create sustainable business models for social change. Mark is the author of the ‘Social Investment Toolkit’, a free online guide for impact entrepreneurs on how to raise finance for social innovation.

Markus Freiburg

Markus Freiburg

Together with Ashoka, Markus Freiburg has founded the Financing Agency for Social Entrepreneurship (FASE) in Germany. FASE helps leading social enterprises across Europe in raising hybrid growth capital so that they can scale their social impact. 

Markus is recognized as a thought leader for social finance in Germany and beyond. He has an active presence in public discourses and wrote a wealth of articles, reports and case studies on best practices in social finance. Prior to this, Markus worked for more than 7 years as consultant for McKinsey & Company.

Markus Raivio

Markus Raivio

Markus Raivio is a leading social entrepreneur who co-founded Kukunori in 2012 to design an entirely new way of working with mental health clients through culture. Through his organization, Kukunori, Markus is championing social welfare through an approach centered on promoting human and civil rights.

Kukunori ultimately aims to develop new and innovative solutions to challenges in the mental health and cultural sectors. In addition, Markus is taking the unique Guided Functional Peer Support model (GFP) that he developed to 43 organizations across the health sector. 

Mikko Dufva

Mikko Dufva

Mikko Dufva is Leading Foresight Specialist at Sitra (The Finnish Innovation Fund) and docent in future studies at Aalto University. In his work, he examines future trends, the tensions between these trends and mental images connected with the future. In addition, he seeks to identify signals that may be weak now but which nevertheless are significant for the future.

Mikko has extensive experience in foresight studies and he has a doctorate in Science (Technology) on creation of futures knowledge and systemic foresight.

Neslihan Dane

Neslihan Dane

Neslihan Dane is Vice-Chair of SKY (Suomen Kulttuurienvälinen Yhteisö), the Finnish Intercultural Community. By profession, she is a Mathematics teacher with 11 years of experience teaching in Thailand, which also served her to widen her networks, meeting new people and learning their cultures. That was actually the reason why SKY attracted her as it aligns with her enthusiasm to support volunteering for multicultural initiatives.

Ronny Eriksson

Ronny Eriksson

As the co-founder of Ambitious Africa, Ronny is connecting, inspiring and empowering young people in all African and Nordic countries to work together, lead the change and create transformation.

Ronny is actively building ecosystems both locally and globally, focusing on fields such as entrepreneurship, education, entertainment, food and communities.

Salaado Qasim

Salaado Qasim

Salaado Qasim is an author, columnist, teacher and Co-founder of the Peace and Well-being organization RAHY (Rauhan ja Hyvinvoinnin järjestö ry) a non-governmental organization founded in 2019 that aims to improve the living conditions of women and young people by providing opportunities in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The organization has been set up by university students with solid experience, especially young people and women.

 

Sara Lindeman

Sara Lindeman

Sara Lindeman is deeply dedicated to addressing complex sustainability challenges. She holds a PhD in sustainable market organizing.
 
She initiated and led a large transdisciplinary research and innovation project on how to co-innovate the future’s sustainable solutions for emerging markets. Sara co-founded Leapfrog Projects to spearhead transition design.

Marten Knuts

Mårten Knuts

Mårten Knuts is the Managing Partner of Krogerus, one of the leading law firms in Finland. He represents a wide range of clients in cross-border and domestic corporate transactions. Mårten regularly advises boards in listed companies on corporate governance matters and assists in strategic disputes pertaining to complex regulatory matters.

Tomas Björkman

Tomas Björkman

Tomas Björkman is an author, social entrepreneur and the Founder of Ekskäret Foundation in Stockholm.

He is also the Co-founder of the research institute Perspectiva in London, the Co-creation Loft, the media platform Emerge in Berlin, and the 29k.com personal development platform.

About

Waves summit is an event aiming at accelerating social innovation and networking among professional changemakers in Finland.

The summit takes place on 15 September at Miltton House in Helsinki.

You can also participate in the summit online*.

*If you participate at Waves online, you will receive directions on how to attend the summit in your confirmation email.

How to get there

Miltton House

  • Address: Haapaniemenkatu 5, 00530 Helsinki
  • Entrance is accessible

The Summit is held on the 1st and 2nd floors of the building. There is an elevator in the building.

Organisers

Funding Partners

tradeka
Krogerus logo; black letters all lower case saying "krogerus"
SFV
CapMan for Good

In collaboration with

Sitra Logo, Partner of Ashoka Nordics; Capital letters SITRA all in black
Systems Change Finland
Yhteiskunnallisten yritysten osaamiskeskus
LeapFrog Projects
Miltton
Eva Ahlström
Futurice
Arvoliitto
Aalto Design Factory