Turku Europe Forum 29.-31.8.2019

By Anniina Rämä, 4 September 2019

The entrance to the Library Yard decorated with European flags


The Turku Europe Forum was held for the second time from 29 to 31 August 2019. The event brought together political and economic influencers and the people of Turku to discuss the future of Europe and Finland. The Forum took over the main library area in the city centre, with events mainly taking place in the Vähätori Square and the Library Yard.

Myself and three other IB-seniors were able to work as volunteers at the event on Thursday and Friday. We assisted the organisers of the event in the Library Yard. Our tasks included handing out brochures, informing people about the event and managing the stage and the performers taking part in debates and discussions. In addition to working, we had the chance to listen to and chat with people attending the event.

The Forum attracted both local and EU politicians, as well as representatives of different political parties and organizations. It was wonderful to see such a vast array of people – ranging from high-profile members of the European Parliament to students and children – coming together to show their interest in Finland’s future with the European Union.

The main issues that arose in discussions and debates were the development of the European Union in the coming years, defending EU’s values and principles and presenting a united European front in global matters.

Finnish MEPs Sirpa Pietikäinen and Heidi Hautala on stage on Friday 30 August


The general atmosphere of the event was very free and visitors were encouraged to actively participate in the discussion through social media and by communicating directly with the speakers and presenters. The event surely cleared up many questions and doubts that people had about the workings of the EU, and helped promote a positive attitude towards continuing Finnish cooperation with the European Union in the future.

Art Museum Visit

By Fathima Malik

Today, our class went to the Turku Art Museum. Each group had chosen an artwork to talk about on the previous museum visit. During this visit, all the groups presented their ideas to the entire class.

It was fun to see the many various ideas that my fellow classmates had about various different artworks. Some of their interpretation of the artworks were different and interesting as I wouldn’t have thought about that at all. One in the class talked about a painting which showed the sky filled with clouds and nothing else. Their interpretation and the meaning they got from the painting would not be the same one I would get. They got more points and went more in depth than I would have if I had chosen to talk about that painting. I would probably have something like ‘the painting could symbolize happiness and hope as the colour of the sky with which the artist painted is blue, which is a colour most people connect with happiness’ and ended with that. So, it was interesting to see the things my classmates had come up with that I hadn’t thought of.

A lot of the groups had chosen the painting our group chose, and we were the second last group to talk about it. As a result, we couldn’t say much as most of our points were taken by others which couldn’t be unavoidable. This was kind of problematic, but we quickly changed what we were going to say and instead talked about something slightly different than our initial thoughts. The positive thing from many groups choosing and talking about the same painting as us, is that we got to hear many different opinions and interpretations of the same painting which all of us have analysed in depth. It shows that despite people looking at the same thing and studying it, everyone will get slightly different results. So, in the arts, when people have to analyse the artworks, everyone will get their own interpretations as everyone is different and their brains see things in a different point of view and at a different angle then their peers.

As a result, this visit to the art museum was one that was enjoyable, and I wouldn’t mind coming here another time. The artworks were amazing to look at and each of them contained a huge emotional meaning that could be seen through further analysis. Therefore, I would recommend for the next years of Pre-IB students to go to the Turku art museum as a part of their History course. Although they might not be able to go to the same exhibition as us, they should still go because the new exhibition could be better than this one.


When we left to hackathon, we were super tired for having to wake up earlier than we are used to. But I was also pleasantly surprised as the Yeast Beasts, other team from Norssi, had an ukulele with them. Like a bunch of diligent fellow travellers, they sang and played the whole trip all the to Helsinki, which made us content and ready to battle!

We arrived in the school at noon and had a lunch. The official program started with opening and few companies that were part of the Hackathon introduced themselves. When it finally ended, we had this cool competition where we had to make a building from raw spaghetti and it had to hold up a one marshmallow. Ruohonleikkurit had 61 cm long thing that looked like offspring of Eiffel Tower and Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Then we were allowed to start doing the actual thing: solving a problem that we were given from some companies. Both of our groups already had a problem and a solution, so we mostly just had fun and chilled. Before workshops started, our ideas looked pretty good. In those workshops we had different kind of themes: water cycle, pitching, visual communication and creative thinking. Those workshops required so much energy that we needed to take a walk, or we were forced to go. There was a beautiful view from the hills.

For dinner, they had bought us some huge pizzas. At the evening, we made our presentations and started to get ready for Friday’s pitching. We also had kisakatsomo for the night’s ice hockey game. Finland won Denmark by goals 3-1.

The other day was a bit more creative and nerve-wracking for us. Our day began when Anu came and woke us up for breakfast. The next 3-4h from that went by quickly as we made the final touches for our pitching that was properly done by one of the bravest, Silja. And by Dan from the other team.

Unfortunately, Turku did not get in the top 3 this time, but we’ll get there next time…strikingly.

The trip back was surprisingly peaceful. We reflected the way our Hackathon experience had been, and the unanimous answer was compressed to a single word; Amazing. Overall, we all had a great time there!

Here are our teams Ruohonleikkurit and Yeast Beasts doing their pitchings.

Rebecca & Janna

Greenhack 1.3.2019

Our Greenhack event started in the auditorium. With everyone gathered, an employee from Remeo introduced us to different concepts in recycling, and environmentalism overall.

We were first divided into groups by roles that we decided prior to the event. Roles included a graphic designer, project manager, marketing manager, specific matters expert and programmer.


In the groups we were presented with different concepts that our role should be aware of by a trainee. Afterwards, we headed to our groups and started to develop our idea. They were presented to judges at first, with the finalists presenting their idea to the whole group in the auditorium. Finalists included two groups from Turku, one from Salo and one from Huittinen. This time, the winners were from Norssi.

Jussi Häyrinen & team

Will students really care about politics?

And in their free time? It’s more likely than you’d think.

On Monday the 4th of March we, the pre-ib class, got an opportunity to go listen to an election panel in the Turku Finnish työväenopisto. To prepare for this visit most of us planned out a few questions to ask the panelists, of which three were answered. Throughout the panel I and my classmates gained plenty of new knowledge about the views regarding environment, migration and foreign policy that the different parties held; allowing us to be more aware of the Finnish political climate.

Jutun on kirjoittanut Daniel Talv 1cIB

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