Marko Ahtisaari

Tech entrepreneur Marko Ahtisaari is the CEO and co-founder of The Sync Project, which investigates the therapeutic effects of music on the body and mind.

Finnish entrepreneur and therapeutic designer Marko Ahtisaari is CEO and co-founder of The Sync Project, a venture developing music as precision medicine. He is also a Director’s Fellow at the MIT Media Lab working on the Open Music Initiative to develop a new distributed-ledger system to identify and compensate music rights holders and creators. From 2009 to 2013 Marko was executive vice president of design at Nokia and was responsible for hardware, user experience, and packaging design, and worked on the award-winning N9 and Lumia products. He was also previously CEO and co-founder of Dopplr.

Born in Finland, Ahtisaari has lived on three continents: in Helsinki, Dar es Salaam and New York. He studied philosophy, economics, and music at Columbia University, plays bass in the band Construction and occasionally sings Bocelli covers. 

Music as Medicine

Recent research has shown that music affects the same neural pathways that are regulated by pharmaceuticals such as psychostimulants and other drugs. Meanwhile, work in machine learning and the musical arts has demonstrated the promise of music created by machines. With and without humans in the loop. At Design Indaba Conference 2017, Ahtisaari's talk will focus on what these discoveries could mean for the future of music, health, and well-being. How can personalised music help us relax, feel less anxious and sleep better? Right from Slaapstad - the "sleepy town" nickname for Cape Town - Ahtisaari will launch a worldwide experiment using personalised music to improve sleep.