Ilkka Herlin
Humanist of the day

Ilkka Herlin

For Ilkka Herlin humanism means participation. He believes that a humanist should not just watch from the sidelines but instead should bravely enter the fray. He has realised this vision both as a researcher of history and as a participant in business life. Herlin feels he can best make his contribution to society through working to protect the Baltic Sea and through experimental agriculture.

Ilkka Herlin

Ilkka Heikki Herlin
Born January 25th, 1959, Helsinki

Master of Arts 1990 and PhD 1993 ( Finnish and Scandinavian History), University of Helsinki

Chairman of the board and principal owner 2005–, Cargotec
Founder and chairman of the board 2008–, Baltic Sea Action Group
Founder and chairman of the board 2015–, Soilfood

Researcher 1993–2000, University of Helsinki and the Academy of Finland
CEO 1987-200, Security Trading

Chairman of the funding and donations committee 2014–, University of Helsinki
Vice-chairman of the advisory board 2011–, Aleksanteri Institute
Chairman 2009–, Finland-China Trade Association
Chairman of the board 2005–, Wipunen varainhallinta oy
Board member 2005–, D-sijoitus Oy
Board member 2005, Mariatorp Oy
Board Member 2005–2011, Finnish Foundation for Share Promotion
Board Member 2005–2008, John Nurminen Foundation
Board Member 2005, chairman 2000–2005, WIP Asset Management
Board Member 1990–2000, Kone Corporation

Awards and honours:
Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana, third class, 2010
Honorary PhD 2012, Lappeenranta University of Technology
Honorary PhD 2012, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry, University of Helsinki

Photo: Vesa Brandt
Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by Matthew Billington

Ilkka Herlin worked the whole time he was studying, and it was partly for this reason that it took him ten years to graduate with a master’s degree. He completed his doctoral dissertation in three years.

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Ever since the energy crisis, the scarcity of natural resources has been clear to Ilkka Herlin. A sense that he should take part in some form of social activism became part of Herlin’s worldview while working on his doctoral dissertation. He wanted to work on something through which he could achieve concrete and long-term benefits.

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