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Twinkle – international people on the move

Twinkle 2015, a business event held in December, is living proof of the international power of the Tampere City Region. Twinkle activities started from the initiative of the international people in the region and are now organising on the national level.

“Twinkle is not just a single event or even an annual event – it is a popular movement and an international human network!”

This is stated almost in unison by three members of the Twinkle team: Tredea Development Manager Marjukka Hourunranta, Tredea Talent Attraction Manager Laura Lindeman and Decoark Oy Managing Director and Ecomation Oy Partner Gloria Zúñiga. Internationalisation is an important part of their fields of work, which means that Twinkle activities are an excellent fit.

The international community of the Tampere City Region demonstrated its expertise and enthusiasm at Twinkle 2015. Now, the ideas of Twinkle are being developed on the national level. Photo: Rami Marjamäki.

Twinkle can be called a popular movement just based on its origin. In December 2014, the first Twinkle event brought together the international people of the Tampere City Region, who wanted to make their competence visible and available to business life.

“International people include immigrants, returnees and anyone at all who wants to operate in an international environment. People of different ages from all over the world,” says Zúñiga.

The popular movement also has a goal: nothing less than improving the state of the Finnish economy. International experts have a lot to give to Finnish companies that are trying to find a foothold on the global market. They could similarly facilitate the efforts of a company that wants to access Finland.

“International experts are a substantial resource for companies, and it does not always have to be recruitment first but discussion and moving in the same networks,” says Lindeman.

Twinkle brings together people, companies and public actors united by an international background and interest in operating in an international environment. Photo: Pasi Tiitola.

The Twinkle community wants to offer experts and companies the opportunity to meet each other. Twinkle 2015 put this principle into practice. One part of the programme was brightshops, workshops in which participants from different countries and cultures resolved challenges set by companies together.

During the event, the workshops considered issues like the impact of smart technologies on people’s daily lives, creating closer co-operation between international students and Finnish companies, and how Moomin-lovers around the world could promote the Moomin Museum that will be opened at the Tampere Hall.

“We will definitely also organise and develop brightshops in the future and also between the bigger Twinkle events. They help make competence visible and get it utilised,” says Hourunranta.

The international community in the Tampere City Region is already large enough that there are plenty of perspectives. Organised by a workforce of approximately 100 volunteers, Twinkle 2015 showed that people want to participate and create new things. There is more to come, since the Twinkle activities are being organised into a national organisation that offers opportunities to participate to everyone who is interested. The result could be new business arising from the ideas of international people, for example.

“The Twinkle organisation will be the platform for bringing forward these ideas and finding people to implement them. International people start their own companies, and similarly fresh ideas can also be utilised by existing companies,” says Zúñiga.

“That is the core of this popular movement; international people taking agency into their own hands, doing things and having an impact,” says Lindeman.

Gloria Zúñiga (back row, second from right) and a group of the bright international talents of Twinkle 2015. Photo: Olimpia Hakala.

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