World Village Festival brings the future to the center of discussion

The online edition of World Village Festival is an event of many great speeches. It features 35 discussions and 100 speakers. Twenty-five organisations from NGOs to officials are involved in putting the programme together. The audience can expect exciting and thought provoking speeches, interviews and discussions, all centered around the theme of the future. The programme will be available to everyone online free of charge during the festival weekend, 29–30 May, and the following week until 4 June 2021.

– World Village Festival wants to encourage discussion around global topics and offer new perspectives about the state of the world and the future. It is equally important to also provide the audience with concrete ways for creating positive change, says Programme Manager Johanna Eurakoski.

The festival theme future is explored particularly through the perspectives of the environment, consumerism, civil society, activism, young people, human rights and equality.

The speaker lineup is impressive. It includes several politicians such as Joakim Strand and Ruut Sjöblom, philosophers like Arto O. Salonen, journalists and authors like Rosa Kettumäki and Noora Shingler, young activists like Nahla Hewidy and Fatima Verwijnen, researchers like Tere Vadén and actor Ville Haapasalo.

International perspectives are also included, for example through the keynote speech of Icelandic author Andri Snær Magnason, who will be addressing the topic of climate change. The award winning author is an active social critic, and has been nominated for this year’s Nordic Council Literature Prize for his book Um tímann og vatnið (On Time and Water).

Will the earth be saved with consumption? What is the role of the EU in Africa? Do you know how to apologize?

The main partners of the festival, i.e. the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Ministry of the Environment of Finland, European Union, Lutheran Church in Helsinki and Maailman Kuvalehti-magazine, are producing several programme numbers at the festival.

The Ministry of the Environment’s programme number Will the earth be saved through consuming? – what is the future of the circular economy, will explore the solutions offered by the concept of circular economy for climate change, environmental degradation and overuse of natural resources. One of the speakers is journalist and author Julia Thurén.

European Union’s programme number Green Deal – how is EU promoting the green transition in Africa? will explore EU’s work on green transition and investments on the continent of the future. EU Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen will give opening remarks.

The session produced by Lutheran Church in Helsinki, titled Forgive me, cafis, asif, anteeksi – the skill and courage of an apology, will focus on reconciliation and the skill of apologizing. Speakers include journalist Wali Hashi, futurist and non-fiction author Perttu Pölönen, Bishop of the Diocese of Helsinki Teemu Laajasalo and Afrah Al Bayaty.

Maailman Kuvalehti -magazine’s programme will bring Stupid questions to the forefront. Experts will answer stupid questions that have been gathered from the audience about the state of the world. How many important issues are left unresolved and are not understood, if we are too afraid to ask the right questions – often labeled as stupid questions.

The NGO programme explores many challenges and visions of the future related to a sustainable future. What is a sustainable and good life? What do young people think about the future? Is there enough food for everyone? What does the future look like for people feeling the effects of climate change? How can we influence the situation of Uighurs in China? How are questions of ethics and responsibility taken into account in influencer marketing? And how can we process environmental anxiety and worries about the future?

Who will be the Global Philanthropist of 2021?

Saturday night will culminate in the award ceremony for Global Philanthropist of 2021. Fingo, who will be presenting this award, wants to use this prize to elevate work focused on promoting sustainable development. The award can be given to, for example, an NGO doing international development, a social movement focusing on preventing climate change, or a private sector company that is particularly focused on corporate social responsibility.

Exhibitor signup for the virtual trade fair until 9.4.

The trade fair will offer virtual exhibitor stands that provide an effortless way to share your commitment to sustainable development, equality and building a just world. Read more about being an exhibitor and book your spot by 9 April.

Check out the factual programme. Only part of the programme is in English.
Check out the whole list in Finnish.
Children’s programme, exhibitors and podcast-series will be released on 22 April.

For more information

Media: Nelli Korpi, Communications Manager,, +358 50 317 6698
Programme: Johanna Eurakoski, Programme Manager,, +358 50 317 6696
Exhibitors: Rafael Campos, Production Manager,, +358 50 317 6709

Flickr image gallery (all images can be used by the media)

World Village Festival online edition will take place 29.–30.5.2021. The event is admission free. The festival offers high-quality programme ranging from discussions to music, from documentary films to kids’ programme and exhibitors. We bring people together because only together we can change the world. The event is organized by Finnish Development NGOs Fingo, which is an umbrella organization for approximately 300 development organizations. The main partners of the festival are the Helsinki Federation of Parishes, Ministry of Environment, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, European Commission in Finland, European Parliament Information Office in Finland and Maailman Kuvalehti -magazine.