LAUREL CHRISTINA COLLESS: born in Australia, educated in Aotearoa/New Zealand, graduated from Massey University, Palmerston North, NZ; head of research development in sustainable technologies, Virginia Tech.

Laurel and Olivia went to the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, with her husband Pekka Lintu, when he presented his credentials as the ambassador of Suomi/Finland. Laurel mentioned the game of cricket to President George Bush, because it was in the news that he had been playing it with boys on his visit to South Asia, and so he gave a demonstration of overarm bowling.

    When Queen Elizabeth came to Washington, Laurel and Pekka were there to greet her.

                            The puzzle is to find Pekka in the photograph.


“There is a potential savings of $3.6 billion annually in the greater Washington area. And that’s a conservative estimate that doesn’t count military facilities, universities or embassies.”

“All we need is more projects like this one combining the strength of big business, government and civic groups, and in this case a university, to address global problems. I think the Europeans already get this.”

“We are so lucky to have the legacy of the Finnish Embassy, to have that real piece of Finland here that has such a small environmental footprint. Only three trees were felled during the construction. And it’s a dream to entertain there because the venue itself does most of the work.”

“Not surprisingly, Finland has been named the most environmentally competitive economy in the world and that proves that you can sustain good business while taking good care of the environment.”



“In 1893, New Zealand was the first country to give women the right to vote. In 1906, Finland was the first country to grant women the right to run for public office, and this was not an empty gesture. The following year, 19 women were elected to Parliament.

“Recently our female president was voted in for a second term, and we currently have 12 female Cabinet members, in comparison with only eight who are men.”

“Finland to me is a good example of bringing women into the decision-making process early and successfully combining a strong social welfare system with a thriving business sector.”