A portfolio of
Dr. Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä

  • Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Fellow                                                           hosted at Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki
  • Stanford University Visiting Scholar
  • Harvard University Visiting Scholar (2021 –)
  • The Royal Society and British Academy Newton Fellow
  • A seasoned speaker who can deliver content, both from wide-range of work experience and cutting-edge science
  • The Shortcut, Member of the Board and Lead of Research (2016-2019)
Bridge builder


A curious scholar who is…

       Dedicated to work between communities in uncertain territories.

       Fascinated to co-create at the intersection of science & practice.

       Inspired to share knowledge with diverse audiences.

       Committed to delivering high-quality content.

Jukka-Pekka has done the walks to his talks. His projects have been published in top academic journals and media outlets. He is a scholar-activist who hosts regularly sessions related to entrepreneurship, community building, and new ways of meaningful and participatory organizing.

Currently he is interested and invested in building impactful and novel platforms, blended with the fields of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education, organizational science, and arts.  His particular expertise is rooted in an extreme environments and co-created volunteer initiatives that apply self-organizing governance models. Currently Jukka-Pekka is based in Helsinki, Aalto University, and a visiting scholar at Stanford University and Harvard University and has a Newton Fellowship nomination from the Royal Society (UK). He is a supporter of intentional communities such as the Embassy Network, Blivande Stockholm and Alter Ego.

Jukka-Pekka’s main focus in hands-on scholar-activist work is on supporting the crisis hit entrepreneurial ecosystems in Finland and to assist women´s empowerment via entrepreneurship in the Middle East, for more, see WTSUP!. In Finland, the focus has been work in the Aalto University and with The Shortcut, a sister organization to Slush that aims to empower immigrants and underprivileged people towards tech entrepreneurship. The Shortcut research is part of the Aalto University social value creation research group.

For mixing science, arts, and new ways of organizing, Jukka-Pekka launched during 2018 an ambitious participatory culture research project, Burning Stories, that is currently scaling as a platform that combines science, arts, and technology in novel ways. A podcast (10/2020) shares you insight from this. Aims and the team you can find from Burning Man Journal, the most recent peer-reviewed publication on radical psychological safety, with the forthcoming 2021 (or 2022) Conference on Participatory Cultures: Organization & Leadership.  The 2018 pilot data was used in Burning Man’s major cultural correction posting, featured in New York Times.

On blending arts and entrepreneurship education, the Startup Circus, launched in 2017, was an event that for the first time combined entrepreneurship education from different institutions in the Helsinki area. For 2019,  the event is scaled full-blown spectacle of pitchings and arts. 2016 highlight was Pyongyang Startup Week (featured in Financial Times), the first startup and science diplomacy event in North Korea, where Jukka-Pekka was a visiting professor of management between 2012-2017 and taught the country`s first entrepreneurship courses.

Jukka-Pekka has over ten years of teaching experience with a variety of courses ranging from Venture Ideation, International Management to IT-related topics. He has been co-leading participatory culture projects such as Steam of Life, featured in Arc Daily and  Space on Fire (2017), a combination of space tech & wood architecture, that resulted with this publication (10/2020) and was a co-creator in Koulu School (2016), a peer learning education platform.

The cross-disciplinary approach Jukka-Pekka applies in his work is based on the extensive expertise of combining scientific and practical fields in novel ways. His earlier experience, PhD research, was one of the first ones focusing on the intersection of IT and HR (Human Resources) which dived especially to the standardization and localization dilemmas of MNCs and applied future studies in one of its methodical approaches. Following this path, exploring the unknown intersections a scientific field or a community and communicating it in a meaningful manner, has been going on in since 2006.

WTSUP! and Burning Stories platforms are open for co-creation and support, feel free to reach out via the project websites. The Shortcut in Helsinki is continuously looking for talents, contact the organization via their website.

Passion on communicating science in a non-scientific way

Speaking & events

Science, peer-reviewed science, and disseminating for those who benefit from it is more important than ever. This is especially true with Jukka-Pekka’s speech topics related to entrepreneurship, community building, and new ways of meaningful and participatory organizing. For this, Jukka-Pekka is a seasoned speaker for communicating cutting edge science-based content with passion in a new format, with visuals and sound, and apply it to the organizational context. JP’s background as an academic and deep involvement with practice has resulted in a novel understanding of both worlds.

The ability to understand research, the journals, and find relevant research for a particular audience is Jukka-Pekka`s core skill. This is a topic that he not only speaks about but also uses on co-building the WTSUP! and Burning Stories platforms and Startup Circus. For knowing more, feel free to contact or listen the most recent podcasts below with topics of Peace & Entrepreneurship from Geneva Peace Week and Science of Participatory Cultures. For corporate inquiries, contact speaker agency MySpeaker

Featured talks & events (2020)

[PANELIST / PODCAST] 26th Oct, online: Entrepreneurship for Peace. Geneva Peace Week.

[PODCAST] 15 Oct 2020. The Science of Participatory Cultures. Discussion with Stuart Mangrum from Burning Man Project. Available from here.

[KEYNOTE] 13th Oct, online: Entrepreneurial landscapes in challenging settings. Business & Design Camp, Helsinki

[KEYNOTE] 14th August, online: Future Civilizations – unlocking the potential to co-create purpose-driven collectives. World of Wisdom – conference.

[KEYNOTE] 9th June, Helsinki: Yrittäjyys- ja yrittäjyyskoulutus kriisiympäristöissä. Startup Challenge, Helsinki.

[KEYNOTE & CO-CREATION SESSION] 13th May, San Francisco: Building impact-driven projects during times of crisis. Burners without Borders annual summit.

[WEBCAST] 20th May, Helsinki: The importance of entrepreneurial community building and management during times of a crisis. More info here

[KEYNOTE] 10th May, Helsinki: Entrepreneurship education in extreme environments: lessons learned to COVID-19 crisis environment (In Finnish). Nuori Yrittäjyys & Töölön Lukio 24h online business camp.

[KEYNOTE] 4th of April: Burning Stories update and launch of 2020 Survival Survey. Online Burning Man Leadership Summit. More here

[POSTPONED] 5th May, Helsinki: Session co-host on Participatory Extreme Environments and SDG #9 and #11s. Sustainability Science Days 2020: Destruction & Creativity. More here

[POSTPONED to 03/2021] 31st of March, Helsinki: The leading organizer of Participatory Cultures: Organisation and Leadership Science Conference with the theme of Rebooting Capitalism. Aalto University. More here

[POSTPONED to 11/2020] 16th – 21st of March, Beirut: The leading organizer of WTSUP! entrepreneurship education event. More here

Past selected talks & events

(2019 & 2020)

27th December, Leipzig. Talk: Exploring and empowering participatory culture communities with the use of online ethnography platform at Chaos Computer Club. More here

27th December, Leipzig. Talk: Bridging equality to the Middle East through volunteer-driven technology education: lessons learned from a revolutionary Beirut at Chaos Computer Club. More here

12th December, Helsinki: Opening keynote on building art-supported startup ecosystems at Startup Circus

22nd November, Helsinki: Keynote and panelist at Peace & Entrepreneurship

Project highlights

Below are featured projects that Jukka-Pekka has been contributing, founded or is currently leading.

All projects are applying novel forms of governance and blend disciplines, with the aim to create both a high-level societal and a rigorous scientific impact

The Shortcut: Grassroots initiative aiming to integrate immigrants to the Finnish society via tech entrepreneurship education

Burning Stories: Combining science and arts, studying the impact of participatory cultures

WTSUP!: The bridge between the Nordics and the Middle East to to foster equality

Pyongyang Startup Week: Entrepreneurship in extreme settings

Startup Circus: The most colourful pitching event in town

Space on Fire: A high-tech art project combining wooden architecture and space technology

Latest Articles

Selected scientific journal and media articles

Interested to hear more or do collaboration?

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