Thursday 6th of June 2024​


Thursday 6th of June 2024​


World Sauna Forum Main Seminar

“The power of Hot and Cold“ + Panel Discussion

Where: Jyväskylä Paviljonki Conference Center (Messukeskus)
When: 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM


Speakers at Viilu Stage, Sauna & Wellness Market, Matchmaking

Where: Sataman Viilu
When: 2:00 PM – 9:00 PM


You have possibility to practice saunayoga during the event ( detailed schedules soon). Sauna yoga developed by Tiina Vainio became very popular in Finland. Sauna yoga can be practiced in guided groups in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Germany and Japan. Vainio has also published a book that contains sauna yoga movements suitable for a home sauna.

Sauna Scent Bar

A significant aspect of Finnish sauna therapy involves pure, aromatic plants and herbs, both fresh and dried. On Thursday, we are organizing an experiential “walk-in to the world of sauna scents” bar, open to everyone, where we will go through five different plants and their benefits for sauna-goers. On-site, you will have the opportunity to smell the scents brewed from all five different herbs. Additionally, you will learn how you can enhance the sauna’s well-being effects with these plants on your own sauna sessions. You will also receive information and a birch scent to take with you. Welcome!

Produced by Nystad Sauna Company 

How to make The world’s best Sauna Whisk?

During the day, Pentti Hakala, the world champion in making a sauna whisk is at the Sataman viilu. At the sauna clinic, Pentti shares his know-how with everyone interested.

Pentti Hakala won the Finnish sauna whisk making championship in 1993, became a Sauna Master in 2000 and won the world championship in whisk making in 2001. 

More information and programme announced soon!

Kyrö Distillery

Mikko Koskinen

During the evening, there is a Kyrö Distillery bar where you can buy and enjoy various drinks and learn about Finnish beverage innovation.

Visit website

The eucalyptus wreath workshop by Mestarin Kukka

Time: 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Price: 10€

Opening words

Jyväskylän kaupunginjohtaja Timo Koivisto

Mayor Timo Koivisto

The Mayor of the City of Jyväskylä


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Jake Newport


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.


Saija Silen

Curator of the Museum of Central Finland

Saija Silen has been the chairperson of Finnish Sauna Culture association for a decade, since 2014.

She is a sauna enthusiast specializing in smoke saunas and Finnish sauna culture. She holds the position of managing director at Jämsä Sauna Village, owned by the Finnish Sauna Culture Association, and she also works as a guide for the sauna village.

The Finnish Sauna Culture Association owns and operates Sauna Village in Jämsä. It is a place of living sauna culture and home of 24 historical smoke saunas which have been restored for use as public saunas, providing a sauna experience that you could have had 100 years ago in Finland.

Saija is passionate about everything related to saunas, always enthusiastic about learning new aspects of sauna culture, and eager to experience löyly (steam) in various types of saunas.

She's also has a honorary title of Sauna master (Sauna mestari), given for the work that she has done on behalf of Finnish Sauna and its history.



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.


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.


Dr. Lisa-Elen Meyering


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.


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.


Mr. Sho Yoshinaga

Metos Inc.

Mr. Sho Yoshinaga has learned the importance of making harmonious coexistence with nature as a boy scout in his youth. His career started as a mechanic in the air force of the Japanese Self-defense Forces, and had often taken saunas together with his colleagues, which gave impetus for understanding the charm of sauna.

After working for the air force, he had been working as a salesperson in apparel industry and interior lighting industry.

Since 1998, he has been working for Metos Inc. with his creativity and the various experiences while taking advantage of having the know-how of former Nakayama-Sangyou (Metos Inc. previous name).

He has been making Metos’s business bigger and bigger, and nowadays there’re 6 branches and over 100 contracted dealers all over Japan.

Sho’s always trying to do his best to vigor the Japanese bathing culture, and to advocating new ways to enjoy sauna experiences.

For example, in order to promote the word “löyly” into Japanese spa industry, he has introduced/developed to Japan, previously unknown sauna heaters, such as IKI KIUAS-sauna and Sauna-isness (gas heaters which are löyly-durable).

His recent interest is to combine sauna and entertainment/ outdoor activities, and one of his projects“Neppa-tai (Löyly performance group)” became popular, and last year, he released tent sauna trailer sauna, and log sauna for the enjoyable experience outdoor.

Since 2018, for expanding the Finnish sauna culture, Metos has been running "Metos Sauna Soppi" as the first and only one shop that is focus on sauna items in Japan.

Thanks to the cooperation with many of Sauna From Finland members, sauna is such a big trend nowadays.

For Metos Inc, this year marked the 77th year of the establishment of the company, and for targetingthe 100th anniversary year, Metos also aim to expand Japanese bathing culture globally.

So, he's happy to have opportunities for exchanging bathing culture with many countries, also welcome for any business collaboration opportunities all the time.

Viilu Stage & Workshop Speakers


Mikko Jakonen

Founding Partner, Architect
Studio Puisto

Mikko Jakonen is one of the founding partners and principal architects at Studio Puisto Architects. He has been responsible for the design of several public sauna projects, the most recent being Sauna-restaurant Luoto in Kuopio, which opened last summer. Studio Puisto is an architectural firm specializing in hospitality, working not only on domestic projects but also on multiple resort and spa projects worldwide in South Korea, Cyprus, and Greece. Among the latest completed projects by the firm, in addition to Luoto, is the Ähtäri Swimming Hall which opened in May. "The roots of sauna culture run so deep in Finnish culture and history that there is endless inspiration for new projects. Designing a cohesive, functional, and beautiful sauna is already challenging in itself, but when you incorporate all the historical layers, rituals, and traditions, it forms a complex entity that at its best can create an unforgettable experience for users.”


Olli Keskinen

Brand Lead, Architect
Studio Puisto

Olli Keskinen is an architect with a background in marketing communication, having previously worked with several international brands such as Porsche and Oura. At Puisto, in addition to design work, he is responsible for developing sales and marketing strategies. "Even though we understand the value of our cultural heritage, the popularity of the Finnish sauna worldwide has been such a positive surprise. We are currently involved in several projects globally where the Finnish sauna is specifically highlighted as a centerpiece for new resort and spa destinations. At the same time, the sauna has become a tangible spearhead for our marketing efforts, driving our design work into new territories and client relationships."


Martin Goldmann

CEO of ASPA International

Martin heads the family company of the Aspa group. Aspa offers concepts, design and build of pools and thermal bathing areas. The company has four decades of experience and development. His core driver has always been evidence based and what each feature thermal bathing experience can do for and to the human body. He leads the company in three main fields, Hospitality Wellness, Home Wellness and Corporate Wellness.

Aspa have recognition for work such as Gulf Hotel & Spa in Bahrain (2018), Hotel Verde, Zanzibar [Greenest Spa in Africa] (2022), Vila Joya Boutique Hotel & Spa (2009, 2014, 2018) The Vine Hotel & Spa Porto and The Conrad, Algarve Portugal. Aspa are currently working on luxury hotel projects in the Red Sea and Amaala projects. He is recognized as an industry leader and is currently developing the latest sustainable practices into the company and products.

He is a frequent public speaker on many world platforms, such as HotSpa, Paris, East African Hospitality Development, Dar Es Salam, Aqua Forum in Lisbon, Portugal Corporate Wellness in Dubai and at the Finnish Sauna Association in Finland.

World Sauna Forum 2024

June 6-7, 2024 @ Jyväskylä, Finland