The School of Business’ Homecoming Day invited alumni to Otaniemi for the first time
The School of Business’s largest alumni event Homecoming Day, which attracted more than 400 alumni and master's students, was held on Friday 27 January 2023 on the Otaniemi campus of Aalto University. The programme included thought-provoking discussions on current topics and happy encounters with former course mates. The theme of the event was Managing Disruption.
The day began at the Undergraduate Centre and its U-wing (the new wing) lecture halls, where bachelor's degree students in business studies have most of their lectures. The keynote speaker of the main seminar was Pekka Lundmark, CEO of Nokia.
Lundmark talked about how technology can support organisations to act in a data-driven manner. Although technology is being developed in leaps and bounds, and massive amounts of data are utilised with artificial intelligence, Nokia has noticed how it is easier for people to grasp cultural essentials in the strategy. ‘Cultural understanding is very important, and we want our activities to be open, fearless and empowered. You can give constructive feedback and criticism, and the management should remember to be grateful for it and also demonstrate this. Everyone is allowed to express their views on matters, and staff are involved extensively in decision-making. Co-operation is really essential,’ Lundmark said.
After Lundmark's presentation, Leena Mörttinen, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Finnish Ministry of Finance, and Eerika Savolainen, CEO of Slush joined the stage. The discussion on the theme of the day continued under the leadership of two moderators, Professors Vesa Puttonen and Eeva Vilkkumaa. The discussion was lively, for example, on the possibilities for startups, large companies and the state to prepare for disruptions or cracks, as Vesa Puttonen's interpreted the term, and to utilise them.
After the main seminar there were various parallel sessions. The professors of the different departments of the School of Business had prepared the programme and invited guests from business life and state administration. There were discussions, interviews and presentations covering the contents of all six departments. Participant feedback on these sessions was also excellent!
News from the School of Business and Alumnus of the Year
After the parallel sessions organised by the departments, we moved back to the large hall to hear the School of Business's news by Dean Timo Korkeamäki.
‘I love my job and I'm also very grateful to our students, our faculty and service staff, as well as you, dear alumni. I've been working in this position for three years now, and with this experience, I can say that the School of Business is an excellent place to work,’ says Dean Korkeamäki.
‘A lot of things happen weekly, and we get to celebrate a big anniversary this year for at least two of our activities: Our Sustainability in Business research group has been operating for 30 years, celebrating its years of operation in May, and our students have been carrying out customized student business projects for the same amount of time since 1993. When we leave Otaniemi tonight, I hope to see you next time in September the latest in large numbers. At that time, we’ll organise the traditional Jaakko Honko lecture, and we’ve invited Kaisa Hietala as the main speaker.’
After the news, the Dean announced the School of Business Alumnus of the Year 2022. The second founder of Smartly.io and the CEO of the technology company for 10 years Kristo Ovaska was selected as the Alumnus of the Year. Ovaska was unable to attend the event, so the alumni were able to hear his greetings on a video.
The Homecoming Day continued with a dinner at the School of Business on Ekonominaukio 1 with music by Bolton Avenue big band, dance and a good time together.
Thank you to all participants! We made the Homecoming Day a big party together!