Alba Digital Academy kickoff event

Wednesday, 01/05/2019

Alba is proud to have launched the Alba Digital Academy, a "learning academy" that aims to develop the digital skills of business executives and businesses.

The event was held on April 8, at the National Library of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, with the participation of representatives from the academic and business world.

The Alba Digital Academy (ADA) is part of the Alba Executive Development aiming to serve as a collaborative vehicle between Alba and the business community in order to design and diffuse modern knowledge and skills that contribute to the development of executives in the era of digital transformation and disruption.

Upon welcoming the guests, Alba Dean Dr. Kostas Axarloglou said: "Twenty-five years since its establishment, Alba re-invents itself and innovates by offering educational programs that incorporate new management practices in the era of digital transformation. However, Alba maintains its DNA, its tradition, which is academic excellence and business relevance. In the last couple of years, Alba Executive Development has developed a large portfolio of new programs, in disruption and digital transformation, in Greece and internationally. Gradually, these insights and curricula will be migrated to our academic programs, Master's and MBAs. Today, we are launching the Alba Digital Academy, a new structure within Alba Executive Development, an umbrella that incorporates Alba's new curricula in digital transformation and disruption. Today we would like to share our vision with the business community about the capabilities of business management in the new era, while at the same time we invite its members to join forces towards a better understanding of the complexities of the modern world, and to serve the business world and the values ​​that the Organizations and their leaders have built on."

The Dean then introduced Dr. Nikos Mylonopoulos, Digital Business Professor at Alba, and Dr. Markos Zachariadis, Associate Professor of Information Systems at Warwick Business School.

Dr. Mylonopoulos presented the landscape in technology arguing that exponential growth is deceiving, in the sense that it is rapidly accelerated; he also spoke of the dematerialization and demonetization digital disruption has brought about, which is rapidly making obsolete established business models, while at the same time it is giving rise to new, unexplored markets. In an attempt to shake the stigma off technology, Dr. Mylonopoulos said: “There is nothing wrong with technology itself. The way we design our businesses is too mechanistic. Creative people – those who take initiative, who are problem solvers, who are constant learners, they are the talent we wish to attract in our businesses, our country, if we want to stay ahead of developments; and this is also the reason why at Alba we persist in innovating our programs. Because at Alba, the greatest skill we have is our ability to unlearn and catch up with new skills on a continuous basis.”

Dr. Markos Zachariadis, for his part, elaborated on digital leadership and strategizing in the data economy, especially in fintech; specifically, he argued that change rarely comes from technology alone but is largely dependent on other factors such as: regulation, customer demand, organizational and market structure. Dr. Zachariadis highlighted the role of technology in the emergence of the digital platform where the product is no longer tangible and material but rather intangible, like comfort, ease, and user experience. According to Dr. Zachariadis, transitioning from the product to the platform has been key in the success of many well-known brands. It takes imagination, he concluded, to apply these technologies in a way that makes sense to businesses, in order for them to overturn their culture and learn how to compete in these changing times and stressed Alba’s contribution to this effort.

A panel discussion followed, coordinated by Dr. Mylonopoulos, featuring distinguished market leaders who shared experiences from their industries in the aftermath of disruption and discussed the challenges of digital transformation, corporate adjustment to the benefit of clients, industry growth and its importance for the future.

The guests participating in the panel were: Golfo Agapitou, Assistant General Manager, Eurobank; Iakovos Giannaklis, General Manager Retail Banking, Eurobank, Johann Goettler, CEO, Siemens, Dimitris Livas, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Agile Actors, Theodosis Michalopoulos, Microsoft Hellas Enterprise Public Sector Director for Greece, Cyprus, and Malta.


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