Annual Report 2021

We preserve
the cultural heritage

SLS’s vision for 2025 is based on the society’s fundamental mission from 1885. Culture and research are at the heart of everything we do.

We want to be a dynamic player and sought-after partner that highlights the societal importance of Swedish, both in Finland and in the rest of the Nordic region. Our vision is based on our mission to collect and disseminate knowledge about Finland-Swedish culture. Our values are based on knowledge, quality, renewal and diversity.

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A woman in a library reading a book.

Sustainability report


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Boards & management

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Economic report

Annual reports &
financial statement

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The courage
to think big

Dag Wallgren, CEO

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10 million euro for research on the major challenges of our time

Eleven projects received funding within the international research programme Future Challenges in the Nordics – People, Culture and Society.

What can we do today to ensure a better tomorrow? This is the question examined in the eleven research projects selected for the programme at the end of 2021. Among other things, the researchers take a closer look at the Nordic region’s wealth elites, automated decision-making, the future of Nordic youth in rural regions, and digital border security. Eighty researchers from Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark are involved in the projects. SLS is one of a total of six funding bodies.

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SLS’s oldest collections elected to the National Memory of the World Register

UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme protects and promotes the dissemination of the world’s document-based and written cultural heritage. SLS’s oldest folk culture collections were elected to the National Memory of the World Register in 2021. The material consists of a total of 544 collections dating from 1874 to 1939. They provide unique insights into folk culture and folk poetry in Swedish Finland, and constitute an important resource for research.

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(in Swedish)
Mirva Virtanen, Cataloguer
”I like to dive into archive material and read about people’s thoughts and experiences from half a century ago.”
Agneta Rahikainen,
Marketing Manager
There’s nothing better than working with the Swedish language!
Malin Bredbacka-Grahn, Publishing Editor
”With the author’s help, it’s up to me to achieve the best possible outcome.”
Antti Pokela,
Graphic Designer
”SLS invests a lot in the appearance of their books, which I see as a great advantage.”
Marcus Orlo, Controller
”The work culture welcomes innovative and creative solutions.”
Thomas Weckström,
Media Technology Expert
”I’m particularly passionate about multi-camera directing at major events.”
Results from an external evaluation (Aula Research) of SLS’s impact in publishing and research, conducted in the autumn of 2021.
80 %
of respondents deem SLS’s funding as having contributed to higher research quality.
90 %
of respondents believe that SLS’s funding has had a positive impact on their own career development.
93 %
of respondents think that SLS publishes high-quality non-fiction.
84 %
of respondents consider SLS’s publications relevant today.
82 %
of respondents consider SLS’s publications to be significant at a societal level.
Portrait of SLS Investment Manager Kristian Gerkman and CFO Ninny Olin.

A good investment year supports SLS’s long-term goals

KRISTIAN GERKMAN, Head of Investments

“At SLS, we emphasise a long-term perspective, which means that the development of our investments in a single year is not decisive. But we are pleased that 2021 was a very good investment year.”

22.8 per cent. That was the return on SLS investments in 2021. It is a strong result, which supports our long-term goal of managing donors’ legacies in a manner that allows us to steadily increase our support for culture, education and science. At year-end, the value of SLS’s financial assets amounted to 2.2 billion euro.

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In the course of 2021, SLS distributed a total of
7,6 MEUR
to research and cultural endeavours.
 Three young people looking curiously at something.

A world
full of discoveries

Through the activities and grants of SLS and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland, culture, education and science received
57,9 MEUR
in support in 2021.
Two schoolgirls with archival material in front of them.


individuals and organizations received support and awards from SLS's funds in 2021.
The chair of the prize committee Pauline von Bonsdorff presents SLS’ largest prize, Karl Emil Tollander's prize, to the author Fredrik Lång at SLS annual celebration 2021.


SLS's and the Swedish Cultural Foundation in Finland's support for research and culture is made possible by funds founded on the contributions of
Portrait of the couple Lars and Bojen Huldén.

24/7 time travel

Over the course of 2021,
were made to SLS's archive material on
Black and white photograph of Monica Schildt and Noël Tinayre with bicycles in Moret-sur-Loing 1948. From SLS Archive.

To read
is to be amazed

Downloads of ebooks on increased by
11 %
in 2021.
Young woman with face illuminated by the mobile screen.