My fascination with What’s Next got me into a lot of trouble as a student in economics. I built predictive models that led me into the unknown, a place shunned by my corner of academia. “Who do you think you are?” demanded several important professors. Looking backward at What Happened was the right way to approach economics, and I was doing it all wrong. But the unknown called to me, and I kept generating future-focused data. My work eventually found its way to like-minded academics, who thought my pursuit of What’s Next was not blasphemous but exemplary, as validated by my invitation to work first at ETLA, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, and then at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. I haven’t looked back since.
My student experience taught me a valuable lesson: doing new things can be really hard. Dangerous, even. But it’s also necessary for accomplishing something valuable and important. My life’s work has thus been helping organizations envision the future and its potential disruptions, and to accept that innovation is worth the price and the risk.
I’ve spent my career developing tools that help others do new things in new ways. At Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, I headed the unit for lead markets, forecasting market disruptions and encouraging companies to enter emerging ecosystems. We matched buyers’ needs and sellers’ methods by creating programs that enabled innovators to develop new solutions, or new applications for old solutions. Utilizing a diverse array of skills, contexts and disciplines, we deployed DARPA-style playbooks that helped partners venture into the unknown and a future that could be achieved via actionable steps. I continued this approach with Fira Group, a major player in the construction industry where I’ve been working after Tekes.
I believe in systemic innovation driving market disruptions. My dissertation consisted of five essays composing a theoretical spectrum of international trade, macroeconomics, finance, knowledge management and economic forecast simulations. Revealing the truth, I found, requires a systemic view, which is achieved by stepping on toes while exploring multiple knowledge domains. We experts tend to have tunnel vision, but my perspective permanently broadened when I was tasked with valuating a biotechnology venture that provided company information so dense and opaque as to be indecipherable. Rapidly forming an interdisciplinary team, we unraveled the venture’s strands one domain at a time, and accomplished in two days what would have taken half a year for me to do alone.
Chief Technology Officer
Chief Operating Officer
Vice President of Engineering
Managing Director, Innovation Programs
Vice President of Business Development
Partner | Innovation Programs
Vice President of Innovation Partnerships
Innovation Business Development Representative
Vice President of Innovation Services
Vice President | Innovation Services Group
Director | Innovation Services Group
Innovation & Commercialization Development Director
Business Development Consultant
President of Xinova Japan
Partner | Innovation Programs
Executive Vice President of Finance
Entrepreneur in Residence
PO Box #30873
Seattle, WA 98113
Xinova Japan GK
Yaesu Mitsui Building 6F
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Tokyo 104-0028 Japan
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Affiliate offices in Tel Aviv & Vienna