This is the fifth year of going through the past year and probably the hardest one to date. So much happened, and it’s so easy to just list doing-ness (as opposed to other kind of growth). I spent a lot of time thinking about physical spaces, maps, exploration, structures and how to keep maximising curiosity and maximising freedom. Discovered a lot.
“Listen; there’s a hell of a good universe next door: let’s go.” — e. e. cummings
- Changed the year at M&L’s wedding. Went running the next morning and had a long brunch with M, V, A & R in the afternoon.
- Did an impromptu trip to London where took only time for myself. Saw Kabakov and Modigliani at Tate, Harry Potter World (eek!) and Winnie the Pooh exhibits at V&A, all great. Ate waffles with L and celebrated E. Celebrated goddaughter turning one. Visited Rovaniemi and Tallinn.
- Worked on a small documentary for F-Secure where they were allowed to try to hack me for a week. Learned a lot, and loved working with a team.
- Thought about buying land and started looking into construction again. Cooking continued to be my lifeline.
- Fell in love with the idea of ideas as nests. Worked on the fourth Ruby book, and joined AI & Deep Learning Memes For Back-propagated Poets Facebook group. Obsessed a little bit over plurals of robots and pondered a lot about blockchain and (digital) art.
- Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. One of my favorites of the year.
- Autonomous by Annalee Newitz.
- Little Labors by Rivka Galchen. Bought this in several copies, so many babies this year.
- What to Think about Machines that Think by John Brockman.
- Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.
- Did a long trip to California with V & R. Had so much fun with the children. Met with many people who have inspired me from Khan Academy to Google, loved the SFMoMa exhibition where I (almost) walked inside Eames office, went on a biking trip in Mountains and hiked in Yosemite. Ended the trip in LA and got to visit Getty Gardens, which I had started obsessing over almost a year earlier. Realised Pacific has always given me answers.
- Went to New York to do teacher training for a week, found M. in NY for one evening and saw David Hockney exhibit with J. and finally Sunday Ramen at Ippudo.
- Ruby the language turned 25. Obsessed over Wes Anderson and discovered Every Frame a Painting. Decided to approach film with the same persistence as picture book making and started putting pieces together. This tweet was everything.
- Started following Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Emma Watson on Instagram.
- Saw Sommarboken, my favourite book as a play in Swedish Theather in Helsinki and loved it.
- Minä maalaan kuin Jumala: Ellen Theseleffin elämä ja taide by Hanan-Reetta Schreck. Liked this so much!
- The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
- Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Lifelong Kindergarten: Cultivating Creativity by Mitchel Resnick.
- Henry David Thorau: A Life by Laura Dassow Walls
- Travelled a lot. Visited Copenhagen, Stockholm, France and Dubai. Loved speaking French!
- Spent a lot of long evenings at office working on the next book. Experimented with Instagram Stories for documenting the process. Believed in improvement and consistency.
- Ranted about the way AI is depicted. Loved learning more about how machine learning actually works through creative, non-linear and playful essays. This essay inspired this tweet, which ended up changing the plan for the whole year and also 2019. Bought the Eames poster I saw earlier in the year to include in my vintage computer art collection. (Based on a video from 1970s!)
- Did a cooking class with my father and went for my goddaughters birthday party. Watched HomePod ad and the making of over and over again. Started in a gym group, since running in a group had such great energy.
- Won a grant to create video content from Dubai World Expo. Was nervous about pitching, and had accidental vacation with A.
- The Friendly Orange Glow by Brian Dear.
- Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb.
- Childhoods End by Arthur C. Clarke. One of my favourite scifi books so far.
- Ubik by Philip K. Dick.
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.
- How Asia Works by Joe Studwell. Sparked a lot of conversations and thoughts throughout the year.
- Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
- When the world is puddle wonderful! April is my favorite, not only because it’s the garden planning season start. Book making continued with activity design and tried to remember J.K Rowling’s words.
- Started writing for Finnair’s in-flight magazine, Blue Wings. I remember reading Alex Stubb’s columns when I was younger, and it felt big to be writing.
- Favourite book of the month was Inventing Kindergarten, which tracked the history of Froebel and how the concept of kindergarten influenced Bauhaus, Eames and other architects. The theme continued later in the year with Alexandra Lange’s book.
- Running club started again and Isigned up for a few competitions. Went swimming with H a few times. Had fikabröd with L. in Göteborg and visited a bunch of schools in Stockholm. E’s bachelorette party was intense and my dad turned 60.
- For my 32nd birthday, we went to Barcelona, first for teaching, then for some hiking. Loved running the Tibidabo hills.
- Pondered the whole month how to make new friends as an adult with a public facing role. Loves this essay on Nintendo.
- The Sesame Effect: The Global Impact of the Longest Street in the World by Charlotte F. Cole.
- The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientist and Their Dueling Vision to Shape the World by Charles C. Mann. One of the favorites of the year, if only to question some of my own biases.
- The Pillow Book by Sei Shonagon. Have read more Japanese old fiction..
- The Complete Guide to Screenwtiting for Children’s Film & Television by Motti Aviram
- Feel Free: Essays by Zadie Smith. Keep coming back to this.
- Inventing Kindergarten by Norman Brosterman
- The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin
- Did an around the world trip: Seoul — San Francisco — New York — DC. Korea surprised me, San Francisco grounded me. I breathed and biked and slept at H’s place (and saw M. and A. for the first time in forever!).
- In NY I visited 14 schools and the teachers I had been working with in February. It was exhausting, but I learned so much (and also the feels..). I had pizza with R. and met Peach for the first time. Took a train to DC, did a talk at Brookings Institute, had a beautiful dinner with S&J. Was reminded how amazing the developer community is in sharing educational content.
- Leeds was amazingly warm, and had the best impromptu discussion with M. in London airport. Moscow was fun, but I was starting to feel the intensity of the month. Watched The Never-Ending Man, a documentary about Miyazaki. Backed Papier Machine ❤
- Lots of running, lots of drawing. My brothers family got a dog, and our whole family fell in love. Had a flu, so had to keep E’s wedding short. Got some bad news, and was angry and frustrated. The more I read about machine learning, the more I wanted to read about early childhood development.
- Found out Byredo makes Bibliotheque perfume and decided I want to smell like libraries. Learned from O. that Michel Gondry = (Human Behaviour/Björk + Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) and Spike Jonze = (It’s Oh So Quiet/Björk + Her). SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
- The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
- And Now We have Everything: Motherhood Before I Was Ready by Meaghan O’Connell
- How Children Learn by John Holt. Liked this one too a loot.
- Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI by Paul R. Daugherty, H. James Wilson.
- Algorithms to Live By by Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths
- The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Listened to this mostly while running. I love how prose sometimes suits running (like with Murakami).
- My head was already in summer mode, but still one book to finish.. Emma started (finally!!) working as my manager, which made a gigantic difference to the quality of my life.
- Did a really fun photoshoot inspired by Yayoi Kusama. Had Balance of Current Accounts -dinner with friends (basically an econ 101 lecture over wine). Got a little obsessed with UKK, one of the legendary Finnish presidents. Was awarded the Helsinki medal.
- My Penfield jacket broke, replaced with Barbour. Felt like I was getting closer to my dream style of crazy British grandma meets Björk. Ran Helsinki half Marathon and celebrated A’s birthday. The first summer night when time warped and suddenly it was morning. Thought a lot about animism, technology and this article.
- First midsummer in three years I wasn’t doing a book. Went to Åland Islands with a big group of friends and had a magical midsummers, with all the tropes: biking, sauna, playing cards, swimming and food-food-food.
- Road-tripped to Tampere with the ladies of the extended family to see a play on one of the big tv series of my childhood, Puhtaat Valkeat lakanat. Watched Coco and cried, ofc.
- Did quick day trips to Copenhagen and Berlin. In Berlin finally got to see the Samlung Boros and met Anna-Lena, a teacher who had made a life-size Ruby computer!
- Finished the fourth Hello Ruby book. Decided to take a year off book making.
- The Man of Property by John Galsworthy. The Forsyte Saga was perfect summer listening.
- Indian summer of Forsyte by John Galsworthy.
- In Chancery by John Galsworthy
- To Let by John Galsworthy
- Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend. Loved the Mary-Poppins-meets-Harry-Potter quality of YA here
- The President is Missing by James Patterson & Bill Clinton.
- My traditional month off. It was exceptionally warm throughout the summer. Garden got infested with bugs, so no big bounty, but I was happy, present and free. Did a baby shower trip to Aura and had Japanese visitors. Hung out in our country home and went to Bärösund and friends island.
- Did my first longer trail running competition and was addicted. While going to Levi, played through Florence.
- Highlights of the summer were Björk’s Utopia concert which blew my mind and visiting Tove Jansson’s island Haru.
- Last week of July went to Melbourne to do teacher training (and did a fun Q&A thing on Instagram!). Saw also Alice in Wonderland exhibition, I hope it comes to Helsinki. On my way back from Melbourne my wisdom tooth broke, and so did my heart.
- New Dark Age: technology and end of the future by James Bridle
- The World as It Is: Inside the Obama White House by Ben Rhodes.
- Death Notice by Zhao Haohui
- Calypso by David Sedaris
- The Design of Childhood by Alexandra Lange. One of the more influential non-fiction books I read this year.
- Summerland by Hannu Rajaniemi. My favorite of Hannu’s so far.
- Weird month, almost a replica of last year. Went to Serlachius museum and bought a Schjerfbeck poster. Spent a memorable evening in Tampere with I. Hung out a lot with my sister.
- Did tons of press for the new Ruby book. Changed my hair to a lighter shade and danced through Patti & Alma in Flow. Curated Exponential View.
- Was given an honorary doctorate from Tampere University — big deal for someone who never graduated even from under grad. Very overwhelmed. Celebrated K&E getting married.
- Friends kept me going in so many ways, having dinners, staying over, taking me to run and sitting on Helsinki stoops until sunrise. At H.’s birthday party danced Björk meets Bollywood and felt like Karl Lagerfeld: “I’m very much down to earth just not this earth”.
- Sat down and wrote first version for what Ruby will look like in the next three years. Obsessed over the Kajitsu playlist (like everyone else).
- Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
- Visited Malmö and met some fun, new people. Did a few workshops for school children around AI and machine learning and was reminded what great philosopher kings kids can be, asking the bold questions we adults don’t dare.
- Pasta and pyjamas weekend with girlfriends paired with Nuuksio and the Aalto family olympics. Ran another running competition and learned to French braid my hair like the trail runner girls.
- Went to Singapore for a week of work, filmed a BBC story and had great discussions with E. and R. 5th graders asked me tough questions, like when did I realise I was a leader..
- Found my reading stride again. Very special baby A entered my life. Saw the MIA documentary and drove karting on M’s birthday party for the first time (and had a very memorable afterparty).
- Moved apartments and built new routines in old surroundings. Made a list of songs for a local radio channel on technology, which I ended up liking a lot.
- Listened to this over and over again.
- Lasten planeetta by Riikka Pulkkinen. So timely, so beautiful.
- Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
- Naiset joita ajattelen öisin by Mia Kankimäki. Keep an eye on the English version of this!
- Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler
- Footnotes: How Running Makes us Human by Vybarr Cregan-Reid
- Dept of Speculation by Jenny Offill. My first book club book! Loved it!
- Less by Andrew Sean Greer
- Tried to intentionally build more breathing space into my calendar. Wrote lots of letters, thought many thoughts. Spent a well deserved weekend in bed reading FT + Calvin and Hobbes. Lost my wallet and passport, again.
- Had a great dinner with A., felt like we’d been friends forever. Loved the Astrid Lindgren biopic, Unga Astrid. Wanted to build a typing machine like this.
- Was nominated by Forbes as Top 50 Women in Tech in Europe, which didn’t really affect my life much, but made for another interesting media week. Was really proud of the way we navigated a tricky negotiation with E. and started planning the next years in earnest. Work is moving along very well. Was in a job interview, but decided to say no. Theme of the year.
- Visited Estonia and Tarto for teacher workshops and ran one in Helsinki too. Visited Trondheim and ran in pouring rain. Saw First Man.
- Wrote another column for YLE and also for Blue Wings (I got to geek out about Hajimete no Otsukai!). The Bookfair weekend was fun, and escalated so that I was home a bit after 5 AM.
- Fell on a bike and had dinner with Muji team in Helsinki. Had cousins and goddaughter over for fall break, lots of friends visiting and had a special family stay at my place a few times.
- Ihmettä kaikki by Juha Itkonen
- Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
- Ball Lighting by Cixin Liu
- Educated by Tara Westover
- Doubt and Certainty in Science by J.Z. Young. One of my favorites of the year.
- The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos
- Ran another trail running competition and had my family for dinner. Learned that Martha Nussbaum recites operas in her head while running.
- Had three wonderful days writing in my pajamas. Finished, hit send and felt relieved. We are verbs, not nouns. Started working with Huawei, more on this next year.
- Met a young technical university graduate guy in Tampere who said I was his idol. Felt like the next generation will be amazing. Released a new speaker reel and website.
- Celebrated M having a baby and getting my girl group together with a long dinner at Yes Yes Yes, smoking cigars (cough cough) and aggressively loud giggling.
- Played lots of Switch, made bread and saw Crimes of Grindelwald. Had Thanksgiving dinner! Watched Where the Wild Things are and found it very resonating.
- Did teacher training in Monterrey with R, did a talk in Copenhagen and spent a few days in London moving publishing stuff. Hung out with J. and felt like toasting to freedom & fearlessness. Did a quick trip to Narva and Paris.
- Had also lots of low energy moments. Pretty much cried for one weekend. Went to M’s and slept with a baby, cat and M all spread over a couch. Played Bach almost every evening.
- AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee
- Taivaslaulu by Pauliina Rauhala
- Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
- A Field Guide To Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit.
- Words without music by Philip Glass. Loved this.
- Running and philosophy by Michael W. Austin
- The Grand Masters Insights by Lee Kuan Yew
- December started with Slush mayhem: launching Hive Helsinki, a new coding school where I’m serving as the chairman of the foundation behind the school. I love how the universe sometimes aligns — I had been thinking for a while of wanting to somehow move my own primary school dreams forward and Hive offers a perfect chance to learn how to run a school, a foundation and work on a more strategic level.
- Slush was also sauna with girls, afterparties, random encounters and sleep deprived days. Attended the presidential Independence Day ball and loved the dress (and the team and story behind it). After the exhausting week watched Princess Switch paired with Korean facemasks with girlfriends. Lonely Planet for Libraries made my heart beat faster.
- Otherwise December was chill: made lasagna, played Uno, had dinner at Ultima, saw a few apartments (but didn’t fall in love), played Super Smash Bros Universe, dyed my hair blue and made gingerbread cookies with godchildren. Felt ok at the Otava annual Christmas party, the same literary circles that three years ago made me so anxious. Oh times. Loved this article on typography of WALL-E and obsessed over this book.
- Went to Japan for the last few weeks of the year. Had the most magical morning in Nippori school, met a rolemodel from Google Brain, had amazing dinner at Inua and later went hiking the Kumano Kodo. Ran a little bit over 1000 kilometers during the year.