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Alumni Talk: Design in Business


The ESADE Alumni Greater China Chapter, the Shanghai hub to be precise, together with ESADE and Aalto University would like to invite you to their joint to take place on June 23rd at 6.45 pm.

Products, services, user interfaces, digital systems, business models and strategies. We are DESIGNING everything in business, and everything in business needs to be designed. How can organizations embrace design to change how they innovate and create design-oriented organizations? This event will bring together alumni from Aalto University and ESADE Business School for the first time in China, enabling them to share ''behind the scene'' insights into how they apply design at work.

Jorge Oltra (MBA 99) will look at how the Clipper lighter design has evolved over the years by incorporating technical and safety improvements and adding new SKUs inspired by the original design to become the leading lighter in many markets.

William Volcoff's (MA 09) topic will be ''Good design is good business''. It will cover the importance of innovation, user-centered design, return on investment when making a design-related decision, etc.



6.45 pm     Doors open, registration

7.15 pm     Welcome by
Carles Sese (Lic&MBA 10), president of the ESADE Alumni Greater China Chapter
Ursi Van der Herten, international recruiter and business development manager at Executive Education ESADE
Suan Hwee Ong, program manager at Aalto University Executive Education

 7.30 pm     Speakers
Jorge Oltra (MBA 99), managing director at Shanghai Deep Blue Trading Co., Ltd.
Siyi Ren (MMM 10), founder and CEO at Tea Plays
William Volcoff, general manager and creative director at Octopus Innovation (Aalto University alumni)
TBC -  Aalto University Executive Education alumni

8.30 pm     Presentation of the ESADE and Aalto Executive Education Academy MBA for Executives

8.45 pm     Networking

9.30 pm     Event ends



Jorge Oltra

Jorge’s career spans China and Spain, where he managed small- and medium-sized subsidiaries in retail (home decoration and toys) and FMCG (lighters, toys and confectionery). He first landed in China in 1999 following a 3-month exchange program in Japan during his MBA at ESADE, and has lived in China for more than 14 years in two different periods in Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. He also holds one bachelor’s degree in law and one in geography and history. He now works in Shanghai as managing director of the sales subsidiary of Flamagas (Puig Group), responsible for the sales of Clipper lighters in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong.



Siyi Ren

A wellness tea advisor and Chinese folk dancer, Siyi Ren is a versatile and compassionate entrepreneur. Having lived in Spain, the Netherlands and Germany for six years, and speaking four languages, Siyi understands eastern and western cultures very well and is able to bridge the gap between different interests and ideologies in her workplace. Tea Plays, created in Germany and designed in Shanghai, is a fun, international brand which targets young people. Design is their key asset and value, and the USP is the ongoing delivery of the verb “plays” in terms of tea formula creation, packaging innovation, cultural diversity, story-telling and brand experience, all carried by and beyond a cup of tea.




William Volcoff

William co-founded his design agency Octopus Innovation with other classmates back in 2004 in Paris. While working for various clients he moved around Europe and finally graduated from Aalto with a Master in Strategic and Industrial Design. Based in Shanghai since 2009, he opened the new Octopus office in 2011 and has been its general manager since then, providing a broad spectrum of design services for local and international clients. Since 2016, he has also been the manager of the Strategic & Innovation Design Department at Fudan/SIVA university where he designs the teaching curriculum, gives lectures on innovation, manages the teaching staff and lecturers, and monitors students’ design projects.




We look forward to seeing you there!

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