In May 2019, Brian May, the guitarist of the band Queen, hoped for another concert like the famous Live Aid concert held in 1985, but this time to combat climate change. The idea, that had probably rushed through the minds of others too, is at least being realized here in Finland. The Climate Aid concert, carried out by volunteers, will take place in November 2019 at the Helsinki Music Centre.

Citizen Forum coordinates a large team of volunteers in the building of Climate Aid. The first half of the concert will be based on classical and orchestral music.

Tero-Pekka Henell, known for his ambitious ensembles, is responsible for assembling the orchestra and the tasks of chief curator. Johanna Almark acts as the conductor and arranger. The concert will feature Hanna Pakarinen, the winner of the Idols competition and Finland’s Eurovision contestant, who finds the climate theme extremely important. The Finnish rap artist Rauhatäti raps with a Lappish dialect and performs together with the Biolapset group. Various other choirs will also join the event, such as Koiton laulu, Kumpula choir, Murtosointu, JAM choir, and Kenkävaahto choir. Jussi Kallio, a specialist in environmentally friendly event production, oversees the event’s production.

Climate Aid gives a face to volunteering

According to the vision of Citizen Forum, Finland is the best place in the world for volunteering. To realize its vision, Citizen Forum develops and promotes free civic activity by building bridges between traditional non-governmental organizations and new, self-directed civic activists. Climate Aid, now in the making, is a good example of bringing together like-minded people and taking efficient action. The key is to contribute voluntarily and according to one’s expertise. A good example of the numerous Climate Aid volunteers is Anni Valkonen, the Technical producer of the Music Centre, who wanted to participate in the event because of the importance of the cause.

One of the third sector partners of Citizen Forum and Sitra that has made the event possible is Akava. The trade union confederation for those with university, professional or other high-level education is a significant actor in supporting civic activism in Finland. In his blog, Akava’s Vesa Vuorenkoski emphasizes cooperation and the involvement of individuals in both societal decision-making and various climate actions. Instead of confrontation, we need cooperation and working together.

Volunteer has the soul of an activist

In their studies at the HUMAK University of Applied Sciences, students pay attention to the language we use. A volunteer is seen as someone who commits themselves to an association or an actor, whereas an activist is regarded as being committed to a cause. An activist is also considered to be a more independent actor than a volunteer, and perhaps that’s the reason why we rarely refer to activists in plural. But like Vuorenkoski, also students place emphasis on collaboration. As one of the students writes: ‘Volunteers with an activist soul are needed for the campaign.’ Volunteers with an activist soul commit themselves to an important cause and actively work for it. According to the students, a better future is built with passion and the volunteers’ perseverance.

As our society changes, volunteering will certainly play an important role in addressing major common challenges. At Pori’s SuomiAreena, Futures researcher Aleksi Neuvonen highlighted the importance of volunteering in solving societal challenges. According to Neuvonen, many societal openings have emerged through volunteering and have later established themselves in the society.

Is the Climate Aid event here to stay?

We’ll have to see after November.

Text: Virpi Paulanto

Translation: Eveliina Lahikainen

We invite and encourage you to participate in the making of the event.
Contact the coordinator:

Outi Platan
Event Coordinator

Citizen Forum
outi.platan@kansalaisareena.fi
Tel.: +358 44 547 3739