Alf is 41, a management professor, an internationally recognized business thinker (or something), an author and a speaker. He is currently holding the Chair of Management and Organization at Åbo Akademi University in Finland, was earlier the SSES Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, and has in addition taught at universities all over the globe.
As a business thinker (or something), He has been called an “enfant terrible of organization studies”, while the venerable The Times called him a “star of the future”. The 2009 Thinkers 50, the listing of the world’s top 50 business thinkers, included him on their “Guru Radar”, ranking him #13 among the “Up and Coming Business Thinkers”. With the 2011 list, he’s still there. Oh, and in the Finnish Thinkers 20-list, he was rated the #3 business thinker in Finland (#1 among academics). He is also listed internationally as a Top Professor On Twitter. His mother thinks he’s pretty neat as well, but his kids can’t really see what all the fuss is about.
As a business writer, Alf has published a wide range of academic stuff, but also a series of books, articles, and columns for a general audience. You can find some of his books and other stuff further down.
Born in Finland, but raised in more than a dozen places, Alf stopped for long enough to get a MSc in business studies despite spending most of his time reading philosophy, sociology and cultural studies, and later – even more improbably – got a doctorate in technology (Industrial Management) while reading and writing about anthropology and behavioral sciences. His thesis on gift economies and new organizational forms discussed piracy and collaboration long before it became fashionable, and got him enthusiastic about looking for the bleeding edge of economic developments. Despite this, he got a chair in management at the advanced age of 31 years old. His "grown-up" research (and we use the term "grown-up" very loosely here) has focused on moralization, ideology and critique, as well as things such as haute cuisine, innovation, accidents, popular culture, cannibalism, philosophy, boredom, entrepreneurship, rap lyrics, project management and luxury. Surprisingly enough, this research has been published in top international journals and prestigious books. Even more surprisingly, he's still curious about the world.
He currently lives in both Finland and Denmark, as well as in a range of hotel rooms and airport lounges around the world. He drinks too much coffee, not enough water, and is a devoted fan of Ethel Merman and the divine Patsy Cline.