The Foundation’s core values include diversity, education and humanism. Education includes equality, justice and responsibility for people and the environment. Humanism honours people’s parity and sees humans as one part of the diverse life on earth. The Foundation’s activities are also governed by its efforts to achieve multiple voices and diversity. For us, getting rid of discriminatory practices and structural racism means actively supporting and listening to not only ethnic, but also other minorities.
Our core work consists of the grant process, in which we can take equality and diversity into account at all stages. We are aware that when we choose who and what to support, we often have the opportunity to either reinforce discriminatory structures or promote their dismantling. We select academics and artists who represent a diversity of backgrounds.
It is important for the Foundation that research is carried out in an inclusive manner. It is important to give back research data to the community it concerns. The Foundation’s research funding aims to provide more power and understanding to all Finns and everyone operating in Finland, regardless of their ethnicity.
The researchers funded by the Foundation have increased the research community’s and the public’s understanding of racism and the discrimination against all kinds of minorities. The Foundation’s funding programme Is Finland Becoming Polarized? from 2014 to 2015 studied extensively the changes caused by displacement and migration in Finnish society. The research projects funded both through the Foundation’s general grant and the Neighbourhood programme have highlighted Finland’s historical diversity.
The Kone Foundation’s language programme from 2012 to 2016 sought to promote the position of Finnish and the small languages belonging to the Finno-Ugric language group, as well as minority languages in Finland. Supporting languages and enhancing the understanding of languages improves the experience and opportunities for inclusion of the people belonging to language communities, reduces social exclusion and promotes peace in society. The programme promoted the understanding that individual multilingualism is an important part of human culture.
Evaluation of grant applications
We strive to select a diverse group of evaluators and instruct them to pay attention to their own preconceptions. As a result of our evaluation process, the Foundation has supported numerous projects that work in different ways to promote an anti-racist world through research, art, journalism, activism and a wide range of cultural work.
Saari Residence for artists and researchers
The active dismantling of structural inequality and unsustainability are the principles on the basis of which the Saari Residence is expanding its international network in the residency sector. When selecting residents, the aim is broad diversity. The residence, which is as diverse as possible both geographically and in terms of various forms of art, is a platform for experimentation for ecological, social and psychological sustainability.
In the future, we will organise training to eradicate anti-racist practices and structural racism as part of our Apurahat+ activities, which are designed to support the work of our grantees. We are developing the compilation of statistics concerning our grant activities in order to improve equality, parity and inclusion. We are considering the possibility of developing an ethical code that would steer the work of grantees.
Organisation and recruitment
We understand that the Foundation’s employees are in a privileged position. We are aware of our privileges and examine them constantly, questioning the norms surrounding them. We want to broaden our understanding and unlearn racism and discrimination.
We have striven to take diversity into account in recruitment, but we still have a lot of work to do in this regard. We are implementing the Foundation’s equality plan.
Communication and events
We use our voice for equality and anti-racism. In our communications and at our events, we give a voice and space for an increasingly diverse group of researchers and artists.