From the left: Mayor of the City of Espoo Jukka Mäkelä, Espoo Ambassador 2019 Seppo Ikäheimo, Aalto University’s Provost Kristiina Mäkelä and Director of Conventions & Tourism of Espoo Marketing Miikka Valo.
Professor Seppo Ikäheimo from the Department of Accounting at Aalto University’s School of Business is the Espoo Ambassador 2019. In his role as the Espoo Ambassador, Ikäheimo promotes Espoo as a congress destination in Finland and abroad. Professor Ikäheimo is the 11th Espoo Ambassador, and the first to hold this position at the School of Business.
The selection was announced on 22 August 2019, in an event held for invited guests in Dipoli, Aalto University. This event was a part of the Visit Espoo’s Espoo Ambassador programme, which promotes congress marketing under the management of Espoo Marketing Oy. The event was hosted by the Mayor of Espoo, Jukka Mäkelä, together with Aalto University’s Provost, Kristiina Mäkelä.
“We are very happy to appoint the first Ambassador from Aalto University’s School of Business. Thanks to his notable international networks, Professor Ikäheimo is an excellent advocate for Espoo as a congress city. We believe that this appointment will also encourage economists who have recently moved to the city to hold congresses in the beautiful Otaniemi campus in Espoo,” says Miikka Valo, the Director of Conventions & Tourism of Espoo Marketing.
A valued expert and an enthusiastic congress organiser
Professor Ikäheimo is the Head of the Department of Accounting in the School of Business. His specialities are Corporate Governance and, in particular, compensation, ownership, investor relationships and the work of a board of directors as well as the valuation of a company.
Ikäheimo has held various roles in about 50 different congresses since 1990. In 2021, Ikäheimo will bring 1,500 accounting academicians to Espoo to European Accounting Association’s (EEA) annual conference. Ikäheimo considers these international conferences vital networking events where relationships crucial to research and cooperation are created.
“Every now and then I also want to take the responsibility of organising these events. The Helsinki Metropolitan Area in its entirety is a great place to hold an international conference, and Otaniemi and its campus area are a beautiful part of Finland. The densely built campus area offers a unique mix of seaside, nature and built environment as well as opportunities for meeting others,” says Professor Ikäheimo, the freshly appointed Espoo Ambassador.
In addition to doing scientific research, Ikäheimo writes textbooks and practical works. He has also arbitrated several cases of redemption of minority shareholders and shared his expertise in numerous legal cases. Furthermore, he consults in matters concerning investor relationships, compensation and the work of boards of directors.
Ikäheimo is also actively involved in developing education and he sees education as the most central method of societal impact. Previously, he has worked as a Vice-Dean in the School of Business, managing matters concerning teaching and learning. Currently, he is in charge of the accounting basics course of the first-year Bachelor students, the Master’s level Corporate Governance course and the national, fully digitised Basics of Financial Management course for non-business students, which was recently awarded by the Finnish Business School Graduates association as a part of national-level studies of business minor.
The Espoo Ambassador programme
The City of Espoo and Visit Espoo launched the Espoo Ambassador programme in 2009 with the aim of increasing the number of international conferences held in Espoo. The programme aims to encourage people working in scientific fields to host conferences in Espoo. From the beginning, an important goal has been also to highlight the wide-spread positive impact and high value of international scientific conferences on the City of Espoo, the academic community and companies operating in the area.