A seminar about the power of story
Date: Thursday, 5th October 2023
Time: 15:00 - 18:00
Location: Hanasaari Conference Centre, Espoo
Admission: Free, with complimentary coffee break included.
Language: This event will be conducted in English.
Space is limited – RSVP by 28th September.
Join us for an open seminar exploring the power of the story. Stories that clash, stories that convince, stories that sell, stories that indoctrinate, stories that manipulate, true stories, false stories, private stories becoming public stories, public stories becoming histories. In this seminar, four distinguished speakers will share their perspectives on the power and risks of storytelling.
Organised by & Espoo Theatre and the Nordic performing arts network Yggdrasil, in collaboration with Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre
Maria Mäkelä, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Tampere University and an internationally renowned narrative theorist who has done groundbreaking work on the instrumentalization of personal stories in 21st century media environments.
Directors of & Espoo Theatre Erik Söderblom, a theatre and opera director, and a pedagogue, and Matilda von Weissenberg, a project and theatre producer with a background in political science.
Harri Saukkomaa, Chairman of the Board and founder of Tekir, one of Finland's leading communication and public affairs firms. Saukkomaa brings extensive insight into communications, reputation management, media business, and journalism.
16:45 Panel discussion by all speakers.
The seminar will be moderated by Ragnheiður Skúladóttir, Director of Festspillene i Nord-Norge and former Managing Director of Iceland Dance Company and Co-Artistic Director of LÓKAL-International Theatre Festival in Reykjavík.
About the speakers:
Maria Mäkelä, PhD, is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Literature at Tampere University. She is an internationally renowned narrative theorist who has done groundbreaking work on the instrumentalization of personal stories in 21st century media environments. Mäkelä has headed three large research projects, Dangers of Narrative (2017–2020), Instrumental Narratives (2018–2022), and Storytelling in Information Systems Development (2019–2022). The Dangers of Narrative project inspired a lot of debate in Finland, raising critical awareness about the downsides of storytelling among the Finnish public.
ERIK SÖDERBLOM & MATILDA VON WEISSENBERG
Erik Söderblom is a Finnish theatre and opera director and a pedagogue. He has an artistic track record of over a hundred premieres in various performing arts genres. Söderblom worked as Director of Turku City Theatre, Q-teatteri, Baltic Circle Festival and Helsinki Festival. He was Professor of acting and Vice-Rector at Helsinki Theatre Academy, and member of the artistic committee at Tampere Theatre Festival. Since 2017, Söderblom has been the Director of & Espoo Theatre. He has been awarded a “Chevalier de Ordre des Art et des Lettres” by the government of France.
Matilda von Weissenberg is a project and theatre producer with a background in political science. She was the general manager of Viirus Theatre in Helsinki and in 2020 she started as a Director of Finance and Administration for & Espoo Theatre. In 2024 she will become the managing director of &.
Harri Saukkomaa is Finland’s leading expert in Reputation Management and demanding communications. Harri has over 40 years of experience in media, civic discourse and business and is one of the most famous crisis communications professionals in Finland.
Prior to founding Tekir, Harri had an award-winning career as a journalist, founded three TV production companies and held positions such as the Director of Content Production for Saunalahti and Content Director and Deputy Managing Director at Yhtyneet Kuvalehdet Oy (now Otavamedia Oy). Currently, he sits on the board of directors of three companies, in addition to Tekir.
Harri is an experienced communications coach and sparring partner for management teams and boards of directors. He has a deep experience and insight in communications, reputation management, media business and journalism.