Ahti Salo, professor of systems analysis, Espoo ambassador of 2018

Professor Ahti Salo from Aalto University's School of Science has been elected the Espoo Ambassador of 2018. The Espoo Ambassador promotes Espoo as a congress destination in Finland and abroad. Salo is the 10th Espoo Ambassador. The selection was announced at the annual Espoo Ambassador event held at Dipoli on the 30th of August 2018. The event was hosted by Jukka Mäkelä, the Mayor of Espoo, together with Kristiina Mäkelä, the provost of Aalto University. At the same time, the Espoo Ambassador programme celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Respected researcher and active congress organizer

Salo is an internationally known and respected expert in operations research and an active member of Finnish and international associations in his field. Professor Salo is the head of the Systems Analysis Laboratory research group in the Department of Mathematics and Systems Analysis at Aalto University. He has developed methods to support risk management, efficiency analysis and decision-making, and has led numerous projects in cooperation with companies and public organizations. Currently Salo is the Principal Investigator of the six-year Platform Value Now project funded by the Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland. This project studies the platform economy from different perspectives. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Scientists and Parliament Members (Tutkas) and the Foresight Steering Group appointed by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Truly productive

In addition to scientific positions of trust, Salo has taken part in the organization of several international conferences in Finland and abroad. In 2017, he was the main local organizer of two international conferences held at Aalto University´s Otaniemi campus. “Conferences creates new contacts that, at best, can lead to truly productive and long-lasting partnerships and friendships. Making these new opportunities possible and providing memorable conference experiences inspires me to take responsibility for organizing them”, says Professor Salo. In 2015, Salo served on the programme committee of the main European conference in operations research. This summer, this conference of roughly 3,000 participants was held in Valencia, Spain. On the basis of a preliminary exchange of ideas at the conference, the Finnish Operations Research Society is considering applying to host the conference in Espoo in 2022. “With the new metro line connecting Espoo to capital Helsinki and the development of the Aalto University campus area, Espoo is, by all accounts, an attractive destination for this type of a larger conference”, says Salo.

Espoo Ambassador programme

Ten years ago, the City of Espoo together with the congress unit of Visit Espoo, launched the Espoo Ambassador programme. The aim of the programme is to attract more international conferences to Espoo by encouraging and supporting scientists to host conferences in Espoo. Important goal is 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. "We are very proud and delighted that our Ambassador programme has clearly established its place in Espoo's scientific community. Our annual event is attracting more interest each year and the awareness of our free of charge congress services has spread well among the scientific communities”, says Miikka Valo, Convention Manager from Espoo Marketing´s Visit Espoo unit. "We always aim to learn from the best examples and benchmark other cities. That is why we are truly proud to find ourselves as a pioneer in Finland with our Ambassador programme. Many city convention bureaus in Finland have got inspiration and model from our ambassador program to start their own. With more cities starting their own Ambassador programs will surely have a positive effect on Finland´s potential to become an even more attractive destination for congresses, continues Valo.

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