Markus Vähälä the director of international affairs in a non-profit organization Kukunori in Helsinki, Finland. Markus has worked professionally in the fields of disability and mental health since 1998.
Kukunori is a network of over 25 Finnish NGO’s who reach over 12.000 people and families all over Finland. In Kukunori Markus Vähälä leads a project called Propellipäät (the Propellerheads) in Kukunori. Propellerheads develop organizational development in NGO’s through change design and experiments. Propellerheads work on the field and in their own experimental laboratory where new services, models and strategies are being developed. The aim is to support flexible, inclusive and effective methods in creating NGO’s for the present and the future. Markus Vähälä is the country co-ordinator of the Citizen Network Finland and has been active in Citizen Network from the beginning. Markus is keenly involved in international co-operation and has worked to promote international programs for youth, mental health, disability, sports, arts, culture and learning in Finland.
Previously Markus worked in Lyhty ry which is a non-profit NGO which delivers innovative services for adults with learning disabilities. Specifically, Lyhty is a provider of housing facilities and daily activity workshops. The aforesaid workshops include: Culture Workshop Valo, Media Workshop KiviMedia, Outdoor Workshop Lato, Textile Workshop Luovilla, Study Unit Lamppu and a Cafe Workshop at IPI Cafe in Helsinki. In Lyhty Markus worked to build Radio Valo, which is a network of groups with learning disabilities producing programs for Lyhty’s Radio Valo media station. Radio Valo network produces programs in national radio stations, and through Radio Valo’s international network in countries such as Malta, Tanzania and Taiwan.
In his free time Markus is leading a non-profit organization Synerga ry - Doing together. Synerga brings together activists and organizations interested in developing society side by side. Synerga campaigns against the discriminative nature of public procurement in services for people with learning disabilities. The initiative gathered over 5000 supporters in 2014. Synerga participated in another larger public petition against public procurement. The Not-For-Sale campaign was a collaboration or over 35 Finnish NGO’s. The petition gathered over 72.000 names and is now being processed in the Finnish Parliament.
Markus is interested in music technology, electronic music and performs and records in a hiphop group called CNF - Community Neglects the facts. CNF is the oldest still performing and recording rap band in Finland and was founded in 1990. CNF presents the ruff-and-rugged underground style of self-produced hiphop from Finland. The band consists of three MC’s MC Reel, KRD and Maniac James. The band collaborates with other musicians, DJ’s and remixers. Markus has a long history in classical music, playing violin and singing in the boys choir of Helsinki Cathedral Cantores Minores and in the Finnish National Opera and Savonlinna Opera Festival as boy soprano soloist. Since then Markus continued his singing in mixed choirs Grex Musicus and Vox Lapsus. In Kukunori Markus is collaborating with musicians and organizations from all over the world to develop new global music culture.