Meet Our Speakers
Head of Brand & Events
City of Helsinki
Sanna Forsström has been leading Helsinki’s brand and event management city wide work since 2019 in the City of Helsinki’s Executive Office. She has over 20 years of experience in branding, marketing and event business in various leadership roles. Sanna and Anu will be sharing the story of Helsinki’s value based approach for brand building during the past and the future.
Brand, Marketing and Communications
Anu Syrmä is the Director for Brand, Marketing and Communications for Helsinki Partners, a company owned by the city of Helsinki, attracting international visitors, talent and investments to Finland’s capital. Anu and Sanna will be sharing the story of Helsinki’s value based approach for brand building during the past and the future.
Micaela has been working closely with Startup Madeira – an acceleration program for international travel and tourism startups – including Madeira Startup Retreat, Tourism Innovation Challenge and, most recently, the Digital Nomads Madeira Islands. She will talk about Madeira going from a tourist destination to a global hot spot for digital nomads.
Liina Maria Lepik
Member of the Board
Liina has headed Visit Estonia in the past, and has been an integral part of the success of Brand Estonia winning Place Brand of the Year this year. She will be talking about the process and essence of Brand Estonia and sharing learnings from the journey.
Geerte leads the marketing strategy department at amsterdam&partners – focusing on one mayor goal: ensuring that the Amsterdam area remains liveable and prosperous for residents, conventions, business and visitors. Geerte will be talking about destination enlargement and how Amsterdam is helping its tourists behave.
Sveinn Birkir Björnsson
Director Global Marketing & Communications
Sveinn has been orchestrating the Inspired by Iceland campaign for Visit Iceland since 2011. He will be talking about using sense of humour and empathy in place branding and Iceland's marketing – and how organisations can react to world events in record time.
City of Helsingborg
Moa Sundberg is an urban designer working with safety in public spaces through placemaking, play, and art. Moa has introduced new approaches to create safer public spaces in the City of Helsingborg, and knows how to push the boundaries when it comes to create a change, in this case through placemaking. She will be talking about how to change bureaucracy from within – introducing placemaking as a new approach (and give examples on how to succeed).
Community & Employer Branding Manager
Linköping Science Park
Anna works as a Community & Employer Branding Manager at Linköping Science Park in Linköping, Sweden. Today, the lack of talent is one of the biggest challenges for knowledge based companies. She will be talking about data driven Talent Attraction, and developing a European talent map with the initiative "Switch to Sweden".
Founder, Researcher, Writer
Tim is a longstanding advocate for child-friendly urban planning and design. He is the co-author of the first London-wide planning guidance on children’s play and recreation. As well as playgrounds, his interest in the built environment embraces streets, neighbourhood planning, transport and public space, and children’s evolving relationship with nature. Tim will be talking about how child-friendly urban planning and design can create better places.
Head of Research & Innovation, Tourism & Agriculture, Nordland County Council, Norway
Inga-Lill has worked over 15 years within different tourist development projects at the regional level and has recently been involved in the first-of-its kind pilot project "Responsible Visitor Management". She will be talking about tomorrow’s responsible travel industry where we should move from “more” to “better” both for the visitor and the local community. Why do we need tourism? And how can we change destination development from volume to value using bottom-up initiatives?
The "Save Salla" campaign has reached billions of people worldwide since its launch in 2021.Suffering from the consequences of increasingly unpredictable weather and shorter winters, this small town above the Arctic Circle stepped up and called the world’s attention to the problem in a very unlikely way: by proclaiming its bid to host the 2032 Summer Games.
Tourism and Marketing Manager
Salla - In the Middle of Nowhere
The "Save Salla" campaign has reached billions of people worldwide since its launch in 2021.
Suffering from the consequences of increasingly unpredictable weather and shorter winters, this small town above the Arctic Circle stepped up and called the world’s attention to the problem in a very unlikely way: by proclaiming its bid to host the 2032 Summer Games.
Founder & CEO
Glad stad (Happy City), Stockholm
As former deputy mayor of the city of Stockholm, Fredrik has been instrumental in shaping the city he is from and lives in. He is a board member of Placemaking Europe and founder of Glad Stad (Happy City). Fredrik will be talking about how to turn space into an appreciated, vibrant and attractive place – and why apologising is sometimes better than asking permission!
Swedish Lapland Visitors Board
Annika Fredriksson will be talking about ideas and thoughts around how we can use AI to attract responsible travellers, who shares their vision of being the Arctic's most responsible travel destination – and how to refine and further develop genuine cultural and nature experiences that contribute to our place becoming an even better place to live and work.
Head of City Promotion
Barcelona City Council
Judith Romera is the Head of City Promotion at Barcelona City Council and for the last decade she has been in charge of developing the strategy to attract and facilitate the arrival and integration of international professionals. Judith will be talking about Barcelona's latest initiatives for a 360º Approach to Talent Attraction and Retention.
Natasha Grand Norman
Institute for Identity (INSTID)
Dr Natasha Grand is director of INSTID (Institute for Identity) that she co-founded in 2009. INSTID helps places find their competitive advantage, develop it and communicate it worldwide. Natasha will share her passion for place personalities and their arguable impact on all conference participants' work.
Investment and Development Agency of Latvia
Laura Štrovalde's career has been dedicated to investment attraction, implementation of Innovation Strategy, and startup ecosystem acceleration in Latvia. She has a wealth of experience in strategic smart specialisation approaches to foster reindustrialisation, flagship project approach implementation, and new product development. Laura will be talking about Latvia’s Response on Investment Attraction in Times of Urgent Climate, Economic and Societal Challenges.
Strategy & Talent Acquisition Lead
Strategy & Talent Acquisition Lead, Dan Rosenberg, is heading the company relations team in the talent department of Copenhagen Capacity. If Denmark want to keep up the position as front runners in the green transition, the need for international talent is higher than ever. Dan will be talking about Copenhagen Capacity's (and 36 national partners) initiative to run a 3-year EU project to attract & connect local and international talent to Danish companies, and to guide them on how to hire international talent and academics.