For the seventh time in its history, SHIFT Business Festival was held on the 24th and 25th of August in Turku, Finland. This year marked the participation of more than 800 visitors from Finland and abroad. Over 60 speakers and artists represented the two main themes of the 2022 event: leadership in a digitalized world and climate change and technology.
“This year’s themes were chosen for being both actual and universal – they concern us all”, describes SHIFT Events Oy CEO Jutta Ruusunen. SHIFT’s goal is to include the visitors in the discussion by creating a participatory atmosphere. “We want to focus on discussing practical solutions together as leaders instead of just presenting the problems”, she continues. The relaxed and warm atmosphere was reflected in many visitors’ feedback already during the event.
Meaningful connections at the core of the event
Bringing together diverse people and businesses and the creation of new connections were at the heart of this year’s event. Almost 500 meetings were set up, as the matchmaking area was filled with 1-to-1 encounters. The art program inspired people to have spontaneous conversations. Even the stage program featured interactive sessions, such as a panel discussion in which the audience could participate by voting for topics.
“At SHIFT, there is a great chance for unexpected encounters – I hope that also this year we helped spark new business ideas and partnerships”, Ruusunen describes.
Varied content offered by SHIFT’s partners
The partner area located in the outdoor festival area hosted SHIFT’s partner companies who showcased their innovations and business ideas around the main themes of the event. This presented a great opportunity for individual interactions and more networking, supported by the chilled atmosphere full of music and dance. “As a B2B event, we want to offer our partners different ways to represent their know-how and business opportunities. The trade show area is a great addition to the stage program and workshops. It is easy to strike a discussion with visitors at the interactive booths”, Ruusunen says.
Winners and competitions launched at SHIFT
During the event, the awards of The International Employer of the Year were announced and Finland’s Most Startup-Friendly Company 2022 competition was launched.
The International Employer of the Year competition organized by Junior Chamber International Finland pays tribute to Finnish organizations that have successfully recruited and retained international talents. The winners were Brella Oy for the small and medium enterprises category, Trimpe Inc for the large companies category, and the City of Tampere’s International Competence Services for the public sector category. All winners have done excellent work in DEI matters, i.e. in the development of Diversity, Equality, and Inclusiveness.
Also, Finland’s Most Startup-friendly Company 2022 competition was launched at SHIFT. The competition intends to become the leading platform in Finland to facilitate cooperation between large companies and startups. Major leading companies, including Kone, Konecranes, and StoraEnso, have previously participated in this competition, which was highlighted by the winning of Metsä Spring in 2021.
SHIFT 2023 already in process
SHIFT Business Festival will again be organized in the autumn of 2023. Both visitors and partners will be included in choosing the new main themes. “Also here we wish to highlight the participatory way of doing things”, Ruusunen describes. The best things are done together, crossing the boundaries of different business fields. “This way we can ensure that we stay relevant also in the coming years”, Ruusunen concludes.