Eco-seminar speakers

Krista Mikkonen

Krista Mikkonen is the Finnish minister of the environment and the climate change. In her political career, she has promoted issues concerning the environment, biodiversity, education and equality and fight against poverty. A biologist by training, she has worked in the field of environmental management. Her hobbies include reading, board games and consuming culture.

Mari Pantsar

Kuva: Miikka Pirinen / Sitra

Mari Pantsar leads the Carbon-neutral circular economy theme in the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. She steers the strategy of the carbon-neutral circular economy theme and is responsible for ensuring that all activities related to it direct Finland towards a more ecologically sustainable and competitive society. Mari has about 20 years’ experience of managerial tasks in the development of cleantech and circular economy business in the private and public sector and on several companies’ boards. Mari believes that ecological sustainability is not an alternative, but a starting point.

Graciela Melitsko Thornton

Graciela is a sustainability and climate change professional with more than 20 years experience. Her diverse skill set includes developing policy and delivering projects for low carbon cities, environmental management for the Arts and Leisure sectors, as well as the promotion of renewable energy in the UK, Europe and Latin America. She leads the Creative Green Programme at Julie’s Bicycle supporting cultural and creative organisations in planning and developing environmental and climate change activities.  


Jana Winderen

Photo: Lena Winderen.

Jana Winderen is a sound artist who is interested in various sound environments and ecosystems. She has a degree in Fine Art from Goldsmiths, University of London, having previously studied mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology at the University of Oslo. Her works frequently take the form of multi-channel sound installations or concerts. She explores water systems with the latest technology. Her work IHME Helsinki Commission 2020, Listening Through the Dead Zones, will be hear in Helsinki in 2021.


Paula Toppila

Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

Paula Toppila has been the Executive Director and Curator of the IHME Contemporary Art Festival (2009-2018) and the current IHME Helsinki (2019-) since 2007. She is also the Chairman of IHME’s International Advisory Board. IHME Helsinki is a contemporary art commissioning agency that combines art, science and climate work. IHME Helsinki produces annually an artwork in public space and a series of discussion events together with art and science organizations. Toppila is particularly interested in the ecological transition of the contemporary art organization and the curation of contemporary art towards sustainability.


Juha Huuskonen

Photo: Sergio Urbina

Juha Huuskonen works as the director of the HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Program. The main focus of HIAP’s operations is on residencies in Suomenlinna, Cable Factory and Villa Eläintarha. HIAP is also involved in several collaborative projects, within the framework of which long-term artistic content work is carried out. Important themes in recent years have been e.g. ecology, collegiality and learning. Juha has previously been involved in the implementation of many artworks and projects that have addressed ecological challenges through art, including (1999) and Nuage Vert (2008).


Sanna Ritvanen

Photo: Aneta Klaskova

Sanna Ritvanen is an artist and works in variety of positions in the creative field. Ritvanen has been a member of the Mustarinda Society since 2018 and has worked in the society as a residency coordinator, chef, housekeeper, renovation worker, artist and producer.




Jonna Hurskainen

Jonna Hurskainen works as a project manager at the HAM Helsinki Art Museum, and with her team is responsible for the production and implementation of the Helsinki Biennale. She has years of experience working in the event industry as well as in the visual art and museum fields. The new International Biennial of Contemporary Art will be held for the first time in the summer of 2021 in Vallisaari island and on the mainland, and it will present 40 top visual artists from Finland and the world. The event emphasizes responsibility in its operations and the preservation of the ecological sustainability of nature.


Kiira Kivisaari

Kiira Kivisaari is the environmental coordinator of the Helsinki Biennale, responsible for building the environmental program for the event in cooperation with the team and experts, and for the EcoCompass work of HAM Helsinki Art Museum and the Helsinki Biennale. Kiira is a student of Sustainability science. The Helsinki Biennale follows the EcoCompass environmental management system, which guides the art event to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

Raija Koli

Raija Koli is the CEO of Frame Contemporary Art Finland. Frame strengthens the position of Finnish contemporary art and promotes co-operation between domestic and foreign contemporary art professionals. Frame’s largest international project is the Finnish exhibition at the Venice Art Biennale, for which Koli is the commissioner. Koli has a background in performing arts and urban events. Prior to Frame, she was the director of the Finnish Institute in London for five years.

Alma Heikkilä

Alma Heikkikä graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2009. Her artworks made are often attempts to depict things that cannot be experienced through the human body and its senses. These things include microbial life forms that are too small to be consciously encountered in everyday life; the forest ecosystems where important processes are located underground and inside plants; and many large-scale phenomena that happen at such speeds and scales that they are beyond our comprehension. Her art has been seen in solo and group exhibitions around the world. Heikkilä is a founding member of the multidisciplinary Mustarinda collective – a group of artists and researchers whose goal is to promote the ecological rebuilding of society, diversity of culture and nature, and the connection between art and science.


Antti Majava

Antti Majava (MFA) is an artist and Ph.D. candidate (University of Helsinki / DENVI) who is familiar with the social and cultural dimensions of ecological issues in his work. He is particularly interested in the cultural ties of energy production and use; where and how much energy do our societies need? Majava also explores the role of art as a transformer of cultural habits, and as part of the energy revolution needed to combat ecological crises. He is a founding member of the BIOS Research Unit, which focuses on socio-ecological multidisciplinary research and scientific communication, and the Mustarinda society, which brings together artistic and scientific work on ecological issues.

Saara Korpela

Photo: Helka Miettunen

This year, Saara Korpela works as an eco-coordinator in four art organizations: IHME Helsinki, Frame Contemporary Art Finland, Mustarinda and HIAP – Helsinki International Artist Program. She calculates the carbon footprint of organizations and writes about her findings in IHME’s Ekoblog, among others. She has studied environmental protection and water and waste management and has worked extensively in various positions in the public, private and third sectors and has come to wonder why climate action seems too sluggish. Saara, who acted also as an interpreter, believes in interaction and cooperation from different starting points of different actors. She also hopes for more easy-to-use tools to monitor climate emissions as well as an open database of materials ’carbon footprints.