A bearded, suited Santa Claus in Rovaniemi

The real Santa Claus launches online competition for children to win a live video call from Lapland

It turns out that happiness and well-being are linked to sustainability goals and Finland, being the happiest country in the world, wants to share their secrets. They are taking part in a global exposition in Dubai this year. Through the Finnish Pavilion the Finns are inviting people from around the world to participate in a competition to shape the world for future generations while giving them a chance to win a video chat with Santa Claus at the same time.

Out of 156 countries looked at in the World Happiness Report (WHR), Finland earned the title of happiest country on earth this year as well as for the last three years in a row and they’re trying to spread some of that hope and joy around the world.

Santa Claus is already known for his ability to spread joy around the world, it should come as no surprise then that he’s from Northern Finland, say the Finnish people. And since he is so well-recognized for his role in spreading happiness, especially during the Christmas season, who better to be an ambassador for Finland than Santa Claus.

It turns out that one of the things that makes the Finnish people happy is being able to achieve the goals they set for sustainable development. Their self-reported sense of well-being in the WHR is positively linked to accomplishments in sustainability in their country. Finland also happens to rank high on the list when it comes to globally leading clean technologies, their use of sustainable resources, green forests, clean air and fresh water.

That’s why the main theme at the Finland Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region, is Sharing Future Happiness. Finland is participating in Expo 2020 Dubai with over a hundred Finnish companies in an event that is expected to bring millions of people through its doors.

As part of their presentation at the event the Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai pavilion is asking children, 7-11 years old, to take part in Santa’s Sustainable Competition. They are inviting school children from around the world to share their vision for a happier, more sustainable future for the next generation. They believe that the voices of today’s youth should shape the future for tomorrow’s children, an idea that fits in well with the Sharing Future Happiness theme. The winning schools and families will get the opportunity to take part in a live, virtual call with the real Santa Claus. 

How to enter Santa’s Sustainable Competition

To enter the competition, entrants must submit a digital letter or video of no more than one minute, sharing what their sustainable wishes are for the future. The submission deadline is now Nov. 20, 2020. Final entries must be submitted by a parent/guardian or teacher over the age of 18. See the full outline of the competition and entry process on the Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai website.

Winners will be announced during a virtual, live event on Dec. 8, 2020, where the most innovative shortlisted submissions will be showcased.

The judges are from The Finnish Innovation Fund, Sitra, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, and Santa Claus himself. Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai will be selecting schools, classes and families who can demonstrate how they are working toward the common goal of a more sustainable, circular economy.

Finland at Expo 2020 Dubai explains that the competition aims to reinforce the idea that a good life and future happiness can no longer be achieved by simply producing more and more goods, which require increasing amounts of packaging and waste. We need to secure the sustainable future our younger generations deserve by working toward a circular economy, using a model that encourages us to reduce, reuse and recycle.

by Cherryl Bird – Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Twitter @ladycbird | Instagram @cherrylbird


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