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The Leadership Symposium seeks solutions to the challenging questions of our time

Published on 3.9.2019
Tampere Universities
The Leadership Symposium of 2019 – The World on the Move – which is organised in conjunction with Tampere University’s opening week, brings together representatives from the world of science and research, business, and public administration from both Finland and abroad.

The Leadership Symposium, organised during the first opening week of the new academic year at the Tampere Universities community, is an event where management experts and researchers meet, debate in the academic spirit, and look for solutions to acute global issues.

The Symposium is organised on Wednesday 11 September on the city centre campus. Dean Matti Sommarberg from the Faculty of Management and Business hopes to hear thought-provoking presentations and multifaceted discussions.

“There are many interdependent changes in the world. That is why we need dialogue between researchers and cooperation partners as well as solution-oriented thinking. When we face a challenge, we cannot just lift our hands in the air and postpone all actions until tomorrow. Instead, we must roll up our sleeves and present workable solutions. I hope we can spread this message at the Symposium,” Sommarberg says.

Seven top-level seminars will be organised during the day. The programme also features academic debating competitions, which have become one of the traditions of the Leadership Symposium over the years

“In general, there is a danger that people create their own information silos around issues: some talk about artificial intelligence, some about trade wars while others talk about the future of democracy. Our goal is to bring these discussions together because the big issues are interacting with each other,” Sommarberg explains.

In this year’s Leadership Symposium, Tampere University cooperates with the Aamulehti newspaper, Council of Pirkanmaa Region, Business Tampere, the University Properties of Finland Ltd, Pirkanmaa Hospital Disctrict, Tampere Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Finnish Sports Federation Tampere Region. The Leadership Symposium is now organised for the eighth time.

The seminars in the symposium are mainly open to all and without prior registration. A separate registration is required for the research dates with leadership researchers, the sports management seminar, and the Business Tampere mini seminar.

Internationality in a key role

Professor Tim Minshall from the University of Cambridge, an innovation management expert, is the international special guest. He is the keynote speaker at the Open Innovation - Impacts on Society seminar organised in the main auditorium of the Main building at 10.15.

Researcher Heli Helanne-Cole from the University of Oxford will talk about entrepreneurial policy in a mini seminar organised by Business Tampere.

“Major changes do not respect countries’ borders, of which the burning of the Amazon rain forests is a recent example. The more we are able to engage in international dialogue, the better we will understand the challenges and possible solutions,” Sommarberg says.

The seminars offer a wide range of topics

Professor of practice Matti Apunen hosts the EMBA 20th Anniversary Seminar, and the keynote speaker is Jaana Tuominen, CEO from the Fiskars Group.

The Sports Management Seminar organised by the Finnish Sports Federation Tampere Region addresses sports management as a field of unreasonable demands. Kati Lehtonen, a researcher from LIKES Research Centre for Physical Activity and Health, former executive manager of the Finnish Ski Association Mika Kulmala, and Eeva Perttula, former CEO of the Pori Ässät ice-hockey club are among the participants.

Young people are creating the future

Student organisations have been actively involved in organising the Leadership Symposium from the start. Among other things, students bring to the event a debating competition between student clubs, and music and dance performances. Students will also organise a cooperation seminar titled “Johtaminen and aika” (Leadership and time) with the Aamulehti newspaper at 12.30 on Wednesday 11 September.

The participants in the panel are President and CEO of VR Group Rolf Jansson, CEO of Colossal Order Mariina Hallikainen and Chief Business Development Officer Ville Solja from Kiilto.

“When I look at this year’s programme, students are in the panels and the audience. They are also hosting events. The students are the leaders of the future; if the world changes, it is because of them. After all, the future belongs to them,” Sommarberg says.


Text: Jaakko Kinnunen
Photograph: Jonne Renvall


Events organised in English at the Symposium

10.15-12.00 Main auditorium
Open Innovation – Impact on Society (in English)
14.30-16.00 sali A1
Business Tampere mini seminar: How to build an ecosystem that supports startup plurality? (in English)