How elephants learn to dance
The second joint alumni event organized by aSSIST (Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & Technologies) and Aalto University brought together a large number of South Korean EMBA alumni. Aalto University Executive Education (and the Helsinki School of Economics before the establishment of Aalto) has had the pleasure of collaborating with its local partner aSSIST to offer a joint EMBA program for almost 25 years. There are now 4 000 graduates from the program, many of whom work in top positions of global companies in South Korea and beyond.
President of aSSIST Tae Hyun Kim opened the event, followed by the congratulatory address by the Ambassador of Finland Eero Suominen. The Dean of the School of Business Ingmar Björkman (in the picture) shared the latest news of Aalto University, and highlighted the close relations between the school and South Korea. He also expressed his gratitude for the donation made a few years ago by the Aalto-aSSIST alumni, and announced that a plaque will be added on the Major Donors’ Wall in the school’s new building to commemorate their support.
Dr. Pekka Mattila (Group Managing Director & Associate Dean, Aalto University Executive Education and Professor of Practice of the School of Business) gave an inspiring speech titled 'How elephants learn to dance – instilling agility'. He explained how especially large organizations need to be able to anticipate changes, understand what organizational agility means, and instill agility in order to keep up their performance level. Instilling agility, according to Dr. Mattila, requires building dynamic capabilities; balancing 'art' and 'science', i.e. unofficial and official practices; actively reallocating resources; and operating in an ambidextrous manner, simultaneously in an exploitative and exploratory mode.
The audience was taken back in history through a cheerful compilation of photos taken over the years of the EMBA program, presented by Managing Director of the program and the moderator of the event Ms. Kyung-ju Kim. The President of the Alumni Association, Chairman, President & CEO of KB Savings Bank Shin Hong Seob urged the alumni to participate in the different alumni activities, and other notable alumni representing different industries shared their greetings as well. Vice President of aSSIST Yong Joo Choi closed the event with the very positive developments of the EMBA program over the past few years.
The alumni event in Seoul followed Dean Björkman’s gatherings held in Singapore, Seoul (in 2018), Palo Alto, New York (2018 and 2016), London (2017 and 2015), Stockholm, the Stanford University campus, and Moscow. The purpose of these events is to create an Aalto alumni community also outside of Finland.
There are already over 40 000 alumni from over 80 countries in the Aalto University alumni network. You can join the network free of charge at: https://alumnicircle.aalto.fi/
Jonna Söderholm, Head of External Relations, School of Business