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Dean’s alumni meet-and-greet in New York focused on blockchain technology

Alumni gathered to hear the latest developments of Aalto University and to discuss opportunities and pitfalls of blockchain technology.
Aalto alumni made new connections at the Finnair office in New York City.

About 20 Aalto alumni, mostly from the field of business, gathered on April 27th for the second Dean’s meet-and-greet event organized in New York City (the first one was held in New York in early 2016). The venue was kindly provided by Finnair, a Premium Partner of the School of Business, and the evening was hosted by the School’s alumnus Marko Salonen, Executive Director of the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Salonen (in the picture on the right) received an Aalto tie as a "token" of appreciation from the Dean of the School of Business Ingmar Björkman.

The alumni were happy to hear about the positive developments of Aalto University from the Dean. The Otaniemi campus development and the upcoming relocations of the School of Arts, Design & Architecture and the School of Business were of particular interest.

The keynote speakers, Professor Matti Rossi and Executive in Residence Henry Tirri discussed opportunities and pitfalls of blockchain technology. Professor Rossi presented cases, such as the Swedish land registry, where the technology had introduced significant efficiencies, but also warned of the downsides, such as the losses concurred in initial coin offering heists. Executive in Residence Tirri referred to the basics of blockchain technology, describing it as a technology, economic and social innovation, which builds on ledgers and which democratizes trust. The alumni raised many questions concerning the future trends of the technology, including the increased use of tokens as organization-specific currencies.

The active discussion and mingling continued long after the official programme of the evening.

The alumni event in New York followed Dean Björkman’s similar gatherings held in London (2015 and 2017), Stockholm, New York in 2016, Silicon Valley, the Stanford University campus, and Moscow. The purpose of these events is to create an Aalto alumni community also outside of Finland, which will hopefully keep the alumni engaged with the University in a number of ways.

There are already over 40 000 alumni from over 80 countries in the Aalto University alumni network.

Further information:
Jonna Söderholm
Head of External Relations, School of Business
[email protected]

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