Mika Launikari


Updated .

Mr Mika Launikari’s Curriculum Vitae

Personal data

Surname and given name
Launikari, Mika
Place and year of birth
Stockholm, Sweden (1966)
Current place of residence
Helsinki, Finland
Mobile phone
[javascript protected email address]

Major achievements

EU POLICY AND STRATEGY KNOWHOW: Throughout my professional career I have been working at a European/international level, but specifically thanks to my Senior Expert position (2007-12) at the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop, EU agency located in Greece) I got valuable insights into EU level policy and strategy developments in the fields of lifelong learning, sustainable employment, migration and entrepreneurship. My work has always involved close cooperation with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the national ministries of education and employment in the EU Member States.

INTERNATIONAL NETWORKING & COOPERATION: since 1995 I have been professionally involved in international networking and cooperation in the fields of education, training, guidance and counselling and working life within the Euroguidance-network (30+ countries) and the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network (30+ countries). I have a good overview of several other EU-level networks as I have been cooperating with them, such as EURES (employment), Eurodesk (youth work), ENIC-NARIC (recognition of qualifications), Eurydice (education systems), and many more. I am well informed about European reference tools, for example, European Qualifications Framework.

EU-FUNDED PROJECT MANAGEMENT: I have initiated international projects (fundraising included) and been involved as a project manager in many EU-level development projects since 1997. The most important projects are: Towards a European Rainbow (6 European countries developed a training programme on multicultural counselling, 1999-2001), and CHANCES – Prevention of young people dropping out of education (5 national partners and 3 European partners, 2005-2007).

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES: During my professional career in the fields of education, training, labour market, multiculturalism, lifelong guidance and entrepreneurship, I have given an input as a speaker/presenter/facilitator to some 60 international conferences and seminars across Europe. Moreover, I have an extensive experience in organizing international seminars, expert meetings and other types of events. Please see www.launikari.eu/conferences

PUBLICATIONS: I have a rigorous experience in drafting and editing professional articles and EU-level policy papers as well as academic publications and research reports (in Finnish and English). Moreover, I am highly skilled in popularizing research results for the wider audience and writing for the Internet (incl. articles, blog texts). Please see www.launikari.eu/publications

Work experience

  • – present

    Laurea University of Applied Sciences

    I am involved in research, development and innovation in the area of career guidance and competence upskilling. My duties include cooperating with enterprises in matters of skills development (micro-credentials and coaching), drafting peer-reviewed articles and reports, being a member of the editorial board of the Laurea Journal (peer reviewing articles to be published), lecturing at national and international seminars/conferences, running training programmes to career guidance practitioners, providing expertise to national authorities, networking at national and international levels, participating in EU-funded projects to develop new digital tools and service arrangements, and acting as a thesis supervisor to university students.

  • Independent

    Co-authoring a novel (humorous fiction) that deals with survival of small municipalities in Finland in the era of globalisation. 

  • A temporary project assignment

    European Commission DG EMPL / Everis

    I worked as a Career Guidance and International Mobility Expert on the European Commission’s new Europass online platform on lifelong learning and career development. My main task was to ensure high level of userfriendliness and client-orientedness in how the platform and its different web-based tools work for individual citizens. I contributed to content provision in the platform by drafting articles on topics such as skills development, identifying skill needs, career planning and learning, working in an intercultural environment. Other tasks included drafting briefing notes and background papers for the European Commission; designing and developing an online training programme addressed to guidance practitioners, HR experts, youth workers, and recruiters; and presenting the new Europass at international events. A 10-month temporary project assignment (full-time) for which the European Commission specifically invited me.

  • Finnish National Agency for Education

    My duties as a Senior Information Specialist comprised national and international cooperation across education, training, employment and youth sectors, including competence development, project management, networking, lecturing, and service design. I was in charge of coordinating the communications and promotion activities of the Euroguidance network consisting of 34 European countries (under European Commission DG EMPL). My tasks with European countries involved consultancy, skills development, knowledge exchange and transfer, joint projects and events to promote career guidance and international mobility. The European Commission, the European Parliament, EU Agencies, national ministries, regional/sectoral authorities, and higher education institutions were the key partners. (I was on a leave of absence during 1 April 2019 – 29 February 2020 while working in Brussels.)  

    [N.B. Due to the merger between two former national agencies (the Centre for International Mobility CIMO and the Finnish National Board of Education) a new national authority under the auspices of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture was established as of 1 January 2017: the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI). EDUFI is the National Agency for Erasmus+ programme in Finland.]

  • University of Helsinki, Faculty of Educational Sciences

    P.O.Box 9 (Siltavuorenpenger 5A), 00014 University of Helsinki, Finland, Switchboard +358-9-19120510, www.helsinki.fi/university

    During 2014-2019 I conducted doctoral studies on top of my full-time employment in the Finnish governmental services. I successfully completed and defended my doctoral dissertation in May 2019 at the University of Helsinki. My doctoral research (monograph), entitled ‘Homo interculturalis - Identity, interculturality and career learning within European Union institutions’, is available online at https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/300012 For additional details see www.launikari.eu/phd/

  • Centre for International Mobility CIMO (public sector, national authority)

    As a Senior Information Specialist I was organising national and international events (seminars, workshops); acting as a trainer to foster professional development of teachers and guidance counsellors on international mobility; coordinating European/national development projects; cooperating with the European Commission, national authorities (incl. ministries), relevant EU agencies and EU-wide networks (Euroguidance, European Employment Services, Eurydice, Europass, EURAXESS, …); coordinating information and publication work (incl. editing and authoring duties) on the international/multicultural dimension in lifelong learning and employment. I was in charge of coordinating the promotional activities of the Euroguidance network with 34 member countries across Europe (under European Commission DG EMPL). I was on a leave of absence from April 2014 until March 2015 to launch my doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki.

    [CIMO’s main task was to promote international cooperation and mobility with specific emphasis on education, training, working life, culture and young people. CIMO was the National Agency for Erasmus+ programme.]

  • European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop; EU Agency)

    In the context of human capital development, my duties as a Project Manager consisted of EU policy and strategy level cooperation in the areas of lifelong guidance and entrepreneurship education. To this end I was closely collaborating with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Member States. This work included monitoring the progress made in the EU Member States in implementing the EU level policies and strategies (policy analysis, studies); contributing with expertise to the European Union presidencies; initiating and coordinating research studies as well as supervising the work of external research groups; organising European policy level events; designing and delivering training programmes on multicultural guidance; contributing as a presenter to international conferences; networking across Europe and beyond with relevant national ministries, social partners, sectoral bodies/associations, leading professional experts, EU-wide networks; budgetary planning, execution, follow-up and reporting.

    [The EU Agency Cedefop’s strategic objective is to strengthen European cooperation and support the European Commission, Member States and social partners in designing and implementing policies for vocational education and training that promotes social inclusion of all citizens in Europe.]

  • Finnish National Board of Education (public sector, national authority)

    As a Project Manager I managed a large-scale EU-funded development project focusing on preventing the exclusion of young people from education and training. The project contributed to guidance practitioners’ competence development regarding culture- and gender-sensitive guidance, multiprofessional and network-based cooperation, and service development for young people with special needs. Cooperation with Denmark, Italy and Spain on culture- and gender-sensitive counselling as well as on labour market segregation was part of the project.

    Parallel to the above, I was representing Finland in the Joint Action Group (an initiative of the European Commission) with partners from Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Poland. This transnational cooperation aimed at developing a holistic guidance provision for citizens at risk.

    [The Finnish National Board of Education was in charge of the development of the pre-primary, basic, general and vocational upper secondary education and training, and adult education in Finland.]

  • Centre for International Mobility CIMO (public sector, national authority)

    As a Senior Adviser I coordinated Euroguidance network-based activities linked to promoting international mobility in Europe. I initiated and managed an EU-funded development project with partners from six EU countries (1999-2001) with the aim to improve multicultural competences of guidance practitioners, teachers, trainers and youth workers. This project entitled Towards a European RAINBOW – Increasing the intercultural awareness among guidance counsellors (1999-2001) was included in the Intercultural dialogue Good Practice Series n:o 8 published by the European Commission in 2004. Moreover, I authored and edited national and international publications, wrote articles for Finnish and European journals, produced and disseminated promotional materials; lectured at national and international conferences, seminars and workshops, and acted as a trainer myself. The main cooperation partners were the European Commission, national education and labour authorities in the EU/EEA member states and EU candidate countries, international associations, higher education institutions, European networks.

  • Oy Skandinaviska Ledningsgruppen SLG-Thomas International Ab (Consulting)

    Human Resource Management Junior Consultant was a project-based, tempory assignment. My main task after the 1,5 month training period on the Thomas Human resources assessment system was to support the senior consultants in identifying potential business clients, to promote the Thomas assessment system to companies in the Helsinki capital region and to run human resource assessments at clients.

  • Language Bureau Kielikimara

    As a Project Coordinator my main responsibility was to assist this newly established language school in promoting its language training services to Finnish companies as well as to contribute to designing a German language training programme addressed to business people. This assignment was a temporary job and linked to providing some initial support for a successful business start-up. 

Education and degrees awarded

Doctoral studies – Finland (2014-2019): Doctoral studies at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Educational Sciences. Doctoral dissertation entitled Homo interculturalis - Identity, interculturality and career learning within European Union institutions’ (2019).

Master’s degree – Finland (1993): Master of Science in Business and Economic Administration completed at the Helsinki School of Economics. Marketing (major), Economic Sociology, Economic Geography (minors).

Military service – Finland (1986-1987): Finnish Coastal Artillery, military rank Second Lieutenant.

Matriculation Examination – Finland (1985): Upper Secondary General School, grade laudatur.

Further education and training

Participation in several further training courses and programmes in Finland and abroad for professional development during 1994-2019, including intercultural and interpersonal communication studies, language courses (Danish, English, French, German, Greek, Italian), training for trainers, team working, Internet-based content strategy.

Other academic merits – Memberships, keynote speeches, inputs to conferences

  • Istanbul, Turkey (November 2014). A member of the Scientific Committee of the Congress on International Job and Vocational Counselling
  • Cedefop representative in the European Commission working group on entrepreneurship education in 2011-12, and in the European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network in 2007-12.
  • Finnish representative in the Joint Action Group on developing guidance provision for at-risk youth (European Commission initiative) with five partner countries (AT, CZ, DE, FR, PL) in 2005-06.
  • Rome, Italy (October 2012): Sfide e obiettivi per un nuovo Mercato del Lavoro [Challenges and objectives for a new Labour Market; a conference organised by ISFOL]. Keynote speaker on Lifelong guidance supporting better labour market integration in Europe.
  • Since 1996 contributions as a speaker/presenter/organiser to numerous international seminars and conferences in the field of lifelong learning, lifelong guidance and employment (see section Conferences at www.launikari.eu)
  • Designer of professional training courses and trainer on multicultural guidance and counseling programmes, for example, a 3-day intensive training for the Euroguidance network members (Warsaw, Poland in May 2008; and Limassol, Cyprus in October 2009).

Scientific and societal impact of research – Total number of publications

Involvement (as an author, editor, contributor, etc.) in numerous published academic research reports, handbooks and professional publications [For details, see the list of publications]. To my knowledge, the most cited publications are: 

  • Launikari, M. 2019. Homo interculturalis - Identity, interculturality and career learning within European Union institutions. Helsinki studies in education, 44. Helsinki: Unigrafia. ISBN 978-951-51-4972-5 (paperback), 978-951-51-4973-2 (pdf) https://helda.helsinki.fi/handle/10138/300012
  • Cedefop, 2011. Lifelong guidance across Europe –Reviewing policy progress and future prospects. ISBN 978-92-896-0848-0.
  • Kasurinen, H. & Launikari, M. (Eds.), 2007. CHANCES – Opinto-ohjauksen kehittäminen nuorten syrjäytymisen ehkäisemiseksi. [CHANCES – Developing career counselling services to prevent exclusion of young people]. ISBN 978-952-13-3498-6.
  • Launikari, M. & Puukari, S. (Eds.), 2005. Multicultural Guidance and Counselling – Theoretical Foundations and Best Practices in Europe. ISBN 951-39-2075-5.

Linguistic skills

LanguageOral level of competenceWritten level of competence
FinnishNative languageNative language
EnglishWorking language, excellentWorking language, excellent
Danish and NorwegianGoodGood
ItalianBasic skillsBasic skills
GreekBeginner’s levelBeginner’s level
DutchBeginner's levelBeginner's level

ICT skills

Software/systemLevel of competence
Microsoft OfficeProficient user
Consultation of databasesProficient user
Information search on the InternetProficient user
Website design (contents, not the technical realisation) and writing for the webProficient user

International experience

Brussels, Belgium (January-December 2019): Working on the European Commission’s new Europass platform on lifelong learning and career development. 

Thessaloniki, Greece (June 2007-May 2012): EU-post as a Senior Expert at the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training Cedefop (EU agency).

Copenhagen, Denmark (February-April 1998): Through the Nordic exchange programme for civil servants stationed at the Danish Council for Educational and Vocational Guidance (RUE) to become acquainted with education, training and employment in Denmark. 

Vienna, Austria (January-June 1992): Exchange student from the Helsinki School of Economics (HSE) at the Wirtschaftsuniversität  Wien, Austria.  Studies  completed  in  Vienna  recognised  as  part  of  my  Master’s Degree at the HSE.

Norrköping and Rättvik, Sweden (June-July 1980): Participation in youth summer camps to improve my Swedish skills.  

Stockholm, Sweden (May 1966-March 1974): Born in Sweden, where I spent my childhood until our family moved back to Finland in 1974.

Hobbies and free-time interests

For the body: Jogging, trekking, cross-country skiing, biking. 

For the spirit:  Enjoying performing arts (opera, theatre, concerts), collecting antiquities. 

For the mind: Good friends and quality time with them are important, doing tarot card readings. 

For the global-mindedness: although I travel a lot for work, I still enjoy exploring new countries/ cities in my free time, too. I love Europe - I’ve been to 36 European countries. Still on my agenda to visit Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Moldova, Monaco, San Marino, Serbia, Ukraine.