Greeting the new year with a new logo

Casting tin is a popular custom on New Year’s Eve in Finland. You melt the tin, tip it into a bucket of cold water, then use your imagination to tell the future from the shapes that you have created. The beginning of a new year draws you to look to the future, to predict what is going to happen. A lump of tin weighing 35 grams reflects your life situation and the expectations, hopes, fears and dreams associated with it.

The new year will bring a major change as Finnish National Board of Education and Centre for International Mobility CIMO merge to create a new agency. The tasks of this agency will include developing education and training, early childhood education and care, and lifelong learning as well as promoting internationalisation.

The new agency will also have a new logo, which you can see below this blog. To mark the beginning of a new year, I look at the logo of the new organisation as I would scrutinise a piece of tin. What do I see?

Two bands extending from history intertwine to form a single strand, stronger and more elastic than before. The bands curl up into a ball that describes the agency’s role as a global actor in the fields of both internationalisation services and learning.

The figure wants to come alive and become mobile, start rolling and taking shape. The specific purpose of the new organisation, the Finnish National Agency for Education, will be bringing about change, stimulating development and advancement. This will only be possible if the agency exists in interaction with its operating environment, changing in pace with changes in the citizens’ service needs.

The logo has a honeycombed structure; it encourages cooperation and partnership, slotting in to achieve joint targets together. It invites us to look at things from different viewpoints, to see the world from multiple perspectives. The idea of wide horizons indeed is fundamental for the new agency.

While modern, the logo is also peaceful. I hope that the new Finnish National Agency for Education will also be these two things for its employees. The strong vocational competence created in the two agencies deserves a good working atmosphere also in the new organisation. Being a good workplace while reforming the operating modes of a public service - this is our common challenge.

Max Planck said: “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” What do you see in the new logo of the Finnish National Agency for Education?

Olli-Pekka Heinonen

Director General, Finnish National Agency for Education