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Finnish Cultural Foundation
Leave no friend behind – it’s time to talk about Finland and the world.
When was the last time you had a good, long, face-to-face discussion with someone on the issues that matter? How do your friends and co-workers see Finland and Finnishness today?

We want you to arrange a Timeout Discussion on Finland and Finnishness on the week of Finland’s Independence Day, 1–7 December 2019.

The world has become increasingly polarised, and now is the time to sit down and have a constructive discussion on how Finland is doing. We want to hear what you have to say, and Finland needs to hear what we all have to say.

This year, the first-ever Timeout Week will provide you with the opportunity to discuss things in a new and constructive way. To help you achieve this, we want to provide you with the Timeout Discussion Method.

You can arrange a Timeout Discussion at your place of work, home, school, association or organisation, and help bring people from all walks of life to the same table. You can invite your friends, colleagues, students, parents, work communities and neighbours. Especially people who you maybe don’t know too well. The discussion can be arranged in English, Finnish or Swedish.

The Timeout Foundation will provide all those who sign up with the following:

  • An inspiring and fact-based introduction to the method
  • Instructions on how to title and plan your 1–4-hour discussion 
  • “The Ground Rules for a Constructive Discussion” that will help structure your talk
  • An easy-to-use online form to collect and summarise the ideas that were generated during your discussion
  • Further guidance whenever necessary
  • The material package and instructions will be sent to the organisers of the discussions at the beginning of November.

You will be responsible for finding a space and enough seating, inviting your participants, leading the discussion, and reporting the results of your discussion to the Timeout Foundation – as well as brewing enough coffee and tea, and maybe serving a bun or festive pastry to go with them. You can also encourage other people to host their own discussions!

Every person who arranges a Timeout Discussion will be nominated for the Finnish Dialogue Act of 2019 Award. The Finnish Dialogue Act Award will be given on Valentine’s Day 2020.

The Timeout weeks on Finnishness will be arranged every year between 2019 and 2021 on the week of Finland’s Independence Day. A summary of the ideas that are generated in these discussions during this three-year period will be distributed to Finnish decision-makers and societal actors. Together, we can create an even better Finland!

Sign up by 4 December at

For more information, please contact: Coordinator Anna Väänänen,