Hearts & Minds 2019 focused on transformation

This year’s thought-leadership conference Hearts & Minds, organized by Nordic West USA, focused on sustainability. The broad theme allowed the Nordic delegation, that came to Washington, D.C., for the three-day program, to focus on the many aspects of the transformation driven by connectivity, climate change and the evolving role of businesses.

”For us, it is business-critical to stay on top of the emerging bio-economy and the discussion around it. Hearts & Minds took me right to the leading edge,” Vice President Juha Laine from Metsä Group said.

The program started with a networking dinner to welcome the delegation. The mornings were dedicated to working sessions with a line-up of high-profile speakers from companies, global organizations and the federal and local governments. The presenters challenged the participants on everything from societal impact to the implementation and management of lofty goals.

Kristiina Halonen from Pension Fund Ilmarinen appreciated the tangibility of the content: I was able to share and implement the ideas immediately after I returned to the office,” she says.

Being in Washington, D.C., the politics of climate change was ever-present in the discussions. While the launch of impeachment inquiry and the visit of the president of Finland coincided with the conference and caused some last-minute tweaks, it also turned the insights from The Hill reporter Mike Lillis and former Attorney General Stuart Gerson into near-live commentary.

The afternoon and evening program took the 18 Nordic executives and the D.C. hosts on visits to the innovative media house Axios – with a guided tour on the way there - the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the embassy of Finland – not to forget the National Portrait Gallery, Capitol Hill and a comedy club.

”It was great to spend time in quality company in an excellently executed program. The presenters and participants were top-notch and the many great ideas I took away are perfectly applicable,” summarized Communications Director Kati Lindholm from 3StepIT her experience.