Aalto Systems Forum

Value-Focused Decisions

A Public Lecture by Prof. Ralph L. Keeney

Professor Emeritus Ralph L. Keeney

Thursday, January 18th at 16.00-17.00
Auditorium E, Otakaari 1 F (Old Helsinki University of Technology main building, see map)
Systems Analysis Laboratory, Aalto University School of Science


The only purposeful way you can influence anything in your life is by your decisions. Everything else just happens beyond your control, due to others’ decisions and happenstance. Your decisions empower you to make contributions at work in businesses, organizations, and government and to enhance the quality of your life and those of your family and friends. Thus, your decision-making is important. Quality decision-making is based on your decision-making skills, and we all can improve our decision-making skills. As with any skill, improvement requires understanding how one should do something well and then practicing the techniques to do it well. This presentation discusses procedures to enhance your skills and apply them to address five key issues in decision-making: understanding why you care and what you hope to achieve by making a decision, creating alternatives better than those readily available, creating win-win alternatives that will allow an authorized decision-maker (e.g. one’s boss) to support the alternative you desire, proactively identifying decision opportunities that you could choose to face that offer significant benefits including preempting the occurrence of unappealing future decision problems, and developing the strategic objectives of the decision-maker (an individual or an organization) to provide guidance and consistency for all of the decision-makers decisions. Each of the procedures are practical to use and rely on common sense and focused effort.


Professor Ralph Keeney is among the pioneers in decison sciences and original developer of decision analysis methodologies. He is world renowned for his publications and consulting. Professor Keeney's areas of expertise are the decision sciences, risk analysis, and systems management. He is Professor Emeritus at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and Professor Emeritus of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University of Southern California. During his professional career, Professor Keeney has consulted on a wide range of decisions including corporate management problems, public policy, environmental problems, and energy decisions. Professor Keeney is the author of many books and articles, including Value-Focused Thinking, Decisions with Multiple Objectives, co-authored with Howard Raiffa, and Smart Choices, with John S. Hammond and Howard Raiffa, which has been translated into seventeen languages. Professor Keeney was awarded the Ramsey Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Decision Analysis by the Decision Analysis Society and he is a Member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.


This event in English is open free of charge to all who are interested.

Please enroll here so we can offer the coffee service after the talk.

At noon on Friday, January 19th 2018, Prof. Keeney will be the official opponent in the public defence of Tuomas Lahtinen's Doctoral Dissertation entitled Improving the practice of model based problem solving with a systemic behavioral perspective (Lecture Hall E, Otakaari 1). You are most welcome to attend this public defence.  

Aalto Systems Forum

The growing challenge of our time is the need to have the ability to see and manage wholes, i.e. systems. The Aalto Systems Forum aims to be a platform of dialogue for practitioners and researchers to share the latest results of the field by top international scholars.

Aalto Systems Forum is organized by the Systems Analysis Laboratory research group at the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis of Aalto University School of Science. http://sal.aalto.fi/en/aaltosystemsforum /