Cay Sevón is a Doctor of Social Sciences. She was responsible for Turku’s Capital of Culture year as the CEO of Turku 2011 Foundation. Sevón has also worked the Account Manager in the City of Turku, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Finance as Director General and Consultant for the Cultural Industry. In 2010, Sevón was chosen as the Sociologist of the Year.
Is Oulu a familiar city to you?
“Oulu is reasonably familiar city to me, I have previously been working with people from Oulu through work and have also spent spare time in the city and city region due to family relationships.”
What image do you have of Oulu?
“Oulu is a large city and quite cool as it is located in the North but nevertheless is a large university and cultural city. Oulu has a lot of energy and young people. Someone could imagine that it would be different at that latitude, and maybe even more peaceful people, but Oulu and its citizens are highly energetic.”
What are your thoughts about joining the board of the Foundation?
“I’m happy about Oulu’s victory and highly interested about the board membership. I followed Oulu’s application process with curiously because I saw that Oulu would give Finland and Europe a lot. The competition was drawn to a close because Oulu made the best and invigorating application.”
What relevance does the Capital Culture title have for the city?
“In my opinion, the title has an extremely big significance and impact. The citizens’ attitude towards the Capital of Culture year is the most important thing and it will have a long-term influence on the future. Many things will start moving forward better and give strength when the citizens themselves feel the city as their own and want to develop it.”
What are you specifically bringing to the Foundation?
“Definitely experience from how it is to lead a Capital of Culture, and how to build a good organisation, administration and necessary connections. When you have been involved in a similar, particularly unusual project as a person in charge, and having gained experience from surprising and big but solvable situations, I have learned a lot. That kind of experience I want to give to Oulu and maybe we can avoid the rocks.”
How do you spend your spare time?
“I have done consulting in the cultural industry and city development for the past years. Additionally, I write and have been involved in administration of many organisations and as the chairperson of Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation, among other things. “