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Aalto Executive Summit 2019

Politics of Business

Aalto Executive Summit is a global event that brings participants from around the world for a week of study, networking, and socializing.

The Summit is about studying with world-class faculty, developing your personal leadership potential, and meeting business leaders. During the Summit you have a chance to network with an international group of participants and the program includes social elements and evening get-togethers. The Summit location alternates between Helsinki and Singapore and the event has been organized since 2008.

The Aalto Executive Summit is open to

  • current Aalto EMBA, Aalto MBA, Aalto-ESADE MBA for Executives, and Global Leader participants
  • Aalto EMBA, Aalto MBA (previously Aalto Part-time MBA), FEMBA, Global Leader, and Johtaminen terveydenhuollossa alumni
  • selected participants from our international partner universities: ESADE (Spain), GU School of Executive Education (Sweden), and Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg University (Russia)
  • representatives from selected partner organizations and global programs.

During an intensive week of study, you will complete one elective module (4.5 EC). Experiential learning is a major part of the Summit training approach and the balance of theory, practical experience, and hands-on workshops enhances learning.

Aalto Executive Summit 2019 will be held on August 19–23, 2019 in Singapore. The main venue will be at Mandarin Oriental, Singapore.

Learning Experience
Enhanced learning balancing theory and practical experience.

Futures & Scenario Planning Simulation
Experiment with trends and emerging issues in simulated, scenario-based contexts.

Expand your network by connecting with Aalto EMBA, Aalto MBA and Global Leader participants and alumni.

Contents and Schedule

Politics is fundamentally about power and influence. In Aalto Executive Summit 2019 we will be investigating this theme from various levels and perspectives. These include how economic systems and political uncertainty influence business and society, how power is negotiated and distributed in complex ecosystems and organizations, and how leaders can personally get better at influencing those around them.

Aalto EE reserves the right to make changes to the program.


James Crabtree

James Crabtree is a Singapore-based author and journalist, and an Associate Professor of Practice at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore.

At the Lee Kuan Yew School, James teaches graduate courses on leadership and communication, as well as the impact of the 2008 financial crisis. He is also a fellow at the school’s Centre on Asia and Globalisation.

He is now a columnist for Nikkei Asian Review, and also a non-resident fellow at the Asia-Pacific programme at Chatham House. His best-selling book, “The Billionaire Raj: A Journey Through India’s New Gilded Age”, was released in mid-2018. It was short-listed for the FT / McKinsey book of the year.

Prior to academia, James worked for the Financial Times, most recently leading coverage of Indian business as Mumbai bureau chief, between 2011 and 2016. Before joining the FT, James was a senior editor at Prospect, Britain’s leading monthly magazine of politics and ideas. He has written for a range of global publications, including the New York Times, the Economist, Wired, and Foreign Policy.

Prior to journalism, James was a senior policy advisor in the UK Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. He has worked for various think tanks in London and Washington DC, and spent a number of years living in America, initially as a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Federico T. Donato

Federico Donato is Senior Advisor at Credit Suisse Private Banking since 2018, catering to Ultra High Net Worth Individuals, Institutions, and Pension Funds.

He is President of the European Chamber of Commerce, Council Member of Singapore Business Federation and Secretary of the EU Asean Business Council. Former President of the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, Federico serves as independent director in private companies and institutions, including Vice President of Assocamerestero in Rome – apex body of the Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad.

Federico started his career in Sanpaolo Bank in New York and worked for several financial institutions in different locations and roles, including being founder and Chief Executive Officer of FFA Asia, a multi-family office dedicated to advising entrepreneurial families on their overall wealth. He graduated in financial markets at Bocconi University and was visiting student at New York University.

Deborah Elms

Dr. Deborah Elms is the Founder and Executive Director of the Asian Trade Centre (ATC).

She is Vice Chair of the Advisory Board for the Asia Business Trade Association (ABTA), Co-Chair of the Trade Policy Committee of the Global Trade Professionals Alliance (GTPA), and also a senior fellow in the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry’s Trade Academy.

Previously, Dr. Elms was head of the Temasek Foundation Centre for Trade & Negotiations (TFCTN) and Senior Fellow of International Political Economy at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Dr. Elms received a PhD in political science from the University of Washington, a MA in international relations from the University of Southern California, and bachelor’s degrees from Boston University.  Dr Elms publishes the Talking Trade Blog.

Alessandro Fergnani

Alessandro Fergnani is Head of Scenario Consulting at the strategic foresight web-based consultancy ShapingTomorrow, where he helps fortune 500 companies to use scenarios to inform and improve long term strategy.

Alessandro holds a bachelor of Asian Languages, Markets and Cultures from the University of Bologna, a master’s of Futures Studies form Tamkang University, and is currently a PhD candidate in Management and Organisation at NUS Business School, Singapore, where he conducts research on new futures studies methods and their applications to management, strategy and work. His work has been published in the journals Futures and Futures & Foresight Science. Alessandro teaches scenario planning and future vision executive education courses and runs strategic foresight workshops for undergraduate students at NUS Business School.

Martin Gargiulo

Martin Gargiulo is The Shell Chaired Professor of Human Resources Management and Organisational Development at INSEAD.

Professor Gargiulo has taught MBA and executive audiences in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. His teaching focuses on informal networks, leadership, influence without authority, and on the management of change in organisations. He teaches an advanced PhD seminar on theory and methods of social network analysis. In executive education, he is particularly interested in the development of high-potential executives. He has designed and directed programmes targeted to high-potential managers for leading multinational firms in a variety of industries.

Martin Gargiulo studies the formation of social networks and their effects on performance in business organisations. His research has appeared in leading academic journals such as American Journal of Sociology, Administrative Science Quarterly, Organization Science, and the Academy of Management Journal. His most recent project focuses on the effects of networking strategies on the survival and success of freelance artists. He also designed a widely-used online assessment tool to measure the social capital of an executive’s informal network and is completing an online simulation game to teach influence and networking to business audiences.

Professor Gargiulo has served as Area Chair (2006-2009) and Associate Dean for Executive Education (2009-2011) at INSEAD, having been responsible for the institute’s executive education operations in Asia-Pacific during that period. He was also an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Organization and Management Theory division of the Academy of Management (2009-2012) and serves on the Editorial Board of Administrative Science Quarterly, the leading academic publication in organisation and management theory.

Martin Gargiulo earned his PhD in Sociology at Columbia University and holds a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Uruguay's national university.

Tim Jones

Dr. Tim Jones is a recognised expert in innovation, growth, and foresight. He is the co-founder and Program Director of Future Agenda - the world's largest open foresight program.

For over twenty-five years he has worked with many leading multinationals, governments and universities identifying emerging opportunities: A leader in collaborative programs, Tim has made his name in creating new foresight and innovation platforms, helping organizations to see the world through a different lens, understand innovation performance, and so reveal new areas for research and potential growth. He is the author / editor of twelve books and a regular speaker on innovation leadership, growth platforms, and future trends.

Tim is co-founder and Program Director of the Future Agenda and also leads the annual Innovation Leaders analysis that profiles the companies making the most of their innovation investments. He also holds a number of academic positions with leading institutions including Exeter Business School, DTU in Copenhagen, and the Royal College of Art. He has worked on Corporate Education projects with Duke, SMU, The University of Birmingham, and the RCA.

Kishore Mahbubani

Kishore Mahbubani is Senior Advisor and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, where he also served as the Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy from 2004 to 2017.

Before that, he served in the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years, notably as Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and twice as President of the UN Security Council in January 2001 and May 2002. He has had postings in Cambodia, Malaysia, Washington DC, and New York. He was Permanent Secretary at the Singapore Foreign Ministry from 1993 to 1998.

Professor Mahbubani has spoken and published globally. Global recognised as an expert on Asian and world affairs with his seven books, including “Can Asians Think?”, “Has the West Lost It?” and “The Great Convergence”, selected by the Financial Times as one of the best books of 2013.

He was selected as one of Prospect magazine’s top 50 world thinkers in 2014 and as one of Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers in 2010 and 2011. In March 2009, he was listed by the Financial Times among the Top 50 individuals who would shape the debate on the future of capitalism, and in 2011 was described by Foreign Policy as “the muse of the Asian century”.

Pekka Mattila

Dr. Pekka Mattila serves as a Professor of Practice at the Aalto University School of Business. Since spring 2011 he has served as the Group Managing Director and Associate Dean of Aalto University Executive Education.

He works frequently with European, Asian, African and North-American executive audiences on themes of strategic management and agility, strategy co-creation, business model innovation, executive leadership, top team dynamics, change management, organizational culture and strategic marketing.

In addition to his academic activities Dr. Mattila has conducted an active business career. Currently he serves as the Chairman of the Board or as a Member of the Board at a number of innovative companies. Previously he served in executive, management and senior staff positions in the Nordic financial services industry. Currently he serves as a Member of the Board of The Finnish National Gallery. From 2009 till 2017 he served as the Chairman of the Board of the Helsinki Festival. He is a Founding Member of Nordic Institute of Business and Society.

Dr. Mattila holds a doctorate and masters in sociology at the University of Helsinki and an Executive MBA at London Business School. Over the years, he has frequently visited a number of prestigious European and Asian universities teaching management, organizational behaviour, marketing and sociology. Dr. Mattila has authored a number of managerial books on leadership, change management and strategic marketing and sales.

Dr. Mattila’s consulting and coaching career started in 2003, and his corporate clients comprise over 280 Nordic and international companies, entrepreneurial ventures as well as prominent public sector institutions and NGOs.

Mette Sjöberg Anthonsen

Dr. Mette Sjöberg Anthonsen works at the School of Business, Economics and Law, Gothenburg University as key account for external partners, combined with a role as coach/teacher for students at all levels, including the Executive MBA.

Alongside, she runs her own company, offering executive coaching and organizational development to a global client base.

Mette has 20+ years experience with facilitating groups and teams in various types of learning. Originally a professional journalist, she moved to doing a PhD in political science – focusing on foreign policy analysis. Her experience as an academic scholar includes 10 years of teaching, facilitation and course construction/management. After some years as program manager for the Quality of Government Institute at the University of Gothenburg, leading 20+ colleagues, she has focused exclusively on executive coaching, facilitation and consultancy with public and private organizations for the past decade.

With a BA in journalism, MA International Studies (Reading, UK) and a PhD in political science, a certification in systemic constellations and the PCC accreditation from the International Coach Federation, she applies insights from various fields when facilitating. Her style is consistently described as clear, empathetic, present and challenging – with great outputs for reflection and learning.

Strategic Foresight and Scenario Planning - A Foresight Approach

The Foresight Approach helps to uncover blind spots, critical uncertainties, and unexpected opportunities among emerging national, regional, and global issues. While foresight cannot be used to predict the future, collaborative foresight methods help organizations, communities, and governments reflect on and model possible challenges and opportunities in their future. Through simulation we can stimulate creative dialogue, imagination, and critical reflection on what might lie ahead and turn observations into actionable insights.

Scenario Exploration System (SES)

Aalto Executive Summit participants will have the opportunity to use a game-based tool for exploring the possible impacts of trends, shocks, disruptions, and innovations.

It's better to be surprised by a simulation than blindsided by reality. - Jake Dunagan & Stuart Candy

Fee and Registration

Aalto Executive Summit Fee

The fee includes in-class materials, lunches and coffee breaks during the Summit days, welcome reception, and Summit dinner on August 22.

  • Aalto EMBA and Aalto-ESADE MBA for Executives participants SGD 1,200 (+ GST 7% if applicable)
  • Aalto MBA and Global Leader participants SGD 2,400 (+ GST 7%, if applicable)
  • Alumni and participants from ESADE, GU School of Executive Education, University of Gothenburg, and Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg University SGD 3,090 (+ GST 7%, if applicable)

Please note that the fee does not include travel expenses or accommodation.


Register for the Aalto Executive Summit 2019 by August 05, 2019.

Kindly note that if you are paying the participation fee independently, it is to be collected during the registration form submission. You can pay the fee via Paypal (account and credit cards). We offer the invoicing option for companies only.

Register for Aalto Executive Summit 2019