Finding your purpose and values is not always easy, but they can help you utilize your full potential and create your own future. Anna Moilanen has been helping Prönö at many points along our journey. Now, she shares how you can find your purpose and values and why we all should avoid being on autopilot.
Helene Auramo, the founder of Prönö, has a lot to say about Anna Moilanen: “I think Anna is the person to call if you need new perspectives. One of the things I value most in her is of course her experience, but also her honesty. I can always trust her to say what she thinks. Many times, I have had some crazy ideas, and she has managed to keep me on track. When you have this safe environment for working with people, you can be very creative. Then you also need these people who can say if something is not actually a very good idea. I love to work with people who are always better than me and bold enough to disagree.”
But let’s move on to the interview with Anna Moilanen…
Who are you?
Anna: I’m an entrepreneur from Helsinki, Finland. I work on what is new, change and utopias. I advise cities, businesses, universities, foundations, cultural organizations, unions, governments and individuals. I also do my own projects such as Wolf and Contemporary Finn. I love working on the future, on how things could be. I create ideas and concepts that enable us to actively build a more meaningful future. To me, the future is active, not passive – it’s not about forecasting or calculating, but about being the change we wish to see in the world (as Gandhi famously said).
You do many different things. One example of the things you do is that you help people find their purpose. How can you help people find it and why is it important to find your own purpose in life?
Anna: I think life is a huge gift. It’s really sad how people tend to live on autopilot. As Oscar Wilde once said: “To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” It’s important to find your purpose in order to live to your full potential. I try to help in this by listening to people, asking questions and then suggesting possible stimulating alternative paths. Creating new futures, even utopias. I think I see people quite well. I might have an idealistic filter. But I think life is about growth: every day is a chance to start over.
You also help in finding people’s values. On Prönö you state your values: openness, boldness and kindness. How did you find your own values and how can you help people find their own values?
Anna: It was actually a workshop I did years ago at HAM (Helsinki Art Museum), as a part of their renaissance project. I started by asking people about their personal values and realized I had to show an example, as the subject was so sensitive. Openness, boldness and kindness came out naturally. To me the most important thing about values is that they should be a living challenge every day. In living up to your values, sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail. But as long as you actively try, you have lived a good life, in the end. I think values many times are either obvious, dishonest (self-bragging) or too generic to have any strength. Values are all about becoming who you want to be. You should be very humble and persistent with them. True.
You also organize Wolf. What is Wolf and why do you do it? And where can you get tickets? Is it also available for people abroad or online?
Anna: Wolf is a free, intimate, relaxed space for artists and thinkers to try out new stuff in front of a warm, supportive audience. We are all unfinished, and Wolf exists to celebrate that: if we think we are ready, nothing new will happen. I love Helsinki, but it wants to be too perfect and complete. This year, the festival will take place August 15th in Tori Quarters and will be streamed as well here: https://www.tiketti.fi/wolf-torikorttelit-helsinki-lippuja/70315. Anyone who salutes incompleteness is warmly welcome. You’ll get a bath of Finnish language as an extra bonus 😉
What is the best part of Prönö?
Anna: To me it all boils down to building a future that is kind and caring. I’ve always hated the idea that for the sake of business or art, it is okay to behave badly. We all should leave a seed, not a wound. And if you truly care, you are trustworthy. I put my all into everything I do, so it’s super critical to do that with safe people: it’s heartbreaking to be disappointed in people. To me, trust is a key element in life. I hate vagueness. “If you can be anything, be kind.” Kindness breeds kindness.
Your dream on your Prönö profile page is a very interesting one: To live in a “Bloomsbury group” of my own: creating utopias & sharing love and respect together”. What do you mean by that?
Anna: The Bloomsbury group was a circle of writers, intellectuals, philosophers and artists in the first half of the 20th century, including Virginia Woolf and John Maynard Keynes. They shared their life & passion, creating radical futures. What made it especially fascinating was a mixture of intimacy and different backgrounds. I don’t believe that we can reboot the world within any bubble: we need to bring together avant-garde thinkers and doers from different worlds. And we need to work from deep and true kindness and caring: from genuine circles of trust.
Is there anything else on your mind that you’d like to share?
Anna: I can’t wait to see Prönö live. It’s gonna be super exciting to see how the circles of trust start to organically develop and become visible. I consider myself to be an open and sincere person proud of my sensitivity. But to truly see a working ecosystem where I can be as vulnerable as I am inside my head & heart, that’s a true utopia. And I love utopias.
Thank you Anna for helping us to move forward! <3
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