Anu Partanen
The Nordic Theory of Everything

To request Anu for a local community appearance, please send an email to: contact at anupartanen dot com. For corporate or institutional events, please inquire via HarperCollins Speakers Bureau.


Photo by Anne Almasy

Photo by Anne Almasy

Anu frequently gives talks on the subjects of her book The Nordic Theory of Everything, and participates in panel discussions on topics including parental leaves, work-life balance, gender equality, education, health care, business innovation, and arts and culture, focusing on what the U.S. can learn from Nordic societies and what Nordic countries can learn from America. She is currently on book tour and available for speaking appearances. If you’d like to host an event or otherwise help bring The Nordic Theory of Everything to your town, please send an email to: contact at anupartanen dot com.

Please visit Anu’s Events page for scheduled appearances.

Speaking Topics

  • Work-life Balance: How the Nordic Countries’ Approach to Parental Leaves, Part-Time Work, and Work-Life Balance Creates Independent Individuals, Happy Families and Productive Workplaces
  • Education: How to Create Schools and Public Education that Support Both Equality and Excellence—Drawing on Lessons From Finland’s Education Miracle
  • Health Care: Debunking Myths About Universal Health Care and Showing Its Benefits to Individuals, Businesses, and Societies
  • Business and Innovation: Surprising Insights from the Nordic Region’s Dynamic High-Tech Companies: It’s Better for Business to Give Employees Paid Parental Leaves and Real Vacations, and to Let Them Leave Work at 5pm
  • Gender Equality: How Men and Women, Dads and Moms, Can Flourish Both at Work and At Home: 21st-Century Lessons from the Most Gender-Equal Countries on Earth, the Nordic Nations
  • Smart Government: How Governments Can Design Smart Policies to Support Citizens Instead of Limiting Them—The American View vs. Nordic Thinking

“Anu Partanen delivers a fact-filled, straight-talk perspective of the Finnish education system that is brimming with enthusiasm, optimism, and ideas for Americans. Her workshop at the 2012 Education Innovation Summit at Hathaway Brown School was one of the most sought-after sessions of the entire conference, drawing a standing room-only crowd and generating much discussion. Her presentation, ‘Excellence Through Equity: The Philosophy, Policy, and Practice Behind Finland’s Rise to Prominence as the West’s Reigning Education Superpower,’ was so popular that we decided to continue the conversation online after the summit, with Anu headlining a special live chat that brought people around the country together to learn about Finland’s approach to teaching young people. At the end of the chat, several participants remarked that Anu’s description and characterization of her native country’s system were ‘inspiring.’

—Kathleen Osborne
Director of Communication and Outreach
Hathaway Brown School
Shaker Heights, Ohio

Past Events

July 13, 2017 – New York City
United Nations Headquarters, Conference Building
Panel Discussion: Why Should Babies Sleep in Cardboard Boxes – National Tools for Maternity Protection

May 20, 2017 – Washington, D.C.
Embassy of Finland
The Iconic and the Everyday: Creative Finland in America
Talk: The Nordic Theory of Everything

March 11, 2017 – London
Southbank Centre
Panel discussion: “Gender Equality in the Nordics,” with Karen Ellemann, Denmark’s Minister for Equal Opportunities and Nordic Cooperation & Laila Bokhari, Norway’s State Secretary at Ministry of Foreign Affairs

January 18, 2017 – London
Southbank Centre
Panel discussion: “How Do You Say ‘Gender Equality’ in Faroese,” with Durita Holm, Katrine Marcal, Moddi & Pirita Näkkäläjärvi

November 17, 2016 – Helsinki
Finlandia Hall
Creating International Business Concepts Conference
Presentation: “How Nordic Strengths Can Lead to International Success”

October 24, 2016 – New York City
St. John’s University
Talk “The Nordic Theory of Everything” & Panel Discussion with Kai Sauer, Finland’s Ambassador to the United Nations; Simon Møller, Senior Vice Provost Professor of Biological Sciences; Michael Sampson, Dean of the School of Education; Joan Tropnas, Chair, Division of Social Sciences Associate Professor and Director of the Health and Human Services; and Jaana Rehnstrom, MD, Executive Director of Kota Project

September 29, 2016 – New York City
The Future of Learning and EdTech
Presentation: “Finland’s Education System & Approach to Technology”

June 30, 2016 – New York City
New America Foundation
Panel discussion: “Gross National Happiness: The Nordic Search for a Better Life,” with Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics at The New School for Social Research; Lew Daly, Director of Policy and Research at Demos; and Liza Mundy, Senior Fellow at New America

June 28, 2016 – New York City
Scandinavia House
Talk: “The Nordic Theory of Everything”

June 6, 2016 – Tampere, Finland
Institutions in Context Workshop: The Role of Money in Politics
North American Studies Program, University of Tampere
Presentation: “Welfare or Wellbeing State? Public Perceptions of Government, Taxes, Money and Whom It All Serves”

April 17, 2015 – Boston
Harvard Medical School
Panel discussion: “Social Policies & Health Care: Lessons from the Nordic Welfare Model” with Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland; Norman Daniels, Professor of Population Ethics and Professor of Ethics and Population Health; Jason Beckfield, Professor of Sociology; and Mary Ruggie, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy

October 20, 2014 – New York City
Scandinavia House
The Woman Who Borrowed Memories — a book launch and discussion on the legacy of the author Tove Jansson
Moderator, panel discussion with American author Kathryn Davis and Finnish author Philip Teir

September 9, 2014 – New York City
Event celebrating Finland’s Guest of Honor role at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Talk: “Finnish Literature Now”

June 17, 2013 – Philadelphia
City Council Public Hearing on Best Practices in Education
Talk: “Finland’s Education System”

April 7, 2013 – Boston
The Power of Narrative Conference at Boston University
Moderator, panel discussion: “How to Sell Stories in Multiple Media: Freelance 101” with Charles Homans, executive editor of The Atavist, and Jina Moore, freelance journalist

March 25, 2013 – Birmingham, AL
Alabama Education Association Professional Development Conference
Talk: “Finland’s Education Success Story”

October 4–5, 2012 – Shaker Heights, OH
Hathaway Brown Education Innovation Summit
Talk: “Finland’s Education Success Story”

June 28, 2012 – Atlanta
Georgia Forward Education Summit
Keynote speech: “Finland’s Education Success Story”

April 30, 2012 – Washington, DC
Parenting Magazine Mom Congress
Panel discussion: “International Approaches to Education”