102. Young people engagement with the decision-makers of their cities w/ Milla Ovaska

2 min readMay 19, 2022


In this episode, André was talking to Milla Ovaska. Milla is the Head of International Affairs and Public Relations at Espoo city in Finland. She is an international relations specialist and intercultural communication enthusiast interested in expanding networks and bringing Espoo to the world and the world to Espoo. Currently, her goal is to make Espoo the best destination and home for international talent and to strengthen the international networks for the city of Espoo.

Main topics covered:

🤝🏼 Engaging youth in decision making for a better future;

♻️ Sustainability goals of Espoo city.

⚡️ City as a service or city at your service mindset.

Time notes:

Introduction of the guest [1:00]

Finland and NATO application [2:30]

How did Future Mentors programme has started [3:30]

The reverse mentoring programme, where the young people are the mentors.

Implementing the ideas in the cities [8:30]

The overview of youth ideas raised during the programme[10:30]

I would think of this Future Mentors programme as a platform for dialogue.

Are decision-makers willing to make a change based on youth recommendations? [15:00]

If the city is not able to listen to the youth, will the city have a future at all?

How was the youth engaged to participate in this project [17:30]

Sustainability goals of the city of Espoo [23:20]

Electrical heating will be carbon neutral even before the year 2030.

Cities as Unicorns. What initiatives is Espoo taking to attract talents? [28:30]

The city aims to be ready to give service in English to anyone who would need it.

City at your service philosophy as the backbone for building a sustainable city together [36:00]

Espoo schools as innovation platforms for Edu-tech startups [38:00]

Digital Agenda as a part of the city as a service mindset[40:30]

What Milla enjoys the most about her work [43:30]

Are projects mission-oriented? [47:00]


This podcast was hosted by André Marquet, with research done by Evelina Bogdiun and sound edited by Miguel Sousa.

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