Sailing the Northeast Shores

February-March 2024




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Good to see you back, and welcome if you are new to this newsletter. My name is Henrik Totterman; I am the Finnish Honorary Consul for the City of Boston and the States of New England (MA, ME, NH, VT, RI). I created this newsletter based on popular demand among Finnish New Englanders, and I want to engage with you in trade, education, and cultural matters. Around the time of the previous newsletter, Finns voted for their next president; today, we know that former Prime Minister Dr. Alexander Stubb narrowly won the competitive yet highly collegial election. Immediately afterward, several foreign politicians defined the election as a victory for democracy and fair elections. In a similar light, the vast majority of Finns thank retiring President Sauli Niinistö for steering the country safely and with dignity through increasingly troubled waters.

Recently, I have been actively meeting with local Finns and Nordic-minded people here in New England. I have also engaged with local and foreign decision-makers interested in tying knots with future collaboration in mind and with people back in Finland and Scandinavia. Everyone seems curious about the general Nordics, New England, and Transatlantic ties (!). As evidence, look at the rapid growth of subscriptions to this newsletter, over 1,700 (!!) on Linkedin in less than a month, and many more subscriptions to my email send-out and those following the blog. This makes me particularly happy, as I greatly desire to build bridges between New England, Finland, and Scandinavia. The NEF —this newsletter is the chart for our shared past, present, and future adventures.

Below is a summary of collected insights, including an upcoming Vaisala networking event in Woburn, MA, a complimentary online entrepreneurial management masterclass, and a book event on “Making it in America” in Wellesley, MA. I also included an information sheet on the State of Maine, and I plan to hone in on one New England State each month as we move towards the summer. You will also find a few other bits and pieces to feed your curiosity and call for positive action. Enjoy!


Economic and Trade Relationships

Company visit and networking on Tuesday, March 12:

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VAISALA: Thriving in Boston and Worldwide since 1936

Welcome to our event where knowledge meets connection at the Finnish company Vaisala Oyj in Woburn, MA, whose first-ever customer was MIT in Cambridge! Talk about long-term global commitment and success. Join us for an enriching experience filled with learning, sharing insights, and valuable networking opportunities. Let's explore new horizons and forge meaningful connections that propel us toward success.

Participation is limited, so please verify you can attend and then complete the registration via the link below. We plan to waitlist as soon as we reach capacity, so please let us know if your availability changes.

  • Host: Vaisala Industrial Measurements
  • Date: Tuesday, March 12, 2024
  • Time: 6:00 - 8:30 pm EST
  • Location: Vaisala, 10 Gill St, Woburn, MA 01801
  • Objective: To familiarize attendees with Vaisala, promote the company, and share insights on regional awareness building.
  • Agenda: The agenda will include introductions, presentations on Vaisala's business and prospects, a group brainstorming session, and ample networking opportunities.
  • Organizers: Vaisala, Honorary Consulate of Finland in Boston, and Finlandia Foundation Boston.
  • Attendees: Open invitation with a target of 20 people. We aim to attract individuals interested in learning more about Vaisala and networking with the Finnish community, including scientists using Vaisala equipment and potential future talent with business backgrounds.
  • Registration: Google Form: Google Form: Vaisala

Solving Pressing Problems with Greener Business

On greener business topics, I have a personal longstanding interest in sustainability opportunities, stemming, for instance, from my extensive strategy work with The Nordic Environment Financing Company —NEFCO in the early 2000s. Their mission is to accelerate the green transition, for example, by supporting the growth of Nordic SMEs whose solutions positively impact the environment and the climate. On that note, it can be worthwhile to check out how they can support your growth and new market entry, along with Business Finland and others.

Here in Somerville, just outside Boston, we have the most prominent climate tech startup incubator in North America called Greentown Labs, whose Annual Impact Report 2023 was released just a few days ago. And as a sugar coating, large Nordic companies are taking their sustainability targets seriously. For instance, Neste, Kesko, and Nordea, with headquarters in Finland, all improved their standing on the Corporate Knights’ 2023 ranking of the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations, while Elisa was featured for the first time. Kone Corporation was recognized a few days ago with an ‘A’ for performance on climate change by CDP, being the first in the industry to achieve carbon-neutral manufacturing units globally. Congrats on these efforts! There is a lot of great green business in New England and the Nordics, but also many unexplored territories and opportunities to make a difference in these and other parts of the world. How can you have an impact by introducing greener solutions to pressing problems and still run a great business?

As we move forward, think and share with me upcoming events, exciting businesses, and people with the scoping of this newsletter in mind. We are always excited about sharing expertise and experience in our NEF community. Reach out if you seek support with market entry research, visits to the region, or strategy facilitation.


Educational and Research

Complimentary ONLINE Masterclass on Thursday, March 7

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The US market offers tremendous potential for European knowledge-intensive businesses, but the market is complex and competitive. Dive into the dynamic world of entrepreneurial management with a complimentary masterclass offering an American perspective specifically curated for Nordic business professionals. I plan to share some valuable insights and strategies to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape with useful insights for entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, and corporate intrapreneurs alike.

  • Host: Henrik Totterman, D.Sc.
  • Date: Thursday, March 7, 2024
  • Time: 9:00 - 10:00 am EST (4:00-5:00 pm Helsinki)
  • Online: Link emailed to confirmed attendees
  • Objective: Join us for an impactful learning experience that will elevate your entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Agenda: Welcome and Concepts, The Explorative Mindset, Measuring Intrapreneurship
  • Registration: Google Form: Masterclass

Connect if you want to hire interns. I recently met a few Boston-based students with Finnish origins looking for opportunities in international business and finance; perhaps you can assist. Reach out if you seek partners for educational, executive training, or projects worldwide on design, business, and future thinking.


Cultural Exchange and Public Diplomacy

I hope you enjoyed the National Sauna Week with Finlandia Foundation Boston by visiting the Scandinavian Cultural Center and Library in Newton, MA, and the mobile sauna parked there this weekend. I recently visited the Kaffestugan (Open on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm) for some Nordic delicacies, and I had a chance to meet the great people of the library. They are doing a great job curating Nordic, including Finnish arts, culture, and literature for us in Boston and beyond. During my visit, we watched Kaurismäki’s Fallen Leaves. Remember to visit the library and to support their critical mission.

Transatlantic Partnerships, two events on March 19 and April 11

As we are aware, the transatlantic partnership between the US and Europe is at a pivotal point, which is why you should attend, for instance, AmCham’s upcoming online/in-person events to learn more:

Upcoming book event on Tuesday, March 6:

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For cultural, business, or networking reasons, you may also be interested in an upcoming book event on March 6, starting at 5:30 pm EST at Wellesley Books. Rachel Slade is a journalist and author of

Making It In America, the chronicle of American Roots. Her book examines domestic production's challenges through the lens of one Maine company. You can attend in person on an excellent networking opportunity or online: more information here.  


Community Engagement

Here is a summary of how I am formulating strategic objectives with the honorary community engagement in mind:

At the Honorary Consulate, we aspire to connect Finland and the New England region, enhancing economic, educational, and cultural ties. We aim to foster a thriving Finnish and Nordic presence and promote mutual understanding, positioning ourselves as a model for effective diplomatic and community engagement. We aim to support the creation of lasting partnerships and networks, contributing to global cooperation and innovation. Our success builds on closeness to innovation, tech, and bio; strong educational networks; community engagement, promoting bilateral trade/investments; and adaptability and responsiveness. In addition to consular services and public relations, we engage by networking and partnering to promote innovation, business, and cultural and education programs.


Exploring New England: The State of Maine

Each month, I intend to summarize and benchmark high-level facts and information from one of the New England states. We start with Maine, the New England state furthest to the North. Check out also the


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Concluding Remarks

I hope you find the second issue of this newsletter insightful. I look forward to any feedback or suggestions for content with the above broad sections in mind. The publishing date for my following newsletter is Sunday, March 31, with any materials due on Wednesday, March 27.

All the best,

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Honorary Consul of Finland to the City of Boston and the States of Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont 




Selected Dates (for planning purposes):

  • January: New Year's Day (Uudenvuodenpäivä): January 1.
  • February: Shrove Tuesday (Laskiainen): February 13 (2024), Kalevala Day (Kalevala päivä): February 28th.
  • March: Nordic Day (Nordens dag): March 23, Easter (Pääsiäinen) Mar 31 (2024).
  • April-May: May Day (Vappu): April 30/May 1.
  • June: Runon ja suven päivä (Day of Poetry and Summer): June 6, Helsinki Day (Helsingin päivä): June 12, Midsummer (Juhannus): weekend of June 24.
  • July: Sleepyhead Day (Unikeonpäivä): July 27.
  • August-September-October: Aleksis Kivi Day: October 10.
  • November: All Saints' Day (Pyhäinpäivä): first Sat of November, Finnish Swedish Heritage Day (Ruotsalaisuuden päivä): November 6.
  • December: Independence Day (Itsenäisyyspäivä): December 6, Jean Sibelius Day: December 8, Lucia Day: December 13, Christmas (Joulu): December 24.