Jyväskylä’s economic growth has surpassed much of the rest of Finland. So, is Jyväskylä doing something special?


City of Jyväskylä, Business Jyväskylä

Anne Sandelin, Director, Business Development Unit, tel. +358 40 581 9958, anne.sandelin(at)jkl.fi

Suvi Vuojolainen, Marketing Manager, tel. +358 50 311 8820, suvi.vuojolainen(at)jkl.fi


Established and headquartered in Jyväskylä, Nordic Business Forum is one of the most important business events for the City of Jyväskylä and Business Jyväskylä for building and nurturing contacts with potential businesses and new talent. The purpose of participating at the event is to communicate to delegates the strengths of the Jyväskylä region and the opportunities it affords. To learn more about the drivers of Jyväskylä’s positive growth record, and the factors behind them, visit the Business Jyväskylä stand.

In recent times, if you heard somebody talk about Jyväskylä, you may have heard of the best growth in Finland or a joke about a special Jyväskylä diet for success. Jyväskylä and the economic area of Central Finland have experienced rapid growth, sometimes exceeding the entire rest of Finland.

Jyväskylä is a hotbed of new, innovative businesses and success stories that have made an international breakthrough. The increase in the turnover from Central Finland businesses in 2017 was 7.7 per cent, while the growth figure for the entire country stood at 6.0 per cent. The strong technology industry in the area has set the growth of exports on a steady upward path.

“The performance of our innovative and agile businesses based in Jyväskylä has been outstanding throughout the 2010s. I’m obviously very pleased and proud of their success. At present, businesses, education and training and the public sector all share great drive, and our collaborative, outside-the-box thinking is bearing fruit. Our role at the City of Jyväskylä is to ensure that favourable conditions exist for creating new value-added networks for the businesses in our region. Growth does not happen on its own, and we need to work hard every day to maintain the positive trend in our different growth indicators,” says Timo Koivisto, Mayor of the City of Jyväskylä.

One obvious factor behind the growth is Jyväskylä’s solid position as a leading city of higher education in Finland. The universities and other institutes of higher education have more than 24,000 students.

“Students are absolutely one of the key advantages that drives us and makes us attractive to businesses,” says Anne Sandelin, Director of the Business Development Unit, City of Jyväskylä. “At the moment, KIBS (or knowledge-intensive business services) and technology industries are leading the way. They are able to recruit highly educated and competent talent directly from local universities and institutes.”

Sandelin also highlights the proactive role of the local authorities supporting businesses.

“We revamped the City of Jyväskylä’s business development operations in 2014 to meet the real needs of businesses in Jyväskylä. The goal is to create ecosystems and platforms where businesses and innovation can flourish,” Sandelin says.

The best example of these efforts is the Hippos2020 project, which involves the construction of the most appealing and innovative competence centre for sports, exercise and wellbeing. For the City of Jyväskylä, Hippos2020 is much more than a mere building project. It is a strategic choice to invest in Jyväskylä as the sports and sports science capital on all levels: research, business and organisational activities and exercise facilities and opportunities for residents and visitors. The Hippos2020 project will be introduced at this year’s Nordic Business Forum.


Business Jyväskylä’s stand at NBF introduces a new business learning method – Lego® Serious Play®

This year, Business Jyväskylä’s stand at the Nordic Business Forum is going to be very different from a typical fair stand. Between seminars, the stand will host LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshops at which seminar guests can experience for themselves the internationally known and very popular facilitation methodology. Delegates need to sign up for these workshops.


LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is an innovative model aimed at improving the performance of a business through methods such as managed thinking, communication and problem solving using a shared, developmental approach. The methodology is based on an extensive body of research in different disciplines: business, organisational development, psychology and learning. The concept at the core of the method is “thinking by hands”, during which a person uses up to 80% of their brain capacity. Compared to conventional verbal discourse, during which according to studies only 13% of our brains are active, the benefits of this methodology are obvious.


Business Jyväskylä is offering Nordic Business Forum delegates a chance to participate in a 30-minute introductory LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshop facilitated by Juha Tuulaniemi, an accredited LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® coach.


“We jumped at the chance to show something new and innovative – in the true Jyväskylä spirit – at our stand at the NBF that would also add value to our seminar delegates. The concept of the introductory LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® workshops was developed jointly by Business Jyväskylä and Hand-Peter Siefen, co-founder of Nordic Business Forum. The method has been widely featured at international events, while in Finland it has rarely been seen in business networking events such as NBF,” says Suvi Vuojolainen, marketing manager for Business Jyväskylä.

Places at the workshops are limited, so Nordic Business Forum delegates are advised to book their place early to avoid disappointment at https://www.lyyti.fi/reg/legoworkshop.

Business Jyväskylä can be followed live at the Nordic Business Forum through these channels: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BusinessJyvaskyla/ and Twitter @BusinessJKL.