Kati Laakso

Kati Laakso
  1. Tell us who you are:

    I´m Kati, a Finnish woman with an international background currently living in Tokyo, Japan. I studied business in Sweden but ended up working in the arts and culture sector quite soon after graduating. I was born in Switzerland and have had the opportunity to live and work/study in six countries on three continents. I worked in New York for six years, and am now enjoying a very exciting and different culture in Japan.

  2. Tell us more about your career steps and other projects you were part of:

    I started of studying business but quickly found my way to the art, nonprofit, and government sector which I´ve been working in ever since (the past ten years). My work takes up most of my free time since I´m lucky enough to work in a field I love. I´ve been active in various volunteer projects from early on, and spent quite a lot of my free time consulting people mostly in international relations/projects. In addition to international art and culture projects I enjoy writing and try to find time to publish a thing or two every now and then.

  3. What does “Social Capital” mean to you?

    Social capital is very important for me. In a world where technology has fundamentally changed
    the way we communicate and live, social capital, real-life connections, networks, and webs
    of people that are close to us have become more and more important.Our social connections have the power to define our future to a large extend. They
    also make up an important framework of our life. It´s fun to notice how small even the
    international networks within a specific field can be. Passionate people tend to flock together I
    guess, and suddenly one can have a supportive network on a global level – that to me is the
    power and beauty of social capital.

  4. What makes you successful in life/current job?

    My passion for the field I work in, and believe that I´m working to make the world a better place (mainly through art, culture, and networks/communications). I try to stay open, confident, and kind in both work and life. Those are the cornerstones of good life to me, and the enablers of learning, growth, and success.

  5. What is/has been your biggest achievement professionally and personally?

    I feel I achieve my goals every time I see positive change or new networks, connections, or success stories stemming from my actions. In other words, when I can help or support someone to achieve something bigger than they could have accomplished alone. To me success is defined trough small actions or achievements that lead us in the right direction. Nowadays people are too focused on the final outcome and forget to enjoy the process, which after all is pretty much all we have.I have been lucky to work with big international art and design projects, which are also good examples of great teamwork. Team effort is what makes projects truly successful, and can take them to a whole different level.

  6. What skills, experiences or incidences helped you to get you to where you are today? What hindered?

    Perseverance, and a strong believe that what I do is the right thing to do. One key point is to believe in yourself and trust the process, no matter what the outside world or even people in your immediate surrounding might think about it.Our past bad experiences in work or life can hinder us to a large extend so we should always try to evaluate what is holding us back, and how we could fight it.

  7. What are your aspirations as a 1World Mentor for the 1World Social Capital Program?

    I hope I can support and motivate my mentee to better reach the goals and dreams she has, by listening, guiding, and supporting. I believe that people who have been helped are motivated to help others, and wish that in the future my mentee will pass on her knowledge to the next person who needs support.

  8. What can you offer your 1World Mentee?

    Perspective on how to proceed to reach goals set by oneself. Mentoring is not giving answers but listening and asking questions, and portraying different options and hinders that might lie ahead.

  9. Do you believe there is a glass ceiling for young female professionals? If yes, how can we break it?

    I believe the world is full of various kinds of glass ceilings. But we are here to break them!