Alumni and friends of Aalto gathered in the Dean’s meet-and-greet in Palo Alto
Over 35 alumni, mostly from the field of business, and friends of Aalto gathered on November 5th for the second Dean’s meet-and-greet organized in Silicon Valley. The venue was kindly provided by Idean and the evening was hosted by researcher Hanna Maula and the CDO of Idean, Jesse Maula.
The Dean of the School of Business, Professor Ingmar Björkman, presented the latest developments of Aalto University and described for example how studying at Aalto has changed considerably in the past few years. Students are introduced to challenge-based learning and working with companies in different ways from the onset of their studies. The audience was also happy to hear how international Aalto has become lately, with e.g. the tenure track system attracting talented foreign faculty to join Aalto.
Professor Eero Vaara gave a key note speech on “strategy as narratives and storytelling”, drawing examples from his ongoing research on the City of Espoo and entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Eero explained, for example, the concept of orchestrating polyphony in the strategy process of Espoo. The question on how entrepreneurs who have encountered failure reconstruct their identity and restore legitimacy raised a lot of questions from the audience, many of whom were entrepreneurs themselves.
The active discussion and mingling continued in a relaxed and warm ambiance after the official programme of the evening.
The alumni event in Palo Alto followed Dean Björkman’s similar gatherings held in New York (in spring 2018 and 2016), London (2017 and 2015), Stockholm, 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. The next alumni event will take place in Seoul, South Korea on November 13th with deans Ingmar Björkman and Jyri Hämäläinen (School of Electrical Engineering).
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