maanantai 18. marraskuuta 2019

Learning circular economy and sustainable innovations

We had again the pleasure of hosting an EMBA group of managers from Ecole des Ponts Paris Tech who came to Finland to study circular economy and sustainable business. We had built an action-packed agenda for them covering lectures, company visits, and professional networking. 

This blog post is an attempt to describe our program from Thursday to Sunday with some pictures. I know it is impossible to perfectly summarize the insightful and amazing experiences we had, but I´ll try anyway. Perhaps a series of pictures can illustrate at least part of our journey.  
Program kick-off at Sitra, Finnish innovation fund doing pioneering work on circular economy

Markus Terho and Nani Pajunen at Sitra outlining sustainable everyday 
life and a movement towards carbon-neutral economy and circular society.   

Company visit to Fortum Circular Economy Village, a pioneering facility at Riihimäki
combining recycling, production of waste-based fuels and recovering energy from residual 

Evening reception and networking event at the Embassy of France in Helsinki. 
Thanks for the ambassador for inviting us.
Company visit to Naava, a company offering innovative smart green walls.  CEO and Founder Aki Soudunsaari outlined key learnings from growing a start-up company into the scale-up phase.  
Loop restaurant at Lapinlahti Helsinki, making food from donated past-due ingredients.

Antero Vartia, founder of the Compensate Foundation giving
truly an inspiring speech about stopping climate change.

Entering Maria 01, "The Nordic´s leading start-up campus"

Lecturer Esko Kilpi on sustainability as a strategic challenge

Noomi Jägerhorn, Head of Sustainability at Posti Group plc,
advising the participants on leading the sustainability change in organizations. 

A trip to Finland would not be complete without a sauna experience and Finnish cuisine.
Löyly restaurant and sauna offered our guests a night to remember!

Previous pics highlight some of the experts and organizations that we collaborated with in creating the program. However, the most essential element of the learning experience was provided by the Ecole des Ponts EMBA participants themselves. For example, on one company visit, I tried to count the number of brilliant questions they were asking, but I lost count around question number 32! Also, their group work presentations on Sunday on circular economy business modeling were prepared with great passion and effort. It was a pleasure to work with such a group of international executives. 

Pasi Aaltola
Director of MBA Education

Avance Executive Education
Jyväskylä University School of Business and Economics