Kone Foundation’s principles for a safer space

These are Kone Foundation’s principles for a safer space. We adhere to and expect you to follow these principles at our events, in our facilities and in any projects we fund.  

Applying the principles of a safer space, we want to increase the sense of physical and mental safety among our grantees, event participants and other stakeholders. In a safer space, everyone has the right to be themselves and to express themselves freely. No harassment or inappropriate behaviour of any kind will be tolerated. We all have the opportunity to be involved in and contribute to the creation of the social spaces around us so that everyone can freely be themselves – this is possible by following these guidelines.  

We will update the principles as needed and whenever we learn something new.  

Kone Foundation undertakes to comply with the following principles for a safe space:  

  • We address harassment and inappropriate behaviour. We do not tolerate racism, age discrimination, sexism, discrimination of people with disabilities or health issues (ableism), transphobia, homophobia, class discrimination, or comments on another person’s body in the broad sense of the word at our events or facilities. For our events with a large number of participants we have appointed a harassment contact person you can turn to in case of such an incident during the event. The feedback collected after the event provides you with the opportunity to comment on the safety and accessibility of the event anonymously. We aim to also investigate any situations that have come to light afterwards. 
  • We cherish diversity and the multiplicity of voices. Everyone has the right to be themselves, while respecting others.  
  • We take into account the principles of a safer space when planning each of our events. We pay attention to the language used at the event, organise a pronoun circle if applicable to the nature of the event, give content warnings and appoint a harassment contact person.   
  • When we take photos or video at our events, we make sure to ask for the consent of everyone in the photos or video.  
  • Our office in Helsinki, the Lauttasaari Manor, has barrier-free access from the Kauppaneuvoksentie side of the building. The 1st and 2nd floors of the manor are fully accessible and there is an accessible toilet on the premises. Kone Foundation’s Kamari on Tehtaankatu is unfortunately not accessible.    
  • We promote the principles for a safer space and equality in all our operations and train our personnel in these matters. We are aware of our own privileges and the fact that our knowledge and experience of a safe space are limited.  
  • We are more than happy to receive feedback on our events, facilities and activities. You can give us feedback anonymously, for example, by using the feedback form for our events.  
  • If we make a mistake, we take responsibility for it: we apologise and change the way we act.    

We expect our grantees, event participants and other stakeholders to adhere to the following principles for a safer space:  

  • Please act and treat each other fairly and equally, taking care of each other. Bullying, inappropriate behaviour or harassment need not be tolerated.  
  • It is the responsibility of the project leader to ensure that there is no discrimination within the project on the basis of age, origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, social activities, family relationships, state of health, ability to function, sexual orientation, gender identity, class/socio-economic background, appearance or other personal characteristics.  
  • Differences of opinion can and should be discussed. Please express your opinion constructively and focus on the issue itself and not on the person. Do not speak aggressively or employ personal attacks in your speech against those present or absent. 
  • Please respect others’ experiences and boundaries, give them space and listen to each other. Everyone is free to be themselves and to be heard and seen. Please do not bother or harass anyone verbally, by touching or by staring. 
  • Please avoid making assumptions about others and try to take your own biases into account. Speak only from your own experience. Everyone is allowed to reveal what they feel is necessary and meaningful about themselves. Also, please don’t assume you have a person’s consent without asking them for it.  
  • Please be aware of your privileges. When needed, take advantage of your privileged position by supporting those who encounter harassment or inappropriate treatment.   
  • Please do not use language that is offensive or oppressive to others. At public events, make sure to use language in a way that makes it easy for everyone to understand. Accuracy in the use of language supports the creation of a safe space.  
  • Please don’t hesitate to contact the Foundation if you encounter harassment, inappropriate behaviour or if you find yourself in a situation that makes you feel uncomfortable. We will listen to what has happened and will ask the victim of harassment or other discrimination how they would like us to act in the situation. The harassment contact person for projects at Kone Foundation is Maria Roivas (maria.roivas@koneensaatio.fi)

We have not created these principles ourselves, but have studied the principles of several different organisations and made use of them to formulate our own. We want to thank the Culture for All service, Equality.fi, Uniarts Helsinki, Finnish Museum of Photography, ANTI – Contemporary Art Festival, Baltic Circle Festival, MYÖS Collective, Museum of Impossible Forms, and the Student Union of the University of Turku.

You can give us feedback on our principles for a safe space, for example by e-mail (koneensaatio@koneensaatio.fi)  

What constitutes discrimination?  

Discrimination occurs when a person is treated worse than others on the basis of a personal characteristic. Everyone has the right to equal treatment, and discrimination is prohibited by many of our national laws, such as the Non-discrimination Act and the Criminal Code of Finland, as well as international human rights treaties.  

According to the Non-discrimination Act, no one may be discriminated against on the basis of age, origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, political activity, trade union activity, family relationships, state of health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.  

(Source: Definition of discrimination on the website of the Non-discrimination Ombudsman.)  

What constitutes harassment or inappropriate behaviour?  

Harassment or inappropriate behaviour can be, for example, repeated threats or intimidation, malicious and suggestive messages, or belittling and scornful remarks. Sexual harassment refers to verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that is unwanted and by which a person’s psychological or physical integrity is violated intentionally or factually, in particular by creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive atmosphere.  

 (Sources: Definition of inappropriate behaviour on the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in Finland, Definition of sexual harassment on the website of the Ombudsman for Equality.)