The Academy of Values
In 1998 Archbishop John Vikström invited leaders from various fields to discuss values. This resulted in the creation of the Academy of Values (Arvojen akatemia), which each year gathers a new, broadly based group of influential people to discuss a range of current issues.
Based on participants’ presentations the Academy of Values considers the values on which the individual and society are founded. These discussions are held confidentially. The aim is to increase interaction and consensus among social actors.
The Academy of Values consists of three seminar sessions held at the Church’s Institute of Advanced Training in Järvenpää. Alongside the courses follow-up events are organised, where Academy participants meet and continue their discussion. Each course selects from among its members an ‘alderman’, who represents their course and participates in the planning of future events.
The Arena of Values
A group of young people who had assisted at the Academy of Values expressed a wish for a similar seminar for young people. Since 2011 the Archbishop has invited about twenty prominent young people to a four-day seminar. The goal of this Arena of Values (Arvojen Areena) is to bring together various people and approaches.
The seminar affords time for an unhurried, confidential face-to-face discussion. The Church provides a framework for the discussions, but their content is generated by the participants’ contributions. The themes are selected by a working group that includes not only the organiser but also each contact person chosen for each of the annual courses, the Arvokkaat (‘Valued Ones’). After the seminar the Arena participants can gather with their year group for further meetings.