Young talent race for the title of Economic Guru in national competition

Economic Guru is an annual competition promoting financial literacy in Finnish upper secondary schools. This year’s winner is Kaius Kumpulainen from Helsinki, with second place going to Matias Mäkiranta from Tampere and third to Olavi Kaskisaari from Jyväskylä. The award for best debater went to Joel Vanhanen from Espoo. The theme of the final round was income inequality.

The finalists discussed the underlying factors and consequences of income inequality. They debated, for example, whether the society should guarantee a minimum price level for real estate in shrinking regions, whether overall household debt should be capped, and whether reducing carbon emissions also means giving up on economic growth.

A record-breaking number of 149 schools enrolled in the Economic Guru competition this year. The preliminary competition was an economics test. Each school’s highest-scoring answer was sent to the jury, who picked the finalists: the nine highest-scoring students qualified for the finals regardless of their home town, and the other five were picked regionally. The final event with 14 finalists took place in Helsinki.

The new Guru can choose a place of study in one of several universities, in addition to which he receives a cash price of €1,000 and an authentic doctoral hat that is passed on from one winner to the next. All Economic Guru finalists can directly apply for a place of study without entrance exam at the Aalto University School of Business, the Helsinki University, the University of Eastern Finland, the Jyväskylä University, the Hanken School of Economics, the Tampere University or the University of Turku.

This year’s Economic Guru Kaius Kumpulainen says economics has been close to his heart for some time already, with monetary policy being a particular interest. “I will most likely apply for studies in the United States or in Great Britain. I also hope to find my future career in finance and economics.”

Not a newcomer to the field, Kumpulainen has already made his name known in the past ‒ he has won both an economics competition in the 9th grade and the Generation Euro competition organised by the Bank of Finland. The new Guru spends his free time playing various sports and the cello.

This year’s Economic Guru competition was sponsored by Kauppalehti magazine, Economy and Youth TAT, and the Union of Finnish Upper Secondary School Students. The competition is organised by Finance Finland (FFI), the Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau (FINE), and the Association for Teachers of History and Social Studies (HYOL). It has been running since 1997.

All finalists

Lauri Hannikainen Helsingin yliopiston Viikin normaalikoulu
Essi Helminen Lahden yhteiskoulu
Olavi Kaskisaari (third place) Jyväskylän normaalikoulun lukio
Heikki Kataja Kuusamon lukio
Kaius Kumpulainen (winner) Helsingin suomalaisen yhteiskoulun lukio
Ossi Lehtihuhta Turun suomalaisen yhteiskoulun lukio
Matias Mäkiranta (second place) Tampereen lyseon lukio
Kristian Nokka Mynämäen lukio
Niki Nurmi Tampereen yliopiston normaalikoulun lukio
Miikka Oinonen Lauttakylän lukio
Teresa Paatero Ressun lukio
Ossipekka Teinilä Kallion lukio
Joel Vanhanen (best debater) Etelä-Tapiolan lukio
Risto Virtaharju Kuopion klassillinen lukio

Additional information

Kaius Kumpulainen, Economic Guru 2020
tel. +358 44 322 4727

Jussi Karhunen, Adviser, Finance Finland
tel. +358 400 807 025,

Elina Antila, Head of Communications, FINE
tel. +358 40 548 3838,

Kirsi Ruhanen, Executive Director, HYOL
tel. +358 44 303 1789,

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