20 years of Economic Guru competitions

The annual Economic Guru competition for Finnish upper secondary schools has been held for 20 consecutive years. The anniversary year brings improved regional representation in the finals, and the organisers are also planning a special contest for young vloggers.

The first Economic Guru was selected in 1997. The idea for the competition was motivated by experiences from the early 1990s Finnish recession and by general concern for Finns’ overall financial literacy.

“The same skills and knowledge are still required. While digitalisation has improved financial services, it has also made it easier to slip into deep indebtedness. It is important that people know how to manage their personal finances”, says Kristiina Siikala from the Federation of Finnish Financial Services. Together with various collaborators and sponsors, she has been jointly in charge of the development of the competition over the years.

There are plans to introduce a YouTube vlog contest as an addition to the regular Economic Guru competition. The idea is for young vloggers to discuss personal finances with everyday tips and perspectives, which would supplement the competition’s more complicated themes that focus on the intricacies of national and global economy.

Regional representation

The main Economic Guru competition will be organised similarly to previous years. The preliminary competition will be held at schools, and the final event will take place in Helsinki. Like before, the five highest-scoring students will qualify for the finals regardless of their home town. The other nine students are picked regionally: four from Southern Finland, two from Western, and one each from Eastern, Northern and Southwest Finland, reflecting the respective population numbers.

The final event will take place on 2–3 March 2017 at the Old Student House in Helsinki. Teachers can sign up their schools until 15 December 2016.

Economic Guru is organised by the Federation of Finnish Financial Services (FFI), the Association for Teachers of History and Social Studies (HYOL), and the Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau (FINE). The competition is also supported by the Finnish association of financial journalists (Taloustoimittajat), and by the Union of Upper Secondary School Students in Finland.