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Talent Boost Summit: International talents boosting growth

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 23.11.2017 13.12 | Published in English on 24.11.2017 at 15.34
News item

Talents are an increasingly important part of countries’ competitiveness. How to make Finland more attractive to the best talents and how to channel their expertise to support growth and internationalisation in companies?

These questions and more were discussed at the Talent Boost Summit that brought together around 300 participants in Koskenranta, Helsinki, on 22 November 2017. Representatives of companies, higher education institutions, cities, organisations and central government — as well as international experts — were invited to attend the Summit.

“Finland cannot survive without new global talents,” said former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho in his opening words.

He continued that in today’s world it is of critical importance to integrate digital technologies into everything we do: from industry, logistics, communications and health care to public and private services. “Future is for those who have multidisciplinary talent,” said Aho. He also pointed out that the era of standardised talent was over.

The global competition for attracting talents is intense. Kajal Sanghrajka, the founder of Growth Hub US, told about her research on how cities attract and integrate international entrepreneurs. The key factors to be addressed include the opportunities of international students to stay in the country and become entrepreneurs, the employment prospects of their spouses and the culture of the city in question.

Copenhagen leads the way in attracting, retaining and utilising international talents, according to a number of indicators. For this reason, Nikolaj Lubanski, a representative of Copenhagen Capacity that assists businesses in attracting international talents and investors, was also invited to speak at the Talent Boost Summit.

“A successful talent attraction ecosystem is a joint effort. You need to get the ecosystem to work — but you also need a conductor who leads the orchestra,” Lubanski said.

In Finland, many cities have wide networks to attract talents and put them into contact with companies, but until now, Finland has lacked a national strategy. To remedy the situation, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government decided at its 2017 mid-term policy review session to launch Talent Boost – International talents boosting growth, a joint cross-sectoral programme for the Government.

“The next step is to define concrete measures to make Finland more attractive and channel international expertise to support growth and internationalisation in companies. The list of measures that we need to take is long, but we must identify the most critical ones and start with them,” said Laura Lindeman, Senior Specialist at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

“It is extremely important to cooperate with stakeholders and listen to international talents if we want to succeed in achieving our goals. The Talent Boost Summit 2017 will not be the last in the series of summits,” Lindeman promised.

The Talent Boost Summit proved that different actors share the same vision. The event was organised jointly by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, cities, the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce, and Onnivators. Higher education institutions have also become interested in the topic: the next Talent Boost event will be organised by higher education institutions in Tampere in 2018. The event will focus on what career opportunities are available to the spouses of researchers.

Read more about the Talent Boost programme and follow the discussion on Twitter #TalentBoost.