Programme

June 6-7, 2024 @ Jyväskylä, Finland

WHAT TO EXPECT?

World Sauna Forum brings a great group of sauna companies, cooperating partners and clients internationally to The Sauna Region Of The World, Jyväskylä, Finland.

Find out event details from the tabs below!

SEMINAR HOST

Speakers-Katja-Pantzar-Author-Photo Credit-Katja-Tahja

Katja Pantzar

Seminar Host

Katja Pantzar is a Helsinki-based writer, journalist and moderator raised in Canada with stints in New Zealand and the UK.

She is the author of several books including The Finnish Way(Penguin Random House US), a bestselling non-fiction book in the US about Nordic well-being, winter swimming, and sisu (a unique form of strength and perseverance), which has been translated into 24 languages. Her next book, The Power of Hot & Cold: From Sauna to Sea(Yellow Kite Books/Hachette UK), co-authored with Sauna from Finland founder Carita Harju, will be published in early 2025.

Speakers

Jasper Pääkkönen photo by Matti Pyykkö

Jasper Pääkkönen

Actor | Entrepreneur

Löyly’s owner and co-founder Jasper Pääkkönen is also Finland’s most internationally-recognised actor, as well as an avid fly fisherman, a fish activist and a fly-fishing ambassador for Patagonia. Pääkkönen is the co-founder of AITO Sauna, a Finnish company manufacturing luxury home saunas.

In recent years, Pääkkönen's international film roles – including his role as Halfdan the Black in the hit TV series Vikings – have attracted more media attention to help with his nature and conservation work and fuel his drive towards healthier waters.

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Annu Huotari

3rd generation entrepreneur and CEO of Hawkhill cottage resort

Annu is a passionate advocate for sustainability from Hawkhill Resort. Annu's journey intertwines with the rich history of our resort, where her grandfather, Eino, laid the groundwork for our legacy six decades ago.

At Hawkhill, located in Nuuksio National Park, Annu's dedication to sustainability shines through in everyday operations. As a Sustainability Ambassador of Finland, presented with the prestigious title in 2023, Annu has been instrumental in championing responsible practices both locally and globally.

Annu is the driving force behind our resort's sustainable initiatives. Her vision ensures that every aspect of our operations, from crafting luxurious villas to preserving the sanctity of Finnish sauna traditions, reflects our deep-rooted commitment to sustainability. At Hawkhill we consider sauna to be the heart of a cottage and we have taken the quality issues into account in all details.

We use Finnish design and sauna products and want to highlight those companies as well when we talk about our sauna experiences.

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Earric Lee

Postdoctoral Fellow
(exercise and sauna)

Earric Lee completed his Bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science from Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia with a major in exercise physiology. He then pursued his Master’s degree and subsequently graduated from the University of Jyväskylä with a PhD in exercise medicine.

His PhD thesis was centered around understanding the health effects of sauna bathing as an adjunct to exercise. His present focus is to explore these effects and their mechanisms in a clinical population. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Montreal Heart Institute’s EPIC center, the largest center for cardiovascular disease prevention in Canada.

In his spare time, Earric enjoys reading, especially books on esotericism and spirituality such as the Bhagavad-Gita and the Tao Te Ching (道德經). He is also an avid motorcycle racing enthusiast who has been to all the racetracks in Finland.

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Eric Harkonen

Founder of Vettä Nordic Spa

Vettä Nordic Spa Founder Eric Harkonen, a Mining Engineer, was raised by his Finnish parents with the idea that spending time in the sauna is an essential part of self-care, just like brushing your teeth. According to Eric, “This world is busy, loud, and fast-paced, yet Vettä offers an opportunity to turn the phones off, disconnect from technology and be in the moment without distraction. Our guests are choosing to spend their time reconnecting with their friends, loved ones, or possibly their inner thoughts”

Vettä Nordic Spa in Oro-Medonte, Ontario, is one of the more recent major openings on the sauna scene. Vettä’s design evokes the feeling of a Nordic village, embedded in Nature, and includes saunas, steam rooms, hot stone beds, relaxation spaces, and pools at a range of temperatures. Guests journey through the traditional and authentic Finnish sauna cycle of steam, cold, relax, and repeat – socially or in solitude. One of their wood-burning saunas is named Sisu, after that unique form of Finnish fortitude, courage and resilience.

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Jake Newport

FOUNDER & CEO OF FINNMARK SAUNA

Jake Newport is the co-founder and CEO of Finnmark Sauna, and sister companies Spa Dispatch and Cloud Nine Steam. Since the start of 2016, Jake and his brother Max have been on a mission to bring authentic sauna experiences to people living in the UK and beyond. What began from a found love of a proper Finnish sauna and frustration of the poor appropriation of them in the UK has now turned into multiple business endeavours, educating people on the practice and bringing sauna to as many people as possible.

Soon after, the “Sauna Twins” Jake and Max began to build their sauna business and reached out to Sauna from Finland, Finnmark became the first international member of the network. Jake was nominated as the Sauna Ambassador in 2021 for his dedication to actively promoting the Authentic Finnish Sauna Experience concept. He has also spearheaded the launch of the largest UK-based wholesaler of sauna, steam room, hot tub, and cold plunge supplies, Spa Dispatch, a company that provides sauna products to the trade. Now with over a 22,000 square foot warehousing operation, a dedicated team of sauna designers, consultants, workshop joiners, marketers, and more, Finnmark is the UK’s market-leading, authentic sauna specialist, and continues to develop, innovate, and educate in the industry.

Jake is passionate about sharing his knowledge and expertise on how to create authentic sauna experiences from construction and sauna etiquette to the wide range of health benefits it can provide. He co-hosts “The Sauna Twins” podcast, sharing thoughts with industry experts on how to enjoy an authentic sauna experience and sauna the right way.

Panelists

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Alan Jalasjaa

Creator and Host of Kivia Sauna

Alan Jalasjaa is the Creator and Host of Kivia Sauna, an experience based initiative within the sauna community. As a lifelong sauna enthusiast, Alan shares his knowledge and personal experience in order to promote the authentic Finnish sauna experience through education and guidance. Alan is also co-host of the "Kivia - The Spirit of Sauna" podcast. To support sauna builders, Kivia Sauna provides design, direction and technical services for residential and commercial sauna projects in North America.

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Ali Temme

CFO of Nordic Sauna

I am Ali Temme, CFO of Nordic Sauna and the third generation sauna manufacturer in our family. I am continuing on the legacy of my grandparents and enjoying working along side my Dad, Kim Temme. My earliest memories are centered around the sauna. I grew up in a backpack on my Dad’s back while he was installing saunas. I would play house in the showroom with the accessories. Building was at the forefront of my youth. My Dad would make us help him build dollhouses, cradles, and mini malls. I feel such a passionate connection to our business because it was intertwined with our family, our culture, and our lives. I have had a passion for health and wellness my whole life, the sauna industry is a great fit.

Lisa-Elen-Meyering

Dr. Lisa-Elen Meyering

MANAGING DIRECTOR OF SPA DISPATCH

Lisa-Elen Meyering is the managing director of Spa Dispatch Limited, the warehousing and logistics centre as well as the trade arm of the Finnmark Sauna Group, based in the United Kingdom.

After completing her PhD program in Social Sciences, her passion for research and data-driven decision making has led her on a quest, alongside Jake and Max of Finnmark Sauna, to bring only the most authentic Finnish and Nordic brands to the UK sauna industry and beyond.

Lisa-Elen is passionate about chasing the perfect löyly and keen to promote the amazing brand values that all the various Sauna from Finland partners are able to offer.

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Matias Järnefelt

CEO of Harvia Group

Meet Matias Järnefelt, the CEO of Harvia Group since June 2023. Under his leadership, Harvia stands as a leading company in the global sauna and spa market, with a revenue of EUR 150.5 million in 2023 and a dedicated team of around 600 professionals.

Matias brings extensive experience from various challenging leadership roles across multiple sectors to Harvia. He is passionate about the sauna and spa industry, seeing significant opportunities for growth and innovation.

His connection to the sauna is deeply Finnish, a tradition woven into his life from childhood, encompassing both daily living and special celebrations, as well as family life. Since starting at Harvia, Matias has dived into exploring different sauna cultures worldwide, constantly seeking new sauna experiences. This exploration helps him understand customers, products, and the experiences they value, driving his ambition to develop the business and innovate within the industry.

Beyond his professional achievements, Matias is driven by a desire to positively impact the lives of others. He believes in the power of sauna and spa experiences not just for relaxation and health, but as a means to enhance overall well-being and happiness. Matias is committed to leading Harvia in a way that contributes to improving people's lives globally, one sauna at a time.

World Sauna Forum 2024 is organized in co-operation:

Host partner

Main partners

Partners

Partners

World Sauna Forum 2024

June 6-7, 2024 @ Jyväskylä, Finland

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