Guest Speakers

Mr. Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications of Finland

  • Minister of Transport and Communications
  • Master of Arts (Theatre and Drama)
  • Member of Parliament since 2015, Social Democratic Party
  • Finnish Broadcasting Company, Journalist, Producer 1997–2014
  • Journalist, Columnist, several papers 1981–2014
  • Columnist, journalist, author of six books

Andreas Kollbye Aks, CEO Widerøe Zero

  • Leads the transformation of Norway’s oldest- and Scandinavia’s largest regional airline towards a more sustainable business platform, acknowledging a new era of environmental concerns.
  • Initiated, established and leads the corporate spin out Widerøe Zero AS – designing viable business around new aircraft concepts. In collaboration with strategic partners, Widerøe Zero is aiming for the first Zero Emission flights to take place before 2030.
  • Experience as Deputy Accountable Manager/ – COO, with a deep understanding of how “nuts and bolts” come together in an airline. Experienced in aircraft acquisitions and management of Entry Into Service (EIS) programmes. Lead the transformation of Widerøe from a turbo-prop operator to a modern jet airliner in 15 months, with the global introduction of the Embraer E2.
  • Former Management Consultant in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) with broad knowledge from a variety of projects within Strategy & Operations.
  • Work experience from the Nordic investement bank ABG Sundal Collier ASA.
  • Extensive international experience, with a proven track record of achieving tangible results with multinational teams across time zones, cultures and continents.
  • Educated in Finance, Management & Economics with a Bachelors degree (B.Sc) from Norwegian School of Management & University of St. Gallen and a Masters (MLitt) degree from University of Saint Andrews.
  • Keen sailor, skier and light aircraft pilot!

Riku Aho, Vice President, Fleet Management, Finnair

Riku Aho is a sourcing professional who joined Finnair in 2011 and acts currently as VP Fleet Management and Managing Director of Finnair Aircraft Finance Oy. In this role Riku looks after aircraft trading, leasing and asset management. During this time he has engaged in simplifying, modernizing and restructuring Finnair’s fleet by the phase-out of several aircraft fleets including MD11s, B757s, A340s and E170s, and introduction of the A321 sharklet and A350. Riku has also overseen Finnair’s aircraft financing transactions including sale and leaseback and ECA financing. He has a background in engineering and physics and has held various positions in sourcing and quality management in Australia and Finland. Riku’s interests lie in fleet planning, strategic sourcing, supplier relationship management and future technologies enabling zero emission flight. Riku holds an M.Sc (Eng) degree from Tampere University of Technology.

 Anders Lindqvis, Nordic Network for Electric Aviation

Riku Huhta, Project Manager, Strategic Transport Systems, Destia

Riku Huhta (M.Sc. (Tech.)) is a Project Manager of Strategic Transport Systems business unit of Destia. Destia is the biggest infrastructure service company in Finland and part of the global Colas Group. During his over 5-year career Riku has analyzed many key challenges the transport system is facing. In his work, he analyzes the interaction of industry, trade and tourism and the transport system. He has carried out versatile studies related to sustainable passenger and freight transport, infrastructure and alternative fuels. Lately, he has focused on electric and hydrogen aviation and their transport system effects. Huhta has graduated from Tampere University of Technology with Transport systems as his major.

Senja Kuokkanen, Strategy Manager, Neste

Senja Kuokkanen is a Strategy manager at Neste. Her background is in corporate sustainability and working with voluntary climate targets, programs and GHG accounting. At Neste, Senja has worked closely with the Renewable Aviation business unit in developing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) based offerings to aviation end-customers and engaging with stakeholders to help companies meet their climate targets with SAF.

Johan Norberg, Head of Training, Green Flight Academy

Johan Norberg is Green Flight Academy’s Head of Training and an experienced flight instructor, flight examiner and pilot. He has worked for many years abroad at airlines around the world. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering from KTH. Johan has designed the world’s first ATPL program from a sustainability perspective where the EASA approved electric aircraft Pipistrel Velis Electro can be flown for up to 30% of the total flight hours of the training program for commercial pilots. Johan has flown the electric aircraft during summer and winter and gained experience and knowledge that he is happy to share.

Olli Hakanen, Respace

Olli Hakanen is a Finnish architect, entrepreneur and Director Of Helsinki Quick Step and Helsinki Stream City Projects ( He founded Respace Company in 1995. His private house projects were published in international architectural reviews like A+U. During 2000-2010 he worked as the architect of the spearhead projects of strategic workspace consultancy in Finland. Since 2009 Hakanen has been interested in the (r)evolution of urban mobility. Hakanen develops new solutions created by the desire for symbiosis between human made and natural environment. Developing ”Circular Economy of Land Use” is his answer how to combat climate change and biodiversity depletion in economically and socially wise way. Hakanen is convinced that electric passenger aircraft for 9-19 persons will play an important role in the creation of a nation wide system of sustainable mobility services for Finland.

Dominic Weeks, Head of External Affairs and Marketing, ZeroAvia

Dominic Weeks is responsible for all of ZeroAvia’s external communications and policy-related work. Over nearly a 20-year career in communications and public affairs-related roles in both the UK and the US, Dominic has worked with some of the most disruptive start-ups and established blue chips alike, increasingly focusing on clean technology and clean mobility. He joined ZeroAvia from London-based net zero-focused consultancy Madano in 2021 after three years working with the hydrogen-electric propulsion innovator. Prior to that, he spent nearly eight years in Boston working for technology communications consultancy SHIFT Communications after beginning his career in London.

Timo Soini, Host of the Debate

  • Master of Political Science 1981
  • Finnish Rural Party, Vice Chair 1989-1992, Party Secretary 1992-1995
  • Chairman of the Finns Party 1997-2017
  • Member of Espoo City Council 2001-2021
  • Member of Parliament 2003-2009, 2011-2019
  • Member of European Parliament 2009-2011
  • Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee of the Finnish Parliament 2011-2015
  • Deputy Prime Minister of Finland 2015-2017
  • Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, 2015-2019

Juho Eerola, Member of Parliament (Southeast Finland), Second Deputy Speaker of the Parliament*

Hanna Holopainen, Member of Parliament (Southeast Finland), Vice Chairman of the the Greens party*

Terhi Koulumies, Member of Parliament (Helsinki), National Coalition Party*

Ari Torniainen, Member of Parliament (Southeast Finland), Centre Party*

Mika Ebeling, candidate for Member of Parliament (Helsinki), Christian Democratic Party*

* Photos from participant webpages/parliament photos.


Janne Ropponen, Ph.D., CEO, MAF Finland

Dr. Janne Ropponen is the Chief Executive Officer at MAF Finland. MAF Finland sends aviation staff and funding for Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) operations and flights in developing countries in areas where travelling otherwise is difficult or insecure. These flights respond to the needs of the world’s most vulnerable people who often suffer from the effects of the climate change.

Dr. Ropponen has graduated from the university of Jyväskylä with business administration and information technology as his majors. His doctoral thesis focused on software risk management in IT projects. Before his flight career he served as a Senior Process Development Engineer at Nokia Telecommunications in the software production of Nokia mobile networks.

Janne Ropponen also holds current air transport pilot license and flies Airbus 320 aircraft with Finland’s national flag carrier airline Finnair. Previously, he has also served as a MAF pilot in Uganda and Mongolia where he lived together with his wife and four children 7 years. Practical and effective help delivered to the most needy people by MAF flights is still motivating him as he continues to work in the background to raise funds and awareness for these flights in the developing countries. Fighting climate change is also close to his heart and he gladly serves as the chairman of the 5th International Ecological and Electric Aviation Conference in Finland. He enjoys outing and fishing in the fresh water lakes of Finland.

Janne Vasama, Chairman of Helsinki Electric Aviation Association

Janne Vasama is Founding member and chairman of Helsinki Electric Aviation Association. The aim of the Helsinki Electric Aviation Association is to build an electric aviation ecosystem around Pipistrel Alpha Electro electric plane to support the development of electric aviation in Finland. New ecosystem will support training, research, and development.

Janne Vasama is also member of Finnish Aeronautical Association board, chairman of The board of Finnish Air Sports Institute and advisory board member of LYGG, the private aircraft platform for short-haul travel. Janne has been working in several roles in electronics components business and has been an entrepreneur from 2005. Janne started flying 1978 with gliders and has license for several difference airplane categories.