Images, margins and fuel for success

9:00–12:45 Main stage at Vesileppis Arena.

Chair of the Rural Policy Council, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Jari Leppä.

The first discussion session of the Finnish Rural Parliament raises difficult issues about the countryside and about images and the media that are based on values and attitudes. What rural issues are talked about in the media and why? What issues are disregarded in the media or public debate? The second session focuses on the versatile opportunities in the countryside in light of real-life stories.

Warning. Some of the discussions might really strike a chord with you and raise enthusiasm and questions, and you might want to share your own constructive views. We want to give all participants an opportunity to take an active part in the discussions through social media with #Maaseutuparlamentti and #maapuhuu.

9:00 The Finnish Rural Parliament Opening Address, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Jari Leppä

9:30–10:45 Images and Margins

The Finnish political goal is make Finland the next superpower of bioeconomy as well as the number one country in circular economy and rural tourism. We have an excellent foundation, but the road is long from political will and general debate to concrete action.

Rural policy and rural development see the countryside as an integral part of Finland’s success and wellbeing. In the public debate, however, the countryside is often seen as a soon to be deserted and quiet place without a future. What values are steering the public debate and how are rural issues discussed in the media? What kinds of issues are being disregarded in the media? What kinds of impact public rural debate have and could have? What kind of debate does the countryside need and is there room and conditions for it? Can rural issues be interesting to the general public?

We will be seeking new dimensions to the current public debate on rural issues from the perspectives of rural residents, municipal managers, rural research, urban opinion leaders and the media. Can the Finnish public debate simultaneously encompass towns and dynamic rural areas?

Moderator: Annika Damström; Participants: Tuomas Enbuske, Mari Haavisto, Torsti Hyyryläinen and Tytti Määttä. Juha Marttila will also join in.

(10:45–11:45 Break)

11:45–12:45 Fuel for Success

How to conquer the world from the Finnish countryside? What does it take to transform opportunities into concrete action? Some humour and a pinch of self-irony? The ability to identify your own and others’ resources? Courage to leap in the dark?

The countryside has fuel for success, we just have to identify it and have the courage to harness it. The second session on Saturday morning focuses on real-life stories and how people in the Finnish countryside have found their own key to success and forged ahead in the world. One of the stories tells how a village gives its young people fuel for success in their personal lives and in conquering the world. Juha Marttila will take the main stage and he is joined by Kyrö Distillery and Tiina Törmänen and others.