Speaker of the year. Tech influencer. Biohacker. Teemu Arina wears many hats. But how has he been able to fulfill his dreams and what are his next big goals?
Teemu Arina has been chosen as the speaker of the year in Finland – twice. He has a gift for teaching, and when he speaks, it sounds like the future is already here. But how does he do it?
“Speaking is a way of organizing thoughts for me. I like to speak because it’s a sort of extension for thinking.”
“I never start a speech from who I am. I want to think about what’s relevant to the audience”, Teemu says. When he started giving speeches at the age of 16 (also when he started his own company), he didn’t dream of being the best speaker in Finland.
“I liked speaking because it helped me to develop my thinking. Teaching others is the most effective way of learning for me. I want to allocate as much time as I use to learn new things myself to educating others. I think that’s a big reason I’ve been chosen as the speaker of the year even though speaking is not my number one priority.”
Sensing trends beyond imagination
Teemu has always been a pioneer. His new projects have started as passions. When his focus becomes mainstream, he moves on to other arenas.
“I don’t think about business models or money when I get passionate about something new. I do it out of curiosity, and then I start building the phenomenon. I have always been sensitive to discovering new trends. It has allowed me to gain a first-mover advantage, and I think it’s crucial for success.”
In Finland today, he is the biohacker, but he hasn’t done it alone. For Teemu, nutrition expert Jaakko Halmetoja and physician Dr. Olli Sovijärvi are the trusted people he has learned from the most. And in return, Teemu has been able to teach them about technology, which completes the puzzle. It’s about finding the right experts at the right time.
“My tip for those who want to learn fast: spend time with people that are smarter than you and are experts in their fields. For the three of us, this has helped us all to boost our knowledge. And on top of that, I love to learn from podcasts from influencers such as Tim Ferriss, Dave Asprey and Aubrey Marcus. They have been really inspirational people to me.”
Dreams don’t work unless you do too
At school, you can get A’s (or 10’s in Finland), and it is considered good enough because there are no better grades. In the business world, however, there isn’t a similar threshold. You have to work to make your dreams come true, but you also have to decide for yourself when your work is at a high enough level.
“I learned quickly as a teenager that in the business world, there is nothing that could be considered as perfect, ready or good enough. The highest level we can achieve is the level we and our customers are satisfied with. This is the approach that got me interested in building and developing products and services.”
Curiosity has kept Teemu on the go. Even though Teemu has worked in many very different areas, such as learning environments, social media, technology products and services, biohacking and speaking, he has never felt a specific urge to change careers.
“My expertise is the interface between humans and machines, and I have always looked for new ways to apply it. For example, now I’m working in the field of health and welfare. Throughout my career, the approach has been the same.”
Co-creating for a better future
Earlier in his career, Teemu was the chief technology officer of his company. Nowadays, he sees his role as a technology expert that boosts co-creation.
“I think the biggest change in my role was that earlier, I built things mostly by myself. Now, I want to help others build meaningful things. This way, I can scale up my knowledge more effectively.”
Teemu has been so good at sensing the upcoming trends that we were curious to know where his interest is headed next. Fortunately, he was happy to tell us where his focus is shifting.
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, most sports events were canceled. However, one sport that is still growing – faster than anything else – is Esports. I’m not young enough that I could start playing video games at a competitive level, but I find the topic fascinating.”
Teemu reminds us that not that long ago, motorsports was not considered a real sport. Now, Esports is in the same situation. Currently, Teemu is sparring with an Esports team to help them optimize their performance – an interesting challenge, especially for Finland’s top biohacker.
“Now, I intend to take into practice what I have learned about health and welfare. It’s happening in the form of products and services. It’s the best way to scale up my knowledge for everybody’s good. I have also written a couple of books, Biohacker’s Handbook and Biohacker’s Flu Guide, but I do think books are a bit too static.”
What’s next for Teemu and his team? It’s a new health service portal, HealthDX, that was launched during the Biohacker Summit on October 16th and 17th. It’s about preventive healthcare and is based on the well understood fact that it’s more efficient to increase health than decrease illness.