Science is about expanding human understanding. So is travelling. Combine the two and bring it to the northern capital of cool, Helsinki. That’s a recipe for a meaningful and enlightening experience. Helsinki wants scientists to come over and together to have a good time and work for the good of all of us.
Howy Jacobs, Professor in molecular biology stars in the new Congress marketing film for Messukeskus and in the shoot he is fresh back from a United States work trip but his boyish punk rock charm doesn’t show a sign of exhaustion. “I do travel a lot – but for a scientist, it’s the best way to keep abreast of the field. It allows us to develop new concepts based on personal chemistry, by meeting people face to face“.
Travel is a mix of comfort and discomfort. Helsinki wants to get rid of the “dis”. Easy to travel to, immediate access to and from the airport, stunning and booming culinary scene from street food to fine dining and, needless to say, spot on congress facilities combined with an ultra clean urban environment close to the nature is what Helsinki is about. “Scientists often try to cram too much into congress visits: the key to a successful meeting is to operate at one’s usual pace, combining intense scientific discussions with relaxation and getting to know people properly”, says Howy.
Finland invests in science and education. Helsinki is arranging more and more international scientific events. Academics want accessibility, top-notch arrangements but also a cool place to bring people to work together. Messukeskus does a lot of research how to serve science conference guests in an outstanding manner. Head of Congresses in Messukeskus, Paula Blomster explains how extraordinary service is what Helsinki wants to be known for: “We are not happy with just ordinary. We aim to be the leading congress venue in the Nordic countries and have for example, as the first large venue implemented fixed Augmented Reality services within our premises. But the secret of our success is our devoted staff who always take an additional yard to meet the expectations of the client.”
Digital, cool, a bit exotic and culturally rich – take a couple of minutes to learn about Helsinki by viewing this film.
Howy’s Helsinki tips
- Restaurant – Silvoplee in Kallio, fresh and delicious vegetarian buffet food
- Entertainment – Lepakkomies, also in Kallio, a mainstay of Helsinki’s alternative music scene
- Science – the Institute of Biotechnology, Finland’s flagship institute of life sciences (and my own home institute)
- Personal bonus – (1) Haltia, the Finnish Nature Centre, on the edge of the city, a must for any visitor with a half-day to spare, AND
- (2) Lapland – it’s maybe cheating a bit to list here, but one of the great attractions of Helsinki is how close it is to the arctic, just an hour’s domestic flight away from Europe’s most splendid wilderness
Paula’s Helsinki tips
- Restaurant Olo is pricy, but truly creative culinary experience, where you might even end up eating the table decorations
- Entertainment: after a long day of sitting I recommend to explore the beauty of Helsinki; rent a bike and stroll along beaches, dip into an outdoors Olympic swimming pool, a green oasis in the city center or go native and try one of the public saunas from a traditional wood-heated sauna in Harju to a more modern versions like Löyly
- Science: Tiedekulma / Think Corner Space where academics and brilliant students share their research topics with common walkers
- Personal bonus: Helsinki Design District and the wide music scene from classical music concerts to Finnish heavy metal bands
Welcome to Helsinki and Messukeskus!