The Finnish education system has received a lot of media attention due the results of PISA examinations. Many countries have considered ways to implement the 'Finnish model' into their own context. This paper examines the experience gained from the first graduating cohort of a fully online Finnish teacher development program in a Middle Eastern country with diverse, multicultural faculty participants. It examines the challenges of implementation and reflects upon the successes and participant experience. The paper describes how the principles of authentic e-learning (Herrington, Reeves and Oliver, 2010) were used to design the program and whether it was possible to harness these to enable real change to take place in professional practice. The program made use of both formal tools and social media to engage and support staff as they implemented new ideas and methods into their classroom practice and reflected on their professional identities.