Find the webinar keynote speakers introduced!

Our speakers are all top-level experts in their field, from various universities and research groups or companies - join the proceedings to find out their views on the various topics featured in the programme!
Episode I

Keynote speakers

Linda Liukas

Programmer, storyteller and illustrator, Founder of Rails Girls

Linda is a bright new voice on global technology education. With her Hello Ruby books and philosophy she brings a Nordic playful perspective to the sometimes serious world of computer science.  

Translated into over 30 languages, this children’s picture book series asks: What else is there to technology education than “Learn to code”? If computer code is the Lego block of our time – a tool of creation – how do we teach curiosity, joy, and wonder to our kids? 

Linda is a well loved speaker around the world on technology, creativity and education and her clients include Nokia Networks (FIN), Schibsted (NO), Mahindra (IN),  (FR), CIO City (NE), Danone (FR), Rakuten (JP), National Gallery in Victoria with Telstra (AU), New York Department of Education (US) and many others. She is also the founder of Rails Girls, a global phenomenon teaching the basics of programming for young women in over 400 cities around the world. 

Pekka Sivonen

Executive Director, Digital Transformation of Finnish Industries

Mr Pekka Sivonen is the Executive Director of Business Finland since June 2018. He is responsible for the Digital Transformation of Finnish Industries.

Previously, Mr Sivonen has held an Executive in Residence position at Aalto University Center for Entrepreneurship as the Head of AppCampus; a three-year global acceleration program funded by Microsoft and Nokia, then heading health-tech startup accelerator VERTICAL in collaboration with Samsung and Sonera. He is also a co-Founder of HealthSPA –ecosystem and IndustryHack, an open innovation accelerator of Industrial Internet.

His other career accomplishments include for example raising second to most private equity funding in Finland, 38 million Euros – and being selected as the Entrepreneur of the Year in Services in Finland by Ernst & Young in years 2004, 2005 and 2006. Mr Sivonen is also the founder of Digia, a publicly NASDAQ OMX -listed mobile sw-company. He took the company from 1 person to 1.600 persons.

He has 20 years experience in mobile software and 35 years as entrepreneur.

Li Andersson

Minister of Education

Ms. Li Andersson was appointed Minister of Education in Finland in June 2019. She is the chairperson of the Left Alliance party, former chair of her party’s youth organization and current member of the City Council of Turku. She is serving her second term as a Member of Parliament. She was elected in Parliament in 2015. She was born 1987 in Turku.

Before and during her political career, Ms. Andersson has had numerous responsibilities in civil society organisations and trade unions. She has been a steady advocate for human rights, equality, civil society, as well as social and ecological sustainability.

She holds a Bachelor degree in Social Sciences (international law) from Åbo Akademi University, which is the only exclusively Swedish language multi-faculty university in Finland.

Rasmus Halme

Chief Operating Officer at Slush

Rasmus Halme is the Chief Operating Officer at Slush, responsible for the business & strategy side of the global not-for-profit movement. Slush's mission is to create and help the next generation of groundbreaking entrepreneurs, originally founded to change attitudes toward entrepreneurship in Finland. In the last few years, Slush has grown from a single startup event in Helsinki to a one-of-a-kind community and series of events organized all around the world. This year, Slush adapted by launching two new online ventures; the community platform Node by Slush and the startup media Soaked by Slush.

Prior to joining Slush, Rasmus gathered some classic business acumen from short stints in investment banking, strategy consulting, and private equity. Despite spending several years of his life in Luxembourg, South Africa, Hong Kong, and the US, Rasmus is still most excited about the opportunities that the Finnish startup ecosystem, in particular, has to offer.

Episode II

Keynote speakers

Mari Kallioinen

Professor, LUT

Professor Mari Kallioinen strives to develop understanding and knowledge in the field of sustainable and resource efficient separation technologies for biorefining. Her research focuses on the study of separation, fouling and cleaning phenomena in biorefining, the development of novel processes, and the development of novel separation materials. Her specific expertise lies in membrane separation but over the course of the past years her work has expanded to include e.g. extraction processes in connection to membrane technology. Her current research group consists of 3 assistant/associate professors and 10 doctoral candidates.

Professor Kallioinen defended her doctoral thesis in 2008. She currently acts as the Head of the Department of Separation Science at LUT and leads one of the six interdisciplinary LUT research platforms, Re-Source. She has published approximately 60 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and her Scopus h-index is 17. She has been awarded grants for her research by e.g. the Academy of Finland, by multiple Finnish foundations and by Business Finland. She is the inventor in 2 patents with 3 additional patents pending.

She has extensive supervisory experience with 36 master’s theses, 24 bachelor’s theses and 4 doctoral theses under her belt. Currently, 6 doctoral candidates are working under her supervision. Additionally, she teaches both Bachelor and Master’s students within the degree program in chemical engineering at LUT.

Professor Kallioinen has held and currently holds multiple positions of trust, including a seat in the LUT Board of Directors and a seat in the board of the Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland. She is also an invited member in the Finnish Academy of Technical Sciences.

Rasel Khan

Stora Enso, LUT Alumnus

"I am an experienced Global Sourcing & Supply Chain Professional with technical & business analytics background. My key competencies are – Fast Learner, High Business Acumen, Problem Solving, Analytical Skills, Teambuilding, Structured & Creative Thinking and Commitment to Excellence. In general, I apply lean management & continuous improvement in my daily work & considering myself as a great team member with positive attitude. My co-workers and manager are trusting me for being adaptive, agile, available, accelerator and good communicator."

Episode III

Keynote speakers

Allessandro Foi

Professor of Signal Processing

Alessandro Foi received the M.Sc. degree in Mathematics from the Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy, in 2001, the Ph.D. degree in Mathematics from the Politecnico di Milano in 2005, and the D.Sc.Tech.  degree in Signal Processing from Tampere University of Technology, Finland, in 2007. He is Professor of Signal Processing at Tampere University, Finland.

His research interests include mathematical and statistical methods for signal processing, functional and harmonic analysis, and computational modeling of the human visual system. His work focuses on spatially adaptive (anisotropic, nonlocal) algorithms for the restoration and enhancement of digital images, on noise modeling for imaging devices, and on the optimal design of statistical transformations for the stabilization, normalization, and analysis of random data.

He is a Senior Area Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Computational Imaging and an Associate Editor for the SIAM Journal on Imaging Sciences. He is the incoming Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing.

Goëry Genty

Professor of Optics
Director of the Flagship on Photonics Research and Innovation PREIN

Prof. Goëry Genty carries out both experimental, numerical, and theoretical work in ultrafast photonics. He established the Ultrafast Photonics research group at the Tampere University in 2007. The group is a pioneer and worldwide leader in ultrafast laser dynamics, real-time characterization techniques, nonlinear instabilities, broadband light generation and correlation imaging. Prof. Genty is also the Director of the Flagship on Photonics Research and Innovation awarded in 2019 by the Academy of Finland. The Flagship is a joint national program for Photonics multi-disciplinary science and technology development, including 3 Finnish Universities (Tampere University, Aalto University, and Eastern Finland) and one research organization (VTT), involving more than 50 professors and 400 researchers.

Over the past 10 years, prof. Genty has published over 80 peer-reviewed articles, given more than 100 invited talks at international conferences. He has contributed to the writing of review articles in Reviews of Modern Physics, Nature Reviews Physics, Nature Photonics, etc. In 2011, Goëry Genty was awarded the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) Young Scientist Prize “for outstanding contributions in pulse propagation and ultra-fast dynamics in nonlinear optical fibers, particularly his groundbreaking results on supercontinuum generation and nonlinear instabilities”. In 2017, he was elected Fellow of the Optical Society of America for “pioneering research in the study of supercontinuum generation and nonlinear instabilities in optical fibers.

Episode IV

Keynote speakers

Ari Pouttu

Prof. Ari Pouttu, Vice Director of 6G Flagship

Prof. Pouttu is interested in communication engineering, communications theory and digital transmission techniques. 


  • Tieto- ja viestintäteollisuuden tutkimus Oy (TIVIT) - Member of Board of Directors 2009-2012
  • European Defence Agency, IAP4 external expert 2007-

Susanna Pirttikangas

Research Director in Ubiquitous Computing

"I have worked with many research groups within our faculty and I find it excellent that there is always somebody to ask if I need new knowledge about any computer science related issue, and any other matter I might add. My current research unit is in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, find our pages: Center for Ubiquitous Computing where I lead the Interactive Edge research group. In research, enabling situation awareness is my job and I utilize different kinds of sensor networks that produce data for this.I design data collection, participate in sensor installations, collect and store data, clean the data and draw conclusion from selected features utilizing machine learning and data fusion methodologies. I am also interested in solving the not-so-technical barriers of leveraging artificial intelligence - regulatory, ethical restrictions and possibilities but also how can we enhance the digital skills and AI literacy of people."

Episode V

Keynote speakers

Samuel Kaski

Professor of Computer Science, Aalto University Director of Finnish Center for Artificial Intelligence FCAI

"I work on probabilistic machine learning, meaning probabilistic modelling and Bayesian inference, applied to difficult problems that are interesting and societally important. At the moment I work on the inter-related topics of analysis of multiple data sources, human-in-the-loop machine learning, simulator-based inference (likelihood-free inference with ABC), and privacy-preserving learning. I have had the chance to collaborate with amazing people in interdisciplinary research projects on applications in biology and medicine, brain signal analysis and user interaction (see list of publications), and in the Aalto Probabilistic Machine Learning Group which I lead with Prof. Aki Vehtari, and the Finnish Center of Excellence in Computational Inference Research which I lead until end of 2017.

To further boost the already strong artificial intelligence research and its impact, we are setting up a new Finnish Artificial Intelligence Center FCAI, which I will lead 2018-. It is a partnership of Aalto University, University of Helsinki, and a number of company members, networking further to key international and national partners. We aim to solve three bottleneck questions in AI research: data scarcity, dependability of AI, and ability of AI to understand its users (more details here). The research will be done with company partners, including new startups and spin-offs, which will take the results directly to use. We will also pay special attention to AI education."

Teemu Roos

Professor of Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence and Data Science), Department of Computer Science, University of Helsinki
Leader of the Information, Complexity and Learning research group
Leader of the AI Education program in the Finnish Center for AI

Teemu Roos is the leader of the Information, Complexity and Learning (ICL) research group. He is also affiliated with the Academy of Finland funded Centre of Excellence COIN.

Topics of his interest include the theory and applications of machine learning and big data, probabilistic graphical models, information theory and digital humanities.

Nidhi Singh

Director of Research, Elisa Corporation

Dr. Nidhi Singh is Director of Research at Elisa Corporation in Helsinki. Prior to joining Elisa, she worked with Fortune 500 as well as mid-sized companies for over 16 years in various R&D and leadership roles. Her focus has been on applying AI and machine learning for solving complex, large-scale IT problems in domains like intelligent automation of customer services, online fraud detection in e-commerce, and energy optimisation for data centres. She received her Ph.D in computer science, and has been a reviewer for a number of premier AI conferences and journals.

Milica Todorović

Research fellow, Aalto University

Dr. Milica Todorović runs the machine learning research projects of the Computational Electronic Structure Theory (CEST) group at Aalto University. The group, led. by Prof. Patrick Rinke, interfaces machine learning algorithms with quantum mechanical simulations of materials with the aim to optimise material functionality.

Dr. Todorović moved from Serbia to the UK to study physics at University College London, then she took a DPhil in Materials Science from Merton College at the University of Oxford in 2008. She went on to specialise in development and HPC applications of large-scale first principles calculations at the National Institute for Materials Science (Japan) and Universidad Autonoma de Madrid (Spain). She joined the CEST group at Aalto University in 2015.

Episode VI

Keynote speakers

Katja Hölttä-Otto

Associate Professor of Product Development, Aalto University School of Engineering

Professor Hölttä-Otto is an expert on interdisciplinary design. Her current research areas include empathy, creativity and need finding. She is interested in how empathy and creativity can be developed and learned and also how creativity evolves during engineering education. She is also interested in novel methods for finding latent needs, needs not expressed by the user. She is active in the area of complex system architecture.

Prof. Hölttä-Otto teaches product development methods including design thinking. She is in charge of the ME310 Global Innovation Program at Aalto University, which is part of the global SUGAR network on global interdisciplinary design thinking. Prof. Hölttä-Otto is a recipient of the NSF CAREER award and has won ten best paper awards or similar distinctions. 

Niina Nurmi

Professor & Director, International Design Business Management (IDBM), Aalto University

Professor Niina Nurmi is a director of the International Design Business Management (IDBM) program at Aalto University. Before Aalto University, she worked at Stanford University, Department of Management Science and Engineering. As an organizational psychologist, she studies how employees can find motivation and thrive in contemporary organizations. Her research focuses on work design, leadership, employee well-being, and innovative collaboration in virtual teams, particularly those spanning national boundaries.

Kaisa Väänänen

Professor, Tampere University

Kaisa Väänänen is a professor of user experience in the unit of Human-Centered Technology (IHTE) at Tampere University. Professor Väänänen’s research interests include UX design, design research on human-centered technology, and social robots and their applications in sustainable development.  

Turkka Keinonen

Turkka Keinonen

Turkka Keinonen is a professor of industrial design, vice dean of research and head of doctoral education at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Keinonen has a doctoral degree from the University of Art and Design Helsinki (1998). He has worked as industrial and interaction designer for Finnish technology industries (1990-1995), been a principal research scientist at Nokia Research Center (1998-2001) and visiting associate professor at National University of Singapore (2007-2008). Keinonen’s publications include Mobile Usability (McGraw-Hill 2003), Product Concept Design (Springer 2006), Designers, Users and Justice (Bloomsbury 2017) and about 100 other publications on human centered design, product concept design, design strategy and design ethics.