30/09/2014

PEOPLE FROM HEL: KIRSTI TUOMINEN


Do you know the type of classmates, whom teachers love, who take part in everything, run the students’ union and captain the school volleyball team? Well, Kirsti Tuominen is one of those.

Nokia career left behind, Kirsti created herself amazing network throughout the city's food & restaurant scene in just couple of years. Freelancing in food-related writing, styling, tv, book, you just name it and at the same time doing her bit for creating projects enriching the local food culture and/or the communal wellbeing.

One of the most well-known projects she's busy with, is the great Ravintolapäivä, Restaurant Day. As the communications manager of this global phenomenon she's been invited to talk about the concept also abroad, like in the World Food Travel Summit last year.

Kirsti says that the whole concept of food culture is still such a new and fresh topic in Finland and therefore the discussion is still on ideological level and within rather small group of people from more or less the same field.
“The possibilities for progression are quite limited if the discussion is only within one single line of business. The food biz needs other sectors to interact with.”

Therefore her latest project is The Feast Worldwide. On 11 October, at 7.00pm local time, Helsinki will be one of the 38 cities where a Feast Worldwide Dinner is held. The given main theme is progression and around Helsinki’s dinner table the idea is to find new scalable solutions for food systems, that would make our world a better place. Locally as well as globally. That means no fine-tuning existing ideas, but more figuring out totally new possibilities. The goal is to get people with various standpoints around the same table: Along with the food people also tech pros and marketing aces, but people from the public sector, education and research too. Plus all kind of active citizens who are capable of thinking outside the box.


Thinking outside the box is what Kirsti does on a day off too. Besides putting countless pro bono hours in Restaurant Day, she has also set up the Social Beat – strike force for humanity with a group of as effecient friends. Social Beat means sharing communal experiences for those who otherwise wouldn't be able to participate. Like a trip to the woods for retirement home residents. The aim of the project is to lower the threshold for any of us to do some good.

Kirsti has always had the urge to make the world a better place. When she was younger, she wanted to be the next Kofi Annan, a bit later she changed her career plans to become a pediatric. Luckily she didn't become either of those, because the grass root level projects she's been involved in are just, well, amazing.

I had to ask her for a tip how to make time for all this. Being a perfectionist, she advised to learn some unperfectionism:
“Even the smallest step, or a tiny little good thing getting done, is better than nothing. If you don’t have time for an hour run, run for an half an hour. Also learn to identify the to-dos, that really require you to put effort into, and to separate them from the ones you just need to get done.”

The next step she's taking, isn't the small type though. Through some projects she has recognized restrictions in her digital know-how and she decided to do something about it, as she believes mobile technology to be part of future service concepts in all branches from eldercare to wine selling business. So, for now, her freelancing food-related life in Helsinki and Finland is over and she'll be heading to a new position in an international mobile tech company. A pretty wise step to increase the knowledge, I'd say.

What’s after that Kirsti, politics maybe? Please?!

The Feast Worldwide Helsinki
Ravintolapäivä - Restaurant Day
Social Beat

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