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Risto Siilasmaa, who delivered the Jaakko Honko lecture, recommends studying quantum computing and machine learning

The lecture, named after Chancellor Jaakko Honko, brought together more than 300 School of Business alumni to Ekonominaukio 1.
Risto Siilasmaa piti Jaakko Honko -luennon Kauppakorkeakoululla 6.6.2019. Kuva: Lasse Lecklin / Aalto-yliopisto
Risto Siilasmaa delivered a lecture on Disruption and Managing Change. Photo: Lasse Lecklin / Aalto University

In 1997, the Helsinki School of Economics, the Helsinki School of Economics Support Foundation (fr) and the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation set up a Jaakko Honko lecture series to honour the work of the former chancellor and rector of the School of Economics Jaakko Honko (1922–2006).

The biennial alumni event was held on Thursday 6th June, and it took place for the first time in the School of Business’s new building in Otaniemi, at Ekonominaukio 1. More than 300 alumni from the School of Business attended the event.

Risto Siilasmaa, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Nokia and F-Secure, delivered a lecture on Disruption and Managing Change.

‘The School of Business’s new building symbolises renewal, which is essential in our society. Online universities and online teaching are developing at a rapid pace, and universities need to adapt to the needs and aspirations of their students. Aalto University has already done great work increasing online education,’ Risto Siilasmaa said.

According to Siilasmaa, it is difficult to resist disruption.

‘Sometimes things just have to be turned upside down. A good example of this is Nokia's telephone operations, which always prioritised the development of the equipment. However, suddenly they realised that software development should be prioritised over hardware. Management should have constantly been ready to learn new things and be ready for change. Companies must keep hold of their core technology and follow industry developments. End users do not always know what they want. The culture of experimenting includes failures, and there shouldn’t be any blame placed on those who make mistakes,’ Risto Siilasmaa said.

Siilasmaa recommends that now is a good time to study quantum computing and machine learning, and increase knowledge of China so that we can succeed in the future.

Professionals in economics were awarded Jaakko Honko Medals

Jaakko Honko Medals are awarded to people who have made a significant contribution to economic research or its promotion and have aided interdisciplinary research between sciences.

Jaakko Honko -mitalistit 2019 ja mitalin jakajat. Kuva: Lasse Lecklin / Aalto-yliopisto
Dean I. Björkman (left), Jaakko Honko medalists A. Lehikoinen, R. Karhinen, A. Huhtala, P. Haaparanta, E. Dahl, H. J. Aho, Kimmo Kontula, Chairman of the Board of The Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, and A. Mäenmaa, CEO of The HSE Support Foundation (fr)

This year, the medals were awarded to Heimo J. Aho, Trade Counsellor, Chairman of the Helsinki School of Economics Foundation, Elli Dahl, Managing Director of Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, Pertti Haaparanta, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Anni Huhtala, Director General of the VATT, Institute for Economic Research, Reijo Karhinen, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Economic Education, Matti Keloharju, Professor of Finance, Anita Lehikoinen, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Culture and Erkki Liikanen, Chairman of the Board of Helsinki GSE, Helsinki Graduate School of Economics.

The medals were jointly awarded by the Yrjö Jahnsson Foundation, the Aalto University School of Business and the HSE Support Foundation (fr). The medals were first awarded in 1989.

The Jaakko Honko event started with the presentation by Ingmar Björkman, the Dean of the School of Business. He told the audience that in this spring's joint application process, more than 3,000 applicants selected the School of Business’s Bachelor's Degree Program as their first choice. This made it the university degree with most applications in Finland. He also thanked all the donors who have supported the School of Business.

Also, during the event, Professor Juuso Välimäki gave a presentation about Helsinki Graduate School of Economics or Helsinki GSE, which now also has a Finnish name:  Helsingin taloustieteellinen tutkijakoulu. This is a joint academic project between Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics and the University of Helsinki, which aims to raise the level and effectiveness of economic research and teaching to the highest international standard.

The alumni event ended with a buffet dinner and lively socialising.

Text: Terhi Ollikainen

Alumnit tutustuivat lahjoittajatauluun. Kuva: Lasse Lecklin / Aalto-yliopisto
Alumni took a look at the Donors' Wall. Dean thanked all the donors who have supported the School of Business. Photo: Lasse Lecklin / Aalto University
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