What we believe in

Kone Foundation wants to make the world a better place by advancing bold initiatives in research and the arts.
The artist collective HOnkasalo-Niemi-Virtanen i.e. Akuliina Niemi, Felicia Honkasalo & Sinna Virtanen. Photo: Katja Tähjä / Kone Foundation

It is our aim that academic research in humanities, social sciences, and environmental sciences flourishes in Finland. Knowledge based on research contributes to discussions in society and influences decision-making. Moreover, arts and culture keep questioning established conceptions, and are part of Finns’ everyday life.

We are looking for countercurrents and are interested in the margins, as we believe that new and valuable things can be found in marginal areas. Questioning and seeing differently increase our understanding of the world.

Boldness also means crossing – and even breaking – boundaries. We believe in an interdisciplinary approach and encounters across fields of art and research and between research and the arts. We also believe in unexpected combinations of perspectives. We want to cross boundaries, be open to what is new and take risks.

We believe in taking time: creating something new requires time and a profound understanding, but also alertness and an ability to respond rapidly and flexibly.

Boldness requires trust and is powered by encounters and a sense of community. This is symbolised by the Well, a place where people gather to spend time together, share and discuss.

Our idea of boldness includes an experimental approach and the courage to be incomplete and escape predetermined definitions. The future holds a multitude of opportunities, and we want to foster positive development.

At the basis of Kone Foundation’s activities is an educated and humane attitude towards the world. Education implies for us justice and responsibility for human beings and the environment. Our humane attitude respects human equality, but sees humanity as part of the diversity of life on Earth.

Kone Foundation wants to make a difference in the world by advancing bold initiatives in research and the arts. We believe in the intrinsic value of free and bold art and research, which make the world a better place. Art and research also make a difference in a more traditional sense – by reducing suffering, for example, and by having a positive social, emotional and financial impact. However, we never see research and the arts merely as tools. They are intrinsic to a civilised world – a world where research knowledge is part of public discussion in society and where art and culture challenge conventions.

To fulfil our mission, we award grants, maintain the Saari Residence, and organise events to encourage encounters between people.