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

  • A temporary project assignment


    I work as a Career Guidance Expert on the European Commission’s new Europass portal on lifelong learning and career development. In this role, my main task is to ensure high level of userfriendliness and client-orientedness in how the portal and its different tools work for individual citizens. Moreover, I am in charge of guidance-related content provision online.  

  • Finnish National Agency for Education

    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). The overall context in which I function includes national and international cooperation and development in the field of lifelong guidance across education, training, employment and youth sectors. More specifically my tasks cover marketing and promotion, communications, in-service training provision, project management, lecturing at national and international conferences, service design and development. The European Commission, the European Parliament, the Euroguidance Network, the IAEVG and several EU Agencies (e.g. Cedefop, European Training Foundation, Eurofound) are the prominent cooperation partners at a European level. In Finland, the national ministries and regional/sectoral authorities are the key partners.    

  • University of Helsinki, Faculty of Behavioural Sciences

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

    Doctoral student conducting qualitative research on International mobility capital as a professional and educational resource of an individual in working life – Narratives of European Union experts on career development, learning and employability. Expected doctoral dissertation in 2018-19. For further details see www.launikari.eu/phd/

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

    P.O.Box 343, 00531 Helsinki, Finland, Switchboard +358-295-338500, www.cimo.fi

    CIMO’s main task is to promote international cooperation and mobility with specific emphasis on education, training, working life, culture and young people.

    Since June 2012 I have been charged with the following responsibilities at CIMO: fostering international learning mobility and the European dimension in lifelong guidance; organising events and contributing as a presenter to national and international events (conferences, seminars, workshops); acting as a trainer on programmes for professional development; designing and managing European and national development projects; cooperating with the European Commission, national authorities (incl. Ministry of Education and Culture, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Finnish National Board of Education, etc.), relevant EU agencies and EU-wide networks (Euroguidance, European Lifelong Guidance Policy Network, European Employment Services, Eurydice, Europass, EURAXESS); coordinating information and publication work on the international/multicultural dimension in lifelong learning, lifelong guidance and employment, as well as drafting scientific research articles on topics related to internationalisation of education and working life as well as coordinating the EU-wide Euroguidance-network’s promotion, visibility and lobbying work in relation to European level stakeholders (this work includes the positioning of the Euroguidance network within the European Commission’s New Skills Agenda 2016-2020).

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

    Europe 123, 57001 Thessaloniki, Greece, Switchboard +30-2310-490111, www.cedefop.europa.eu

    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.

    My duties as a Project Manager consisted of EU policy and strategy level cooperation in the areas of lifelong guidance and entrepreneurship education in cooperation with the European Commission, the European Parliament and the EU Member States, including monitoring the progress made in the EU Member States in implementing the EU level policies and strategies; contributing with expertise to the European Union presidencies and the related EU-documents being prepared; initiating and coordinating research studies as well as supervising the work of external research groups; drafting policy papers and reports; organising European policy level events (seminars and workshops); designing and running training courses and 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; annual budgetary planning, execution, follow-up and reporting as well as organising Call for Tenders (procurement procedures). Finally, I was an appointed institutional representative in the European Commission Expert Group on Entrepreneurship education in 2011-12.

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

    P.O.Box 380, 00531 Helsinki, Finland, www.oph.fi

    As a Project Manager I was in charge of managing a large-scale EU-funded development project in Finland (1.4 million euros; European Social Fund) focusing on preventing the exclusion of young people from education and training. This work consisted of project planning, scheduling, implementation, follow-up, evaluation, reporting, budget execution, people management and coordination of promotion and dissemination activities at national and international levels.The project itself was divided into three main activities: professional development of teachers and guidance practitioners, consultancy to school administration and educational authorities as well as thematic research. As a result several publications and research reports were published and dissemination events organised. Within the project there was thematic cooperation with Denmark, Italy and Spain on culture- and gender-sensitive counselling as well as on labour market segregation, and I was responsible for the coordination of this European partnership.

    Parallel to the above, I was representing Finland in the Joint Action Group (an initiative of the European Commission 2005-2006) with partners from Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Poland. This transnational cooperation aimed at developing a holistic guidance provision for youth at risk.

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

    P.O.Box 343, 00531 Helsinki, Finland, Switchboard +358-295-338500, www.cimo.fi

    My main responsibility as a Senior Adviser was to coordinate Euroguidance network-based activities linked to developing mechanisms for supporting international mobility in the areas of lifelong learning and working in Europe and beyond. Among other things, I initiated and managed an EU-funded development project with partners from six EU countries (CZ, DK, EE, EL, FI, IT) to raise the multicultural sensitivity among teachers, trainers and other groups of educators. The 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, authoring and editing national and international publications, writing articles for Finnish and European journals, producing and disseminating promotional materials; lecturing at national and international conferences, seminars and workshops as well as participating; creating and coordinating training programmes focusing on international mobility and interculturalism for experts who work with youngsters in education, employment and youth sectors, and acting as a trainer myself.

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

    Eteläranta 2, 00130 Helsinki, Finland

    Human Resource Management Junior Consultant was a project-based and time-related 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 as well as to promote the Thomas assessment system to companies in the Helsinki capital region.

  • Language Bureau Kielikimara

    Minervankatu 2 A 25, 00100 Helsinki, Finland

    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 for business people. The job was time-related/short-term and linked to providing the 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’.

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 1994-2013, 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 a total of 20 published academic research reports, handbooks and professional publications [For details, see the list of publications]. To my knowledge, the most cited publications are: 

  • 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

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

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.