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Published: 2009-09-30

Nokia Head named new rector of Umeå Institute of Design

NEWS Anna Valtonen, Head of Design Research & Foresight at Nokia in Helsinki, Finland, has been appointed as the new rector of the Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University. “This is an incredibly successful recruitment that will further strengthen the international status of Umeå Institute of Design,” says Göran Sandberg, Vice-Chancellor at Umeå University.

Anna Valtonen holds a doctorate in industrial design and is well recognised at the Umeå Institute of Design, where she has followed the institute’s progress as a guest lecturer, and as a contributor in various student assignments and degree projects.

Since 2007, Anna Valtonen has been one of seven members of the Board at Aalto University, a unique merger of three Finnish universities - the Helsinki School of Economics, the University of Art and Design, and the Helsinki University of Technology.

“There is a substantial board assignment that gives Anna Valtonen a strong position. In addition, she possesses excellent and multifaceted knowledge of the industry and a broad network of contacts in Finland and Sweden, as well as global. It will help the development of Umeå University and the Umeå Institute of Design," says Bengt Palmgren, current rector of the Umeå Institute of Design.

“The recruitment of Anna Valtonen is the final piece of the puzzle in the generation change currently taking place at the Umeå Institute of Design,” says Tapio Alakörkkö, Head of Department at the Institute.

“Her experience and network of contacts will be very important for Umeå University's investment in the new Umeå Arts Campus,” emphasises Göran Sandberg.

Anna Valtonen holds several impressive board membership positions in her curriculum vitae. She is board member of the University of Art and Design in Helsinki. During 2000-2004, she has been a board member of The Finnish Association of Industrial Designers, TKO. She is a member of the Finnish-Swedish Industrial Design Academy and has until recently sat on the board of the Swedish National Research School of Design.
Anna Valtonen was born in 1974 in Helsinki, Finland. In 2007, she earned a doctorate (D.A.) at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki with a dissertation on the professional development of industrial design practice in Finland since the beginning of the 1990s. She began her career at Nokia twelve years ago, and during this period has also been active as a researcher at the Department of Strategic and Industrial Design at the University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland, and a visiting professor in the Department of Management at ESSEC Business School Paris, France. Her research interests are in design, its history, innovation management, and how companies and nations can best use design for their competitiveness. The position as principal at the Umeå Institute of Design at Umeå University also includes a significant focus on research.

Anna Valtonen will succeed Bengt Palmgren, the current rector of Umeå Institute of Design, during the autumn of 2009. Both will work in parallel until summer 2009.For further information, contact:Tapio Alakörkkö, Head of Department, Umeå Institute of DesignPhone: +46 (0)90-786 98 35
Mobile: +46 (9)73-620 51 51 

E-mail: Tapio.Alakorkko@dh.umu.seBengt Palmgren, Rector, Umeå Institute of DesignMobile: +46 (0)70-341 03 12

E-mail: bengt.palmgren@dh.umu.se

Anna Valtonen, Head of Research
Phone: +358 (0)40 737 46 87

E-mail: anna.valtonen@dh.umu.se

Editor: Karin Wikman