In March 2018 Jamie Bristow and Chris Ruane MP visited the Parliaments of Estonia, Finland, and Sweden, meeting with politicians and delivering mindfulness workshops.
Estonia’s government prizes a national reputation for innovation, readily embracing new ideas for development. Estonia has embraced mindfulness with a popular mindfulness programme in Estonian schools. MP Yoko Alendar has twice visited the UK Parliament and met Mindfulness APPG members.
In March 2018 Chris Ruane MP and Jamie Bristow attended a Parliamentary session in Tallinn. The popular event was attended by the Secretary General of the Interior Ministry, who is spearheading the delivery of mindfulness in his department.
Politicians also enjoyed the opportunity to practice mindfulness at a mindfulness workshop at the British Embassy Tallin run by Chris and Jamie.
Next stop was Helsinki, Finland, only a short trip across the water from Tallinn. Following MP Lenita Toivakka’s visit to the Global Mindfulness in Politics Day in Westminster in October, the Finnish Parliament was keen to learn more about mindfulness.
Chris and Jamie with MPs Jani Toivola, Lenita Toivakka and others in the Finnish Parliament
Jamie and Chris gave a presentation in Parliament to help establish a training programme for MPs and gave a public lecture at the Hanken School of Economics. They were generously hosted by the Centre for Mindfulness Finland.
We hope to see the development of a programme in the Finnish Parliament and a national working group of mindfulness advocates to support a future policy inquiry.
The final leg of this whistle-stop tour was Stockholm, Sweden.
Chris visited the Swedish Parliament at the invitation of Lotta Olsson MP. He was there to help plan a relaunch of their mindfulness programme following the country’s general elections later this year.
These visits to the Parliaments of Estonia, Helsinki, and Sweden were all marked by a warm reception for Chris and Jamie, with local MPS keen advocates for mindfulness training and for exploration of mindfulness within key policy areas. MPs in these three countries demonstrated much enthusiasm and support for mindfulness programmes and we look forward to future developments and collaborations.