October 21, 2018

Meet the facilitators


Inner Island is almost sold out! We are happy to announce that we’ve got only two places left as we write this.
For now, we have participants from 10 different nationalities hailing from Finland, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, UK, Switzerland, France, Slovakia, Romania and U.S.

The facilitators Amir, Iituli, Henrik and Risto gathered together in Amsterdam for a planning session and to put some finishing touches to the Inner Island program.

We thought this is also a good timing to introduce each of us bit more in details and to share our thoughts about the experience ahead.


Henrik Johansson

Henrik has been facilitating collaborative group processes for 15 years for over 10,000 + people.
His work as a facilitator revolves around developing an optimal framework and conditions for people and organisations who want to reach their full potential and live prosperous and meaningful lives. His passion is to make people smarter together.

You often talk about “Making people smarter together”, what this really means?
It simply means that I am here to eliminate the obstacles that often occur when people work in groups. I do this by providing a route, methods and theories for the participants. If this succeeds, we experience a shared flow of creativity and natural development.

What kind of facilitation we are expected to receive in the Inner Island?
For Inner Island, we have created a bespoke 10 day holistic approach. The daily three hour long workshop is integrated with yoga practice, Inner Guidance sessions and peer-coaching. After the event, the community continues to support each other when participants are working with their individual pilot projects.

During the first days, we will give participants time and space to settle down, get to know each other and explore their past and current situation. After this, we support everyone to confirm a meaningful and exciting goal to work with. The rest of the process is transforming this goal into a concrete and measurable action plan and create commitment to execute it. Before checking out, each participant has prepared a pilot project which will mark the first step of executing the plan. The community will continue working together after the retreat providing a supportive alumni.

The beauty of this framework is that it can be used for both personal and work-related transformation.

What is the methodology behind the facilitation?
The facilitation is built on Proactive Planning and Appreciative Inquiry methods. In short, proactive thinking can be described as an attitude: You can do what you want and the future can be shaped by yourself.
Appreciative Inquiry is an alternative approach to problem-centered mindset. Instead of asking "What's wrong?" or "What needs to be fixed?", the Appreciative Inquiry provides a method to refocus attention on what works, the positive core, and on what people really care about.  


Amir Jaan

Amir’s nearly two decades long dedication to his yogic practice has taken him from London to a touring teacher across the world. Amir’s private client list and worldwide consultancy comprise top-level professional sportsmen and women, business leaders, celebrities and CEO's of large multinational organisations.
In Inner Island, Amir will guide each morning a yoga sessions connected to the daily workshop theme.

Humanology, what it is, why you are excited about it?

Humanology is a science of how is it to be in a human body, the corresponding relationships between physical and spiritual anatomy; environment and circumstance and wider dynamics of the common theatre of relationships such as nuclear family, professional and romantic.
I see myself as an instrument of Humanology to assist those with a desire and need to approach character and health transformation in an organic, safe and self-healing way.

How your Yoga sessions will be integrated into the Inner Island workshop module?

I will host a specifically prepared series of morning sessions aligned with the workshop theme of the day.
At Inner Island, we have put lot of emphases to prepare a holistic and systemic approach where all elements of the day compliment each other. Working with this approach has been an exciting process and I am looking very much forward to contributing the program with my expertise.

Participants have inquired about the level of the yoga classes. What if you don’t have a yoga practice?

There’s absolutely nothing to worry about his. The classes welcome everyone from newcomers to advanced practitioners.

Rumpu (1).jpg

Iituli Aalto

Iituli describes herself as 100% social being. She is passioned to see how facilitation brings the intelligence in people and groups alive. In Inner Island, she will be your guide on the subtle journey into your Inner Wisdom.

You practice Inner Guidance, how it works in practice?

Inner Guidance activates human system physically, emotionally, mentally and energetically. It is facilitated experimental space where our inner wisdom and intelligence guides us towards the right answers.
In inner Guidance, there is no agenda what should or should not happen. The participants lay down and rest comfortably on the ground while I use music, drums, instruments, voice, spoken intuitive inquiry and physical touch.

What kind of outcomes you have witnessed in your Inner Guidance sessions?
The power of this practice manifest in each person in a different way. I have witnessed joyful releasing laughter as well as rapid improvements, where people have healed physical problems in one session.
Yet this is obviously just the surface, Inner Guidance works on a subtle level providing a safe way to be in touch with our inner world. This can lead to beneficial solutions for example in the areas of long haunting self-limiting beliefs or traumatic past events that are still present in our system.
The most important outcome to myself has been the growing trust into my own intuition and healing practice. After each session, I feel that I am more connected to myself and to others. It feels just great. More authenticity, more truth, more freedom.

What are your thoughts about the Inner Island retreat?
A remote paradise place surrounded with all the beauty and energy from nature and a beautiful tribe of people who are ready and willing to do this work for themselves is the best way I think I could use my time and skills in this life.
Co-creating this with the most professional and inspirational colleagues makes it even more meaningful and I cannot even imagine what kind of life-changing outcomes we are all able to create together.


Risto Kuulasmaa

Risto is an entrepreneur and senior executive in media and events. He doesn’t do New Year resolutions, instead, he is interested in long term personal development. In Inner Island he is the coach-in-demand supporting participants’ personal or business related dreams coming true.

You were one of the organizers of the preceding similar workshop in Andaman Island three years ago. How was the experience?

Alongside being the co-organiser, I surrendered myself fully to the workshop process. My approach was two-fold: I worked to prepare my personal leadership approach for a new corporate position that I was about to start when returning home. The other focus was to find ways to heal my chronic autoimmune illness.
As the outcome, I gathered a lot of practical tools for co-creative processes that I put immediately into action with my new team. On the health side, the outcomes were bit slower. After two more years of illness and daily medication, my doctor started to prepare my case towards a surgery. I thought it was a wrong approach, and I re-focused my intention to let my body heal itself. After attending a 10-day silent meditation retreat and applying some simple Ayurvedic treatment, I returned to the hospital for a check that was supposed to include setting the schedule for the upcoming surgery. For the doctor’s surprise, my blood sample came out clean and I have stayed healthy ever since. It feels nostalgic to go back to my Andaman notes, where I set the intention to leave the illness behind.

Describe your own role in the Inner Island.
While Henrik, Iituli and Amir will create the base, I will step in at the latter part of the workshop program coaching participants with their pilot projects and communications plan. I will also be the coach-on-demand if participants need one-on-one sparring throughout the process.
I am also happy to provide my help if the case requires business development. There are several fellow entrepreneurs and business professionals already enrolled to Inner Island. We’ve got backgrounds in startups and international scale-ups, big four consultancy and venture capital. The “business faculty” of the Inner Island is versatile and experienced.
My job is to connect the dots and put my strengths into the game: to facilitate clarity, to unfold the potential and get things done.

What makes you excited about Inner Island?
Having ten days dedicated just for planning is a rare opportunity. The modern western lifestyle has tricked us and we often tend to lose the connection with our inner wisdom that arises from peace and stillness within.

Another interesting thing is that the Inner Island concept does not involve charismatic teachers or coaches giving lectures from the stage. The co-creative peer-to-peer approach and the holistic set up creates very unique learning environment.

The Inner Island paradise location comes with experienced and dedicated facilitators. Yet it will be the collective power of the group that will make the difference. Every participant is dedicating their valuable time and making an effort to reach this remote destination as their priority. This joint effort, the stunning nature, and the shared motivation will set the power field where transformative magic can and will happen.

September 2 2018, by Risto

Leading Brain.jpeg

The Inner Island Flow

Doing a New Year retreat in a tropical cast-away island sounds exciting. And it makes even more sense when approaching it scientifically.

The Inner Island program is built on scientifically proven methods and program helping the participants' to create change and make their dreams come true. Dr. Hans W. Hagemann's book  The Leading Brain wraps up nicely the recent research in neuroscience connected to flow and peak performance. Here are our key take-aways: 

💪🏻 Build on strengths. We are likely to learn and grow the most in our areas of greatest strength.

👎🏻 You are likely to learn and to grow least in your areas of weakness. Minimise and delegate the tasks where you are not so good at. Instead of reviewing the weaknesses, create motivation and pride around strengths.

🚀 Peak performance happen, when the experience is simultaneously:

+ fun 

+ rewarding 

+ slightly stressed and over-challenged

+ and we are exposed to something new. 

The combined effect creates a cocktail for Flow, mixed from Dopamine, Noradrenaline and Acetylcholine.

😄 Make it Fun! People are usually more likely to generate creative ideas when they are happy and laughing. Joy creates focus, ability to learn and increases the problem solving level.

🚨 Brains actually can’t multitask. Experience and high skill level creates feeling of mastering several simultaneous tasks, yet brain is capable to only sequential task switching. This behaviour is harmful and causes errors and delays in the work at hand. Brains are rather slow to re-focus after
distraction. Optimal performance is built on goal-driven focus and concentration.

👨🏻‍🎓 We are life-long learners. Due to neuroplasticity, brains fire up and connect neurons into new constellations throughout our lifetime. For the vitality of the brains, learning new is more beneficial than exercising old skill.

🌱 Learning is fundamentally emotional process (positive or negative) driven by the limbic system. Learning is most efficient when done in small steps through versatile styles and stimulus. We learn better from others and in the company of others. Again, having fun and a positive sentiment around the learning experience creates better results.

🙏🏻 Meditation and mindfulness practise lowers emotional reactivity and fear. Brain research has proven that meditation increases e.g. ability to learn, body awareness and intuition.