Explore the metaverse


Step into the world of Metaverse Explorers and unlock the potential of tomorrow’s technology. Keep an eye out for the upcoming schedule, coming your way soon


Keynote speakers will take you into the depths of the metaverse’s possibilities.

Teemu Vidgren

Chief Operating Officer - Microsoft

Value of AI at workplace

Teemu Vidgrén is the Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft Finland, and he is passionate about artificial intelligence. At Microsoft, AI is an integral part of everyone’s work. Teemu began his career as a startup entrepreneur in software industry and has since worked in various sales and executive roles within the ICT sector.

Susana Reyes

Commissioner of the Board of Public Works - City of Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Innovative Responses to 21st Century Challenges

Susana Reyes was appointed in 2022 as Commissioner of the City of Los Angeles’ Board of Public Works. Previously, Reyes was on the Board of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) where she was elected as Board Vice President of the all-female-led Board. The first Filipino American to be appointed to the LADWP Board, Reyes is also the first LADWP retiree to hold a seat on the commission. A public servant for over 32 years, she is the founder and CEO of AgilEngines LLC, an advocacy and consulting firm focused on community outreach and civic engagement strategies. Reyes’ experience also includes helping in overseeing the implementation of Los Angeles’ first Sustainable City plans and in launching Blue LA — an EV car sharing pilot program in low-income communities. Reyes was the pioneer of the City Facilities Recycling Program which was successfully implemented in the 1990’s. She also led the implementation of the City’s first iteration of the Environmentally Preferable Products Purchasing Ordinance in 1992 and had worked extensively on sustainable procurement issues. She is an active member of the Sierra Club and was elected to the organization’s first-ever all-female Executive Committee. Reyes also serves on the Governing Board of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.


Emre B. Aksu

Bell Labs Fellow - Nokia Technologies

Multimedia innovations for the metaverse Value of RXRM technology for industries - Insight from Technology & Engineering Emmy® winner

Emre B. Aksu heads the Immersive Video Systems Research team at Nokia Technologies and is the technical lead of Nokia Real-time eXtended Reality Multimedia RXRM. Emre holds 47 granted patents, has co-authored or supervised 37 publications and has won the Nokia Top Inventor Award several times. He has been nominated as a Nokia Bell Labs Fellow in 2023 for research and development of innovative multimedia systems technologies and contributions to global multimedia standards.

Anita Kalergis

PR & Communications Manager - Xprizo

Digital Equality in the Metaverse through AI, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

Anita Kalergis, aka Krypto Granny, a crypto influencer since 2017. An Ambassador for Helsinki & Dubai Blockchain Centres and AIBC Summit, she’s also the Granny Ambassador for digital maestro VESA and Web3 Music Visionary, QVANTVM., Anita acts as the Strategic Advisor in Synthtopia.world, promoting blockchain, NFT’s and digital art. This visionary is on a mission to involve everyone in the technological and financial future today.

Dr. Marwan Al Zarouni

Strategic Advisor ‒ Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism

Founding member ‒ Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) and Artificial Intelligence Ethical Committee

Digital Equality in the Metaverse through AI, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

Dr. Marwan has 20+ years of experience in development of projects in the fields of Emerging Technology, Information Security, Digital forensics and Artificial Intelligence. He is also a keynote speaker and advisor to the Dubai Government where he sits on several Councils and Committees in the fields of Cyber Security, Blockchain Technology and Artificial Intelligence. He is a well-respected international speaker on blockchain technology usage by governments and enterprises. He was also ranked by Cointelegraph as one of the top 100 most influential people world-wide in blockchain and cryptocurrencies in 2022. He also served as a member of the Global Future Council on Cryptocurrencies at the World Economic Forum 2020-2021.
Dr. Marwan has founded the region’s first innovation hub for blockchain technology and serving as the CEO of Dubai Blockchain Center.

Eve Weston

Expert XR Narrative & Experience Design Consultant

How We Experience The Metaverse: A Tangible and Tactical Creative Framework

Eve Weston believes in storytelling as a force for positive change. Creator of the first VR sitcom, she is also a published expert in XR narrative, author of the taxonomy for immersive POV and a professor at top-ranked film schools. Weston consults on extended reality (XR) storytelling and experience design for a range of clients, from top Hollywood producers to Silicon Valley manufacturers of XR hardware and software.  

Weston’s speaking engagements include Stanford University, SIGGRAPH and ATAS, the organization behind the Emmys. Weston builds community around immersive narrative through TheLook.Club database and review show. She founded Metaverse Talent Group to provide real people for virtual worlds, connecting businesses with talent that can host, perform, sell, and represent their business in the metaverse. 

An award-winning journalist, Weston has written about VR for Ms. Magazine and The New York Post. A produced television writer, she’s written and developed for several ABC/Disney channels and shows. Weston is an alumna of Princeton, USC and Goldman Sachs. For cutting-edge insights, enjoy her book 10 Kick-Ass Careers for Storytellers and follow her on Medium.

Miguel Sangalang

Excecutive Director and General Manager for the Bureau of Street Lighting - City of Los Angeles

Los Angeles: Innovative Responses to 21st Century Challenges

As the head of LA Lights, Miguel Sangalang’s role is shaped by two major responsibilities: The upkeep and improvement of the city’s 220,000 street lighting infrastructure assets; and the adoption of new tools and practices to ensure the city meets the needs of its residents well into the future. To that end, he
is working to make street lighting a true neighborhood asset that reflects the culture of the communities it illuminates, improves public safety, and helps bridge the digital divide. Miguel previously served as Deputy Mayor for Budget & Innovation for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. He directly oversaw the annual city budget, performance management, personnel, risk management, procurement reform, technology infrastructure, as well as sustainability, equity in service, gender equity, data, and emerging

Heather Repenning

Executive Officer for Sustainability Policy - Los Angeles Metro

Los Angeles: Innovative Responses to 21st Century Challenges

Heather Repenning is the Executive Officer for Sustainability Policy at LA Metro, the public transportation authority that provides the almost 10 million people who reside in Los Angeles County with bus, rail, and other services. At Metro, Heather oversees policies and programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and increase climate resilience.

Previously, Heather has served as Vice Chair for Climate Action of the Board of Directors of Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and as Vice President of the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works.

Heather also works as Adjunct Professor in the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy. Heather graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College and earned a Master’s Degree from the University of California, Irvine in Comparative Literature. 

Milla Madetoja


The program on the main stage will be hosted by journalist Milla Madetoja


Antti Hannunen

Researcher - Museum Centre Vapriikki

Antti Hannunen works as a researcher at the Museum Centre Vapriikki. He coordinates an innovative and completely digital new museum project Tampere 1918 Civil War Museum. The Civil War Museum project provides information about the events of the Finnish Civil War through game engine constructed 3D virtual experiences, interactivity, articles, images, and videos.

Heikki Aura

Senior Lead - The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra

Heikki Aura serves as a Senior Lead at Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund, boasting a diverse career that includes senior roles at Nokia and as a startup entrepreneur. He possesses extensive experience in developing new technologies and applications, as well as spearheading their market launch activities. Within Sitra, Heikki dedicates his efforts to crafting strategies that leverage data for societal benefits. This focus showcases his profound knowledge in fields such as the metaverse, industrial data, artificial intelligence, and blockchain.

Christina yan zhang

CEO - The Metaverse Institute

Christina is a metaverse pioneer, started her postgraduate research in 2006 to develop universities’ international strategies. In 2012, she completed a PhD in using digital twin in the metaverse to augment the AEC industry.

Christina is an award-winning business leader with 17 years of experience turning forward-thinking ideas into successful businesses. She worked for QS, the world university rankings agency 2013-2020, as China Director. In 2016, China’s Vice Premier highlighted the use of QS rankings in a keynote speech, impacting 5 years funding allocations of £750bn to 3005 universities with 48 million students.

She has sat on 20+ committees for UNESCO, World Bank, Commonwealth, EU, and UK Governments. She is Vice Chair of UN ITU Metaverse Working Group on Sustainability, Co-chair on Pre-standardization for Citiverse Task Group. She sits on Advisory Council of Centre for Science Futures at International Science Council, with a UN mandate to advise on innovations.

Santeri Saarinen

R&D Lead, Technology Specialist - Helsinki XR Center

Santeri Saarinen is an XR technology specialist in Metropolia UAS’s RDI Unit and the R&D Lead of Helsinki XR Center. Santeri received a Master’s degree in Interactive Technology from University of Tampere, and worked there as a researcher in Tampere Unit for Computer-Human Interaction for six years before moving to Metropolia in 2017.  Santeri has extensive experience in VR, AR and MR technologies, game and mobile application development, gesture and speech interaction and user experience design. He has participated in projects related to several different fields, such as healthcare, education, industry, retail, transportation, tourism and culture. Santeri also works as an expert reviewer for EU Commission’s Horizon Europe and Creative Europe research projects. He is a member for XR4Europe’s board of directors, and on the advisory board for Finnish National Metaverse Strategy development and FIVR’s academic advisory board.

Salla Eckhardt

CEO - SEE Bright

Salla is a results-driven leader with 25 years of experience spearheading innovation strategy in the built environment industry. Her mission is augmenting people’s experiences with optimized business processes. She leverages technology and digital transformation to drive impactful change in organizations. As the founder of the digital building lifecycle framework, Salla has revolutionized data management from both digital and physical realms, catalyzing advancements in smart environments.

Johanna Pystynen

CEO - Guidin

As a former HR director, Johanna truly knows the pleasures and pains of modern leadership and what it takes to build successful organizations. In her current position as a CEO of Guidin she helps organizations increase their agility and succeed in change – making working life more meaningful for everyone.

Before Guidin, Johanna built award-winning practices with her team in a fast-growing tech company, recognized as the Best Workplace in Europe and rated among Fast Company’s global Best Workplaces for Innovators.

Kimmo Kytösaari

CEO - Broadfolio

CEO Kimmo Kytösaari from Broadfolio has over two decades of experience in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region, specializing in technology and international resilience. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in navigating the complexities of the global market, ensuring operational continuity and resilience in the face of challenges.

Keynote Dr. Hamad Khalifa Alnuaimi

Abu Dhabi Police

Dr. Hamad Khalifa Alnuaimi is a distinguished professional who has dedicated his career to enhancing security through critical communications within the Abu Dhabi Police with a focus on ensuring safety and security during large-scale events such as Abu Dhabi F1 race. He has demonstrated exceptional leadership and expertise in strategic planning and implementation. His contributions have been instrumental on fostering a secure environment for such prestigious mega events.

Kati Tiainen

Director - Microsoft EMEA, Education Digital strategy and access

Kati Tiainen is a prominent figure in the international educational landscape, collaborating closely with Ministries of Education, leaders, schools, and partners to optimize digital transformation in teaching and learning. With a background in Finnish K-12 education, including roles at the Teachers Union of Finland and leadership of eLearning initiatives, she brings a wealth of expertise. She holds a master’s degree in Education and is a certified Prosci ADCAKR practitioner & Solution focused Coach.

Over her two-decade career, Kati’s roles span teaching, school leadership, and overseeing large-scale Information and Learning Technology Programs, including 1:1 initiatives. Her leadership extends to Microsoft’s Education K12 efforts in EMEA, marked by her skill in navigating transformational markets and fostering partnerships. She is a global advocate for Microsoft’s Education Transformation Framework, guiding holistic educational transformation.

Moreover, she’s driven open education analytics, enhancing data-driven decision-making. Her distinct prowess lies in leveraging AI to reshape education. Kati’s strategic insights in AI implementation have revolutionized the teaching and learning experience. By championing responsible AI use, she empowers Education institutions to embrace technology for personalized learning, adaptive interventions, and new dimensions of excellence.

Dr. Maj Meriluoto

Head of Exhibitions - Museum Centre Vapriikki

Dr. Maj Meriluoto is the Head of Exhibitions at Museum Centre Vapriikki, owned and operated by the City of Tampere. She has extensive experience in planning and managing cultural and historical exhibitions, often in collaboration with other museums and private partners. Meriluoto is actively involved in the international museum network, including through the board of ICOM’s Exhibition Committee. She has been leading the conceptualization and development of the Tampere 1918 Civil War Museum XR project.

Veijo Kontas

Vice President, SoC Development, Mobile Networks - Nokia

Veijo has dedicated most of his professional life for Semiconductors and SoC development. He was in charge for Nokia Mobile Phones SoC development for 15 years during which he and his team were able to develop world leading SoCs for the mobile space. Veijo joined Nokia Mobile Networks in 2015. Since 2019 he’s been in charge for SoC development at Nokia Mobile Networks. His main responsibilities are developing the SoCs according to the roadmap, owning the SoC architecture and SoC technologies and maintaining the relationships with the key semiconductor players. The Reefshark chipset family has played an important role of MN turnaround.

Veijo has master’s degree in telecommunication and semiconductor technologies from the University of Oulu. He is a father of two daughters and a passionate radio amateur that keeps him hands on with all aspects of the electronics.

Markku Kivinen

Business Development Manager - VTT

Markku Kivinen is Business Development Manager in VTT, focusing at the moment on commercializing VTT in industrial metaverse and future of aviation / urban air mobility. Prior to this role, Solution Sales Lead in Cognitive Production Research Area. Formerly, he has been working in Nokia, Microsoft, Elisa and Vodafone in b2b sales, strategic marketing and business development.

Jari Kuusisto

Product Manager, Smart Cities - Wapice Ltd

Smart City IoT, analytics, and AI expert with a proven track record in transforming urban landscapes into Smart Cities. Jari brings a wealth of experience harnessing the power of IoT, data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to drive technological enablers in Smart Cities and Buildings. Join us as Jari shares real-world case examples, offering tangible insights into the future of urban intelligence.

Mika Rytkönen

Chairman and CBO - Remoted Ltd

Mr. Mika Rytkönen brings extensive international business development experience in telecom, positioning, and mobility technologies. Transitioning from a 30-year corporate career, he has ventured into the startup world. Presently, he serves as Chairman of REMOTED (an automated bus and taxi operator), Chairman of NOETON (an emission catcher for stoves), and Member of the Board at MYRY (an association of sole and micro-entrepreneurs in Finland). Additionally, he contributes as a mentor for startups at the EIC Scaling Club.

Horáček Jiří

Director of Sales and Marketing - Škoda Digital

This presentation explores the evolution of autonomous trams from concept to reality, highlighting our first software products. We will demonstrate automatic shunting in a tram depot and discuss future steps in vehicle autonomy. 

Fanny Heinonen

Program Director - Film Tampere

Fanny Heinonen is the program director of the successful and rapidly growing development program Film Tampere administered by regional business and development agency Business Tampere and funded by the City of Tampere. In addition, Heinonen has influenced the film and TV industry as a trainer, mentor and expert in the creative industry training programs in multiple universities, academies and national industry development projects. Heinonen is a film and TV producer by education (B.A.), and has years of cross-border working experience in fashion, marketing, films and career coaching. Get to know Fanny on LinkedIn!

Kai Nordberg

CEO - Making Movies Oy

Kai is the CEO and co-founder of a Helsinki based production company Making Movies Oy (Ltd.). Nordberg has produced the Oscar short listed and Golden Globe nominated The Fencer (2015) as well as several other international award winning and internationally recognized films like My Sailor My Love (2023) and The Good Driver (2023). Over the past 20 years Nordberg has produced over 14 features and more than 50 documentaries and short films distributed worldwide. Get to know Kai on LinkedIn!

Joni Lappalainen

CEO - Dreamloop Games Oy

Joni Lappalainen is CEO of Dreamloop Games and an instrumental contributor to Finland’s gaming and startup scene. Lappalainen serves as the Vice President of both the Tampere Game Hub and Finnish Game Developers’ Association, the Chairperson of the Board at Platform6, the co-founder of Tampere Startup Hub, and as a regional coordinator for IGDA Finland. Additionally, Lappalainen has served as a member of the board of education for Oulu University of Applied Sciences, and as a producer for more than 30 game projects. Alma is now one of Dreamloop’s major game projects. Get to know Joni on LinkedIn!

Jarkko Männistö

Service Manager - Sitowise Oy

Jarkko Männistö has 25 years of experience in 3D design, modelling and visualizations. At Sitowise, he works as a service and project manager in a team responsible for digital twins and the development of digital imaging tools, as well as the utilisation of BIM and 3D data in design projects, city information models and smart city development.

His team has developed a dynamic 3D virtual environment called the AURA service, which is based on Unity game engine technology. He has led several challenging projects related to digital twins, VR implementations and 3D simulation tools for the cities of Tampere and Helsinki, as well as transport and regional projects such as Port of Oulu, Helsinki Airport, LuxTurrim 5G and Crown Bridge

Dr. Vicky Albert-Seifried

Senior Researcher - Fraunhofer Institute

Dr. Vicky Albert-Seifried leads projects related to sustainable urban energy transition in the research group ’Climate-Neutral Cities and Districts’ of Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Germany. She has over 20 years of experience working with cities globally in the strategic planning of clean energy transformation. Her work transfers research innovations into practice and supports cities in finding novel solutions to tackle the climate challenges. Vicky is the coordinator of the large-scale Horizon Europe project WeGenerate in which digital technologies are leveraged to better decision making and drive social innovation in the urban regeneration process of four European cities.

Dr. Kaisa Mustajärvi

Development manager, Biodiversity and Natural Capital - The City of Tampere

Kaisa Mustajärvi is accomplished professional with over 25 years of experience in ecology and environmental expert. She is deeply committed to leveraging her expertise to tackle the pressing issues of climate change adaptation and natural capital management within urban environments. Currently she works as development manager for nature and natural capital in City of Tampere involving collaboration with cross-disciplinary teams to devise and execute strategies that bolster the city’s resilience and sustainability. This work not only benefits the city’s residents but also aims to preserve and rejuvenate the biodiversity and ecosystem services that are crucial for human well-being and quality of life.  Her drive is fueled by the aspiration to create cities that are not only livable and resilient but also in harmony with nature, promoting social and environmental justice.

Joona Kortesmäki

Head of Development - Elisa viihde

Joona Kortesmäki is the Head of Development at Elisa Viihde, where he focuses on transforming storytelling with bold original drama series and creativity-boosting AI integration. With 20 years in the TV & streaming industry and degrees in Business Administration and Arts, he is dedicated to advancing the future of entertainment.

Teppo Rantanen

Director for competitiveness and innovation - City of Tampere

Mr. Teppo Rantanen, Director for competitiveness and innovation at the City of Tampere, is responsible for several city-wide development programs, with a particular focus on smart city themes, that shape the strategic economic policy of the city. He leads Tampere through collaboration in extensive international networks toward a metaverse city with a human-centric perspective where smart technologies will increasingly enable seamless interaction between the physical and virtual worlds, adding value to citizens’ everyday lives.

Sebastian Valkama

ICT Project Manager - City of Tampere

Currently serving at the City of Tampere Employment and Growth Services, Sebastian Valkama is involved in several projects within the city’s Data-Driven City for Citizens development program, specifically the Data-Driven Services for Businesses flagship project. On an operational level, this includes the Tampere.Finland mobile app for businesses, Tampere Pulse, several AI assistants, and a smart public service management platform. These solutions aim to provide local businesses with data-driven insights that enhance their forecasting abilities, improve knowledge management, and support better decision-making. Sebastian strongly advocates the city’s vision of bridging the digital and physical worlds to improve the quality of life for residents, enhance business vitality and promote human-centric digital transformation in the city.

Marc Wicht

CEO & Co-Founder - Scenery

Marc is the CEO and co-founder of Scenery, the world’s first Spatial Computing and AR storytelling platform. The tool, which was a day-1 launch app on Apple Vision Pro, allows brands and creators to craft contextual, multi-sensory, and appless immersive experiences in days instead of months. Over the years, Marc led numerous XR projects for brands like Sony Music, Paramount Pictures, and Highsnobiety, giving him a deep understanding of the market needs and potential pitfalls when designing immersive content.

Mattia Thibault

Associate Professor in Translation in the Creative Industries - Tampere University

Dr Mattia Thibault is an Associate Professor in Translation in the Creative Industries at Tampere University and has a PhD in Semiotics and Media (Turin University). His research interests include semiotics and translation of XR, speculative research, and playfulness in the built environment (real and digital).

He is the leader of the research group Interreality which focuses on the interrelations between different virtual spaces (and their inhabitants) and their connections with the “real” world. He is PI of the project NERX, funded by Business Finland and by several industrial partners, which investigates how extended realities can be integrated in a meaningful and accessible way with the Finnish creative industries. His postdoctoral project “ReClaim” (EU MSCA-IF 793835) focused on urban gamification and bottom-up and punk ways to use playfulness for good.

Peter Adriaens

Professor of Engineering, Finance and Entrepreneurship - University of Michigan

Dr. Adriaens is Professor of Engineering, Finance and Entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan, where he directs the Center for Digital Asset Finance and the Master of Engineering in Smart Infrastructure Finance.  Funded by corporate and financial firms, his research focuses on digital business, finance and data market models for smart cities infrastructure, and on artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) models for climate risk pricing in the capital markets. His team publishes in management, finance and technical journals, and he has presented at civil engineering, finance, operations, and blockchain conferences. He is a member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineering, and of the Belgian Royal Academy of Applied Science. Previously, he was Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at Sichuan University (China) and at the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (Helsinki, Finland). He is co-founder of Equariusâ Risk Analytics, a financial technology firm focused on corporate climate risk pricing in equities.  He serves on the advisory board of the Great Lakes Impact Investment Platform, Triangle Digital, and Integrated Roadways.

Kristian Valkama

Director of Digital Transformation - Business Tampere

Kristian Valkama is the Director of Digital Transformation at Business Tampere – the agency that promotes economic and business growth in Tampere region. In his current role, Kristian leads a strategic development programme that helps businesses use data and AI more effectively and supports the city of Tampere on its digital transformation journey.

Kristian is an experienced entrepreneur, board member, and business leader who has spent close to two decades helping startups, scaleups, listed companies, and public sector organizations adopt new technologies and embrace change.

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