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New professorship promotes the experience economy vital for cities

Published on 24.4.2024
Tampere University
Tampere city centre full of people, with lighting and a restaurant area on the central square.
Photo: Marko Kallio/Skyfox
In a strategic partnership with the City of Tampere, Tampere University is establishing the post of a professor of practice of experience economy. The professorship will help to shed new light on the experience economy ecosystem and develop expertise for both businesses and public organisations.

Experiences have become cornerstones of the national economy and society because they generate well-being for individuals, economic activity for businesses and vitality for societies. Experiences are also key revitalisers of city centres and build quality of life and well-being for individuals while also being significant for the national economy.

In cooperation with the City of Tampere, Tampere University is establishing a professor of practice post in the field of experience economy. With the help of the professorship, Tampere University will investigate the role and potential of the experience economy in Finland and educate future professionals.

The concept of experience economy refers to a set of industries that are essential for the creation of meaningful consumer and customer experiences. They include event management, cultural sectors, the entertainment and gaming industry, sports, and the tourism and hospitality sectors. The role of technology is becoming increasingly important in different experiences, which is why studying technological potential is a key part of the module.

“With research on the experience economy and the related professorship we aim to find solutions for fostering the general well-being of citizens while also promoting businesses in the field. By putting scientific knowledge and expertise to practice, we will further increase the appeal of our region,” says Keijo Hämäläinen, President of Tampere University.

“The City of Tampere has recognised that the experience economy is the fastest growing global industry, which makes it an important part of developing Tampere’s business structure and building the city’s appeal, well-being, and competitiveness. With the professorship, we will gain important global and national understanding of the industry as a basis and support for development,” says Competitiveness Director Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki from the City of Tampere.

The professorship will enhance the competitiveness of Finnish businesses, cities, organisations, and public institutions operating in the domain of the experience economy. The professorship will also help to produce high-quality research data to be used by stakeholders in the field.

Antti Lönnqvist, Dean of the Faculty of Management and Business, emphasises the unique collaboration.

“As a faculty, we want to be more closely connected to society and the businesses around the University and cooperate with our partners. I believe that this new role, and the close cooperation with experience economy stakeholders it entails, will offer great opportunities both for high-quality research and education and the development of practical solutions,” Lönnqvist says.

Experience economy is developed on the national level

The City of Tampere participates in the funding of the professorship. In December 2023, the City’s Growth, Innovation and Competitiveness Services Committee granted a €50,000 subsidy to the professorship. The City will allocate €400,000 to funding the professorship and experience economy research and education in the first four-year period of 2025—2028 provided that the City Council will approve the intended budget annually.

The professorship will promote the experience economy in a field that is crucial for urban dynamics. Cities’ need to revitalise city centres also drives the development of experiences. In recent years, the City of Tampere has been a frontrunner in investing to the events industry, experience economy and developing the field.

Tampere offers a natural testing ground for studying experience economy phenomena at the individual, enterprise and society levels. Functional cooperation relations with other urban growth centres supports the mission fulfilment, and the aim of the project is to promote the experience economy more broadly in Finland.

The Professor of Experience Economy will work at the Business Studies Unit of the Faculty of Management and Business. In the initial phase of the project, the professorship will be filled as a professor of practice post. The vacancy was announced on 24 April 2024.

Tampere University’s strategy and multidisciplinary orientation offer collaboration opportunities within the university and with other Finnish and international universities.

In addition to the City of Tampere, the professorship is funded by Noho Partners, Tampere Chamber of Commerce, Finnish Ice-hockey Elite League, Ice Hockey Foundation, Tampere Foundation for Business Education and Tampere Fairs. The project’s partner network will be further extended in the coming years.


Antti Lönnqvist
antti.lonnqvist [at]
tel. +358 40 544 6288

Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki
anna-kaisa.heinamaki [at]
tel. +358 40 639 7701