In this new series, speakers at Scandinavia House will explore the reasons why Nordic countries lead surveys of societies with high levels of trust, happiness, gender equality, and quality of life. By many measures, these countries are among the most successful societies worldwide. In these lectures, we’ll look at how individual countries have successfully addressed certain issues that confront all societies.

In the opening lecture of this series, guest speakers Sam Abrams and Linda Liukas will discuss Finland’s successful educational system. Frequently ranked as best in the world, Finland’s education model leads in graduation rates as well as in reading, math and science literacy due to improvement efforts that have been ongoing over the past four decades. Abrams and Liukas will discuss why Finland has been so successful, and what other regions can learn from and utilize from their approach.


Sam Abrams is the director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University and author of Education and the Commercial Mindset. Linda Liukas is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author of Hello Ruby.

The series will continue in 2019.

**This panel was recorded. See the video here**

About the Speakers

Linda is a programmer, storyteller and illustrator from Helsinki, Finland. She is the author and illustrator of Hello Ruby, a children’s picture book that introduces the whimsical world of technology for kids, which has been translated to over 25 languages. Hello Ruby made its debut on Kickstarter and quickly smashed its $10,000 funding goal after just 3.5 hours  and gathering $380,000 dollars in total funding. Her TED talk has gathered over 1.5 million views.

Linda is a central figure in the world of programming and has worked on edutech before it was called that. She is the founder of Rails Girls, a global phenomenon teaching the basics of programming for young women all over the world in over 270 cities. Further, she believes that code is the 21st century literacy and the need for people to speak the ABC of Programming is imminent. She believes our world is increasingly run by software and we need more diversity in the people who are building it.

Linda has studied in business, design and engineering in Aalto University and product engineering in Stanford University. Currently she is a TED Resident in New York.

Sam Abrams is the director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, and the author of Education and the Commercial Mindset (Harvard University Press, 2016), a comparative analysis of educational philosophy and finance in Finland, Sweden, and the United States. For his promotion of the understanding of Finnish education, the Finnish government in 2014 made Abrams a Knight, First Class, Order of the Lion of Finland. Dedicated to fitness as well as scholarship, Abrams is a veteran coach in the Ice Hockey in Harlem program in Central Park. He earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. at Columbia University.



Left to Right: Linda Liukas; Finnish Classrom—Elina Manninen/Business Finland Mediabank; Sam Abrams

WED—March 13—6 PM, free
Panel will be filmed.