Digital Transformation Roundtable

Digital Transformation Roundtable is a series of seminars organised by the Aalto Digi Platform and the Aalto Industrial Internet Campus initiatives. The seminars aim to gather people from different Aalto units and fields of research who are interested in the role of digital transformation in the broad scope of industry, retail, communications, finance, and media. Relevant topics include the nature, scope, and paths of progress of the digital transformation; its economic, design, societal and legal impacts; its business and management models; and its enabling technologies and methodologies.


The seminars are held every 3-4 weeks in A-grid's Little Mordor space on the first floor, Otakaari 5. No registration is needed. Welcome! 

Upcoming talks: to be updated soon

Professor Liisa Välikangas on Quantum Leadership: Managing Business Uncertainty Amidst Big Data

Wednesday 18 April at 15.00-16.00, venue A-grid

A recently completed study with interviews of senior leaders including CEOs and Chairmen of the Board in leading Finnish global companies focused on leadership in the changing business environment. The resulting concept titled Quantum Leadership is positioned in-between measured knowledge – plenty of data and analytics being available - and deep uncertainty.  There are less and less risks that can be identified and probabilistically evaluated, and more and more events and turns that are surprising, serendipitous or much more disruptive in their impact than initially thought. Uncertainty is thus pervasive despite all the information being available.

The presentation introduces Quantum Leadership in its managerial pillars and opens up the discussion as to where next. We talk about:

  • Strategic Landscaping, or the discipline of mapping strategic events forward and following their unfolding and deviation; thinking about contingencies
  • Leadership as an Empirical Discipline, or the practice, already known in scientific management, of measuring and analyzing, and furthermore acting on the flow of events and opportunities, now with the help of Big Data and AI tools
  • Customer in the Core, or orchestrating the company’s resources and capabilities around specific customer opportunities and personalized service delivery fluidly and in real-time, rather than managing in terms of an organizational structure, process or functionality.

For further information in Finnish: See Talouselämä, November 16, 2017: "Johtajan on syytä miettiä todennäköisyyksiä ja seurata yllättäviä tapahtumia" by Olli-Pekka Lumijärvi and Liisa Välikangas.

About Liisa Välikangas

LiisaVAlikangassmall.jpgLiisa Välikangas teaches innovation management at Aalto University and Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki, Finland. Previously she has been affiliated with Stanford University, London Business School and Keio University in Japan. She has also worked for Strategos, a strategic management consulting firm, and SRI International in California's Silicon Valley. She is known for her publications in strategic renewal and resilience (including The Resilient Organization, McGraw-Hill, 2010 and The Quest for Resilience, Harvard Business Review, 2003) and innovation management (Strategic Innovation, Pearson/Financial Times Press, 2015).

She is  Senior Editor of Management and Organization Review, a journal focused on China and emerging markets, published by Cambridge University Press. Her current research projects focus on the business and societal implications of digital technologies including blockchain and how to tackle very large problems, i.e., world challenges. Prof. Välikangas has consulted and worked with many small and large companies around the world and served in the board of the Finnish National Innovation Agency, Tekes.


Do you want to give a talk? 
Feel free to send your suggested topic and abstract together with your short bio to suvi.lavinto [at] aalto [dot] fi ( )

Subscribe to Digiroundtable mailing list and you will receive information of upcoming talks. 

See some of the past talks on YouTube

Past talks

Ilkka Lähteenmäki 
Digital transformation in financial services: "The Day after Fintech"

8 February, 2018

Innovation in financial services is not new. Recently, when referring to financial innovation, Fintech is the acronym that is used to describe the current phase of financial innovation and digitalization including Fintech based service providers, their business models, and services. Fintech technologies as such are not originated from banking or financial sector but they are generally used technologies through other industries and services. There is a great number of simultaneous new technologies at the moment to affect the transformation in banking services, e.g. blockchain, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics, and open interfaces, to mention a few. Therefore, the combined impact on the industry is expected to be stronger than ever before, the internet included. On the application level, Fintech range from embedded delivery systems, to digital currencies, and to anti-money laundering.

Digitalization in general and digital communication technologies especially are changing the ways financial services are produced and delivered. They even change the need base of banking, banking services, and banks. This presentation explores the current changes in universal financial business, the main drivers, and impact on services and business models. The presentation is based on research project headed by DIEM and executed in a wide network of universities and other research institutions.

Ilkka Lähteenmäki works at the moment as a researcher at Aalto University. He is also associated with CERS, Hanken as Ph.D. He has over 20 years experience in banking on executive level. His main research interests include banking and financial services development, manager's mental models, and Fintech. He has published in such journals as Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Management & Organizational History, International Journal of Bank Marketing, and Business Horizons. 

Mikko Dufva
The Future of Work in the Digital World

Thursday 23 November, 2017

Future of work in the digital world

The future of work is a currently a hot topic. Digitalisation, platform thinking, and technological development disrupt existing industries, make many tasks obsolete, change the nature of work and create new opportunities. While much of the discussion is focused on how many jobs will disappear, what is perhaps more interesting is how jobs are reshaped. Some tasks will be automated, new ones will appear and new combinations of tasks create whole new professions. This presentation explores the changes to work brought by artificial intelligence, blockchain and digital platforms. In addition to describing trajectories of change, the focus is on the images of futures guiding the change and the assumptions about the skills and agency of workers in the future. Some possible policy actions to respond to the new challenges are also proposed. The presentation is based on research carried out in the Platform Value Now project funded by the Strategic Research Council at the Academy of Finland, and the Tulevaisuuden työn tahtotila project funded by the Prime Minister’s Office.


Mikko Dufva is a Research Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland working in the field of foresight. He has completed projects and research related to the futures of work, the platform economy, synthetic biology, forestry, mining, and the use of renewable energy. He holds a Doctor of Science degree in Technology, and his dissertation was about knowledge creation in foresight from a systems perspective. He has broad methodological expertise ranging from systems thinking, decision analysis, and optimization to interactive planning, scenario analysis, and participatory methods.

Kimmo Karhu
Dimensions of Digital Space and Market

Thursday 9 November at 10-11.30 

Dimensions of Digital Space and Market
Where to grow in digital market? One can always go up and down the stack to integrate in the vertical dimension. Another dimension is to go horizontally. But what does horizontal mean for digital market? One can always reach to new platforms and submarkets inside existing business sector. On the other hand, one can expand digital assets to completely new business sectors and new customers. What are the other dimensions of digital space?

Kimmo’s presentation will explore the fundamental nature of digital stack and other dimensions of digital space. It will also discuss their implications to business from platform strategy perspective.


Kimmo is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Computer Science at the Aalto University School of Science. His recent doctoral dissertation analyzed open platform strategizing in mobile ecosystems. Currently, he is the project coordinator for the Digital Disruption of Industry –project, a six year project funded by the Strategic Research Council (SRC) at the Academy of Finland.

Zhouyu (Joy) Wu
Effects of Rights, Contracts, and Access in IP: Experiments on behavioral mechanisms and licensing structures

Wednesday 25 October at 10-12 

The Effects of Rights, Contracts, and Access in IP: Experiments on behavioral mechanisms and licensing structures 


Data, a sub-category of information goods, requires particular study as wide-scale data-sharing is a new and growing market. It is a digital good that is costly to collect and curate, challenging to trade due to potential spillovers, and nearly impossible to protect under existing intellectual property (IP) laws. This market is affected by behavioural challenges when decisions are made to create, evaluate, protect, and disseminate data goods.

Empirical evidence of behavioural anomalies is vital in considering current and future inefficiencies in the IP market. Experimental studies can test for the presence of endowment and creator effects; the influence of contract structures on data spillovers; and the sensitivity of innovation outcomes due to data access types. 


Joy is a 3rd year PhD student at Cornell University’s Applied Economics and Management department. Her research areas are at the nexus of (1) innovation, technology, and intellectual property and (2) behavioural and experimental economics. Prior to joining Cornell in 2015, she was an economic consultant in Chicago, focusing on patent infringement in telecommunications litigation cases. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago in 2012.


Page content by: | Last updated: 08.06.2018.