New Year's Eve 2020 Thoughts
By early April, with all the time stuck at home, I decided to set myself a target of getting healthier. My health target consisted of fasting (18hr periods of no eating) and daily exercise in the form of 10km – 13km walks. To supplement my healthier lifestyle, I also decided to do a lot more gardening and grow plants and flowers – any excuse to spend time outside when free from my work computer. Another project I started was rebuilding my front house deck to keep me busy.
By the time June arrived the COVID-19 situation in Finland seemed to have calmed down a little, so my family and I were able to travel to northern Finland for a small holiday break. Our original plan was to visit the Highlands of Scotland, but travel restrictions meant this had to be cancelled. However, this gave me a unique opportunity to do salmon fishing on the Tornio river (Tornionjoki) with some other international friends – something I had always wanted to do. I also invested in purchasing new camping equipment and spent many times wild camping around my local lake (Tuusulanjärvi) - I even managed a forest wild camp for the 1st time with my son (watch the YouTube video of the trip adventure below). In some ways over the summer I felt I rediscovered Finland and learnt to appreciate nature and the wilderness again. At the end of summer was my son’s confirmation celebration and we had a small family garden party to celebrate, which was really nice but also emotional for my wife and I – kids grow up so quickly, it makes you wonder where the years go! When August arrived, it was time to be back at work, but again working from home because of the slowly deteriorating COVID-19 situation. Luckily, I felt much more mentally ready and had lost over 30Ibs of body weight to keep me motivated and ready for the Autumn start.
Obviously Brexit will bring its own challenges but it was good a trade deal was agreed and signed at the last minute. As a pro-European I am very upset to see the UK leave, but I respect the democratic decision. Maybe over time people who voted leave will realise it was better to stay united rather than be separate. Time will tell on this matter and I will just have to bite my lip and accept what has happened.
I wish everyone who has read this short blog a Happy New Year and better 2021!
Haaga-Helia's The Space Tourism Forum Porvoo brought together more than eighty people interested in space tourism from all over the world. The first space flights for tourists are expected to start in the next few years.
In November, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences organised a virtual event on space tourism, which caught interest all around the world.
The event, originally scheduled for May, showcased that the people are really interested in the latest megatrends in space tourism as well as research in the field.
The Space Tourism Forum Porvoo was supposed to be already earlier this year, but the legislation following the global corona pandemic made it impossible to organise.
The keynote speakers were Ms Annette Toivonen, a tourism lecturer at Haaga-Helia, and Mr Mikko Dufva, a future expert at Sitra, both well-known and respected in their own fields of expertise.
A panel discussion was also held at the event. The panel was attended by Mr Pekka Janhunen, a space physicist and research manager at the Finnish Meteorological Institute, Ms Maija Lönnqvist, Chief Space Policy Specialist at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, and Ms Toivonen, who also acted as a keynote speaker.
It was moderated by Mr Darren Trofimczuk, a long-term space enthusiast and educational technology expert at Haaga-Helia.
Haaga-Helia for ethical tourism
To many, the Space Tourism Forum Porvoo was a welcome variation in the midst of a challenging pandemic year and at the same time, it also shifted their gaze towards the future. According to Mr Trofimczuk, the arrangements for the event were successful despite the adversities of May.
A big thanks for that belongs to Haaga-Helia's event management students, and to lecturer Ms Monika Birkle, who guided them. Students' work was considered essential to the success of the event.
Mr. Trofimczuk believes that there are still several aspects of space travel that still need answers.
In his view, it isn't just about getting into a rocket and blasting off into space.
— Over the coming decades, new jobs and industries will develop and grow, which is very positive for our students who are possibly thinking of a career in this new industry, but at the same time the ethics of operations and, above all, ethics in tourism should be considered, he says.
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences is one of the pioneers of space tourism-related education. Since 2019, the world's university course has been organized on the Porvoo campus, which intertwines the megatrend of sustainable development and space tourism.
Mr Trofimczuk is responsible for the implementation of the course together with Ms Toivonen, who also served as the keynote speaker at the event.
Rising theme in the fields of tourism and aviation
Ms Annette Toivonen, PHD researcher and lecturer in sustainable space tourism, also says that she is very satisfied with the arrangements for the event. The cancellations in May naturally brought some challenges, but in the end, everything went more than fine.
According to Ms Toivonen, she finds it fascinating that even at such a time as this, she can inspire people.
— It felt great to be able to help and share my academic space tourism expertise for the benefit of the event organising students as well as the audience, she says.
Toivonen is already excitedly looking forward, both organising the next year's event, as well as developing the space tourism-related educational content for Haaga-Helia even further.
Toivonen, who launched her debut book Sustainable Space Tourism: An Introduction (Channel View Publications, UK 2020) at the event, believes that interest in sustainable space tourism will increase exponentially in the near future.
— Due to technological breakthroughs in the last decade, the first space flights for tourists are expected to start very soon. Space tourism is a rising theme in the fields of tourism and aviation, she says.
The Space Tourism Event Porvoo was held on November 26th. Learn more about the event from the official event pages: https://www.spacetourismporvoo.fi/
Website article source: www.haaga-helia.fi/en/current/news/space-tourism-forum-porvoo-brought-together-experts-field