Meet the speakers of the European Design Innovation Summit


Antonio Tajani

European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship from February 2010.

Recent positions

  • European Commission’s Vice-President and Commissioner in charge of Transport from May 2008 to February 2010
  • Vice-Chair of the European People’s Party, elected at the EPP Congress in Estoril in 2002, re-elected at the EPP Congress in Rome in 2006 and re-elected again at the EPP Congress in Bonn in 2009
  • Member of the Bureau of the Group of the European People’s Party. He has taken part in all EPP summits in preparation of the European Councils
  • Member of the Convention on the Future of Europe, which drew up the text of the European Constitution
  • Elected as member of the European Parliament in 1994, 1999 and 2004 with over 120 000 preference votes


Jyri Häkämies

Minister of Economic Affairs, certain matters covered by the Financial Markets Department of the Ministry of Finance, 22 June 2011 to present. Häkämies holds a Masters degree in political science. Before entering the politics, he worked as the CEO of the Kymenlaakso chambers of commerce. Jyri Häkämies became the Finnish Minister of Defence in 2007 in Matti Vanhanen’s second cabinet.


Antti Peltomäki

is Deputy Director-General of the Enterprise and Industry Directorate- General since February 2012. In this function, Mr. Peltomäki is responsible for regulatory policy including internal market and standardisation, industrial innovation and mobility industries, chemicals, metals, mechanical, electrical and construction industries as well as raw materials. His overarching aim is to reinforce general management within the directorate-general and represent its policy interests to Member States, stakeholders and other relevant third parties, all with the goal of increasing Europe’s competitiveness. Before that, Mr Peltomäki was Deputy Director-General in the Information Society and Media Directorate General where he was firstly responsible for research cooperation in the context of the seventh research framework (2007-2013) and thereafter for regulatory policy in the telecommunications, media and internet fields. (photo by Friends of Europe)


Erkki Virtanen

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, since 2008. Education: M.Soc.Sc. (Econ), University of Helsinki

Recent Positions

  • 1998-2007, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Trade and Industry
  • 1995-1998, State Budget Chief, Budget Department, Ministry of Finance
  • 1989-1995, Deputy Director General, Budget Department, Ministry of Finance

Jussi Pajunen

Mayor of Helsinki. Pajunen has a B.Sc and M.Sc from the Helsinki School of Economics and MBA from INSEAD in France. He speaks Finnish, Swedish, English, and French fluently. He was a member of the city council for 8 years, and was the chairman of the city board in 2003-2005. He is the current mayor of Helsinki, Finland since 2005.


Deborah Dawton

Deborah graduated with a Degree in Industrial Design from the University of Northumbria before she decided to become an advocate for design rather than working as a designer herself. Deborah began her career with the RSA working on their Student Design Awards. It was her privilege to meet the good the great of the design industry whose influence determined a career in working with design support organisations. She set up her own business delivering design events, competitions and conferences all over Europe for leading organisations like the UK’s Design Council, Design Museum and D&AD and the Pan-European Brand Design Association. In 2003, she answered the call of the Design Business Association joining them as CEO. Funded entirely by the design industry with a remit to drive up their professionalism and the profile of design’s value in business, the DBA’s membership has doubled along with the association’s turnover. With some major projects in the pipeline, the future holds some exciting developments for the DBA. Deborah has spoken extensively to design and business audiences on subjects relating to the running of a design consultancy and design effectiveness in business. Deborah became President of the Bureau of European Design Associations (BEDA) in early 2011, where she now works with the BEDA board to influence design policy on the European stage. Deborah Dawton is also a member of the European Design Leadership Board.


Thierry Wasser

Thierry Wasser is a free spirit. Very early in life he learned to trust his instinct and allowed his curiosity and a few special people to guide him through a series of magical and creative encounters. He seems to have been destined to follow a career in perfume. Born in 1961 in Montreux, growing up in the countryside of Switzerland, Thierry unconsciously developed his sense of smell by collecting and drying herbs. He recounts his daily walks to school as profoundly more interesting than the classroom. “I collected herbs like other boys my age collected football cards.” This hobby allowed him to revel in creating new concoctions. By age of 20, he received Federal Diploma in Botany. After coming across an article about Givaudan in a local Swiss magazine, Thierry spontaneously made an appointment with Jean Hadorn, the Director of the perfumery school. He enrolled in a standard course at Givaudan in 1981 and by 1987, he became a Fine Fragrance Perfumer with Givaudan, Paris. In 1993, he accepted Firmenich’s proposal to join them in New York and get the taste of the “big apple”. This lasted 9 years. Shortly after the birth of the fragrance Dior Addict, Thierry returned to Paris. His professional life has been marked by a series of outstanding encounters with “spiritual guides”. He describes the act of fragrance creation as the direct expression of these encounters. “If an original idea, a spark, comes from a single person, it takes two to communicate that idea”. For Guerlain, he is the author of numerous parfumes. In 2008 Thierry became Guerlain Exclusive Perfumer. Thierry is a member of the European Design Leadership Board.


Helena Hyvönen

has worked as Professor of Textile Design since 1998 at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (TaiK). In 1999, Professor Hyvönen was appointed Head of the Department of Textile Art, Fashion and Clothing, after which she took an appointment to lead the School of Design as Dean since 2003. On 1 April 2008 Dean Helena Hyvönen was elected Rector for the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Professor Hyvönen was appointed Executive Dean of the Aalto University School of Art and Design beginning on January 2010.


Stefan Sielaff

initially joined Audi in 1984 as a student intern. He was awarded an Audi scholarship and went to London to study vehicle design at the Royal College of Art where he was awarded the MDes(RCA) qualification. While at the RCA he won the Triplex prize for his ACID (Advanced Concept: Induction Drive) three-wheeler project which bridged the gap between motorcycle and sports car and included innovative glazing. Immediately upon completing his course in 1990 he returned to Audi where he worked on interiors at Audi’s Ingolstadt HQ before moving to Audi and Volkswagen interiors in Munich. In 1995 he moved to Sitges, Spain before returning to Munich in 1997 to run the Audi Design Centre and then quickly moved to Ingolstadt to become head of interior design of Audi. In 2003 Sielaff moved to rival Mercedes-Benz to become the design director of Interior Competence Center in Sindelfingen. He returned to Audi in 2006 to be Head of Audi Design under Walter de’Silva to replace retiring head Gerhard Pfefferle. Since February 2012 Sielaff has been the Head of Group Interior Design Strategy, Volkswagen AG, Wolfsburg.


Johan Valcke

is Director of Design Flanders, former board member of BEDA (Bureau of European Design Associations) and board member of the World Crafts Council Europe. Activities: Promoting contemporary crafts and design. Design Flanders is organising the six monthly talent scouting, to develop and produce design exhibitions, running the Design Flanders Gallery in the heart of Brussels, participating at selected fairs to edit a quarterly magazine “Kwintessens” (Quintessence) design in Flanders, giving grants to designers and companies, to organise a public information centre.


Petteri Kolinen

is a creative professional with over 20 years experience in various positions in design and design management. He is currently working for Finnish office furniture company Martela, as Design Director and a member of the group management Team. In Martela he is responsible in product portfolio, group R&D, group marketing, Martela Brand and corporate responsibility. He graduated from the University of Arts and Design 1992, as a Master of Arts in Design Leadership. The majority of his working career he worked for Nokia, since 1993. During the 90’s he mainly worked as a product designer, and holds 39 design patents of various products, but mainly in mobile phones. The later part of his career in Nokia included positions i.e. Nokia HQ studio manager, Nokia Design Process Owner and the head of the Multimedia design team in Helsinki. One of his favorite topics is the emotional role of design in human environment, leading to better user experiences and efficiency.


Seija Kulkki

Seija Kulkki, Professor at Department of Management and International Business, Aalto University School of Business, and founder of Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR). In 2011, she was a Visiting Scholar at Scancor (Scandinavian Consortium for Organizational Research) at Stanford University, USA. CKIR helped the European Commission and the Finnish Prime Minister’s office to launch the European Network for Living Labs (ENoll) during the Finnish EU Presidency in 2006. PhD Kulkki conducts research for Experimentative Research Methodologies in Social Sciences: the Challenge of Large-scale Experimentation and is in the process of writing a book with Professor Ikujiro Nonaka from Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo under a working title: Knowledge Creation and Innovation in Ecosystems: Challenge of Strategy and Structure. Based on wide international empirical data, the study proposes that organizations undergo major strategic and structural transformation due to the interaction dynamics of the open innovation ecosystems. This incorporates managing and organizing for shared strategic goals and actions towaards changes in production and consumption patterns; this may result in new market and industry creation. This may also incorporate new modes of social enterpricing and public-private partnerships. The book discusses the knowledge-based theories of a firm in relation to the theories of innovation and innovation ecosystems in the context of institutional and organization theory development by among others Professors James G. March, Richard W. Scott and Walter W. Powell from Stanford University.


Gerin Trautenberger

In addition to working in the fields of design management and strategic consulting, Gerin Trautenberger’s projects are mainly related to product and furniture design. Gerin started working with communication and digital design in the 1990s, followed by a number of years devoted to Internet and Web-design. The last few years, he has been focusing on product and industrial design. Gerin Trautenberger is a member of the Austrian Professional Association of Design (DA, Design Austria), and has assigned the responsibility of of developing guidelines for royalties and professional fees for the Austrian design business. Since 2009 he is also a board member of the Creative Industries Austria (cwa), an association founded by the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (WKO). Working as a creative director, he have been awarded with a number of prizes. Gerin has also worked as a lecturer in experimental media design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna (with Prof. Peter Weibl). Gerin  is a member of the European Design Leadership Board. See Gerin’s blog


Andrea Siodmok

As an independent design consultant Andrea is involved in a number of innovation projects in the public and private sector. She is currently working with the Technology Strategy Board to better understand high growth entrepreneurs as well developing new approaches to local government innovation as the Chief Designer at Cornwall Council. Andrea has extensive experience in education, having taught product and transportation design and is currently a visiting fellow at the University of Northumbria, a lifetime fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate to a new Creative MBA at University College Falmouth. Over the last two years Andrea was Director of Designs of the Time (Dott). Dott Cornwall was an experimental programme showing how increasing citizen involvement in tackling local challenges can help create a more inclusive and sustainable society – winning multiple awards for community innovation and engagement. Prior to this, as the first Chief Design Officer at the UK Design Council, she set up new design strategies for a range of government departments including the Department of Health and Home Office. Leading ‘Design Bugs Out’, ‘Designing Out Crime’ and ‘Public Services by Design’. With a first class honours in Industrial Design, and a PhD in Virtual Reality Andrea started out as a design consultant developing interactive media, websites and interface design, including the world’s smallest x-ray machine for NASA, and other consumer products. She regularly speaks and writes about design and has been invited to give over 100 keynotes, workshops and design projects across five continents and was recently nominated for the ‘top 50 women to watch’ in the UK’s creative and cultural sector. Andrea is a member of the European Design Leadership Board.


Luisa Collina

is a professor of design at the Design School of Politecnico di Milano, where she focuses on strategic design and design-driven innovation at the system level, with a particular focus on interior design in retail and hospitality settings. She collaborates with universities, research centers and companies in international research programs and strategic innovation projects. Since 2000, she has been in charge of international projects and served on the doctorate board for the Design School of Politecnico di Milano, and for the last four years, has headed a master course in product and service system design for international students. Collina is a member of the board of Cumulus, International Association of Universities and Colleges of Art, Design and Media.


Alastair Fuad-Luke

is Professor of Practice, Emerging Design Practices at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland. He is a design thinker, facilitator, enabler, educator, writer and activist contributing to the international debate about how design can encourage transition towards ecologically and socially sustainable ways of living. During 2006-2008 he managed the EU Leonardo da Vinci programme project DEEDS (DEsign and EDucation for Sustainability) for the Danish organisation ICIS. Since arriving in Finland in July 2011 he has worked with diverse stakeholders in the city of Lahti exploring how design can contribute to more positive societal impacts. Author of Design Activism: Beautiful strangeness for a sustainable world (2009), The Eco-design Handbook (2002,2005,2009) and The Eco-Travel Handbook (2008), he celebrates the work of eco-preneurs and social entrepreneurs. His portfolio spans across academia, social communities and commercial enterprises. He is an advocate of diverse design approaches, including co-design, eco-design and slow design, and is especially interested in how these contribute to developing alternative socio-economic opportunities.


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