Our story

Read about our history and past events

Koli Theses Image gallery

Koli Forum was established as an association in 16 September 2014 by ten founding member organizations: Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), Finnish Meteorological Institute, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, University of Eastern Finland, University of Oulu, Regional Council of North Karelia, Forestry Development Centre TAPIO, City of Lieksa and The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.

The first Koli Forum event took place already in 2009 based on an initiative by Mr. Pekka Hallberg. During 2009-2014, the Koli Forum events were organized by the secretariat hosted first by the Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla) and later by the University of Eastern Finland (UEF). Between 2015 and 2019, the secretariat was hosted by Tapio Oy.


Past events

Round Table 2022, 28-29 September 2022

The 2022 Round Table concluded that Europe’s cities, regions, industries and natural resources are facing significant changes. Preparations for the future, routed in a systemic circular bioeconomy, should start now. This calls for a holistic system of sustainable change, which includes long-sighted and sustainable land use for today’s futuresustainable choices of discerning citizens, with business and research mainstreaming innovation and rethinking of services with society at its center. In this transition towards a systemic circular bioeconomy, forests and society play a major role. Read more here.

Koli Forum 2021: Forests for Future Generations

In 2021, the Koli Forum seminar focused on the role of forests in climate change mitigation and in rebuilding our society after the COVID-19 crisis. Moreover, the engagement and role of the next generation in future bioeconomy was emphasized. Read more here.

Round Table 2020: Forests for Building the New Future

Koli Forum Round Table discussion was organized as hybrid event on early October at the Koli Sokos Hotel, Koli National Park, Finland.

Our keynote speakers gave us updates on the current megatrends (Jyrki Katainen, Sitra), climate change (Petteri Taalas, WMO) and COVID-19 recovery and the Finnish economy (Vesa Vihriälä, Helsinki University). Matleena Kniivilä (Luke) finalized the keynote session by presenting the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on forest sector in Europe and Finland.

Based on the discussions in the 2020 Round Table event, the Koli Forum 2021 will be focusing on the sustainable use of natural resources, circular bioeconomy, and enhancing dialogue based on scientific knowledge. Koli Forum 2021 will emphasize global and cross-sectoral cooperation, bringing forward viewpoints from e.g. the financial sector. Read more here.

Koli Forum 2019: Wealth, health and wellbeing from Nordic forests

The theme of the Koli Forum 2019 was Wealth, health and wellbeing from Nordic forests reflecting the many versatile dimensions embedded in forestry. The goal of this 10th anniversary Koli Forum event was to view forestry and forest-based bioeconomy from a wider perspective where economic, social, environmental and cultural aspects are considered in a holistic way. Read more here.

Round Table 2018 in Brussels: Climate Smart Forestry

In December 2018, different aspects of forestry and climate change were the topics discussed in seminar organized by Koli Forum in Brussels where European policymakers and leaders got together at the Finnish EU Representation. Practical solutions offered by climate smart forestry both in private and in state-owned forests was the core issue.

The event included also a presentation of the results of a recent LULUCF study illustrating how the potential harvest constraints in Europe would “leak” out to the rest of the world in form of increased loggings mainly in South and North America.

Also, the forest industry’s contribution to climate change mitigation by e.g. substituting fossil carbon intensive products was addressed as well as the best practices and policies to leverage the positive climate impacts of forests. Sharing views and experiences on these topics was considered ever more important in order to spread the positive news as widely as possible.


Round Table 2018: Kokonaishyvinvointia metsistä (Wellbeing from forests – holistically)

Lokakuussa Kolilla pidetyssä Round Table -tilaisuudessa keskityttiin metsistä saatavaan kokonaishyvinvointiin. Tilaisuudessa pohdittiin yhteisen keskustelun ja alustusten saattamana minkälaisella politiikalla ja käytännön toimilla on mahdollista löytää tasapaino ilmastokysymysten, monimuotoisuuden ja virkistyshyötyjen kesken – samalla kun biotalouden tulo- ja työllisyysvaikutusten halutaan kasvavan.


Round Table 2017: EU climate policies & the role of forestry

A representative group of members of the Koli Forum Association and its stakeholders gathered at Koli, Finland, in October 2017, to discuss timely issues related to the role of forests in the European climate policies. The two-day meeting was filled with very interesting discussions and many good new initiatives. The participants agreed that this type of forum is an ever more important platform to discuss and to influence and that there is a clear need for proactive, scientific research based actor who gathers the views.


Koli Forum 2017: Forest-based Bioeconomy and Climate Change Mitigation

A total of 1,700 people gathered at the Finlandia Hall in Helsinki to participate in the first World Circular Economy Forum where the Koli Forum Association was one of the co-organizers together with the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and its partners. The session organized by Koli Forum drew the attention of the global audience to the Nordic views regarding forest-based bioeconomy as well as its role in advancing the circular economy. 


Koli Forum 2015: Wealth from Northern Bioeconomy – joint opportunities and challenges for business and wellbeing

Northern regions share many of the same challenges and opportunities in the sustainable use of natural resources and in the transformation towards circular economy. We invited high-level opinion leaders – policy makers, business people and scientists – from North-America, Europe, Russia, China and Japan to discuss common drivers and opportunities for innovation, business and policy development.


Koli Forum 2013: Forests and Water – the key resources for sustainable and competitive bioeconomy

The third Koli Forum provided a forward-looking and informal global discussion platform to put forward common ideas and proposals for sustainable bioeconomy, the management of natural resources and leadership strategies to produce competitive business opportunities. The themes included natural resources management, resource efficiency and industrial symbiosis, wood-based constructions and clean water. How will the global pressure on natural capital and the access to raw materials change global production and consumption patterns? Will climate change and water scarcity increase the risk of global conflicts and crises? Is resource efficiency a way out of such crises?


Koli Forum 2011: Renewable Forest and Bioenergy

The 2nd Koli Forum brought together a group of eminent decision-makers, executives and experts from the spheres of business, science, politics and culture to: participate in discussions, share information and views on future developments, be inspired by new ideas, formulate common views and innovative new proposals with regard to the management and development of natural resources and bioeconomy. The proposals formulated were presented to the European Commission, the UN Climate Conference in South Africa in 2011, and subsequently the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.


Koli Forum 2009: Natural Resources – solutions to questions of renewable energy and the mitigation of climate change

This first high profile Forum was hosted by the former President of Finland and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Martti Ahtisaari and the President of the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland Pekka Hallberg, who is also Chairman of the Koli Forum Advisory Board. The participants of the Forum represented a wide range of European leaders from business and development organisations to representatives of administration, politics, research and the media. Koli Forum 2009 considers the economic impacts of climate change and the prospects for increasing the use of renewable energy, while also keeping in mind the competitiveness of Europe. The forest sector is used as a case example.


Koli Theses

At the biannual Koli Forum event the Forum draws up a set of proposals for action: the Koli Theses. Through the Koli Theses the Forum aims to influence the decision-makers who shape our common future.