Aalto Systems Forum

Being Better in the World of Systems - A Morning with Peter Senge, MIT

Thursday, November 20th, 2014
9.30 - 13.30
Lecture hall A/B
Aalto University, Otakaari 1

Today we live in a world of systems which is increasingly interconnected and dynamic. The systems are created by human individuals with their intentions and values in different social, cultural and economic structures.

Our challenge is to learn ways to act intelligently from within this complex to create sustainable societies and policies and to make a better life possible for everyone. The environment is always a key factor in our systems and an overall concern that calls for fresh perspectives and creative thinking.

The seminar will discuss perspectives and ways to better meet these challenges.

The seminar is free and open to the public.
Students are particularly encouraged to attend.

Slides, videos and other material of the seminar can be found here.


Raimo P. Hämäläinen
Prof, Director of the Systems Analysis Laboratory

Keynote speaker

Peter Senge is a Senior Lecturer in Leadership and Sustainability at the MIT. He is the founding chair of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) and the author of the widely acclaimed book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning Organization. The Journal of Business Strategy (September/October 1999) named Senge one of the 24 people who has had the greatest influence on business strategy over the last 100 years. BusinessWeek (October 2001) rated Senge one of the top 10 management gurus. Senge has lectured extensively throughout the world, translating the abstract ideas of systems theory into tools for better understanding of economic and organizational change. Senge's work articulates a cornerstone position of human values in the workplace: namely, that vision, purpose, reflectiveness, and systems thinking are essential if organizations are to realize their potential. He has worked with leaders in business, education, civil society, healthcare, and government.

Aalto speakers

Raimo P. Hämäläinen is the founder and director of the Systems Analysis Laboratory. In the past 30 years the unit has become a major academic institution in Finland in the field of systems and operations research with a team of internationally acknowledged scholars. The research interests of prof. Hämäläinen include systems thinking, decision making, control and game theory, energy and environmental policy and biological systems. He is co-director of the Systems Intelligence Research Group and the Honorary President of the Finnish Operations Research Society for his contributions in developing the field of OR in Finland. Prof. Hämäläinen is the recipient of the MCDM Edgeworth-Pareto Award of the International Society on Multiple Criteria Decision Making.

Harri Ehtamo is professor at the Systems Analysis Laboratory. He received his M. Sc. degree in theoretical physics from the University of Helsinki and Ph. D. degree in operations research from the Helsinki University of Technology. His research interests are mathematical modeling, optimization and game theory, and engineering economic applications. He has supervised multiple doctoral theses and he is an author or coauthor of 80 journal and conference articles. He is a founding member of the International Society of Dynamic Games and the editor of the Electronic Newsletter during 1990-2006.

Ahti Salo is Professor of Systems Analysis, Vice Head of the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis, and Vice Dean of Aalto University School of Science. He has published extensively on decision and risk analysis, innovation management, foresight methodologies, and efficiency analysis. He was the President of the Finnish Operations Research Society in 1999-2000 and 2010-2011. Prof. Salo has received research awards from the Decision Analysis Society of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. He started as the Editor-in-Chief of EURO Journal on Decision Processes in 2011 and has been a board member of the Association of Parliament Members and Researchers in Finland, Tutkas, since 1999.

Esa Saarinen is Professor of Applied Philosophy and Co-director of the Systems Intelligence Research Group. An acclaimed speaker and corporate coach, Saarinen’s lecture series ”Philosophy and Systems Thinking” has become one of the most popular classes on Aalto University's Otaniemi campus and an inspiring platform for reflective thinking. Saarinen has supervised a number of doctoral dissertations and is the author of numerous monographs, textbooks and articles ranging from cultural criticism to history of philosophy, and from existentialism to analytic philosophy.


  Moderator Dr. Eeva Vilkkumaa
8.30 Morning Coffee and Get-Together
9.30 Raimo P. Hämäläinen
  Milestones of Systems Analysis
9.45 Harri Ehtamo
  Games People Play
10.00 Ahti Salo
  Understanding Systems of the Future
10.15 Poster Exhibit and Refreshments
10.45 Keynote: Peter Senge
  Systems Thinking for a Better World
11.45 Esa Saarinen
  Systems Intelligence as Life Philosophy
12.30 Launch of the book:
  Raimo P. Hämäläinen, Rachel Jones and Esa Saarinen:
Being Better Better – Living with Systems Intelligence.
Complimentary copies will be available.
12.40 Closing of the seminar
12.45 Interaction with participants with toast and light snacks

This seminar celebrates the 30 years anniversary of the Systems Analysis Laboratory in the Aalto University.

There will be an alumn event organized together with the seminar. More information about the event can be found here.