The Business of Culture
Executive Program for Leaders in Arts and Culture
Like any other sector, the cultural sector faces challenges because of today’s growing volatility and ambiguity. The conditions relate to the health crisis and economic downturns, changed political demands, economies, and funding, public desire, and much more. As a result, many cultural institutions find themselves in a constant process of change and renewal, which creates a need for new strategies and development. The need for cooperation with networks and for multidisciplinary collaboration to expose new ways to grow and deliver will increase.
"Leading a cultural organization requires the same skills and expertise
as leading any other organization."
Susanna Pettersson, General Director, Nationalmuseum Sweden
A fresh approach to management and leadership is needed to guarantee positive results under changed circumstances. Cultural leaders need to have the proper knowledge and self-confidence to make strategic decisions about responding to multiple challenges and developing ways of working. To grow into and succeed in a demanding leadership position, leaders need skills and competencies to impact beyond their organization and the field itself. This new era calls for new business skills and a change in leadership mindsets.
The Business of Culture program is an executive program for leaders from the Arts and Culture sector in the Nordic and Baltic regions. The program is designed to enrich and develop participants’ understanding of how effective leadership, business acumen, networking, and collaboration can transform their organizations. It equips leaders and executives with strategies and tools to advance their organizations effectively.
Value and impact through collaborations
Program partners have an essential role in the Business of Culture program, their expertise in supporting organizations to develop and participate in the program particularly benefits the cultural field in the Nordics and Baltics.
BI Norwegian Business School is a co-operation partner and The Nationalmuseum Sweden a collaboration partner of the program.
The support of art professionals plays a key role in ensuring lifelong learning in leadership and strengthening collaboration in the field of Arts and Culture. Arts and culture professionals are supported by the AKO Foundation, the Saastamoinen Foundation, the association Föreningen Konstsamfundet, and the Carelian Culture Fund.
The program has gotten excellent feedback from the last cohorts’ participants, with overall feedback between 5,2 and 5,6/6.
“Joining the Business of Culture program has been a life-changing experience in many ways. The self-development journey highlighted some of the issues that prevent me from performing at my fullest potential. Addressing these issues has empowered me as a leader and strengthened my sense of direction and leadership ability. The content of the program has been highly relevant. It has also provided valuable insights on how to strengthen strategic relations and stay societally relevant.”
“You might start the program feeling overwhelmed by the demands and pressure caused by radical changes in your business environment - but you come out with an empowered and enlightened mindset. You are not alone in your mission and passion for improving the position of creative industries in society, you have a network, you have power, you have tools, you have a voice and courage to use it."
“Business of Culture is a program that will benefit you immensely as a leader working in any aspect of the cultural sector. If you are willing to be open and vulnerable with the shortcomings we all face as leaders and boldy plunge yourself into participating in the class discussions the effect can be life-altering. Having completed this program I can truly say it has made me a better, more capable, and more knowledgeable CEO.”
Join the program to build your business acumen and contribute to finding unique ways for arts and culture institutions to stay relevant and have a more significant impact on society. Meet and network with other leaders and experts and explore new and innovative concepts.
Be part of the leaders’ network – Have the privilege to join the BOC network across the Nordics and Baltics led by Aalto EE in co-operation with BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, and in collaboration with the Nationalmuseum, Sweden.
Analyze and focus – Take the opportunity to explore and think in your own time with the blended format comprising two online courses and seven intense face-to-face days in three countries.
Broaden your horizons – Find networks and multidisciplinary collaborations to expose new ways to grow and deliver.
The program is designed for professionals working in arts and culture organizations in the Nordic and Baltic countries. We are looking for highly motivated candidates who will bring their strong management and leadership experience to the program and stimulate cross-fertilization of insights and expertise from their field.
We are seeking applicants who can demonstrate:
- Minimum five years of relevant work experience in managerial or senior specialist positions
- Hunger to grow as a leader and enthusiasm in embracing and living the business of culture
- Committed to driving the sector into new areas of collaboration between culture and other industries
Past participants, the alumni, have represented various cultural fields and came from leading positions in their organizations. The networks they built across fields and social capital are now serving as a source of advice, business, and friendship.
Contents and Schedule
The program content is divided into three themes.
CoPassionate Leadership: The first theme starts with a self-development process focusing on increasing self-awareness and strengthening the ability to lead and steer change in the workplace and beyond.
Distinctive Business: The second theme develops business acumen in managing and innovating operational models of cultural organizations. In this Creative Operational Model Workshop, you will be provided with a set of business and strategy tools and frameworks that are essential in developing and managing a business of culture.
Strategic Relations: The third theme focuses on strengthening strategic relations to add value to your community and the society around us.
The Business of Culture program will be run in Copenhagen, Helsinki, and Oslo during a half-year study period between November 2022 and May 2023 through three face-to-face modules and two self-paced online courses. All seven module days will include lectures, keynotes, discussions, and workshops with experienced faculty members who are top experts in their specific fields. Throughout the program, interactive and reflective tools and methods will help thinking and renewal.
Evenings are reserved for networking with your peers and for receptions to meet with cultural and business leaders. The BOC receptions aim at discovering and finding ways in which cultural organizations can develop their activities and cooperation networks together with companies and, at the same time, how companies can build diverse eco-systems and creative solutions to find new business models.
Between modules, you will be guided to design and implement a self-development process that will contribute significantly to your personal and professional joy, development, performance, and results. You will be sharing learnings and sparring with your peer group and the facilitator.
Working on your own personal and professional development with an experienced coach deepens your ability to work through conflicts, paradoxes, and dilemmas to find new solutions and move ahead. In three coaching sessions in the spring, you will be gently challenged to see patterns in your behavior and identify ranges of available strategies for moving ahead and further into your full potential.
The Business of Culture program is worth 7 ECTS credits. If desired, up to 9 ECTSs can be transferred to an Aalto Executive MBA or Aalto MBA program.
Nordic networking experience
Modules in Denmark, Finland, and Norway with receptions to meet colleagues.
Blended learning modules
Intensive onsite and online learning modules offering experiental learning and reflective opportunities
Growing as a leader with a tailor-made self-development journey and a valuable coaching process.
Terje Gaustad is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication and Culture and Associate Dean for BI’s bachelor program in Creative Industries Management.
Gaustad is also responsible for BI’s executive program in Production Management for Cultural and Entertainment Industries.
As part of BI’s Centre for Creative Industries, Gaustad has researched the digitization of entertainment industries and published on topics such as digitization and diversity in the film industry, new channel strategies, project strategy, and the economic efficiency of copyright enforcement.
In addition to his academic work, Terje Gaustad is an associate partner in Menon Economics, a consultancy operating at the interface of economics, politics and the market. He has a professional entertainment industry background that includes producer credits for theatrical feature films such as the British comedies “Save Angel Hope” (2007) and “Nasty Neighbours” (1999).
Terje Gaustad holds a PhD in Strategic Management from the BI Norwegian Business School and an M.A. in Communication Management from the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Southern California.
From September 2018, Kasper Holten is CEO of the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen (Denmark’s national home for opera, ballet, drama and symphonic music).
Kasper Holten (born 1973 in Copenhagen) was Artistic Director of the Royal Danish Opera 2000-2011 and Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden 2011-2017.
Holten has directed opera, drama, musicals and operetta in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Latvia, Germany, UK, France, Austria, Hungary, Spain, Italy, Israel, Argentina, Russia, China, Australia, Japan and USA.
Kasper Holten made his feature film debut in 2009 directing and co-writing Juan – a radical, fast-paced contemporary take on Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, which was praised at film festivals from Korea to Germany and the US.
Kasper Holten has directed more than 70 productions, including many at leading opera houses such as Covent Garden, Wiener Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, Deutsche Opera Berlin and Teatro Real. His productions include: Der Ring des Nibelungen (Copenhagen), Carmen (Bregenz Festival), Eugene Onegin, Don Giovanni and Meistersinger (Covent Garden), Der Rosenkavalier (Lyon), Idomeneo (Vienna) and Lohengrin (Berlin), as well as a number of new commissions. Several of his productions are available on DVD.
He is a sought-after motivational speaker on leading and developing extraordinary talents, and he has worked as a teacher at schools and Young Artists Programmes in Denmark, Sweden and the UK.
He is former Vice President of Opera Europa, has been a member of the Danish Radio and TV Board and the Danish Arts Council, and is an honorary professor at Copenhagen Business School. He has received a Knighthood and the medal ”Ingenio et Arti” from HM Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and is a Commander of Romania.
For further information, please go to www.holten.com
Dr. Tristram Hunt is the Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London – the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance.
Since taking up the post in 2017, Dr. Hunt has prioritized support for design education in UK schools, expansion of the photography department, and encouraging debate around the history of the museum’s global collections.
Dr. Hunt’s priorities are focused on the transition to a multi-site museum, with V&A Dundee, the redesign of the Museum of Childhood, and the development of a new museum and open access Collections and Research Centre in Stratford, East London.
Prior to joining the V&A, Dr. Hunt was Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central and Shadow Secretary of State for Education. He has a doctorate in Victorian history from Cambridge University and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In addition to numerous radio and TV programmes for the BBC, he is the author of Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City (2005); Friedrich Engels: The Frock-Coated Communist (2009); and Ten Cities That Made an Empire (2014).
Licentiate of Law Karri Kaitue is a board professional and business manager.
He has served as Director at Ekokem and Deputy Managing Director at Outokumpu Oyj. In Finland, Kaitue has been for example the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the University of the Arts, Destia, and CapMan.
Currently, Kaitue holds several board positions internationally.
Kaitue has an extraordinary and fresh view of the management challenges and goals of cultural organizations combined with strong business management experience. For Kaitue the success of the cultural sector and the successful dialogue with the rest of society is an important value.
Teemu Malmi is Professor of Accounting at Aalto University School of Business. He specializes in managerial control systems, strategy implementation and cost, and profitability accounting.
Professor Malmi has served as a consultant to a large number of companies from different industries, e.g. Computers, Electrical, Energy, Finance, Food processing, Furniture, Health Care, Media, Metal and Engineering, Paper and Pulp, Pharmaceuticals, Rental Services, Retail, telecom and Transportation/logistics. He has also served ministries, municipalities and hospitals.
Dr. Pekka Mattila serves as a Professor of Practice at the Aalto University School of Business.
Dr. Pekka Mattila is a specialist in strategic management and agility, strategy co-creation, business model innovation, executive leadership, top team dynamics, change management, organizational culture and strategic marketing.
Dr. Mattila works frequently with European, Asian and North American as well as African executive audiences and is a much-requested speaker at corporate and other events around the world. Over the years, he has frequently visited a number of prestigious European and Asian universities teaching management, organizational behavior, marketing, and sociology.
In addition to his academic activities Dr. Mattila has conducted an active business career. Currently he serves as the Chairman of the Board or as a Member of the Board at a number of innovative companies: e.g. media, construction technology, payments, lighting as well as food and beverage industries. Previously he served in executive, management and senior staff positions in the Nordic financial services industry. From 2012 till 2014 he served as a board member at a leading Finnish bank. Currently he serves as a Member of the Board of The Finnish National Gallery. From 2009 till 2017 he served as the Chairman of the Board for the foundation operating the renowned Helsinki Festival. He is a Founding Member of Nordic Institute of Business and Society and the Chairman of the Board for Helsinki Advanced Interaction Studies Institute.
He holds a D.Sc. in sociology from the University of Helsinki and an Executive MBA at London Business School.
Johan Magnusson is an Associate Professor at the Department of Applied IT, University of Gothenburg. There he acts as head of the division for information systems, and as a co-director for the Swedish Center for Digital Innovation.
He has a background in management accounting and devotes his time to research within the field of how digitalization topples old assumptions in governance and control, and how it forces us to balance innovation and efficiency in a new manner. He is active as an external keynote and advisor for organizations within both the public- and private sector and is highly engaged in the public debate concerning the digitalization of society.
Ben Nothnagel is a Senior Advisor at Aalto University Executive Education and has worked with Aalto EE for over 20 years specializing in developing the leadership skills of executives who are part of ambitious businesses.
Nothnagel's focus is on encouraging individuals and organizations to excel by increasing self-awareness, creating understanding of the individual diversity of performance and results, enhancing influencing-skills and building high-performance leadership teams.
Nothnagel’s current research focus on three main areas: neuro-leadership (practical lessons that leaders can learn from neuro-science), cognitive decision-making and emotional-intelligence.
Nothnagel teaches periodically in Aalto Executive MBA programs at various locations in Europe and Asia. He is the owner of Benna Oy and is a Senior Advisor at Aalto EE. He works as a consultant and executive-coach all over the world, including the Nordic-countries, Germany, the United States and Asia. His clients include companies such as ABB, Basware, Cargotec, Danfoss, Daimler, Fazer, Finnair, GE, Hewlett-Packard, HKScan, Michelin, Ruukki, Vaisala and Yahoo.
Nothnagel is an Attorney at Law, Myers-Briggs Certified Interpreter and Certified Emotional-Intelligence Practitioner.
Dr. Susanna Pettersson is Director General at Nationalmuseum, Sweden. She is an art historian specializing in museum history and collection studies.
She is also Adjunct Professor in Museology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and Associate Professor at the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Before moving to Stockholm, she worked as Director of the Ateneum Art Museum, Finnish National Gallery.
Dr. Pettersson has worked for more than twenty years in museums. Her posts have included Director of the Finnish Institute in London, Director of the Alvar Aalto Foundation and Museum and Director of Development at the Finnish National Gallery.
Dr. Pettersson’s research interests include museum history, collection studies, history of art history as well as 19th -century and modern art, and she publishes widely. Her positions of trust include Board Membership of Aalto University (Finland) and she is also President of the Board of the Finnish Institute in Japan.
Tom Remlov, Theater Director and Film Producer, has held several top management positions in the Norwegian art world.
Remlov was Artistic Director at Den Nationale Scene (The National Stage) in Bergen from 1986 to 1996, Managing Director and Executive Producer at the publicly-owned studio and production company Norsk Film AS until 2001, CEO at Den Norske Opera & Ballett (The Norwegian Opera & Ballet) from 2008 to 2014, and Artistic Director at Riksteatret (The Norwegian National Touring Theatre) for a fixed tenure ending in 2020.
Throughout his professional life, Mr. Remlov has been active as a public speaker, educator, translator, and writer and has served on a wide range of committees and boards. Apart from several directorships, he is today Adjunct Executive in Residence at BI Norwegian Business School at the Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour.
Ingrid Røynesdal is a Norwegian pianist and conductor, and CEO of the Oslo Philharmonic.
Ingrid Røynesdal made early contact with classical music because her father was a musician in the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. She studied piano at the Barratt Due Music Institute and the Norwegian Academy of Music with Jens Harald Bratlie, Jiří Hlinka, and Einar Henning Smebye as teachers. She graduated from the two-year soloist diploma program at the Norwegian Academy of Music in the spring of 2005 in the same year as she completed her master's degree in political science with a thesis on cultural policy.
Previously, she was director of the Edvard Grieg Museum Troldhaugen in Bergen from 2011--2013, chair of the board of the Ultima festival, and a commentator and reviewer in Aftenposten from 2009--2011. She took over as director of the Oslo Philharmonic from Odd S. Gullberg in 2013.
Risto Sarvas is Professor of Practice and Head of the Information Networks program at Aalto University. Risto has a colourful history overlapping design, business, technology, and society.
The common denominator between these three roles is his endless enthusiasm to figure out how technology and society are intertwined: as a culture, in politics, in business, as well as in everyday life.
His research, teaching, and service design work have received several awards and much popularity.
Risto Sarvas holds a doctorate from Helsinki University of Technology in Media Technology.
Dr. Sharon Watson was appointed CEO and Principal of the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in May 2020. Prior to that, she was the 7th and longest-standing Artistic Director of Phoenix Dance Theatre.
Trained at the London School of Contemporary Dance, she was one of the first female Principal Dancers invited to join the all-male award-winning Phoenix Dance Company, touring with the company from 1989 to 1997 where she choreographed Never Still and Shaded Limits. Having left Phoenix to pursue a number of other ventures including setting up her own company ABCD, Sharon returned in 2009 as the new Artistic Director.
During her tenure at Phoenix Dance Theatre, Sharon has received a number of awards and accolades: In 2010, she was named as one of the Cultural Leadership Programme’s ‘Women to Watch’, a list of 50 influential women working in arts and culture in the UK. She recently received the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts’ Companionship Award from Sir Paul McCartney and was recognized as one of ‘100 faces of a vibrant economy 2017’ by Grant Thornton.
Sharon’s recognitions are a testament to her continued passion and drive to contribute to the local and national creative industries through the medium of dance. She is committed to improving diversity within the arts by supporting the creative voices of women and black and ethnic minority artists.
It Comes Down to Caring; Not only Demanding but Sharing, Empathy, and Togetherness
AKO Foundation Agrees to Support Aalto EE in Development of Leadership in the Nordic Cultural Sector
Program Fee and Application
We invite you to apply for the Business of Culture program. We are specifically looking for applications from experienced and curious leaders and executives from the Arts and Culture field in the Nordic and Baltic countries. You can submit an application for funding or, if you already have financing for the full fee, register directly for the program. Applying for funding means that the applicant commits to funding 50% of the program fee from their own budget.
How to apply for the subsidized fee?
Application can be made through our webstore. Please complete the registration form in the webstore. The funding option "Application for Funding" is pre-selected but you can change it to "Registration for the Program" further on the form, if you wish to apply with your own funding.
After sending your application through the webstore, prepare and send the following documents in pdf format by e-mail to Maria Karsten firstname.lastname@example.org and Tia Laipaik email@example.com
- A brief account (250 words approx.) of your Professional Experience in English in pdf format
- A short Expression of Interest in English (500 words approx.) which includes the following:
- What is your motivation for choosing our Business of Culture program?
- What do you bring to the learning group for sharing and sparring with your peers?
- What do you hope to take away from this program to build upon further?
- What do you seek to achieve from the program that will assist you to deliver a benefit to the public in the field of arts and culture?
- A certificate stating the legal form of your organization
- Confirmation for your own funding
We look forward to receiving your application.
Please note that you can also apply for scholarships from non-profit funding organizations in your own country. For example, potential Estonian participants in the Business of Culture Program 2022–2023 can apply for a scholarship from the Cultural Endowment of Estonia www.kulka.ee.
Your application will be used to learn more about you and your motivation for joining the Business of Culture Program. Participants will be selected by a program steering group consisting of Aalto EE management team members and funding partners. Selection aims to create a diverse and balanced group with participants from across the Nordics and Baltics and different areas of arts and culture.
Timeline for the application process:
- February 1, 2022: applications open
- August 30, 2022: deadline for sending an application for a scholarship. Applying for funding means that the applicant commits to funding a minimum of 50% of the program fee from their own budget.
- September 30, 2022: Final approval for scholarships and participation by Aalto EE.
- September 30, 2022: Deadline for applying for the program without a scholarship.
- October 15, 2022: Final approval for participation for self-paying participants by Aalto EE
Please note that Aalto EE is not responsible for the decisions and choices of the funding organizations. Aalto EE cannot guarantee funding even if an applicant is committed to participating in the program. If you are unsuccessful in applying for a scholarship, you can still participate in the program by paying the full fee.
If you have further questions about scholarships, please get in touch with us.