| 30.05.2024

Hanken thanked its donors and partner companies: “We wouldn’t be able to build a better Finland without your support”

Publiken sitter samlad i festsalen på Hanken
Hanken School of Economics invited donors and representatives from Hanken’s partner companies to the university on Wednesday May 29 as an expression of gratitude and a celebration of successful collaborations.

“We wouldn’t be able to thrive and to build a better Finland without the support of our donors and supporters. Thank you so much for everything you have given us. We are looking forward to continuing working together”, Hanken’s Rector Ingmar Björkman said in his welcoming words.

During the assembly, various perspectives on security and defence policy were presented.

“The world has changed dramatically over the past few years, which has had an impact on all of us in society and higher education as well. We at Hanken are doing our very best to stay on top of the developments and to contribute to the resilience of our country with our expertise, by educating our students and disseminating knowledge”, said Charlotta Collén, Hanken’s Director for Research and International Affairs.

Elina Valtonen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, stated that it’s impossible to disentangle security from economic performance and technology. 

“The prevalence of our values demands that we remain competitive on a global scale. I literally mean that democracy, human rights and the rule of law have to be attractive also from an economic point of view. We need to focus on the economy as a fundamental building block of our security policy.”

Utrikesminister Elina Valtonen håller tal i Hankens festsal
Elina Valtonen, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

Minister Valtonen said that the west has never been as united as it is now. Both Nato and the EU continue to attract new member candidates. 

“Nato and the EU are sources of peace, security and prosperity. They will stand the test of time in safeguarding this important mission. Unlike Russia, Nato or the EU do not enlarge by force. It’s the free people in democratic nations who choose to join”, Minister Valtonen said.

She proceeded by saying that Russia has been heading into the war economy for some while now with its massive investment into the war industry. According to Minister Valtonen, such experiments will fall apart over time. Nevertheless, they can be dangerous in the short term. 

“In the meantime, we need to keep our eyes on the ball and focus on these three items: aid Ukraine as massively as we possibly can today and invest into European defence and deterrence strategically, enhance European strategic competitiveness with a special focus on entrepreneurship and human capital and thirdly, it’s very important that we stay close and true to our values and our hearts because at the end of the day that is the competitive advantage we will always have ahead of the autocrats.”

During the assembly, General Timo Kivinen, former Commander of the Finnish Defence Forces, spoke about European security and defense in a changing world and Gyöngyi Kovács, Erkko Professor in Humanitarian Logistics and Dean of Research, presented Hanken’s HUMLOG institute.

During the event, recognition was given to Lisa Theman, the winner of the Fazer Award, as well as Abdullah Jarkas and Yajuvinder Singh, the recipients of the 2023 and 2024 EMBA scholarships awarded by the Waldemar von Frenckell Foundation.

Rector Ingmar Björkman also awarded scholarships to the five percent of students who performed best at both bachelor's and master's level. The awarded students who have given their consent to be published can be found here: Scholarships and honorary awards – Rector’s list.

Text: Jessica Gustafsson
Photo: Niklas Günsberg

Pictures from the event can be found here:
Flickr - Hanken School of Economics

Read more about Hanken’s Partner Programme:
The Hanken Partner Programme