Aalto University: Where Peace and Love Drive Innovation

Believe it or not, Aalto University is all about peace and love! As someone who completed my doctoral dissertation on peace at Aalto, I’m thrilled to announce that Veera Vaarnamo has just been accepted as a doctoral student to study love and its impact on leadership for innovation. This is an incredible development, and I'm excited to support Veera – and other PhD students – on their journeys. If you’re interested in peace and love in business, keep reading and don’t hesitate to get in touch!

My Journey: Peace in Business

Aalto University is my Alma Mater, where I have had the privilege of completing not only my doctoral dissertation but also my second master’s degree (of three). My time at Aalto has been profoundly influenced by the incredible mentorship and open-minded supervision of Prof. Matti Häyry. It was his willingness to let me explore the unconventional topic of peace in a business school setting that inspired me to pursue my doctoral studies here. Back in 2017, discussing peace in the context of business was still considered quite unusual – and more work remains.

In my research, I focused on how businesses can foster peace. I argued that peace is a higher-order concept that encompasses all positive impacts within business and society. From purpose and happiness to social welfare and integrity, peace includes and transcends these elements. You can explore my work further at

Veera’s Vision: Love in Leadership

Fast forward to today, Aalto University has transformed remarkably. It’s now ever more so a hub of progressive thinking, embracing themes like peace and love. I recently discovered that Veera Vaarnamo, a passionate scholar, has been accepted as a doctoral student at Aalto to study the role of love in leadership for innovation. This is nothing short of extraordinary! Now, Veera is taking the torch to explore love’s role in leadership for innovation. She writes:
Love is 'rakkaus' in Finnish. It's a very strong word in our language, reserved in our culture usually to express only the strongest possible affections in life. No wonder I might have caused confusion when discussing the concept in the context of leading innovative organizations. Love, in its life-giving force, has been a fascination of mine since I was a child. Now I get to finally properly study its nature and powers in the field of organizational research.
Veera’s research will delve into how love can influence leadership and drive innovation within organizations. This is a bold and exciting direction, and I’m confident it will yield transformative insights. From rauha to rakkaus! ❤️

Why This Transition is Amazing

Veera's exploration of love as a force in leadership resonates deeply with the themes of my research. In my dissertation, I pondered whether another concept could rival peace as the ultimate purpose of business. I concluded that while many positive concepts contribute to human flourishing, peace stands supreme. The only possible exception might be love, whose energy and life-giving force could offer dimensions beyond our current understanding. As I wrote on page 143:
Continuing the chain of thought from the above argument, is the same argumentation possible with another concept other than peace? I argue that the answer is no. Regardless of whether we consider purpose, service, happiness, social welfare (Pirson, 2017), integrity, thriving, flourishing, life, survival, humanism, any type of wealth, growth, stakeholder value, wellbeing, or any other positively deemed concept, we will eventually find that peace is a higher order that includes all lower orders of positive impact. The only possible exception – out of all non-religious concepts – that may offer an alternative to peace is the concept of love. The energy of love may offer unforeseen dimensions that, with my current understanding, cannot be fathomed. Moreover, claiming that love is the purpose of business may run amok with our hitherto accepted notion of reality.
While I argued that peace encompasses all positive impacts, I acknowledged that love might offer unforeseen dimensions that could revolutionize our understanding of business purpose. This makes Veera's work not just relevant but potentially groundbreaking.

Get Involved and Learn More

I am thrilled to support Veera and any other PhD students embarking on similar journeys. Having walked this path myself, I understand the challenges and rewards it brings. If you’re a PhD student needing guidance, please visit – I’m here to help.

I’m passionate about helping others explore these groundbreaking ideas. Whether you're a business leader, or someone interested in the intersection of peace, love, and business at work or in your personal life, I’m here to help. For matters concerning love, please reach out to Veera. For discussions on peace and how it can transform business, book a free discovery call with me here:
Let’s work together to make peace and love foundational elements of business and leadership. Join us on this journey and be part of a movement that has the power to transform organizations and society for the better.

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Let’s create a world where peace and love drive innovation and leadership. Reach out today!
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