Veli Liikanen

I am a youth researcher, biologist, father and gaming enthusiast from Mikkeli. I am Vice-Chairman of the Greens in Finland, Chairman of the Greens in the Mikkeli Municipal Council, Chairman of the Urban Environment Board in Mikkeli, and a member of the South Savo County Executive. I love games, football, good TV shows, and protected nature.

I did my Master’s Degree at Jyväskylä University in 2008, majoring in Biological and Environmental Science. In addition, I studied sociology, mathematics and statistics.

I work as a researcher at Juvenia Youth Research and Development Centre, part of the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. I participate in research and development projects within the discipline. I am an academic jack-of-all-trades, which, among other things, includes teaching. My job has turned me into an eager advocate for youth and youth work. At the moment, I am doing research within outreach youth work.

When younger, I was active in Finnish environmental NGOs for over a decade. Within The Finnish Nature League and Friends of the Earth Finland, I campaigned for the protection and conservation of climate, forests, wetlands and water resources, as well as striving for a socially just world. I have also been involved in local Fair Trade action, supporting the Fair Trade Store in Mikkeli.

I am a father of two, enjoying things like gaming, listening to music, playing football and watching TV shows.

I live in the Kaukola quarter, near Mikkeli town centre, with my wife and children. Our eldest is in the ninth grade and the younger one in elementary school.
Ever since my childhood, I have enjoyed playing different board games, RPGs and computer games. I play together and alone, with kids, with my adult friends, sometimes even with strangers online.

I listen to lots of different pop, rock and rhythm music. You can find my Spotify profile and a couple of playlists here.

I am a massive fan of football. I do not kick the ball around as much as I used to, however football, played either in the park or indoors, still is my favourite form of exercise. Years ago, I also used to referee in the summertime, notably junior games. Going to watch football games is also an active hobby of mine. My dearest teams are the Finnish male and female national teams, as well as MP and PU-62 from my home town. Outside the football fields, Kampparit bandy team is my sports favourite. My bike is my everyday transport.

I have a wide range of experience in doing politics on different levels. At the municipal election in 2017, I was the vote pulling king in Mikkeli with the second largest vote count. I am Chairman of the Greens in the Mikkeli Municipal Council now, as well as Chairman of the Urban Environment Board in Mikkeli and a member of the South Savo County Executive. I first ran for a member of the Finnish Parliament representing South Eastern Finland in the previous General Election, gathering the third-largest vote count, 1709 votes.

Within national politics, I have been member of the Greens Party Board since 2013, now as Vice-Chair of the Greens. In the role of Chair of the Greens Climate and Energy working group, I have devised initiatives on both carbon sinks and rail investments. I have also chaired the Greens Sports working group.