Europe in Action 2021

Europe in Action 2021 programme and summary

Europe in Action 2021

Europe in Action 2021 took place from 8-11 June.  The theme of the event was SKILLS. The conference addressed the employment of people with intellectual disabilities and the development of work into inclusive activities. The program of the four-day conference contained current information and examples from different countries.

Europe in Action was first held in 2003. Since then, an annual European country has hosted the conference. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, Europe in Action 2021 was a virtual event. The event featured traditional lecture sections, coffee moments for participants, and partner booths.

The four-day conference gathered over 370 participants from 25 countries that had a chance to attend 28 sessions and workshops that featured 10 examples of employment support. The conference had six self-advocate speakers and one self-advocacy session and 15 speakers from countries across four continents.

Keynote speakers


László Bercse is Vice-President of Inclusion Europe, Vice-President of the Hungarian  EFOESZ and President of EPSA. At the conference, the topic he talked about was work as an instrument of inclusion.

Hisayo Katsui. Katsui is an assistant professor for disability research at the University of Helsinki. The topics she talked about at the conference were disability and human rights.

Frank Martela is a philosopher and researcher whose topic at the conference was precious and meaningful life. Martela is a researcher of motivation, well-being and relevance.

Perttu Pölönen is a futurist, non-fiction writer and expert. Perttu is known as a thinker who believes humanity will be vital in the future. He talks in a variety of ways about the challenges and opportunities of the future Рabout future working life and the human revolution. At the conference, Pölönen spoke about skills and future working life.

Jorma Mikkonen works as the Director of Public Relations (SVP Public Affairs and Sustainability) at Lassila & Tikanoja. He spoke about diverse working life.




11.00 Opening

  • Risto Burman, Executive Director, Finnish Association for the Mentally Handicapped
  • Krista Kiuru, Minister of Family and Basic Services
  • Music, Vimmart – School of Equal Art

11:20 Work as a tool for inclusion. László Bercse, Vice-Chairman, Inclusion Europe; President, EPSA

12:00 Employment of people with disabilities from a human rights perspective. Hisayo Katsui, Assistant Professor of Disability Research, University of Helsinki

14:00 Parallel programs

  • Experiences of influencing (translated into Finnish-English)
  • Meaningful Jobs by Supporting Employers (in English)
  • Visiting a place of work.¬†(In English)


10:00 A valuable and meaningful life. Frank Martela, philosopher, postdoctoral researcher, Aalto University

11:30 Development of work and day activities in support of inclusion: Quality criteria for activities promoting inclusion and employment as a tool for service development. Chairman Pirjo Valtonen and Vice Chairman Kari Vuorenpää, KVANK Committee on Work and Day Activities

14:00 Parallel programs

  • Precise workability, employer cooperation and customized work task. (In English)
  • Promoters of cognitive accessibility in the Clearly for Us project: paid work and civic engagement (in Finnish)
  • Job first: employment for inclusion.¬†(In English)
  • Pertti’s Choice Workshop with Founders Sami Helle & Kalevi Hell.¬†(In English)

15:30 Parallel programs

  • Public Service Employment for People with Intellectual Disabilities Employment of People with Developmental Disabilities in Public Services (translated from English into Finnish)
  • Day services in supporting the agency and inclusion of a person in need of wide-ranging support: ‚ÄúMovement to My Day and Support to My Choices‚ÄĚ.¬†(In English)
  • Inclusive thinking as a basis for volunteering – from object to actor.¬†(in Finnish)


10:00 CRPD round table: Sheltered workshops Рwhat purpose and future? / UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities panel discussion: Action Centers Рwhat is their meaning and future (translated into Finnish)

11:30 Parallel programs

  • Cooperative as an enabler of gainful employment.¬†(in Finnish)
  • When a skill encounters a task – an example from the path to paid work
  • Current issues in promoting employment.¬†(in Finnish)
  • EnableWorks.¬†(In English)

14:00 Building a diverse working life, case L&T. Jorma Mikkonen, Director of Public Relations, Lassila & Tikanoja

14:30 A friend called loneliness, a poem performance, Art Workshop Wärjäämö

15:30 Parallel programs

  • Customized Employment: The Role of Self-Determination and Person-Centered Services / Translated Employment
  • KLAPjob (in English)
  • Beautiful difference: art and dance session (in English)
  • VVV arena – support for the training of groups and individuals in electronic interaction skills (in Finnish)

FRIDAY 11.6.

10:00 Parallel programs

  • Power from theatre to interaction (in Finnish)
  • ‚ÄúWe are talking about employment‚ÄĚ -Online-courses to support personal goalsetting among persons with Intellectual Disabilities (in English)
  • How the EU supports the employment of people with Disabilities

11:10 Skills and future working life. Perttu Pölönen, futurist, non-fiction writer.

12:00 Closing ceremony

  • Jyrki Pinomaa, Chairman, Inclusion Europe
  • Petri Liukkonen, Chairman, Finnish Association for the Mentally Handicapped
  • Everyone is involved!¬†video greeting from Me Itse ry.
  • Barbecue for the band, Vimmart, equal art school

Learn more about the programme.

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