Get to know Think Corner's activities and facilities with the help of this material. If you are interested in the architecture of Think Corner, please see the architectural self-guided tour material.
Think Corner self-guided tour
Welcome to Think Corner! Now more than ever, thoughtful debate and positive action are needed. The University of Helsinki’s Think Corner is the University on the street level – an arena of discussion and collaboration open to all, giving voice to science and research. Think Corner carries out one of the University's core duties; in addition to research and teaching, the University provides opportunities for lifelong learning and promotes the societal impact of research.
Think Corner rides the wave. People are yearning for reliable information and events where they can talk with experts about issues occupying their minds. Global phenomena are complex. We are being influenced in a range of ways, some of them questionable. No wonder the deluge of signals causes frustration. Instead of simplifying answers, what is needed is means for understanding and information from sources that can be trusted.
Think Corner was established in 2012 as a meeting point for local residents interested in science. At the time, Helsinki was celebrating its turn as the World Design Capital, and the University of Helsinki wanted to create a pop-up science café for the city. After operating for a few years in the café premises, a decision was taken to make the operations permanent on the basis of positive feedback. In 2016, the University’s administrative building at the corner of the two streets Yliopistonkatu and Fabianinkatu was deemed to require renovation, which gave rise to the idea of basing the entire project on the Think Corner scheme. The process resulted in 1,500 square metres of multipurpose space on three architecturally rewarding floors.
The building is open from early morning to late evening for visits and co-working. Our customer service is available to all visitors. A café, a bookshop and a fitness centre also operate in the Think Corner premises.
More than 500 events are held at Think Corner annually, the biggest of them on the Think Corner Stage whose café auditorium seats 200 persons. The themes presented range between all fields of science, research and public discourse. Every day, some two to three thousand people visit Think Corner.
From the start, Think Corner’s operations have been founded on certain central values. Think Corner is open to everyone without exception. Events can be attended at any time. Personal opinions and questions are welcome at discussions. Most events are streamed online, and new scientific content is actively introduced to the wider public. We call this radical openness.
The values of science are vigorously defended. Only genuine experts are invited to take the stage. Think Corner challenges bunk and takes a closer look at superficial sensations. Current issues that raise strong emotions are also discussed in a pluralistic vein.
Creativity and the desire to take part are fed by a relaxed atmosphere and services that support co-working. It is important for people from different backgrounds to adopt Think Corner as their own and for its channels to be pleasant to follow. An academic education is not a requirement for admittance. An audience-friendly approach and popular forms of discourse are emphasised when planning the programming.
Every year, Think Corner produces four extensive series of events that highlight the University’s top research fields and current discussion topics. In January, Helsinki Health Week focuses on life sciences and health research. Hope For Globe in April draws from themes related to sustainability and environmental sciences. The Crazy World event held in September discusses domestic and global social issues from the perspectives of law, social sciences, the humanities and the study of religions. Smart as HEL, organised in November, investigates the intersections between accelerating digitalisation and human skills.
Uuden tiedon klubi and Pinnalla, monthly Think Corner formats, offer scientific and research perspectives on topical issues through events and live transmissions.
Thinkfest, Slush satellite events and other projects tailored for stakeholders bring groups important to research, such as politicians, business representatives and the media, closer to the University. Think Corner enriches the life of the University community with social events and promotes the visibility of the campuses and scientific conferences by providing opportunities to take the floor and showcase research.
Think Corner is an easy starting point for a visit to the University of Helsinki. The Fönster event venue, providing a view of Yliopistonkatu, houses a virtual visiting point and Storywall, a gigantic touch screen. At the VR point, you can familiarise yourself with life on the four campuses of the University and fascinating research topics abroad. The purpose of Storywall is to introduce through guidance or independently University narratives and top-level research. A content-rich peek behind the facade of the University serves prospective students, scholars and partners. When necessary, help for completing the journey is provided by Think Corner hosts.
The adjacent Think Corner bookshop and café offer a diverse range of goods to visitors.
Think Corner serves as a platform of collaborative learning. Ways of studying and learning are diversifying and evolving. No longer is a student just seen as a bookworm cramming for exams alone in the silence of the library. Groupwork and supervised co-working have a central role in studying and advancing skills. Think Corner offers plenty of non-soundproof co-working facilities, which are in high demand, on three floors. The Basement, in the basement as the name suggests, is dedicated to diverse forms of work. The Basement also provides services that facilitate co-working. For example, Tomato Thursday is a weekly event where you can, among other activities, work on your thesis with the help of guidance based on the Pomodoro Technique.
Below the Basement, there are three floors of recently renovated UniSport sports facilities. The largest gym in central Helsinki is a versatile fitness centre available to the University community and all other customers.
The second floor of Think Corner houses a relaxed groupwork space, the Think Lounge event space, three bookable meeting rooms and a media studio. Helsinki Think Company is an entrepreneurial community maintained by the University of Helsinki and the City of Helsinki where students and graduates can get help and establish networks for utilising their expertise.