Get to know our guests for new creative networking platform, Nordic Match


The Nordic welfare model is based on trust and trust is born in human encounters. Trust is also the driving force behind the new Nordic Match networking platform, initiated by the Nordic Culture Point and creative agency Måndag to foster Nordic creative know-how in a new way.

Nordic Match provides a possibility for creative and cultural professionals to visit Helsinki. During the visit the guests will be staying at their Helsinki based colleagues’ homes and familiarise themselves with the local cultural scene through a carefully curated networking programme built for them. In exchange, the guests will share their knowledge and expertise as part of the Nordic Culture Point’s events programme. During 2019-2021 the Nordic Culture Point will test the platform with an aim to expand it to other Nordic cities as well.

The concept will be further developed with four creative professionals from Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Sweden in a series of workshops in Helsinki. The end result will be presented at Helsinki Design Week’s festival hub at Keskuskatu in at 10-11 am. Seats are limited but you can follow the discussion and comment on it via real-time stream at Helsinki Design Week’s website. Welcome to learn more, participate in the discussion and develop the platform further with us in the spirit of TRUST, which is Helsinki Design Week’s main theme this year!

Sixten Kai Nielsen is a Danish artist and entrepreneur who has been initiating collaborative events at e.g. Venice Biennale 2013. Onny Eikhaug is currently working as a programme leader at Design and Architecture Norway, with a specialisation on inclusive design. Two of the guests, Icelandic product designer Björn Steinar Blumenstein and Swedish design facilitator Michelle Lim will additionally be heard at Helsinki Design Week’s Design Diplomacy talks. Creative and urban activist Arto Sivonen will represent Finnish viewpoint in the working group. Read more about the guests below and follow the project at the Nordic Match Facebook event!


Sixten Kai Nielsen, artist and entrepreneur, Copenhagen

“I am a Curator and Project Manager with fifteen years of experience creating participatory concepts and events for major cultural organisations such as the Venice Biennial, the Guangzhou Biennial and Creative Time art organisation. I help organisations connect with their audiences by developing site-specific projects that strengthen communities, connect resources and bring people together in new and unexpected ways.”

Onny Eikhaug, programme leader, Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture, Oslo

“As a Programme Leader at Design and Architecture Norway, I am responsible for the organisation’s activities in the field of people-centred, inclusive design. I’m also responsible for the Centre’s government funded ‘Innovation for All’ programme promoting inclusive design to business and public sector as an effective strategy for innovation. I write, publish, and lecture both in Norway and internationally. I also curate exhibitions and collaborate closely with designers, research institutions and in the field of education, industry and government.”

Onny is also responsible for the book “Innovating with people –The Business of Inclusive Design” – distributed worldwide as a design school curriculum and the platform for the Executive Education in Inclusive Design concept. In addition, she is the President of EIDD Design for All Europe -forum and was appointed the Inclusive Design Champion Award by an international jury at the Include conference 2015 at the Royal College of Art in London.

Björn Steinar Blumenstein, product designer, Reykjavík

“I’m an enthusiastic young designer who strive toward bringing societal change through my design practice. I’m from a generation of product designers; designing into a world over-flooded with products and useless temptations. The world is in dire need of solutions to an array of problems, which is why I tend toward what I call an “anti-capitalistic design method”; honest design practice with real purpose, where no one is screwed over – neither people nor the planet.

My recent work include ‘Catch of the day – fighting food waste’ project where I handcraft vodka from dumpster dived fruits. This work was followed by an open source distilling machine, Cargo – an explanation of the world condition from a standpoint of the steel shipping container and banana passport (now on display at the Maritime Museum of Denmark). In my project ‘Last Forest Utility’ I aim to mobilize Icelandic designers and foresters with a quick-start-guide on how to design from Icelandic wood – and to create a culture around utilisation of a new resource in a previously woodless country.

These three research driven projects echo my vision of using design as a medium for conveying ideas. Strong, simple narratives with expressive simple solutions and close collaborations place my local context as a metaphor for the world in a solution-oriented dialogue. I am always proposing a solution, no matter how complex the problem.”

Michelle Lim, coach and facilitator, Stockholm

“I’m a leadership and relationships coach as well as a facilitator of creative, interdisciplinary teamwork, adult development and conversations that bridge perspectives. Whether it is in the personal setting of romantic or family relationships or in the work setting of managing teams and cross-disciplinary collaboration, I am committed to working with teams, communities and individuals. I want to help to unleash life, creativity, inspiration and care into relationships that matter to us.”

Michelle has a background in social studies and experience design from Harvard University and Hyper Island. She is a certified Integral Facilitator and Clear Beliefs Coach and has undergone training with the Art of Hosting, U.Lab (Theory U) and Developmental Coaching.

Arto Sivonen, creative and founder of Måndag, Helsinki

“Creativity can flourish in an open and trustful society. Nordic countries have done many things right but we can still do better – creative field is developing fast and it’s expanding outside traditional professions as well. We could share our expertise even more effective by collaborating and learning from each other.

The festival theme of Helsinki Design Week 2018 is TRUST. I couldn’t imagine a better arena to launch a new networking model. It will be interesting to see the result – we wish to create a common platform for all Nordic creatives. If we succeed, we all will enjoy the advantages.”

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