Our Passionate Experts Behind FinlandWay®
Our mission is to bring the best of quality education from Finland to thousands of children, families and educators worldwide.
FinlandWay® was co-founded by education experts from the University of Helsinki and emerging markets impact specialists from the World Bank Group.
We have selected the core elements of Finland’s education excellence and use the latest platforms and delivery models to support our partner schools and families to build better beginnings for lifelong learning.
Having studied the most impactful, economical and scalable school system models in growth markets and following years of research and system development, we combine the latest scientific understanding of the most efficient pedagogical approaches to support joyful early learning with pragmatic hands-on guidance for educators and parents. We combine our understanding of the demands and challenges of our partner countries with a firm footing in leading research and daily education practices of Finland.
Meet Our FinlandWay® Team
Noora Laitio, FRSA
CEO and Co-Founder
A Cambridge economist and impact investment specialist in emerging economies, Noora has worked for IFC World Bank Group as their Nordic Representative and Western Europe Women’s Representative for Private Sector Projects, the European Investment Bank and in investment banking across five continents.
An independent advisor to the United Nations, European Commission, Cambridge University Sustainability Leadership Institute and the World Economic Forum, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce in the United Kingdom and a member of the Finnish Educational Research Association and the Steering Group of Education Finland (dep).
Dr. Jonna Kangas PhD
Education Expert and Co-Founder
A leading internationally published author, editor, speaker and researcher on participatory play-based pedagogy from Finland, Dr. Jonna is a Senior Lecturer and Teacher Training Expert at the University of Helsinki and a Joint Research Member at the Playful Learning Centre research laboratory. Her research has been published by Springer, Elsevier and Sage amongst others.
Dr. Jonna is a Board Member of the Early Education Association of Finland and advises the Finnish National Centre of Educational Assessment and the three capital region municipalities on participatory practices in Finland.
Pilvi is an innovative and passionate educator with more than 15 years of experience in the Finnish Early Childhood Education. Since the beginning of the FinlandWay’s journey, Pilvi has had a key role in creating the FinlandWay curriculum.
Her combination of a can-do attitude and wide knowledge on ECE makes Pilvi excellent at managing multiple tasks, organising and prioritising her work and offering the best possible support and guidance for FinlandWay Preschools around the world. Pilvi is a well-liked teacher trainer and it is a privilege to have Pilvi as a member of our team.
Head of Operations
Marika is in charge of running daily operations and development projects at the FinlandWay headquarters, and making sure that the team members have the best abilities to achieve their personal and customers’ goals. Marika can make everyone feel included and appreciated. In FinlandWay she is excited about the possibility of constantly creating new, and she thinks that challenges make the work interesting. While always keeping her focus on the goal, she also appreciates the journey along the way.
Marika has exceptional project management and organizing skills. With her background in entrepreneurship, leadership and management she has the ability to combine strategic thinking with creating results.
Educated between Europe and Asia, Duong is an international business developer and project manager with experience in cross-cultural management from Vietnam and Finland. His expertise and passions include education project implementation and policy in emerging economies and intercultural communications and system adjustment.
Coming from a family with three generations of educators, he is deeply passionate about effective innovations in education and has been involved in various non-profit community projects and programs that focused on social issues and public education in Vietnam. In FinlandWay Duong is managing our partnership conversations in 50+ countries around the world.
Marketing & Sales
Salla works as part of FinlandWay’s Commercial Team, connecting FinlandWay with people all over the world. She has versatile international experience from membership-based organisations to finance, and loves to solve problems using great communications and service design. Her creative mind and positive look on life bring new perspectives to business development projects.
Salla has studied media & journalism and digital marketing abroad and is currently enhancing her skills with graphic design studies. She is eager to drive a positive change towards better early childhood education with FinlandWay as part of a highly motivated team of experts.
In FinlandWay Satu gives her knowledge and passion to support our partners. Satu emphasizes every child’s right to quality education and special needs are close to her heart. She genuinely believes in lifelong learning. A Master of early childhood education, she is currently finishing her second Master’s degree in the University of Helsinki, majoring in social psychology.
Satu has strong expertise in implementing the Finnish Early Childhood Education curriculum in practice, both as a teacher and as a manager. In addition, Satu’s extensive experience includes intercountry adoptions and international volunteering making her fluent with international collaborators.
Fiina is a Finnish preschool teacher and uses her expertise to create pedagogical contents for schools, families and online use alike. Her area of special expertise is multiculturalism and physical wellbeing and activity in early childhood education. Fiina can make any child excited about physical education!
Fiina is passionate about teaching, creating learning opportunities for children and designing variable pedagogical contents. She enjoys working in FinlandWay’s international and innovative environment and multi-professional team that supports her lifelong learning skills and professional journey.
Anni is a Finnish special education teacher in early childhood education and works in FinlandWay as a pedagogical intern during the summer of 2020. She has been working with many different age groups in different kindergartens and preschools. Anni has experience in the international environment through her volunteer work in a global education organization where she works as a local risk manager and a national peace education trainer.
Anni is studying at University of Helsinki and doing her master’s degree in early childhood education. Her thesis is about multiculturalism and global education in Finnish preschools. Anni’s specialties in education are special education issues and global education, and she hopes that she will be able to show her expertise in those topics during her internship in FinlandWay.
Studying her BBA degree in Helsinki with a focus on marketing and communication, Thi joined FinlandWay to kick start her career in the field of digital marketing. She is engaged in supporting FinlandWay partners with localized marketing solutions and insights from market research. Thi shares her passion for creating inspiring communication materials and making the best of Finnish education accessible to families across the globe.
Being a part of the dynamic FinlandWay team has encouraged Thi to strengthen her foundations, approach new know-how, and enjoy the explorations.
We are a fast growing startup and continuously looking for new talents. Are you an early childhood education professional with good language skills? Or you might have great organizational skills and eye for business opportunities? Above everything we appreciate customer centric mindset, can-do-attitude and flexibility that working in a small team requires. Contact Marika or Noora for more details.