SULA Conference 11.-12.10.2017

Time: 11.-12.10.2017
Venue: Sea Cable Hall, Cable Factory, Tallberginkatu 1, Helsinki, Finland
Who’s coming: Creative industry professionals, entrepreneurs and startups, artists, creative business developers


SULA - Sustainability and Love for Arts is a new event for creative work and business and it is organized for the first time on 11-12th October at the Cable Factory. The word SULA means ”melt” in Finnish and it describes the event’s goal to melt ideas into new forms of creative thinking and working. SULA professional festival will bring together the makers of art, creative entrepreneurs and their intermediaries and business support experts.

The theme of SULA are the stories of survival: how can an artist or creative person crystallize his talent into a sustainable way of livelihood?  The speakers in SULA conference will be central names of the global creative economy hub and business innovators and we’ll bring in inspiring case studies.

The organizers of SULA are Cable Factory, AVEK the Promotion Center for Audiovisual Production, City of Helsinki, Creative and Inclusive Finland funded by European Social Fund, Tekes, the Art and Culture Professionals’ Trade Union TAKU ry and Creative lenses, funded by Creative Europe program. 


- The idea of SULA is to provide creative talents a space to meet peers and get new influences, but also to present their ideas to potential new partners. This is the first SULA, and we are aiming to continue and expand the event in the coming years”, says Kai Huotari, the managing director of Cable Factory.

SULA melts together a traditional business conference, pitching competition and advisory/financing services during one event, and is targeted to creative talents and businesses.

- Our goal is to create a similar forum for artistic, creative and culture talents as Slush, one of the globally leading startup and technology events, is for the tech-people, states Huotari.


SULA Clinic 11.10.2017

SULA advisory clinics are meetings with experts in working life support services for creative industries' employees, self-employed and entrepreneurs.

Sign up for SULA Clinics! You can sign up for meetings until 4.10.2017 or as long as there are meeting times available.

Kumous – Uusi työnhaku
We offer two Kumous – Uusi työnhaku workshops (the workshops are conducted in Finnish), and 15 minute meetings with the following experts. You may book a maximum of three meetings and one of the two workshops.

Luova Eurooppa
NewCo Helsinki
Akava Special Branches - Consult a working life lawyer
Castrén & Snellman - Consult a copyright lawyer

Clinic day schedule:
At 9.00 Check in
At 9.30 Bulletins and introducing the advisory clinics (in Finnish)
At 10.00-11.30 Kumous workshop
At 11.30 Lunch (self-financed)
At 13.00-14.30 Kumous workshop
At 12.00-16.00 Advisory clinics

Prepare for your meetings by thinking about what exactly you want to discuss and ask. Forming a one minute introduction to your topic is a good idea!

SULA Conference 12.10.2017

The conference is moderated by Mikko Silvennoinen, Creative Entrepreneur and Media Professional (FI)

9.30 Registration and morning coffee

10.00 Welcome / Opening words
Managing Director Kai Huotari, Cable Factory

10.15 Keynote: Finding One’s Own Art and the Power of Community
Media Artist Kate Johnson and Curator Michael J. Masucci (USA)

11.00 Keynote: The Renovation of the Rijksmuseum and Its Future Challenges
Exhibition Manager Tim Zeedijk, Rijksmuseum (NL)

12.00 Lunch

13.00 Art of Animation, Working with the Likes of Disney
CEO Anttu Harlin, Gigglebug (FI)

13.20 The Sustainable Arts Organisation - from surviving to thriving
Birgitta Persson, Olivearte (SE)

13.40 Confessions of a Curator
CEO & Curator Laura Köönikkä, Finnish Art Agency (FI)

14.00 Case: Creative Lenses research presentation    
Lucy Kimbell and Bethany Rex, University of the Arts London (UK)
Catalyst programme update                      
Sarah Rhodes and Bethany Rex, University of the Arts London (UK)

14.20 Panel Discussion: Managing Creative Talents
Moderator Outi Järvinen, Arts Management Helsinki (FI)
Birgitta Persson, Kate Johnson, Lucy Kimbell, Mariina Hallikainen (FI), Elise Pietarila (FI)

15.00 Award Ceremony and Toasts

16.00 Closing words

SULA Pitch at 9.30am-3pm

SULA Pitch, formerly known as CD2-competition run by AVEK, will host shortlisted group of participants. The 12 participants will be chosen according to their written applications. These shortlisted companies are expected to attend the pitch training in 5-6th October in Helsinki. (Registration closed on 8th September.)

The training will be held by Sibylle Kurz, a seasoned teacher of pitching techniques, who has trained European creative professionals to pitch their ideas already over 20 years. The training will be carried out in English. The final competition will be held in English and the jury is international. The competition is targeted to Finnish creative companies. Participating in training and clinic is free of charge.

SULA Pitch participants have been chosen (AVEK, in Finnish).

SULA Fair at 10am-4pm

Partners of SULA provide meeting and info points for participants of the event.

TAKU Producer and Production of the Year

TAKU will give out the awards of Finnish Producer and Production of the year according to the organization’s traditions. Suggestions for nominee candidates with arguments can already be sent to: (until 28th September 2017). Name of the judge will be released later.


Regular ticket 62 € (incl. VAT 24 %)
Student ticket 37,20 € (incl. VAT 24 %, prepare to verify your students status at the venue)
Also at the door.

TAKU members can purchase tickets at 50 % discount:

The tickets include 11.10. clinics and bulletins, and 12.10. seminar programme, pitch competition programme, coffees and lunch.


Mikko Silvennoinen, CEO, tc executive - Happy Endings. Mikko is an international television executive with experience in launching new platforms, rights acquisitions, production and scheduling. He loves new projects that require starting from scratch and often enjoys working with challenger brands. Currently, Mikko is working with youtubers at Tubecon (the largest youtubers’ event in Europe) and launching Viafree Finland (MTG Viasat’s ad-funded online video service).; Instagram: @mikkosi; Twitter: @mikkosi; Snapchat: Silvennoinen

Kate Johnson is an artist, Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and educator. Her work ranges from narrative features to video art installations and large-scale site-specific projection mapping. Her collaborations have been exhibited at galleries, festivals and museums internationally. She is Assistant Professor of Digital Media at Otis College of Art & Design, has guest lectured at conferences and universities internationally and is principle at LA’s seminal video art group.

Michael J. Masucci is an award-winning video artist, writer, curator, and mediator. He serves as an Arts Commissioner for the City of Santa Monica, where he chairs the Public Art Committee. His collaborations have been exhibited internationally. He is a co-founder of LA’s seminal video art group EZTV, whose early work and archives are part of the permanent collections of USC. He is also co-creator of CyberSpace gallery, one of the world’s first digital art galleries.

Kate and Michael often work together and during the years of their collaboration, they have served the LA and Californian art community in many ways, organizing events and exhibitions, and collaborating with several events such as Siggraph, the Fringe Festival/LA, FreeWaves as well as Burning Man Festival in its early years. More information:

Tim Zeedijk (Tilburg, 1976), studied History of Art at Utrecht University, specializing in 17 th century Dutch art and the history of collecting. From 2003 to 2009 he worked as an assistant- secretary of the teams preparing the refurbishment of the Rijksmuseum. From 2009 until 2016 Zeedijk was Head of Exhibitions at the Rijksmuseum, closely involved in the further developing and realization of the New Rijksmuseum. From 2017 onwards he will develop and organise the program of travelling exhibitions – a renewed focus of the Rijksmuseum now that the renovation  and refurbishment of the main building and the exhibition wing are completed. More information:

Anttu Harlin is the Co-Founder and CEO of Gigglebug Entertainment – a Helsinki-based games and animation studio focused on positive children’s content. The company creates and produces original animation brands for the global market. Anttu is also the co-creator and writer of ‘Gigglebug’, the company’s first hit TV series and app collection. ‘Gigglebug’ was first launched in 2013, with over a million downloads and number one chart positions in 64 countries. The ‘Gigglebug’ TV series (52×5) has been sold to 13 countries and began to air in summer 2016. In June 2017, Disney Channels EMEA announced a new commission for an original animated series called ‘101 Dalmatian Street’, based on a pitch by Anttu and Joonas Utti from Gigglebug Entertainment. More information:

Birgitta Persson, COO - Point of Value; Co-Director - Olivearte Cultural Agency. Birgitta is dedicated to supporting and developing the resilience of organisations so that they can reach their full potential. She does that currently in her capacity as COO at the consultancy company Point of Value and as one of three co-directors of Olivearte Cultural Agency. After 12 years leading Trans Europe Halles, one of Europe’s most dynamic networks with 70 members in 30 countries, she has ample experience of international collaboration, EU-projects and networking. During her 10 years at the cultural centre Mejeriet in Lund, Sweden she worked as promotor, producer, fundraiser and head of communication and organized hundreds of concerts, festivals, dance events, arts exhibitions and arts projects. (Photo Andy Sawyer)

Laura Köönikkä is the founder and CEO of Finnish Art Agency. She is one of the leading independent figures in curating, producing, art advicing in Finland. Laura is a passionate art expert with desire to change the static structures of organizational culture and shaking things up. Since 2003 she has been curating and managing projects for various institutions such as Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo in Japan, Pori and Tampere Art Museums in Finland, Bildmuseet and Fullersta Gård in Sweden, KARST gallery and Bury Art Museum in UK and Kunsthall Grenland in Norway. She was the curator and commissioner for the Finnish Pavilion in Venice Biennale (2011).

Lucy Kimbell is the Director of the Innovation Insights Hub, a research centre at the University of the Arts London (UAL). Before joining UAL Lucy was AHRC research fellow in Policy Lab in the Cabinet Office (2014-15) and principal research fellow at the University of Brighton where in addition she jointly led projects for the AHRC around social design. Lucy was also Clark fellow in design leadership at Said Business School, University of Oxford for five years, where she remains an associate fellow. Lucy co-founded one of the UK’s first digital arts groups and went on to work in digital innovation consultancy before joining academia. She is an experienced researcher, postgraduate educator, and strategic design consultant. She has spent much of her career on design’s fringes, intersecting with other disciplines and contexts including social innovation and policy. Lucy’s research explores emerging fields including design for service, design for social innovation and design for policy. Her approach involves combining literature in design studies with strands of sociological research including organisation studies and science and technology studies.

Bethany Rex is Postdoctoral Research Assistant in the Innovation Insights Hub at University of the Arts London where she works on the Creative Lenses project. She is also a Visiting Research Associate in the department of Media, Culture, Heritage at Newcastle University (UK). Her research investigates changes which have taken place in the cultural sector, particularly to local authority museum management in the UK, as a result of public sector budget cuts and changing perspectives on how public services should be managed. She is interested in how individuals and groups involved in cultural organisations adapt to these circumstances and negotiate their roles in this altered environment. In a broader sense, she is interested in how commitments to ideals such as accessibility, public ownership and equity which have been central to the legitimacy and distinctiveness of publicly-funded cultural organisations for decades, are maintained, neglected or re-examined in this context.

Dr Sarah Rhodes is a practice based design researcher, maker and educator who brings her project skills in participatory action research to Creative Lenses. She is managing the collaborative research of the Creative Lenses Catalyst programme, which includes training, mentoring and supporting eight European arts and cultural organisations in practice based, research methods and ethics, as well as input into the design and production of materials such as case studies for the Knowledge Base. Her cross-cultural, interdisciplinary research is based in participatory design process, particularly in its use to bridge the divide between marginalised groups and its utilisation for social innovation and sustainable practices. She was previously a design researcher for the AHRC-funded, Public Collaboration Lab research project at University of the Arts London, which explored the potential for, and the value of, strategic collaboration between design education and local government.

Outi Järvinen has been working as a manager and producer in the performing arts for about fifteen years. She is the founder of Arts Management Helsinki, a progressive company and values based consultancy for freelance artists and arts communities. The mission of Arts Management Helsinki is to create new partnerships and production models for the arts in Finland. Outi received her MA in choreography at the Theatre Academy of Finland. She has also studied financial administration and ICT.

Like the shop she kept as a child selling flowers to her grandma, Mariina Hallikainen has always enjoyed starting and running businesses. The money hasn't come as easy after she turned eight but it hasn't scared her away from entrepreneurship. In 2009 she took the position of a CEO and co-founded Colossal Order Ltd, a Finnish game company focusing on simulation games for PC/Mac/Linux -platforms. Eight years later the future is looking bright for Colossal Order as they are behind the hugely successful city builder Cities: Skylines published by Paradox Interactive in March 2015. Read more:

Elise Pietarila, CEO, Executive Producer - Gimmeyawallet. “Managing creativity: Chaos under control.” Read more:

Contact Information:

Kiinteistö Oy Kaapelitalo / Cable Factory: Raine Heikkinen, raine.heikkinen(at)
City of Helsinki, Creative and Inclusive Finland project: Taina Seitsara, taina.seitsara(at)
TAKU ry: Vilja Byström, vilja.bystrom(at)
AVEK & Producer of SULA: Kati Uusi-Rauva, kati.uusirauva(at), puh. 040 865 8738