Timo Santala
Humanist of the day

Timo Santala

Timo Santala is the central figure behind any number of successful volunteering concepts. Santala and his friends are fearless when it comes to dipping their toes in the sea of red tape. We Love Helsinki events have been organised over 50 times along various themes. Another of their ideas, Restaurant Day, has spread to over 60 countries in just four years. Santala, a firm believer in people joining forces to get things done, is currently the eyes, ears and yes, mouth of Helsinki food culture.

Timo Santala

Timo Hermanni Santala
10.1.1981, Helsinki

Studied folkloristics, comparative religion, gender studies, North American and Latin American studies and languages at the Faculty of Arts in Helsinki University

Project manager for Helsinki food culture strategy, 2014-
Radio presenter for Radio Helsinki’s Ruokaradio (Food Radio) 2015-
Publicity and marketing manager of Restaurant Day 2011-
Executive director of We Love Helsinki, 2008-
Many other organisational duties at various events. Worked also as a travel, food and wine journalist and photographer, and plays music as DJ Rideon

Awards and special achievements
The Suomi award granted by the Ministry of Education in 2011 for Ravintolapäivä (‘restaurant day’)
The Helsinki Library and Culture Board Kulttuuriteko award in 2011 for Ravintolapäivä
The Helsinki Library and Culture Board Kulttuuriteko award in 2010 for We Love Helsinki event

Timo Santala on Twitter 

Photo: Minna Kurjenluoma
Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by Kaisla Kajava. Revised by John Calton

From the university’s perspective, Timo Santala’s study record is, well, challenging. The Master’s degree in five years did not exactly work out for him. He has chosen all kinds of interesting courses and ended up abandoning many of them. Santala moved from subject to subject following his interests without thinking about completing his degree.

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