Mari Holopainen

  • 36 years old and mother for two great kids (1 and 6 years old)
  • Green City Councillor, board member of Helen Oy, chairman of the board at Helsinki Summer University and a member of the audit committee
  • PhD Student & Researcher at Aalto University, Leadership and strategy
  • M.Sc.(Econ.) from Helsinki School of Economics
  • A visiting researcher at Oxford (2013), Berkeley (2009).
  • Exchange student in Mexico (2004), Canada (2003) and France (1998-1999) .
  • Language skills: Finnish (native), English and French (fluent), Spanish and Swedish (average) and German (basics)
  • Free time activities: Yoga, running, visual arts

Running for the Helsinki city council in 2017

I am a Green Helsinki city councillor and researcher in organizational studies, who believes in renewal and ingenuity. To me, the most important task is to bring a new rise to our country. To cope during structural change Finland needs to become an international frontrunner. Education, research and innovative start-ups create possibilities — not the ‘planned economy’, which revives dying fields of business, gives subsidies to companies that are environmentally harmful, or offers welfare traps to the people. Our workforce also needs to be increased. I aim to support equality in working life so that working is always profitable and parental leave is shared by the parent, for example by the 6+6+6 model.

It has been said that the value of politics can be measured by the quality of everyday life that it creates. It is important to me that all people can have an influence. Young people need to be encouraged to trust that they are the ones who can actually change the world. I want to advance a culture of experimentation and transparency in all decision making.

Wellbeing is everybody’s right. I want my 6 year old child to live in a Finland where it is possible for everyone to live a full life, regardless of socio-economic background. It is time to bring children into the city council’s strategy. Kindergartens and schools need to be sites that actively prevent social exclusion. We must also always remember that education is an investment in the future, not a target for cutbacks.

I have a M.Sc.(Econ.) from the Helsinki School of Economics and will be graduating with a Ph.D. from Aalto University. My most recent international experience is from the University of Oxford.

My Goals for Helsinki

  • Open and international Helsinki
  • Well-being from innovative entrepreneurship and know-how
  • Walking district for the city centre and space for biking
  • Nature and parks in an attractive city
  • Equal opportunities for education

Fairness, choice and climate responsibility

The local government policy of the Greens is based on the following positions:

  • Responsibility for the climate belongs to everyone
  • Biodiversity and animal welfare are also local government issues
  • Public services create quality of life
  • It is better to invest in health rather than pay for illness
  • High-quality basic education is the basis for equality
  • Municipalities must be fair employers
  • The people must have a say in public affairs
  • Poverty can be beaten, indifference can be vanquished
  • The rights of minorities must be defended
  • The promotion of equality belongs also to local government
  • Tolerant and multiculturally oriented municipalities have the best chances of success
Please, contact for further information: mari.holopainen ( at)
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