Markku Markkula

Markku Markkula

Hall of Fame Class of 2008

Markku Markkula is the director of the Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli of the Helsinki University of Technology TKK, one of the largest continuing education providers among universities in Europe. His areas of expertise include professional development, knowledge management, learning organization, lifelong learning, productivity and innovations, regional policy and national innovation systems. He has published several books and given hundreds of conference presentations, as well as written numerous articles on these issues.

Markkula earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and a master of science degree in industrial management, both from the Helskinki University of Technology. In addition, he is in the final stages of studies for a doctor of technology degree.

On both a national and international level, Markkula has broad and deep experience in the field of adult and continuing education. He was a member of the Finnish Parliament from 1995 to 2003 and served as a contributing member to the Committee for Science, Education and Culture, and the Committee for the Future. Markkula has served adult education in a variety of roles, including as a chairman of the University Continuing Education Network Finland from 2003 to 2006 and as chairman of the European Society for Engineering Education working group on CEE from 1986-1992 and 2003-2008.

Markkula’s special strength is his ability to integrate the theoretical and pragmatic lessons learned throughout his extensive educational career into insight and expertise supporting his role as a top-level policy maker. He has also gained personal experience from professional association leadership. Through his chairmanship of the Society for Organizational Learning SOL-Finland Markkula has developed a number of new learning concepts. 

In 1984 Markkula was appointed as the first full time director of continuing education at the Helsinki University of Technology TKK. The center has grown under his leadership from a small five-person unit to one of the leading university-based continuing education providers in Europe. Today, under the name Lifelong Learning Institute Dipoli, the institute’s annual revenues are nearly $12 million. It employs 100 staff members and engages nearly1,500 visiting lecturers per year.

Throughout his career, Markkula has been a visible opinion leader, serving as a chairman or a member of nearly 200 project management teams in education, engineering development and information society. He has written several books and dozens of articles focusing especially on lifelong learning, adult education, professional development, knowledge management and information society in Finnish and in English. 

An example of his broad influential role dates back to the EU European Year of Lifelong Learning in 1996 when he was a member of the EU ad hoc committee, the chairman of the Finnish National Campaign Committee, as well as the manager for the EU Lifelong Learning conference. In 2001-2002 he served as a vice-chairman of the Parliamentary Adult Education Committee, which created the guidelines for new national policies.

Markkula has been an initiator of university-industry partnerships, chairing the Business Policy Committee of the Province of Uusimaa and serving as a member of Board of Technology Development Center TEKES. His work has initiated several joint activities between Finnish and U.S. industry and academia.