When society takes care of the basics, you can spend time doing the things that matter to you. The people of Helsinki are enthusiastic about taking part in community activities as well as planning their city’s future. Whether the issue at hand is the city budget or its new developments, everyone has a say. Everyone in Helsinki also has at least one hobby. Whether you love singing in a choir or playing sports, this is a city with a group for you.
In this My Freedom Story we get to meet Tugberk, a highly driven person who loves expanding his horizons. According to him, Helsinki offers the perfect combination of things being available, affordable, and accessible – which creates the perfect environment to turn ideas into action.
"I am a huge believer in edge effect, an ecological concept that describes how there is greater diversity of life in regions in which the edges of two seemingly opposite ecosystems overlap, such as land/water. So when I was looking for places to continue my studies with a Master's degree, I wanted it to be somewhere where I could experience that edge effect and grow as a person."
Taking action in Helsinki
"So far I told you why I came to Helsinki, but freedom to take action is why I stayed. As long as I do my due diligence, not only am I allowed, but I am also given the stage and the support I need to take action in my professional life. I got a place as a student and a side job doing the social media for a professional basketball team by communicating the value proposition of my ideas to the right person. My employer, Futurice, trusted me to set up and lead biometrics initiatives as a fresh graduate back in 2016. Now they trust me to lead the emerging technology initiatives.
In order to tread the shortest route from imagining something to actually executing it, you need things to be available, affordable, and accessible. I haven't found the perfect combination anywhere but Helsinki. As a long time basketball player, I wanted to have a go at refereeing. I got a place in the training sessions by just sending an email in August 2020. In September I was already on the parquet, seeing the sports I have always loved from a fresh perspective."