Speakers at Ecological and Electric Aviation Conference Helsinki, March 4, 2020

Terhi Lehtonen, State secretary, Ministry of the Environment, Finnish Government

Terhi Lehtonen joined the Ministry of the Environment as State Secretary 4 July 2019 from European Commission Directorate General for Climate Action. Before DG CLIMA she advised the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament on environmental and climate policy for 14 years. From 2001-2003 she worked as the head of office for MEP Heidi Hautala in Brussels and Strasbourg. Ms Lehtonen set up the European Office of City of Turku – Southwest Finland in Brussels in 1998 and represented the region towards the EU institutions until 2001. She also worked for the Finnish Embassy in Brussels as a trainee in 1997 and as an attachée during the 1999 EU Presidency.

Maria Fiskerud, Project Manager, Nordic Network for Electric Aviation (NEA)

Maria Fiskerud is a senior project manager at RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden. Her mission at RISE is to work with system innovations to develop and transform processes and businesses towards a more sustainable future, primarily within aviation. Mrs Fiskerud is cluster manager of the Innovation cluster Fossil Free Aviation 2045. Fossil Free Aviation 2045 is a network for collaboration and increased consensus, to accelerate the transition towards fossil free aviation in Sweden. The aim is for Sweden to have fossil free domestic flights 2030 and all flights to be fossil free by 2045.  She is also project manager for ELISE – Electric Aviation in Sweden and NEA – Nordic Network for Electric Aviation. NEA is the platform where Nordic actors come together to accelerate the introduction of electric aviation in the Nordic countries. She has been an expert advisor to several government investigations and assignments concerning fossil free aviation. 

Maria Fiskerud, experienced communications professional, business developer and entrepreneur, with more than 20 years’ experience, from industry leaders to start-ups. Award winning with a proven track record. Multidiscipline skills in information design, change management, crisis communication, reputation management, project management, marketing and business development. A personal drive for innovation, sustainability and a passionate futurist. Demonstrated know-how in multicultural environments and geographically spread teams; building partnerships to reach results.

Anne Larilahti, Vice President for Sustainability, Finnair

Anne Larilahti is VP Sustainability at Finnair since 2019. Her role consists of leading the company’s sustainability efforts on a broad range of topics from accessibility and diversity to climate and material management. Anne has been working in several leadership roles in sustainability, marketing, and business development, mostly in the ICT industry, but also with four years in sports and tourism.

Anne Larilahti is also the chairwoman of the board of Finnish Business and Society, Finland’s largest sustainability network. She spends her free time travelling, photography, skiing and with her two children.

Susan X. Ying, PhD, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships, Ampaire

Dr. Ying is the Senior Vice President of Global Partnerships for Ampaire.  She is also a Director and Board member for the Lindbergh Foundation, and the immediate past President of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) serving on the Executive Committee which leads in shaping the agenda of this multinational professional aerospace organization. Dr. Ying has devoted over 38 years to the aerospace industry, with experience at NASA, Boeing, and most recently the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) as the Chief Integration Officer. 

Demonstrating success both at individual and team levels, Dr. Ying has been the recipient of many honors, including the People’s Republic of China Friendship Award, Asian American Engineer of the Year Award, Boeing Professional Excellence Award from the CTO, NASA Group Achievement Award, AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Best Paper Award, and the Professional Achievement Award for Women of Color in Technology.  Dr. Ying is also recognized as a Fellow of the AIAA and Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).  With a deep passion for flight, Dr. Ying holds a Commercial Pilot License and is a FAA-Certified Flight Instructor. She received her PhD and MS degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from Stanford University and BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University.

Pasi Nikama, Senior Vice President, Air Navigation Services Finland

Pasi Nikama works as SVP in ANS Finland taking care of marketing and customer relations. He has a long history in Air Traffic Management and Air Traffic Control facing back to 1991 when starting his career in aviation. Pasi has been involved in various projects and manager positions during his career and he still works also as an air traffic controller and supervisor in ACC. Currently Pasi is leading ANS Finland digitalization project with UTM involved in the project.

Sami Jauhiainen, Vice President of Business Development, Renewable Aviation, Neste

Sami Jauhiainen is responsible for business development in Neste’s Renewable Aviation business unit. Sami's primary focus is on driving the development of Neste's global go-to-market strategy for sustainable aviation fuel, a solution for reducing the carbon emissions of flying. Sami has been with Neste since 2013, and he was previously responsible for Neste Group’s Strategy and M&A department. Before that Sami worked in investment banking, advising customers in the energy sector on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions. Sami is passionate about developing business opportunities that serve Neste’s purpose of ”Creating a healthier planet for our children".

Olli Hakanen, Architect, Founder & CEO, Respace

Olli Hakanen is a Finnish architect, entrepreneur and Director Of Helsinki Quick Step and Helsinki Stream City Projects (www.helsinkiquickstep.fi). He founded Respace Company in 1995. His private house projects were published in international architectural reviews like A+U. During 2000-2010 he worked as the architect of the spearhead projects of strategic workspace consultancy in Finland. Since 2009 Hakanen has been interested in the (r)evolution of urban mobility. Hakanen develops new solutions created by the desire for symbiosis between human made and natural environment. Developing ”Circular Economy of Land Use” is his answer how to combat climate change and biodiversity depletion in economically and socially wise way. Hakanen is convinced that electric passenger aircraft for 9-19 persons will play an important role in the creation of a nation wide system of sustainable mobility services for Finland.

Jonas Stjernberg, Senior Vice President, Robots Expert

Robots Expert is an unmanned aviation expert and advisory company with a strong focus on value creation with drones, on Urban Air Mobility and on digitalizing aviation. Jonas Stjernberg has a long background in strategy development and in change management recognising that it’s “people behind the business” and bridging the gap between people and technology. Apart from his work at Robots Expert, Jonas is the Chairman of RPAS Finland ry, the industry association for professional UAV stakeholders in Finland as well as the CEO of BVdrone Oy, a BVLOS-focused drone operator for demanding remote sensing and environmental monitoring missions.

Jonas Stjernberg is one of the core drivers behind GOF U-space, a SESAR co-funded Estonian-Finnish Very Large drone Demonstration project, which in 2019 showcased seven demanding trials mixing manned and unmanned aviation in all classes of airspace, including air taxi. Through Robots Expert, Jonas is also involved in the H2020 funded 5G!Drones project aiming at developing metrics and guidelines for the use of 5G networks in drone use cases. Robots Expert is the EIP-SCC Urban Air Mobility ambassador in Finland, and the company has authored a comprehensive Drone Guidebook for Cities (in Finnish).

Stefan Baumeister, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Jyväskylä

Dr. Stefan Baumeister is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, School of Business and Economics. His research focuses on sustainable mobility solutions for the future with a particular focus on aviation, modal shift and electric aviation. In recent years, Dr. Baumeister has built up a significant record of scientific publications and has been an invited speaker at various conferences around the world. In his doctoral dissertation, which he successfully defended in 2017, Dr. Baumeister focused on the introduction of an eco-label into the aviation industry. Dr. Baumeister has worked in several research projects collaborating with various players of the aviation industry. Among those, he has also partnered with Finnair several times. Dr. Baumeister has recently been advising the Finnish Government on transportation related policy changes. In terms of research, Dr. Baumeister is collaborating with universities globally. Dr. Baumeister did a one-year research visit under a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and he just recently returned from a 3-months research visit at Griffith University in Australia. Besides his research, Dr. Baumeister teaches courses on sustainable consumption and marketing, strategies for sustainable businesses and supervises Master’s and Doctoral Theses. In his free time, Dr. Baumeister enjoys traveling, photography and spending time in the nature.

Anders Forslund, Founder & CEO, Heart Aerospace

Anders Forslund is the founder and CEO of Heart Aerospace, a Swedish startup developing an electric regional airplane. The plane, called the ES-19, will seat 19 passengers and have a 400 km range. The goal is to have the aircraft certified for passenger transport by 2025. The company was in the Y combinator accelerator program in 2019, and investors include EQT ventures and Norrsken Foundation. Airlines such as SAS, BRA, Wideroe and Pascan have all signed letters of interest for the planes.

Anders has a Ph.D. in aerospace product development from Chalmers, and a masters in astronautics from Cranfield University. He developed an interest in electric aviation while being a visiting scholar at MIT in 2013-2014. Anders is also a member of the Prince Daniel Fellowship for young entrepreneurs.

Debate: Ecological and Electric Aviation develops – how about Finland?

Ekologinen ja sähköinen lentäminen kehittyy – miten Suomi pysyy mukana?

Debate is hosted by Mr. Heikki Kauhanen. Heikki Kauhanen is TV Producer, News Editor, TV Host and Journalist and he works for Alfa TV in Finland. He has weekly TV program about politics and economics since 2014. Kauhanen has over 30 years experience in media with two TV programs, three TV channels, two radio channels and four newspapers. He has lots of knowledge and experience in global interaction in Media. His motto is “The distance between two people is an image. It's not miles. It's time and timelessness.”

Debate Participants:

Inka Hopsu, Member of Parliament

Inka Hopsu is a Green Member of Parliament from Espoo, Finland. In parliament Mrs. Hopsu is a member of several different committees, including primary memberships in Committees of Environment and Foreign Affairs. In her home city of Espoo, freshly elected MP acts as a Chair of City Council. Mrs. Hopsu has graduated as a Master of Education from the University of Helsinki and has worked in various fields of education and development, from an elementary school teacher to a coordinator in Teachers Without Borders Programme in Finn Church Aid.

Jouni Kotiaho, Member of Parliament

Jouni Kotiaho is a Member of Parliament since 2019. Mr. Kotiaho represents the Electoral District of Central Finland and he is a member of The Finns Party Parliamentary Group. Currently he is a member of Transport and Communications Committee and he serves as deputy member of Environment Committee. He also is deputy member in the Parliamentary Trustees of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland. In addition, Jouni Kotiaho serves in the city council of Jämsä and he is the chairman of the transport entrepreneur association of Jämsä region. He also is a board member of Finnish Transport and Logistics SKAL regional association. Jouni Kotiaho, originally from Jämsänkoski, has a long career as transport entrepreneur starting from year 1984.

Suna Kymäläinen, Member of Parliament

Suna Kymäläinen is a Member of Parliament since 2011. Currently she holds the office of the Chair of Transport and Communications Committee in the Parliament of Finland. Additionally, among other roles, she is a member of the Grand Committee and the Speaker’s Council. Kymäläinen has been working with legislation related to transport and communications since 2011 when she was first appointed as member of the Transport and Communications Committee. She represents the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group and is from a small town called Ruokolahti in the Southeast Finland Electoral District. Kymäläinen is also the chair of the municipal council in Ruokolahti.

Heikki Vestman, Member of Parliament

Heikki Vestman is a Member of Parliament from Uusimaa region since 2019. He represents Parliamentary Group of the National Coalition Party. He is Member of Constitutional Law Committee and deputy in Commerce Committee and Environment Committee of the Parliament of Finland. Vestman holds Master of Laws degree from Helsinki University (2012) specializing in environmental and energy law. Prior to becoming MP he worked for the Finnish Energy Authority as well as for a private law firm in the field of business regulation. He has also a strong background from local political duties, currently chairing the Municipality Council of Sipoo.


Janne Ropponen, Ph.D., CEO, MAF Finland

Dr. Janne Ropponen is the Chief Executive Officer at MAF Finland. MAF Finland sends aviation staff and funding for MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship) operations and flights in developing countries in areas where travelling otherwise is difficult or insecure. These flights respond to the needs of the world's most vulnerable people who often suffer from the effects of the climate change.

Dr. Ropponen has graduated from the university of Jyväskylä with business administration and information technology as his majors. His doctoral thesis focused on software risk management in IT projects. Before his flight career he served as a Senior Process Development Engineer at Nokia Telecommunications in the software production of Nokia mobile networks.

Janne Ropponen also holds current air transport pilot license and flies Airbus 330 long haul flights with Finland's national flag carrier airline Finnair. Previously, he has also served as a MAF pilot in Uganda and Mongolia where he lived together with his wife and four children 7 years. Practical and effective help delivered to the most needy people by MAF flights is still motivating him as he continues to work in the background to raise funds and awareness for these flights in the developing countries. Fighting climate change is also close to his heart and he gladly serves as the chairman of the first Ecological and Electric Aviation Conference in Finland. He enjoys outing and fishing in the fresh water lakes of Finland.

Janne Vasama, Chairman of Helsinki Electric Aviation Association

Janne Vasama is Founding member and chairman of Helsinki Electric Aviation Association. The aim of the Helsinki Electric Aviation Association is to build an electric aviation ecosystem around Pipistrel Alpha Electro electric plane to support the development of electric aviation in Finland. New ecosystem will support training, research, and development.

Janne Vasama is also member of Electro Mobility Branch Group at Technology Industries of Finland. The aim of the branch group is to support and facilitate the electrification of traffic in Finland. Janne has been working in several roles in electronics components business and has been an entrepreneur from 2005. Janne started flying 1978 with gliders and has license for several difference airplane categories.