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The power of meaning at work explored at Aalto University Executive Education’s global summit

Aalto University (@AaltoUniversity) Executive Education recently hosted the ‘Aalto Executive Summit’ which featured speakers from top companies and institutions globally. 

The summit is a global event designed to meet the needs of the current living and business environment and allows participants to study with world-class faculty, develop personal leadership potential, and meet business leaders.

As a result of the pandemic, the summit was a mix of on-site and virtual keynotes, as well as group discussions and workshops. Participants had the opportunity to attend in person or online.

It featured keynote speakers from top institutions and organisations including Harvard University, INSEAD, Colombia Business School, and McKinsey.

Siamäk Naghian, Managing Director at Genelec, who graduated from the Helsinki University of Technology which fused with two other universities 11 years ago that now make up Aalto University.

“If I stay alive, I want to do something with meaning,” he said, speaking about his life and how his background as a refugee helped support him through the pandemic, as he was able to be present on an emotional level for his employees – which he feels is important from a leader during crises.

The participants also heard from Donna Hicks, Harvard University, who spoke about leading with dignity.

“Humans flourish when we are treated with care and consideration – in short, empathy and dignity can reconnect us.” 

On the final day, renowned author Emily Esfahani Smith gave an inspiring talk about ‘the power of meaning’, sharing though-provoking insights into how all of us can find meaning in our personal and professional lives.

“People do not lack happiness, they lack meaning. Happiness comes and goes, but meaning is bigger – when your life makes sense and you feel your life is driven by a sense of purpose.”

The summit took place on 24th – 26th August 2021 at Aalto Universiy in Töölö), Helsinki – and usually alternates each year with Singapore.

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