Markus Raivio Awarded Ashoka Fellowship

Kukunori's CEO is recognised for his work in developing Guided Functional Peer Support.

News | 30.05.22

Kukunori's CEO Markus Raivio is the first Finn to be selected to join the international Ashoka Fellowship - a network of social entrepreneurs. 

Markus and his team designed a co-creative framework of mental health care, which is the foundation for the Guided Functional Peer Support model (GFP). In this open source model, people with mental health problems work together in training programs to provide training and support to each other. The peer tutors are trained by professionals to support clients in groups. Instead of focusing on problems, people do and learn new things that they are interested in together. The contents of the functional groups are usually art-based and include for example music, multimedia and visual arts, but activities with animals and sports are also common.

Marie Ringler, CEO of Ashoka Europe said:

“The solutions devised by Markus Raivio focus on strengthening the skills of people facing mental health challenges from their own strengths, increasing inclusion and opportunities to increase their own well-being. The solution highlights the shift in traditional power relations, with the person at the center instead of the problem."

Markus Raivio says:

“My dream is for every person in the world to have a place where it is possible to empower people so that they can experience their lives as meaningful despite the challenges of mental health. My colleagues and I are ready to do much for this dream. The work is just beginning.”

“Building a better future is worth doing together, as the world is more international than ever and the well-being of all of us is increasingly interdependent. I am looking forward to connecting with Ashoka's network!”

Ashoka is a network of more than 3,800 of the world's leading social entrepreneurs. The network includes Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus, a developer of microloans, and Jimmy Wales, a developer of Wikipedia. Ashoka provides the ability to expand doing good beyond the borders of Finland. The network also brings together various organizations to support selected individuals. In the Nordic countries, Ashoka Fellowship sponsors include McKinsey & Company, Accenture, Antrop, IKEA Social Entrepreneurship and Sitra.

For more information about Ashoka and Markus's work visit:

Find out more about Kukunori at:

Markus has also been interviewed about Guided Functional Peer Support and Kukunori's “Culture Houses” by Forbes Magazine here.

Markus is also working with Citizen Network to develop a global peer support network. You can find out more about peer support work, including Guided Functional Peer Support in the following film: