Turning a challenge into a solution

Markus Raivio, leading social entrepreneur and participant of the Finnish Changemaker Map, founded Kukunori in 2012 to design a completely new way of working with mental health patients through culture.
Markus Raivio
Source: Markus Raivio

As an extremely energetic and inventive person, Markus is guided by his changemaking ideas based on how to create a more just society for all. Through his organization, Kukunori Ry, he is championing social welfare through an approach centered on the promotion of human and civil rights. Kukunori ultimately aims to develop new and innovative solutions to challenges in the mental health and cultural sectors.

When chatting with Markus, he openly discusses different ideas on how to design cities and ultimately societies that enable wellbeing:

    How can we really shift to a holistic way of designing services that increase wellbeing for those who have difficulties but also all of us? - Markus Raivio, founder of Kukunori.

From a survey conducted with youth, two sentences struck Markus and have stayed with him. The answers "I don't want to be alone" and "I want to do something meaningful", which motivated him to help connecting people together. Since 2012, the civic and human rights organization Kukunori is seeking new ways to work for mental health for instance through Kukunori’s cultural workshops (kulttuuripaja), in which patients themselves guide workshops for other patients. The cultural workshops have become an award-winning model labeled GFPS Guided Functional Peer Support. This model has been replicated in prisons and other instances to increase participation and autonomy.


In addition, Kukunori is an umbrella organization working with other mental health and disability organizations that are active in the field. By designing holistic support mechanisms and solutions, tackling different actors involved in the mental health system, Markus is constantly thinking about new ways of doing and innovating, bringing design thinking into the health sector and working very closely with the intended beneficiaries; co-designing for better health.

Furthermore, Markus is convinced that established ways of working as well as frameworks for health, healthcare and social planning need to be questioned and new perspectives, and innovations need to be brought in. He also acknowledges that Changemakers aren’t recognized as such and hence urges for the need to inspire people to become Changemakers.

 On April 14, Markus will be speaking at the Finnish Changemaker Map event “How can we fund systems changing social innovations in Finland?” together with Laura Catana, FASE, European Investor Relations Manager and Katja Anoschkin, Arvoliitto, Impact Specialist.

Join us by registering here and participate in an engaging discussion as a step towards the ideation of upcoming activities that Ashoka and other actors will organise when it comes to funding social innovation. The language of the event is English.

The event will be held on Zoom. In addition, we will stream the event live on Ashoka’s YouTube channel. On Zoom we are able to include 100 participants, so please register now to ensure a place. When you participate on Zoom, you will be able to discuss with other participants and meet new people. If you would rather focus on listening, please join us on YouTube instead.

About the Finnish Changemaker Map

The goal of the Finnish Changemaker Map is to understand the needs of changemakers in Finland, the trends among Changemakers and how various parties can support social entrepreneurs to further increase their impact on society.

Here you can find the final report here and the interactive maps.

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