Digi Breakfast: Blockchains - A transformational technology?

Date: Thursday 07.06.2018 at 8.30-11.00

Location: Aalto University, Design Factory, Stage, Betonimiehenkuja 5 C, Espoo.

Please register through this link by 03.06.2018.


The blockchain distributed consensus model has been claimed to be the most important invention since the Internet was invented. Blockchains are also likened to the development and proliferation of the double entry bookkeeping, an invention that has since the 15th century served as the foundation for our current monetary and economic system. At the same time, blockchains have lingered at the top of the Gartner hype cycle for a couple of years now.

The goal of this digi breakfast is simultaneously to paint the big picture of how blockchains actually might change our society and to ground the technology to its roots, explaining its technical foundations as simply as possible. From that base we then take a forward looking position, trying to understand how their massive replication and openness may transform certain relatively narrow but important factors of the industry and the society. This event we attempt to bring some order to this picture, scaling off the hype and looking at what is the real deal with blockchains, and network researchers, students, industrials and policy makers in this domain.




Welcome: Digi Platform

Platform Manager Dr. Krisztina Cziner


Opening speech

MEP Henna Virkkunen


Blockchains: Understanding the Essence and Open Research Questions

High resolution version (36 MB)

Prof. Pekka Nikander, Aalto University


Blockchains for Digital Transformation of Industry

Prof. Martti Mäntylä, Aalto University


Round table discussion with active involvement of the audience


Arto Laikari, VTT, Senior Scientist, Project Manager

Markus Hautala, Tieto

Janne Pulkkinen,Valtiokonttori (State Treasury)

Henna Virkkunen, Member of the European Parlament

Matti Hellqvist, Bank of Finland, Senior Economist

Prof. Timo Seppälä, Aalto University

Prof. Pekka Nikander, Aalto University (Panel discussion moderator)


Networking with refreshments

Free style informal networking –

chatting possibility with the speakers after the event.



MEP Henna Virkkunen is a Member of the European Parliament. She is a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and a substitute of the Committee on Transport and Tourism. She has worked as a rapporteur on digital platforms in the Parliament. She is currently working in the committees as rapporteur with files on blockchain, cybersecurity and free flow of data. Virkkunen promotes an innovation-friendly Europe. Virkkunen is a keen advocate of education and skills as these equip European people for future trends such as digitalisation. Virkkunen is a licentiate of Philosophy. She has served several ministerial posts as a Minister of Education and Science, Minister of Public Administration and Local Governance and Minister of Transport.


Prof. Pekka Nikander is a professor (PoP) of Industrial Internet at Aalto University, School of Electrical Engineering.  He has over 30 years of research and software development expertise.  He is the founder of Nixu Ltd., a leading computer and network security consultant company in Finland, listed at Nasdaq OMX Nordic, and a co-founder of four other startup companies.  He is first and foremost a generalist in ICT, having more than 20 years of experience, both at personal and at group-leadership level, on architecting, designing, and implementing secure and scalable distributed and decentralised systems, including protocol stacks.  He has written some half a million lines of code, all the way from FPGAs to user interfaces, contributing to half a dozen major open source projects, including FreeBSD, GCC, Tcl/Tk, and NodeJS.  His main research interest today revolve around applying distributed ledger technology (DLT) to IoT and so-called new economy.  He has some 100 refereed publications, with over 8000 citations, and Google H index of 39.  He is also the inventor or a co-inventor in some 20 priority patents.


Prof. Martti Mäntylä is focused on digitalization in industry and society in general, in particular so-called Industrial Internet. A key activity is to lead the Digital Disruption of Industry consortium funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland; see http://ddi.aalto.fi. Prof. Mäntylä is also actively engaged with the Aalto Industrial Internet Campus strategic initiative; see http://aiic.aalto.fi for more information.


Prof. Timo Seppälä is a Professor of Practice in Digital Operations at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University, School of Science and a Chief Research Scientist at the Research Institute for the Finnish Economy. He holds a PhD in Industrial Economics. His research focuses on global value chains, supply chain management, digitalization and platform economy in technology- and service-based businesses. It involves platformization of supply chains, and collaborative innovation management for complex digital ecosystems. Also, he study distributed ledger technologies and their implications across different industries.

He and his colleagues are currently working on projects in algorithmic evolution of the firm, digital platforms for businesses, industrial platform governance, multi-actor value creation in industrial ecosystems, and blockchain technology.

Photo_Markus Hautala_MG_9238_167.jpg

Markus Hautala, Head of Blockchain Solutions, Tieto Markus Hautala has a broad experience on building innovative digital services and bringing them to market within financial services and IT industry. His mission as the Head of Blockchain Solutions at Tieto is to build smarter, more equal and inclusive societies with distributed ledger (DLT) technology.

Arto Laikari_IMG_7943-167.jpg

Arto Laikari (M.Sc. (Tech.), Senior Scientist, Certified Project Manager IPMA Level C) has been working for VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. over 20 years. He has over 30 years of experience working both as a project manager and project team member in national and international projects relating to financial administration, office automation, telecom protocols, distributed systems, home networks and home automation, game environments, service architectures and healthcare and wellbeing. In recent years, he has been active with issues concerning industrial IoT, Blockchains and monitoring and sensor systems for the built environment.



Janne Pulkkinen is Chief Enterprise Architect at State Treasure of Finland’s D9 Digi Office team where his main responsibility is to support Finland's public sector digital transformation with focus in disruptive technology innovations, enterprise architecture and overall business and data strategy transformation. His working closely with new disruptive innovations which will transform and challenge our common way of thinking public services. Special interest to develop new kind of user-centric services and supporting platforms where decentralization and artificial intelligence will provide big changes and possibilities. Janne is also founder and lead of Finnish Public Sector Blockchain network.


Matti Hellqvist is working as a senior economist in the Bank of Finland in the Oversight of market infrastructures division. He has over 13 years of experience on oversight and financial stability analysis from the Bank of Finland and the European Central bank. He has developed analysis software used in this field in over 100 central banks worldwide and since 2012 has been a coordinator of a related Eurosystem expert and working group.  Recently he has been involved in the core team of the Bank of Finland analyzing the impact of digitalization and fintechs. He is representing the bank in external expert groups on Distributed Ledger Techology. Mr Hellqvist holds a Master’s degree on engineering physics and mathematics (Operation research and economics) from the Helsinki University of Technologies.

Page content by: | Last updated: 12.06.2018.