Want to learn the best business insights from remarkable speakers at Slush 2023, but don’t have the time to watch the full speeches on YouTube?
You’ve come to the right place. Below is a summary of a conversation between Sanna Marin (Former Prime Minister of Finland) and Connie Loizos (Editor in Chief, TechCrunch)
(psst: the notes were automatically generated with Wudpecker's AI notetaking tool. If you'd like to check these notes + transcript + audio recording without needing to log in, press here.)
<p class="h1-rich">🤏 TL;DR</p>
Sanna Marin, the former Prime Minister of Finland, discussed her experience as a young female leader, the importance of women in leadership roles, and her perspective on Russia's invasion of Ukraine. She also shared her advice for tech founders and investors, emphasizing the need for self-belief and confidence, particularly among women. Additionally, she touched on Finland's response to potential threats from Russia, the importance of investing in education and R&D for technological progress, and the need for cooperation between private and public sectors in tech development. Marin also spoke about her views on AI, Finland's role in technology, the importance of work-life balance and gender equality, her current role at the Tony Blair Institute, and her future political aspirations.
<p class="h1-rich">✨ Summary</p>
Thrust into the Position of Prime Minister
- Sanna Marin became the youngest prime minister in Finnish history at age 34.
- She acknowledges that taking on such a position is always a leap into the unknown.
- Marin expressed concern over the global inequality in leadership, emphasizing the need for more women leaders.
Advice for Tech Founders and Investors
- Marin encourages women to trust themselves and believe in their capabilities.
- She suggests that women should adopt a more confident attitude, similar to men.
- She emphasizes the need for support and encouragement for women to take on leadership positions.
Events Leading to Russia's Invasion of Ukraine
- Marin recalls that Russia's actions before the invasion were predictable in hindsight.
- She notes that Russia used gas and energy resources to weaken Europe's energy supply.
- Russia deployed troops near the Ukrainian border under the guise of military drills, she adds.
The Need for Stronger Reactions to Russia's Actions
- Marin believes that Western countries should have reacted more strongly to Russia's invasion of Crimea in 2014.
- She suggests that Putin's expectation that the West would not oppose his actions led to the full-scale attack on Ukraine.
- She stresses the importance of international support and heavy sanctions in defending Ukraine and deterring future attacks.
Border Closure and Risks from Russia
- Marin explains that Russia has used migrants and asylum seekers as tools to destabilize countries.
- She mentions that Finland's legislation enables the closure of borders in response to such situations.
- The construction of a fence along the Russian-Finnish border was a necessary precaution, according to Marin.
The Importance of Investing in People and Education
- Marin underscores the importance of investing in education and research and development (R&D) for technological advancements.
- She shares that Finland aims to raise R&D funding to 4% of GDP by 2030.
- She expresses optimism about technology's potential to help solve major global challenges like climate change and pandemics.
Cooperation Between Private and Public Sectors in Tech Development
- Marin advocates for cooperation between the private and public sectors to keep pace with fast-paced technological advancements.
- She states that legislation alone cannot keep up with the speed of technology.
- She highlights the importance of cooperation between countries, including smaller ones, for better outcomes.
AI and Its Potential
- While acknowledging the potential risks, Marin believes in the positive potential of AI.
- She emphasizes the need for ethical considerations in AI development.
- She encourages a shift in discussion from whether AI is good or bad, to how it can be developed collaboratively for positive outcomes.
Finland's Role in Technology
- Marin notes that Finland has made significant progress in digitalization and tech innovation.
- She mentions that Finland excels in the field of quantum technologies, despite being a small country.
- She stresses the importance of cooperation between countries and learning from smaller nations.
Work-Life Balance and Gender Equality
- Marin emphasizes the importance of work-life balance and family-friendly policies.
- She asserts that paternity leave is crucial for gender equality and supporting families.
- She believes that balance is important for individuals' well-being and productivity.
Working at the Tony Blair Institute
- As a political consultant at the Tony Blair Institute, Marin advises governments and heads of states in various countries.
- She shares her leadership experiences and provides insights to other leaders.
- She remains passionate about making an impact and influencing change.
Future Political Aspirations
- Marin leaves the door open for future political career possibilities.
- She focuses on new opportunities and paths, believing in embracing the unknown and taking opportunities as they come.
- She encourages not planning life too much as life is always a mystery and unknown.