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Certificate in Digital Business Strategy and Innovation Agility

Program in Collaboration with Stanford Center for Professional Development

Learn to navigate the digital landscape with innovation lessons from Silicon Valley and the Nordics. The Certificate in Digital Business Strategy and Innovation Agility program has been co-created by Aalto EE and the Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD) to provide participants with the leadership skills needed to execute innovation initiatives, lead agile organizations and conquer the digital disruption wave. The program addresses the challenges and opportunities posed by digital innovation and transformation within an organization.

The program covers the following themes:

  • Fundamentals of digital transformation and innovation strategy
  • Latest technologies: AI, software robotics, blockchain, A/VR/MR
  • Leading innovation and intrapreneurial initiatives
  • Platform economy and architectural configurations
  • Transforming strategic capabilities and scaling excellence
  • Leveraging teams for global innovation

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Make an impact – Blended online and face-to-face learning for high impact and agile implementation of your new skills and knowledge at work

Learn and apply – Intensive and practical, covering the latest trends in technology and providing practical tools and methods to ride the digital wave

Broaden your horizons – The best and latest expertise from two leading universities, lessons from Silicon Valley and the Nordics, a certificate from Stanford Center for Professional Development


Does your current business model enable your organization to compete successfully in the global digital economy? Do you have experts and leaders who are able to embrace the new possibilities of the digital era to the fullest extent? This program prepares your employees to disrupt the technology wave and make innovation a culture and a habit.

Get insights and lessons on how to develop the structures, processes and culture that support innovation
Gain tools and practices for initiating and integrating technological breakthroughs
Explore how to frame problems creatively in order to generate innovative solutions
Understand the conditions that enable innovation networks and innovation ecosystems to prosper

About the Stanford Center for Professional Development

The Stanford Center for Professional Development (SCPD), a part of The Office of the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning (VPTL), makes it possible for today's best and brightest professionals to enroll in Stanford University courses and programs while they maintain their careers.

The SCPD portfolio reflects the exciting research and world-class teaching of Stanford faculty from all of Stanford’s schools. Courses are delivered online and, in some cases, at Stanford, at your work site, or at international locations – providing a global community of learners with flexibility and convenience and enabling them to apply their education to their work.


The program is for business leaders, senior executives and entrepreneurs responsible for leveraging the possibilities created by digitalization and building innovation powerhouses within their companies.

We recommend the program for change managers, core strategy team members, business managers and product development managers. The program is suited to key functions like marketing, operations, IT, strategy, and general management.

Contents and Schedule

The program incorporates a blended format of online and face-to-face sessions. Participants will have the opportunity to attend face-to-face facilitated sessions and workshops with Stanford and Aalto professors in California and Helsinki as well as several online courses, keynotes and webinars.

The unique advantage of the program lies in the discovery visits to the vibrant Silicon Valley ecosystem. Networking sessions and dinners will be held to encourage interaction with other participants and the faculty. A digital learning environment will be used to support the learning experience.

Program Structure

Five face-to-face days

Three face-to-face days are held in Silicon Valley, Stanford campus and two face-to-face days are held in Helsinki, Aalto EE Campus

Online courses, keynotes and webinars

Participants will have the opportunity to attend several online courses, keynotes and webinars with Stanford and Aalto professors

Company visits in Silicon Valley

The unique advantage of the program lies in the discovery visits to the vibrant Silicon Valley ecosystem



Faculty information will be updated early 2019. The information below is from the 2018 program.

Riitta Katila

Riitta Katila is Professor of Management Science & Engineering and W.M. Keck Foundation Faculty Scholar at Stanford University, and a faculty member of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program.

Professor Katila is an expert in technology strategy, innovation, and learning development in firms with a focus on achieving short- and long-term organic growth. She has conducted extensive work on alliances, acquisitions and corporate venture capital. Professor Katila’s alma mater Aalto University honored her as the Alumnus of the Year in 2016.

Robin Gustafsson

Robin Gustafsson is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management at Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at Aalto University.

Professor Gustafsson's research focuses on corporate- and business strategy formulation and strategizing in industry shifts. He is an expert in narrative strategies in nascent industries and markets, platform strategy, and strategy and organization of open research, innovation, and platforms.

Pamela Hinds

Pamela Hinds works as a Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Professor Hinds studies the effect of technology on teams.

Professor Hinds has conducted extensive research on the dynamics of geographically distributed work teams, particularly those spanning national boundaries. She explores issues of culture, language, identity, conflict, and the role of site visits in promoting knowledge sharing and collaboration.

Tom Byers

Tom Byers is a Professor of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University. Professor Byers focuses on education regarding high-growth entrepreneurship and technology innovation.

Professor Byers has been a faculty director since the inception of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, the entrepreneurship center for the engineering school. He has been a member of advisory boards at Harvard Business School, UC Berkeley, World Economic Forum, Conservation International, and several private enterprises.

Michael Barry

Michael Barry works as a Consulting Assistant Professor at Stanford University. Barry teaches the nation’s top students on how to connect innovation to customer understanding.

A founder of Quotient Design Research, Barry has over two decades of experience in providing strategic innovation at the critical early stages of the product development process. His clients include Sony, IBM, Kimberly-Clark, HP, Merck, Shure, Johnson Diversey, Ericsson, Nestlé, Wells Fargo Bank, Wrigley, and several divisions of Unilever.

Dan Klein

Dan Klein is a Lecturer in Management at Stanford University. Klein teaches improvisation full time at Stanford University where he is a faculty member of the Drama Department and the Graduate School of Business.

Klein partners with multiple different corporations, such as Cisco, Oracle, Nestle, Visa, ING, Barclay’s Global Investments, Randstad, Nobel Biocare, and many more.

Robert Sutton

Bob (Robert) Sutton is a Professor of Management Science and Engineering and a Professor of Organizational Behavior (by courtesy) at Stanford University. The American Management Association selected Sutton as one of the top 30 leaders who most influenced business in 2014 (ranked 10th on their list).

Professor Sutton is the co-founder of the Center for Work, Technology and Organization, where he worked as a co-director from 1996 to 2006. He is also the co-founder of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program and the d.School. He studies innovation, leadership, scaling excellence, workplace dynamics and the links between managerial knowledge and organization action.

Kathleen Eisenhardt

Kathleen Eisenhardt is a Stanford W. Ascherman M.D. Professor at Stanford University and the Co-Director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program. Professor Eisenhardt's research focus is strategy and organization, especially in technology-based companies and high-velocity industries.

Eisenhardt is currently studying the use of heuristics and other cognitive strategies, strategic interaction in new markets and novel ecosystems, and strategy making by boards of directors. She has received the career Scholarly Contribution Award from the Academy of Management and the Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research.

Hau Lee

Hau Lee work as the Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at Stanford University. Professor Lee’s areas of specialization include global value chain innovations, supply chain management, global logistics, inventory modeling, and environmental & social responsibility.

Lee is the faculty advisor for the Stanford Institute for Innovations in Developing Economies, and a co-director of the Stanford Value Chain Innovation Initiative.

Timo Seppälä

Timo Seppälä works as Professor of Practice, Digital Operations at the Aalto University and as Research Associate at The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, ETLA. His research interest lie in contemporary global phenomena like digitalization, platform economy and global value chains as well as strategic management and internationalization of firms.

Seppälä's areas of expertise include Business Intelligence and Analyses, Global Business Unit and Account Management, Strategic and Operative Business Development, Supplier and Customer Relationship Management and Contract Negotiations.

Dr. Seppälä has over 15 years of business experience in several Finnish and international companies for example Metso, OMG Kokkola Chemicals, Oracle, Elcoteq and SAP.

Markus Paukku

Markus Paukku works as an Assistant Professor at University of Amsterdam. Dr. Paukku is a specialist in strategic innovation, strategy and capabilities and in international management and strategy.

His broad research interests include the emergence of novel business models and the innovation of strategy. Previously Paukku has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University and as a project director of The Outlier Intiative at Aalto University which was organized both in Helsinki and Silicon Valley.

Kimmo Karhu

Kimmo Karhu is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Aalto University Department of Computer Science and a Platform Strategy Consultant at Fourkind.

Karhu is an expert on platform business models and a seasoned teacher on digital strategy. By combining hands-on industry experience with academic thinking, he seeks to explain how AI, machine learning, and other technologies can be leveraged for scaling platform business. Karhu's recent doctoral thesis analyses open platform strategizing and digital tactics in mobile ecosystems.

Program Fee and Registration

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