Tell us who you are!
My name is Paivi Kankaro, I’m a multimedia artist, filmmaker and digital crafter originally from Finland and currently based in New York. I work for both Kollabora and CraftJam, startups that encourage creativity, learning, and crafting. I also freelance as a photographer and videographer. If you want to know more, check out my website.
Tell us more about your career steps and other projects you were part of!
I have studied both in Finland and NYC. I did my masters in Media Studies in Finland at the University of Turku, and in New York I studied documentary filmmaking at The New School. I’ve also studied music, singing, acting, improv and music theater.
I’ve always worked within the online and visual culture worlds in one form or another, whether as project manager developing online services, or as head of creative coming up with new concepts and creating engaging content. I love building things, coming up with solutions and making things happen.
Performing arts have always been a part of my life; for as long as I can remember I’ve studied music in variety of ways, from playing piano to singing. I spent my twenties singing and touring with my band in Finland, and in New York I also got the chance to pursuit music theater, which was always a dream of mine.
I don’t think there is any limit to the things we can learn and do. I feel that any chance to learn or gain new perspectives is good for you and for whatever you are doing, that’s why I’m always trying to study more and broaden my views.
What does “Social Capital” mean to you?
Social Capital is making genuine connections with people. I believe it’s also being able to connect with people different from you; it’s a huge resource to have connections and the network you’ve built along the way.
I don’t think I could have done half the things in my life if I hadn’t met the people I did along the way. I have been lucky enough to make meaningful connections and met people who have pushed me to do better and inspired me to work harder. I have gained a lot of social capital in my life, and I intend to pay it forward!
What makes you successful in current job?
I would say I am successful in my work because I am able to wear so many hats and multi-task between all of them; I have experience in many different fields, and I enjoy using both sides of my brain. I am always curious to know how things work and how I can learn something that would benefit any task at hand. I love solving problems and creating better processes.
Most importantly, I am not afraid to work hard.
What has been your biggest achievement professionally and personally?
I think building my life and career in New York has been a great achievement. It’s a life I never expected. Like in many stories, hardships have played a part in this journey in pushing me to work for greater goals, but I am so proud what I have achieved during my time in New York. It has not been easy, but it has allowed me to do things I never thought I would, professionally and personally.
What are your aspirations as a 1World Mentor for the 1World Social Capital Program?
One of the strongest driving forces in my life has always been a deep sense of empathy and an urge to understand and comprehend mankind and support others. This has manifested itself in many ways in my life, and I think being a mentor is an important way to give back to the world and pass the social good that I have received.
What can you offer your 1World Mentee?
A dedicated and empathetic mentor, who is willing to work with you for you to reach your goals. I may not have the right answers for your questions, nor the answer the you might want to hear, but I will be honest, supporting, and totally open. With me you will have a supporter who is genuinely interested in your thoughts and aspirations and who is in it for the long ride.
What does your ideal 1World Mentee look like?
Someone who is as enthusiastic about the journey, as they are about achieving the goals.
Do you believe there is a glass ceiling for young female professionals? If yes, how can we break it?
All glass ceilings are man-made, so they are there only made to be broken. People create the social constructions surrounding us, and although rules are important in our society for things to work, it is equally important to be in constant discourse about the meaning of these constructions. I think knowledge and education are important tools in making change. Coming from a very egalitarian Scandinavian country, equal human rights have always been a given to me, and I want to fight for those who don’t have the same opportunities as I did; that’s why networks created by women are important. If we don’t support and respect each other, nothing will change.