Editorial – Thibaut Bardon, Associate Dean for Faculty

At the heart of our strategic plan Ecos2025, it is mentioned that Audencia wants to play an active part in the virtuous transformation of individuals, organisations and society.

Therefore, the school intends to contribute to the social and environmental transition via its different activities. Regarding this, the chairs – whose recent achievements are presented to you in this e-mag – represent particularly fruitful apparatuses to contribute to this ambition:

  • First of all, chairs gather a variety of stakeholders: faculty members, research managers, PhD and post-PhD students, companies, public institutions, communities, students, alumni, civil society members… As a crossroads of thoughts and actions, the chairs enable to unite numerous players around common projects over time. Confronting perspectives in a logic of hybridisation and gathering energies to act together seem necessary to embrace the complexity of today’s issues and have an actual transformative effect.
  • Moreover, the chairs’ topics are all part of at least one of the school’s three areas of excellence, like ‘Creating and transforming business and development models related to social and environmental transition’, ‘Financing and Conducting social and environmental transition’ and ‘Developing and Assisting the human for the sake of social and environmental transition’. All chairs contribute to transform positively an aspect of the value chain even though they are interested in objects, adopt analysis levels and use their own reading grids.
  • Finally, chairs are in a logic of impact. Action researches, training workshops, teaching modules, bellwethers, studies, conferences, press articles, videos and TV programs… The initiatives presented in this e-mag make us see the diversity of means of action deployed by the chairs. This diversity enables chairs to have an impact on our ecosystem’s different communities by creating knowledge that is really useful to them and by disseminating it in the most adapted formats. Financed by sponsorship, the chairs’ impact is always turned to general interest.

These are the three characteristics that make the identity and strength of Audencia’s chairs.

Thibaut Bardon

Studies Review

Family companies and Covid: what trends for the world after?

Well-known for her expertise in France and abroad, Audencia’s chair of Family Entrepreneurship & Society launched in June 2019 the Observatoire National de l’Entrepreneuriat Familial (National Observatory for Family Entrepreneurship), in partnership with the FBN (Family Business Network) France.

The results of the study administrated by OpinionWay were revealed during a round-table organised within Mediacampus. Its objective? Define the great trends of family companies for the world after COVID, and to better comprehend the intrinsic characteristics and identify the points of vigilance that need to be worked on, in order to strengthen their durability and growth.

Family companies represent a major part of the French economy. Their financial solidity enables them to be more resilient when facing crises and be able to project themselves in the long term, but until when? To sustain and remain competitive in this COVID period, family and non-family companies need to withstand the turbulences: how do they do it? What are their new challenges? What issues for the governance of the company throughout generations? How do entrepreneurial and family cultures get on together in times of crisis?

All these questions are answered by the National Observatory of Family Entrepreneurship in this second report. By comparing the recent answers given by family company (FC) and non-family company (NFC) directors with those of 2019, made during COVID times, the results revealed constants as well as changes that happened during the crisis. Family companies managed to go through the COVID crisis successfully, keeping their faith in the future intact in comparison with 2019. Their resilience took the form of an innovation process even stronger than in 2019, an even deeper reflection about CSR, and a definite renewal of their governance practices. However, the results also show that blind angles remain, for family companies as well as non-family ones.

Survey methodology

The OpinionWay survey for Audencia is based on a study conducted with two samples: first, 500 company directors of 10 employees or more, half of whom manage family companies, and the second sample concerns 500 employees working in companies of 10 employees or more.

Sample n°1 was put together according to the quota method, company size criteria, business sector and region. Sample n°2 was put together according to the quota method, gender, age, region, SPC, company size and business sector.

Interviews were carried out from March 8th to April 9th 2021.


To go further :

Watch or rewatch the replay

Read the complete study

Studies Review

Better understand the search for meaning at work

Audencia and jobs that makesense, first impactful job platform, published a quantitative study on the meaning at work by interviewing employees and students. This study found that 92% of the working population, who participated in the study, questioned the meaning of their activity, which allows to define which notions are hidden behind this search for meaning. Among the working people who are concerned about this question, more than 4 employees out of 10 have already undertaken a career transition. The latter takes various forms, but faces several obstacles too, especially financial ones.  

What does the search for meaning at work really means? Is it an answer to societal and environmental crises, the need to feel useful to others or to change the world? For the working population to answer that question, they need to ask themselves what they expect from their employers. The study of Audencia’s Positive Impact Chair in collaboration with jobs that makesense enables to better discern the expectations, driving force of the workforce and of workers who already started a career transition, but also the obstacles which can sometimes block the way and prevent them from fulfilling their quest for meaning.
Defining meaning at work: an almost unanimous quest related to social and environmental responsibility
The notion of quest for a meaning at work is constantly used, and is even more accentuated by the health crisis. A study conducted by Factorial and OpinionWay Institute found last October that 33% of the French stated that they had lost the whole meaning of their professional activity since the beginning of the crisis*. The study Audencia X jobs that makesense confirms that the meaning at work is a concern for 92% of respondents:

  • 50% are puzzled
  • 42% have even started a career transition

But what do they mean exactly when they say they are in a “quest of meaning”?

  • The most stated meaning is the will to “contribute to the issues of environmental and/or social transition” (for 57% of respondents),
  • Followed by the need to “feel useful” (53% of respondents).
  • The third meaning also relates to the responsible dimension: “Being part of an organisation with positive impact on society and/or the planet (Social and Solidarity Economy, CSR) (42% of respondents).
  • Only 37% of respondents expressed the need to “balance their work and personal lives”

Asked about the trigger elements of their quest of meaning:

  • 81% of respondents said « the need for coherence with their values and personal convictions”.
  • The more respondents advance their career and get older, the more “disagreement with managerial practices” is considered as a driving force in their quest of meaning: whereas 38% say so, all age groups put together, the figure increases to 44% for the 35-44 year olds and up to 56% for the ones aged 45 or over.

The quest of meaning seems to echo a more global awareness of major global issues and a collective will to take action, emphasised by the health crisis, which resonates after the warning cry from IPCC experts’ last report in summer 2021, or even the Climate Conference in November, mostly considered as the world leaders’ failure to agree on a pact that is miles away from the original ambitions. As a result, it is not surprising that the study shows that the respondents who work in the voluntary sector, SSE or in a CSR-committed company, are less likely to wonder about the quest of meaning at work, as they believe they have found it more often than the workers of other fields.
Career transition : various solutions to the meaning crisis
Among the 42% of respondents who had already started a career transition, we noticed that for 8 persons out of 1O, it goes through an organisation change because:

  • 40% changed careers, first by following a training and then by changing structures in order to do a different job. This choice of career change is more frequent with the population aged 35-44 (60%)
  • 23% changed organisations. This solution to the quest of meaning is also more common among youngsters (50% of 18-24 year olds).
  • But the quest of meaning may also be fulfilled within a same organisation: 18% “simply” changed positions (without prior training).
  • Finally, for 18%, the career transition took the form of an embarkation on the entrepreneurial adventure.

97% of respondents are satisfied with their career transition, even if for 58% of them, this satisfaction goes with some persisting questioning, probably because the notion of meaning at work is more important to them and better guides their choices all along their career.
The career transition’s course is disrupted by the economic dimension
For those who have not jumped into career transition yet, the obstacles are mainly financial:

  • the potential income loss (for 52% of respondents)
  • but also the cost related to career transition (inactivity, funding of the training) (for 39% of respondents)
  • 3 in 10 respondents reckon they also need some assistance in the process
  • 29% admit their lack of skills or professional inexperience
  • Finally, 27% are blocked by their fear of change

Action keys for companies to retain their talents

  • The main criterion that made them choose their current job remains the level of interest in the mission, mentioned at 71%.                                                             An essential dimension at the start of a career (91% of the 18-24 year olds).
  • Then follows the positive impact on society and/or the planet for 54% of respondents. As they had been more aware of these issues since a very young age, it turned out that 66% of the 18-24 year olds mentioned that criterion.
  • Obviously, skills development is more sought after at the start of a career (63% of 18-24 year olds against 48% of respondents)

On the other hand, the location (33%) and the level of pay (23%) are considered as secondary criteria, even for the youngest generations.
If career transition mostly goes through a change of organisation, nevertheless, 62% of respondents believe it is not necessary to change structures to find a meaning. Indeed, also 58% of them reckon that the meaning mostly depends on the job. For all that, 45% of respondents believe that the meaning at work can only be found in committed organisations (positive impact / CSR, SSE, association).

As a result, respondents expect from companies the three following priority actions to ease meaning at work:

  • Reinforcing their positive impact on society and/or the planet (58% of respondents, and 65% of 18-24 year olds)
  • Being exemplary in accordance with their commitments (38% of respondents, and the ones aged 45 or over, who are more demanding regarding the governance of their company, mentioned this criterion at 46%)
  • Allowing flexible working hours for 36% of respondents. A criterion that has been probably impacted by new working habits since the Covid-19 crisis, and mentioned even more by the 25-34 year olds (44%) who care about keeping a good balance between their professional and personal lives at an age that often refers to parenthood and coping with young children.

This study was made through a questionnaire put online in December 2021, via the website jobs that makesense, social networks, and sent by email to Audencia/JTMS communities. 957 people answered:

  • 93% of working people (employees, entrepreneurs or job seekers) and 7% of students
  • 7 in 10 respondents (71%) are aged between 25 and 44.
  • 81% are women.
  • 92% have at least a Bachelor degree level (92%) and ¾ of respondents have at least a Master degree level.
  • 58% are executives.
  • 48% of respondents work in an organisation related to the voluntary sector, SSE (Social and Solidarity Economy), or which they consider being strongly committed to CSR

A qualitative study published in Autumn 2022 will complete this quantitative survey.

Click here to read the full study report.

Studies Review

Rapidly changing Purchasing Information Systems : SIRIUS Observatory reveals the results of its study dated 2022

Audencia’s “Purchasing and Digital Innovation” chair, AXYS Consultants and Cyrénac Conseil launched a mutual initiative to comprehend the Purchasing Information Systems’ market with new eyes: SIRIUS Observatory. The Observatory’s first results enabled to identify three major trends on this market, through a thorough analysis of 12 editors of innovative Purchasing IS.

Overview of the IS Purchasing’s market

For 20 years now, Purchasing IS editors have been adapting. They have offered many applications that meet the needs for the modernisation and professionalisation of the purchasing function to better analyse their spendings and conduct purchasing projects, contracts, tenders.

The upsurge of new technologies designed by digital giants in the field of artificial intelligence offers many new possibilities. In theory, purchasers have access to a lot of data and extended analysis capacities. However, these new tools have their share of drawbacks and limits:

  • Data handled by purchasers are not much structured or show quality defaults (problems in data sources).
  • Purchasing IS can be tricky sometimes to integrate, even to use.

To add complexity, purchasing departments are now facing an oversupply of tools whose heterogeneity makes the most adapted choice to a given situation difficult.

SIRIUS Observatory, through its annual barometer, represents an important help which provides Purchasing Managers with market monitoring between leaders and new entrants, in a fast-changing sector. These results allow Purchasing Managers to discover Purchasing IS that are more in line with their job’s needs, better understand the editors’ marketing speech and thus impact the choice they will make.

SIRIUS Observatory’s objectives

SIRIUS Observatory has the ambition to chart Purchasing Information Systems (Purchasing IS) from a job perspective. The original Purchasing solutions analysis model suggested by SIRIUS Observatory meets 3 main objectives:

  • Building a model that updates over time, to comply with a logic of monitoring Purchasing IS’ market trends
  • Bringing an objective knowledge (qualities/defaults) of different solutions and relying on the evaluating of multiple sources in order to reveal the assets, limits and constraints of the solutions listed.
  • Making the language clear and understandable for the purchasing executives, often non-experts in information systems.

As an answer to the questions from professionals of this field, Anthony Ange, Purchasing Director of Europe Snacks, said: “Today, the offer of Purchasing Information Systems (Purchasing IS) has never been so wide, however, there has never been so many purchasing directors puzzled by this abundance of tools”.

Results of 2022 : the three major trends of the Purchasing IS market

Following a deep analysis of 12 editors of innovative Purchasing IS, three major trends were identified:


Many editors develop innovative partnerships to respond to the increasing complexity of purchasing data. It includes the hosting of their own database and the sale of these already structured data. But it also includes the opening of a proper networked platform to create dynamic databases, or even collaborations with niche systems to spread their functional coverages.


Technological advances are now essential lines of development of Purchasing solutions. The editors interviewed grasp them with pragmatism as a way to complete their solutions but they do not only focus on this technological dimension.


In a continuously changing environment, Purchasing IS editors have to adapt by providing solutions fast and that are adjustable to the users’ needs. The conditions for integrating Purchasing IS between them and with their clients’ and suppliers’ digital environment represent an important dimension of their capacity to assist them in their job challenges related to the Purchasing function.

The increasing hybridisation of Purchasing IS

The major Purchasing editors are starting to establish the principle of collaboration at the heart of their development. For their part, integrators develop offers expanded to several editors who are likely to add a higher value to their clients by reducing costs and project risks.

The SIRIUS model enabled to highlight the rise of a hybrid mode with an overall logic as a Purchasing IS’s backbone for companies who need process structuration. This is completed with a precise and adapted logic allowing to deploy expert solutions in order to speed up some processes or sectors.

The next SIRIUS Observatory’s data collection will take place in the course of 2022. It will allow the model to continue to be enriched with an expansion of analysed solutions and the requests of Purchasing IS clients/users, with the aim of feeding the model and their feedbacks.

You can download and consult the complete WHITE BOOK

An English is forthcoming...

Studies Review

A training in support of the intelligence of territories

As part of the Chair’s works, Virginie Grandhomme and Anne Launois took an interest, in 2021, in the elect’s needs, practices and in the adequacy of their training. This exploratory study enabled to better understand the elect and their teams’ needs regarding training and polished our strategy to federate a network of players around topics related to intermediate-sized cities.

This survey allowed us to highlight the following points:

  • The elect rarely use their right to training, they continuously learn “on the job”;
  • If the required skills are not possessed yet, they are learnt as part of relationships with services technicians and the different territorial players;
  • The diversity and uneven distribution of training needs expressed by the elect plead for the diversification of training opportunities and modalities;

The production of dedicated contents accessible online is praised.

 Full study

Crédits photo : SURF UP PROD.


Studies Review

STEP - Third Global Survey of Family Businesses is launched


STEP launched a new survey that will enable to explore the pandemic's impact on strategic decision making, the different generation's commitment to family companies, and leadership changes.

Information data collected for this survey will be used to make a new joint quantitative report on family businesses on a global scale.

Many family businesses have seen changes in their operations, governance, and social and environmental commitments to achieve their goals during the COVID crisis period. We hope that this survey can help us better understand the success factors that contribute to long-term financial and non-financial value creation in family businesses.

As reminder, STEP (Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices) is an international research project whose objective is to work in line with the intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurial values and pratices within family companies and entrepreneurial families.

Studies Review

For better working conditions on a bike: ranking of digital platforms in France

Audencia's Positive Impact Chair has piloted the first ever Fairwork ranking for France. This international action research project, centralised by Oxford University, aims to establish national rankings of digital platforms offering the best working conditions. The report shows that there is still a lot of room for improvement for the 6 platforms studied in France.

Having chosen to recruit couriers with employment contracts, Just Eat gets a score of 8/10, which could however seriously decrease in the future. The cooperative platform Les Coursiers Nantais scores 7/10, the second highest score, illustrating the interest of this model. Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Naofood and Stuart need to implement many changes to improve their current 4/10 rating.

In 2021, 46% of French people used meal delivery, a consumption practice boosted by the health crisis. It is therefore useful to make users aware of the conditions under which platform workers carry out their activity. There are many platform workers: around 415,000 for all digital platforms, according to the Palmarès des plateformes 2021 by Mounir Mahjoubi, a French MP. The development of this economy has led to numerous debates on the legal status and protection of workers. Although the French legislator has begun to regulate the sector, it has so far refused to establish a presumption of salaried status, contrary to the draft European directive which advocated it by the end of 2021.

The Audencia Positive Impact Chair team chose to focus on six bicycle delivery platforms, including the three leaders in the sector and two Nantes-based platforms: Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat, Stuart, Naofood and Coursiers Nantais.


To go further :

Tous les classements Fairwork dans le monde : www.fair.work/ratings/

Studies Review

Acting in favour of occupational gender mix


According to the Centre d’Information et Document Jeunesse (CIDJ) published in 2018, only 17% of jobs are mixed (when proportions of men and women each represent between 40 and 60% of the workforce). Why are women more likely to work in human resources or communications for example, while men predominantly hold positions in IT or finance?

In June 2021, Audencia’s Positive Impact chair launched a qualitative study on students’ career choices and the weight of gender stereotypes. This study was carried out by KPMG, an important benefactor of the Chair. Convinced that gender mix is a social justice and economic performance issue, KPGM wishes to reinforce it, but struggles to recruit women for some specific jobs in finance advisory.

To better understand the determinants of career choices, we interviewed students, but also different players likely to influence their choices, like teachers, career consultants and professionals in finance.




Career choice, a matter of taste?

At first glance, the students’ choices of specialisation are primarily driven by their appetences. However, there is a noticeable imbalance regarding gender mix in some fields like finance, human resources or even communications. So, what are the other criteria which influence career choices?

The study confirmed that gender societal biases also matter. Education (family, friends, schools…) plays a role through the internalisation of qualities and the social roles assigned to girls and boys from a very young age.

Girls are often described as gentle, empathetic, emotionally sensitive and altruistic. On the other hand, boys are more seen as competitive, ambitious, “good at maths”. And the school system maintains the idea that girls and boys don’t have the same interests or skills, which results in conditioning career choices.

This can be seen as early as in high school years through their choices of specialty in 11th grade : “It’s mostly girls who study classics-literature-philosophy, languages, economic and social sciences (85% against 15%) and mostly boys who study mathematics-digital science-computing-physics-chemistry (87% against 13%)” (Source : Le Monde).

And the same trend continues in higher education: “There are 28% of women in engineering schools whereas they are 85% in paramedical and social training. On the other hand, at university, in 2017-2018, they represented 70% of students in languages, arts and humanities. Although their part has slightly progressed in scientific trainings, they were only 28% in fundamental sciences” (Source : Le Monde).

Occupational gender mix : how can schools and companies act?

To favour job occupational gender mix, first we ought to encourage boys and girls the same way, at an early age. But it is never too late: postgraduate schools and companies can also act to overcome stereotypes and open a field of possibilities.

Courses of action are numerous:

  • Informing, making people aware of clichés and breaking them by providing clear information about jobs’ typical routines.
  • Making male and female role models speak out to allow students to identify and project themselves.
  • Making companies collaborate as early as in high school with youngsters to make them discover the diversity of professions, and once in the first year in higher education, with a possible journey of discovery within a company, before recruitments for end-of-studies internships begin.
  • Within the company: offering working conditions in line with men-women equality: flexible hours, reconciling life times, extended paternity leave. Monitoring equal access to positions of responsibility and raising awareness of ordinary sexism.
  • Communicating about the company’s responsible acts: even if the Corporate Social Responsibility is not considered as a decisive criterion of choice by students, however, it represents an asset to attract and retain talents.

Schools and companies can therefore jointly act in favour of a better gender mix by helping students and candidates break free from gender-related societal biases: girl or boy, all orientations are possible! The lack of men or women in some fields can even be turned into an asset for some candidates: positive action in favour of gender mix allows companies to favour the least represented gender in the company, provided that the short-listed candidates show “equivalent skills”.

Article co-written by Mélanie Dugué & André Sobczak for the Conférence des Grandes Ecoles

Assistance Review

Fashion: price perception & clothing satiety

Understanding better the consumers’ relationship with fashion purchasing. As part of the partnership between the Positive Impact chair and the ERAM Group, first-year students in Masters in SciencesCom carried out two studies in the first semester of 2022.

In early February, we handed out two topics about responsible fashion:

  1. When it comes to fashion, what message does the price send to the consumer besides the financial effort he/she has to make? Take the example of a pair of jeans.
  2. Figuring out the emergent phenomenon of clothing satiety and the emotions triggered by fashion consumption.

The first findings are encouraging and common to both studies: the consumers’ awareness of sustainable development and fashion industry’s impacts seems generalised, unlike the Chair’s first studies (2014-2018).

Thanks again to the students for their work! Find below the main results.

 1. Discover the key facts from the study on value perception related to clothes’ price

Methodology : quantitative study through a questionnaire (242 exploited answers) and qualitative study (13 interviews) with consumers who bought a pair of jeans during the past year.

  • Sustainable development is not a determining purchasing criterion for a garment. The key purchasing criteria remain the price, value for money and style. However, regarding a pair of jeans, the quality criterion is more important.
  • Quality often rhymes with higher price and branded item. However, this phenomenon is paradoxical: even if brands are a guarantee of quality for consumers, the latter kind of distrusts them. Indeed, they believe brands “get richer thanks to their excessive margins”. This distrust is noticeable with big companies.
  • For the consumers, the price of an article would contribute too much to remunerate the brand and/or company (mostly communications and marketing functions). They wish a fairer distribution: according to them the production of raw materials and the clothing manufacturing must be remunerated first and more fairly.
  • Social concerns are at the heart of consumers’ speech, however, a minority of them are ready to pay more for a more responsible product. Here again, we can notice a paradox from consumers.               

2. Discover the key facts from the exploratory study on clothing satiety

Methodology : qualitative study on 22 persons keen on shopping (16 individual interviews and 2 triads).

These interviews enabled to figure out the participants’ (keen on shopping) relationship to fashion consumption and the emotions triggered by the purchasing act. Through this study, we wanted to explore the emergent phenomenon of clothing satiety which corresponds to a sense of contentment, satisfaction and saturation. In other words, the consumer feels he/she made enough purchases, maybe too many, and considers his/her clothing consumption to be superfluous and not necessary anymore. The Covid health crisis has impacted consumer habits and individuals’ priorities: will those impacts last?

According to the study « Référenseigne Expert Fashion » 2021 by Kantar Worldpanel, “38% of the French believe they don’t feel like shopping because they already are in possession of too much stuff and don’t need to buy more. Nevertheless, those who decided to consume less are not necessarily those who have budget constraints.”

Here are the key results of the exploratory study conducted in collaboration with SciencesCom students:

  • Purchasing clothes is felt as a social act: an accomplishment, a personal pleasure, a self-image we will project to the rest of society via our clothes. As the judgment and social influence mean a lot in fashion consumption, we buy for ourselves but also according to others. Judgement and social influence are very important when it comes to fashion consumption.
  • Emotions triggered by shopping develop during the purchase process:
    • Before buying, the consumer feels positive emotions like excitement or impatience.
    • While buying, there is a certain balance between positive and negative emotions, deception may indeed occur when we cannot find a garment that either fits or suits us.
    • After buying, in the short run, the emotion felt is positive. In the long run, it turns out to be rather negative. Buying clothes results in ephemeral happiness, giving way to some guilt. Fashion consumption could, in some cases, be compared to an addiction.
  • The more the purchase is impulsive, the shorter satisfaction lasts. On the other hand, the more considered is the purchase, the longer will satisfaction last, postponing the urge to buy again.

Interested in the topic of responsible fashion? If you wish to act in favour of  more responsible fashion, sign up for the awareness module Slow Fashion Training developed by the Positive Impact chair: all details here.

Assistance Review

The days of pedagogical practices have been going on for 20 years

At the end of 2021, Bpifrance celebrated phygitally the commitment of #EnseignantEntreprenant and networks who meet youngsters to educate or assist them.

This #JOPPE event aims to promote actions, tools and actors in order to raise awareness of young people to entrepreneurship. For the past 20 years, the entrepreneurial spirit of young people grown throughout France, in schools, in all types of training (general, vocational, technical), and at all levels: primary, secondary and higher education.

For this occasion, Miruna Radu-Lefebvre was invited to bring her expertise on the role of the media in the BPI TV show, alongside Eve Chegaray, entrepreneur and columnist for the famous BFM Académie and Yves Vilaginés, journalist specializing in entrepreneurship for Les Echos. Then, how did the media contribute to the changing entrepreneur image we have today? Miruna presents the results of a study, that has been recurring since 2008, on the social representation of the entrepreneur in the French press, including the entrepreneur in the family business. Indeed, the media play a key role in the social construction of reality and the impact of the images they project for some professions. This leads each of us, and especially young people, to develop a form of desirability in relation to some professions as well as to evaluate the feasibility of their wish to become an entrepreneur. The French press had played already in 2008, a crucial role in reinforcing the desirability of the entrepreneurial profession. However, since then, it has obscured the dimension of what we call in our scientific jargon "the feasibility attached to this profession", i.e. the self-confidence regarding one's ability to become a successful entrepreneur one day.

Another observation in this study is that the models and types of entrepreneurs are often predominantly male, around 40 years old and for whom everything is successful (higher education, career, business, family...). Where have the women gone? And, more broadly, where have the "others" gone - ethnic minorities, refugees, young people from the neighborhoods? Beyond this question of role model, we notice that the media very often highlight large, innovative, visible and ambitious companies. Very rarely do the media talk about everyday entrepreneurs (restaurant owners, craftsmen, etc.) who have a real impact in their neighborhoods. The media also forgets to talk about business and entrepreneurial failures; it is often a taboo subject, even though entrepreneurial or salaried resilience exists and should be more in the media spotlight.


Assitance Review

Audencia launches the first Gaïa Case Bootcamp with The Case Centre

Audencia teams up with The Case Centre, independent organisation specialised in the method of case studies. The unprecedented partnership apparatus relies especially on a one-week bootcamp (gathering 12 teachers, 5 industry leaders as well as the French Ministry of Culture) where case studies are being produced about issues related to environmental and social transition.

How to maximise carbon-free transport, including the last mile of delivery? How to fund the transition? How to invest in the second-hand fashion market? How to develop one’s digital sobriety? Here are some of the topics which 6 duos of teachers from Audencia focused on from 14th to 18th of February to produce 6 case studies. Major companies like Groupe Pomona, Aigle, Petit Bateau, Gémo, Nepsen and the French Ministry of Culture played the game by submitting one of their issues as part of this exercise. In a few weeks, the cases made will be sent to the international central The Case Centre which distributes the case studies to teachers, researchers and companies from the whole world. This will allow students from 5 continents to work on these topics.


I’m glad Case Centre works jointly with Audencia to develop this new collection of cases. The Gaïa Case Bootcamp is a fascinating and innovative approach based on the supplementary skills of educational engineers and teachers of various academic disciplines to create high-quality tailored cases for the benefit of students from Audencia and other schools elsewhere in the world.
Richard McCracken, Director of The Case Centre

Environmental and social transition in red thread

Beyond the production of a collection of cases with The Case Centre, the bootcamp allows a wide transversality and emulation within the university of Audencia. The multi-stakeholder apparatus (companies, teachers, The Case Centre) for students is indeed at the disposal of all Audencia’s teachers and collaborators who took part in the launch conference on “How to rethink higher education in management in order to assist the environmental and social transition?”. An event with the presence of The Shift Project think-tank, chaired by Jean-Marc Jancovici.

Totally in line with the school’s ECOS 2025 strategic plan, and its objective of having a positive impact on society as a whole, the bootcamp tackled the issues related to environmental and social transition. Hence its name associated with Gaïa, the School of Audencia dedicated to the management of this transition.

The Gaïa Case Studies Bootcamp gathers the school’s energies to shine a new light on clear issues of our ecosystem’s companies, and enable our students to better understand the current issues related to environmental and social transition. In that, it embodies the school’s strategic will to be a player in the virtuous transformation of individuals, organisations and society.
Thibaut Bardon, Academic Director of Audencia.

Teaching and learning in 2022

The case study is an even more effective pedagogical tool as it relies on strong ties between companies and organisations, one of the particularities of business schools. It either improves educational innovation for the teachers or allows students to think about topics that are currently crucial for the markets concerned, so they may implement their learnings.

Case studies remain an important learning method. They lead to critical reflexivity, in class, on management contemporary issues and encourage learners to look at different scenarios and points of view. They represent an essential skill for our students and they are at the heart of our learning and teaching strategy.”
Tamim Elbasha, Audencia’s Learning & Teaching Director

A successful apparatus for the company

This totally free initiative quickly appealed to companies. Indeed, they can now benefit from the analysis and the outside perspective of their issues from the duo of expert teachers. They may also get inspired by solutions designed by students, in many countries, to sustain their strategy and imagine their future innovations.

The case studies’ international influence is also a notoriety booster, in favour of the employer brand when it comes to recruitment. Because it allows a very concrete dive into the backstage of an organisation, the case study suggests seeing the company from an angle that can strongly influence the wish to apply to it for an internship or first job.


Retro Review

Inspiring breakfasts for the REALITES group’s collaborators

The Chair of REALITES launched in 2022 a round of four Breakfasts, an event format dedicated to the city-manufacturing model’s transformation

For one hour, the experts invited, develop in an educational way their experiences, convictions and concerns with the assistance. The aim of these meetings is to share discoveries while encouraging a reflection on the evolution of the city, our society, its issues and our living environment. The opportunity to exchange on the different ways to “live the city” and imagine our future!

Assistance Review

The "Future Family Business Leader" community is growing!

And that makes three!  The “Future Family-Company Manager” path has now 3 more graduates.

This step is a milestone in their life and legitimacy process as successors. Throughout the program, they succeeded in identifying their own positioning levers within the company and their family. For one of them, it was a question of redefining the company identity, which has been built around the father and the opportunities he seized over time without building a vision for the company. For the second, the father's place is omnipresent: "I'll leave when you get ready", but the successor's legitimacy is at least acquired with the employees. This is also the case for the third participant who expressed his strong desire to accelerate the transmission process. 

Welcomed on the premises of CIC Ouest, we proposed the candidates and certificate graduates to attend an afterwork on the topic of “CSR – Level of competitiveness of family entrepreneurship” hosted by Frédéric Robin, private bank director of CIC Ouest.

Florence Touzé, co-titular of the Audencia Positive Impact Chair, author of the book "Marketing et les illusions perdues, passez au Marketing Implicatif" (Publisher La Mer Salée), shared with us her experience with companies in terms of CSR, which they often say is restrictive. However, she observed that many companies are doing CSR without knowing it with a lot of innovation and audacity. Indeed, she notes that consumption patterns have evolved in recent years, with consumers sensitive to environmental concerns and "responsible" brands. This is why companies are turning more and more to implicative marketing, co-constructing their products with their customers (consumers but also employees).

Juliette Biotteau (class of 2017 certificate), created with her sister the eco-responsible brand Montlimart. Descendants of entrepreneurial grandparents and parents who created, respectively, the brands ERAM and GEMO, they felt a real entrepreneurial soul. Supported by the endowment fund created by the Biotteau family to support projects of sustainable and responsible transition, they launched their brand dedicated to the design of men's clothing from ecological raw materials, clothing made less than 2000 km from the headquarters, in organic cotton, and recently in 3D. Each order sponsors 100 bees. 

Retro Review

Citylab Alliance, Chair of REALITES & Biomimicry

The 7th edition of CityLab Alliance took place from 23rd to 25th of last February within Audencia’s Atlantic Campus. REALITES Group and the Chair were present.

What is Citylab?

CityLab Alliance is a 3-day inter-training hackathon organised by 3 higher education schools: Alliance Centrale Nantes, Audencia,and Ensa

The objective is to enable students from the 3 schools to develop hybrid skills in management, engineering and design in order to resolve issues together about the city of the future.

In 2022, 115 students from the 3 Alliance schools participated in programs like Mastère Spécialisé® and SciencesCom.

Divided into 12 teams of 10 students, working groups were supervised and assessed by coaches who allowed them to work on innovative solutions in order to tackle issues entrusted by companies.

6 topics were brought up by 5 partner companies including REALITES that has just reconducted its partnership with Audencia dans le cadre de la the "REALITES - Living the intelligence of the territories" chair until 2026. The topic was: “How to create the conditions for the rise of a friendly self-regulated user community system?

During those three days, the proposed models of solutions were handed out and presented to partners.


The 2022 edition was introduced by the launch conference “Introduction to the philosophy of biomimicry and the ethic approach which underpins it” by Julien Vey and Virginie Blanville, experts in this approach of the Superior Institute of Design of Saint-Malo, followed by a round-table.

Franck Marolleau, Regional Deputy Director responsible for development, Pays de la Loire Regional Direction of the Group, came to discuss the theme: " Rethinking the welcoming and frugal city of tomorrow: wether we are a tourist, professionnal, migrant, inhabitant, the welcome is felt differently as needs are different. However, whatever the expectations hidden behind this word, the later ought to allow coexistence and a commitment to sustainable development".

Biometic Design

 New this year, the use of working methods from biomimetic design, philosophy and interdisciplinary conceptual approaches taking nature for model in order to meet the sustainable development challenges (social, economic and environmental). Students were initiated into philosophy and the basics for practicing biomimicry in order to be able to undertake an organic-inspired cross-disciplinary thinking in favour of project conceptualisation bearable by and for the living as a whole.

The biomimetic approach pushes us to rethink our design systems and make them more compatible with biodiversity and therefore more sustainable.

Student participating in hackathon.

As I’m not a specialist in biomimicry, I had a few doubts about the application of the method, but I came out enriched from this project with the students. The topic of REALITES suited the exercise. There are some interesting ideas to keep in mind, develop and bring to life. Citylab is a super opportunity to come across new critical views on our professional activity, on what we do, in order for us to improve our ways of doing things and make us look differently.

Stefanie hirsch, Property Development Manager, REGIONAL DIRECTION OF PAYS DE LA LOIRE

A big thank you to companies for their trust, to coaches for their assistance and to the students for the quality of their proposed solutions!






Retro view

Round-tables to enhance women’s responsible leadership

Professional equality between men and women is more than ever a topical issue. Audencia’s Positive Impact chair and Education Executive started at the beginning of 2022 a series of round-tables to highlight women’s responsible leadership.

Genesis of the project

The Positive Impact chair, through its #NégoTraining* program, is very committed to equality between men and women in the workplace. As for the Education Executive, she offers a program for male and female directors, executives and managers who wish to give their career a new boost: the MBA Executive. Unfortunately, women are still not many to give it a try.

The idea was obviously to put our driving forces together and propose round-tables that showcase female leadership, but from a CSR angle. Another chance to prove the school’s commitment to more inclusion within the workplace and the transversality of projects internally. Once a quarter, the chair and MBA Executive will propose round-tables. The first two were about glass ceiling and female entrepreneurship.

“Let’s break the glass ceiling

Impostor syndrome, lack of confidence, maternity, glass ceiling, societal expectations and prejudices, are all the reasons why “only 5% of general managers in the world are women” according to a study published by YPO. Hosted by Cécile Lefort, this first round-table of the series aimed at deconstructing gender-related stereotypes..

With : 

  • Audrey Cour,​ KPMG Associate
  • Sabine Catherinot, Consultant Manager/Strategy Expert at Data ASI®
  • Sophie Javelaud, ancienne Directrice Générale Adjointe de Ressources Mutuelle Assistance
  • André Sobczak,​ ex Audencia’s CSR Delegate and Co-holder of Audencia’s Positive Impact Chair
  • Anne Villate, MBA Executive Recruitment Manager at Audencia

Watch or rewatch the replay

« Feminine entrepreneurship »

According to INSEE, in 2020, 39% of individual companies were created by women. Whereas this figure has kept increasing for the last 30 years or so, this proportion tends now to stagnate. Add to that a sectoral representation that remains uneven between men and women. This round-table hosted by Magalie Grollier was an opportunity to see how feminine entrepreneurship had been doing in France and understand the obstacles met.

With :

  • Sophie Clémence, Revenue & Product Manager DB Schenker - President of La Boîte à Clem
  • Nicole Gourmelon, Director du Crédit Agricole Atlantique Vendée
  • Anne Mion, Directrice d'agence Adecco Machecoul & St Philbert de Grand lieu
  • André Sobczak, ex Audencia’s CSR Delegate and Co-holder of Audencia’s Positive Impact Chair
  • Anne Villate, MBA Executive Recruitment Manager at Audencia

Watch or rewatch the replay

*women’s salary negotiation awareness device for free


Retro Review

The Purchasing and Digital Innovation chair awarded at the academic conference IPSERA 2022

The chair was rewarded at the academic conference IPSERA 2022, for her article “Exploring Purchases Future Skills for a Better Contribution to CSR and Innovation”.

Thomas Johnsen and François Constant, Purchasing and Digital Innovation chairholders, won the first prize at the academic conference IPSERA 2022, in Jönköping in Sweden thanks to their article “Exploring Purchases’ Future Skills for a Better Contribution to CSR and Innovation”. The article was also co-written with Beske-Janssen et Andreas Wieland.

Based on an iterative study among a hundred of purchasing directors, the objective of the article is to identify which new skills purchasers need to gain in the next decade, to better contribute to CSR and innovation. Interviews with experts of very high levels of responsibility in the purchasing field shared their points of view: we have consolidated and prioritised these future skills.

Well done to them, it is a recognition for their work on the Persicope project funded by EU ERASMUS+.

Contact us for more information!

Retro Review

Chairsholders in high demand!

More and more, Miruna Radu Lefebvre, chairholder of the Family Entrepreneurship & Society, is in demand to speak about her works within the chair. Therefore, being invited by Yves BROCHARD, President of Initiative Vendée Bocage, spoke at the round-table organised in La Roche-sur-Yon in collaboration with Initiative Vendée Terres et Littoral as an expert in feminine entrepreneurship. She brought an analysis and academic vision of what makes the values of a female entrepreneur today.

She was also made guest of honour for the club launch Family Business of Medef Mayenne or even at the first International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Family Business (ICEIFB) in Tunis.

Florence Touzé, Positive Impact chairholder, is not left yet! Invited for Com’en or Day, she mentioned two options to act more concretely in responsible marketing: the cluster of needs and the trademark agreement’s drafting.

Before leaving Audencia, André Sobczak, who was also chairholder of Positive Impact, spoke in conferences or round-tables to promote men/women equality.

Retro Review

Gentrification: when neighbourhoods change

The REALITES - Living the intelligence of the territories chair brings her expert eye on France24, during the program « Le gros mot de l’éco » (“Eco’s dirty word”) dedicated to gentrification, with the example of Trantemoult’s and Chantenay-Sainte-Anne’s neighbourhoods in Nantes.

Follow Virginie Grandhomme in this program broadcast on July 4th 2022.

We will discuss urban and social transformation, economic revival, inequalities, logics of speculation and property investments…


Virginie Grandhomme

After spending 10 years as a studies manager specialised in public policies related to housing, spatial planning, or even public policies regarding youth and sport, Virginie Grandhomme joined Audencia as a co-incumbent of the “REALITES – Living the Intelligence of the Territories” Chair in September 2021.

Holding a PhD in sociology on political struggles collectivisation, Virginie conducts and develops the Chair’s researches based on city-building issues.

Watch or rewatch the replay

Ideation Review

Launch of 2 modules: Slow Fashion Training et Responsible Entrepreneurship

In 2021-2022, the Positive Impact chair launched two new awareness modules related to CSR questions: Slow fashion Training and Entrepreneurship: Responsible and profitable! Like #Négo Training, they are first-step modules.

Slow Fashion Training or how to raise awareness of sustainable fashion

Raising awareness of sustainable fashion, making people become a proactive part and conveying the right messages around you. This is what Slow Fashion Training is about, launched in November 2021. The objective? Develop new reflexes allowing the combination of pleasure and more sustainable practices so everyone can participate in reducing the impact on a national and global scale for the sake of the planet.

Free and online, the workshop was built to learn a bit more about the fashion industry’s impacts, figure out our purchasing behaviours and use of our clothes, without feeling guilty about it.

After two hours, we left with concrete leads that can be easily implemented in our everyday life, keys to consume differently and in conscience and keep our clothes and/or give them a second life…

The first results are promising. 70 persons (out of 120 who signed up) were already sensitized in 4 sessions organised for either the general public or students from the CSR Path of Programme Grande Ecole. Fancy participating in Slow Fashion Training?  Click here to sign up and receive invitations for the next workshops! Two mainstream sessions per year are planned.


Integrating CSR once the company is created

Conducted by the Positive Impact chair, the Entrepreneurship module: responsible & profitable, developed by the CSR Platform of the City of Nantes and Les Sup’Porteurs of creation 44, is for business creators to be aware of CSR in their project.

A first-step module in small committee to encourage exchanges, aims at:

  • Informing managers about the major issues related to sustainable development and CSR
  • Raising awareness of the interest of responsible strategy
  • Equipping entrepreneurs for the implementation of an integrated CSR strategy and inspiring their future acts

40 people have already followed that module of 6 workshops. For further information, contact Ameline Bordas.

Ideation Review

The REALITES – Living the Intelligence of the Territorieschair signs a partnership with Villes de France

By signing this partnership, Audencia and Villes de France are committed to collaborate in order to enable a better mutual knowledge of the activities of the Chair and the association Villes de France.

This partnership will allow the Chair to build a working relationship with mid-sized cities as well as their services technicians and elected representatives. It is about both identifying interlocutors who are likely to be mobilised for research work because of their knowledge and practical experiences regarding the administration of territories, and players who are interested in sharing and exchanging around the research results obtained.

Virginie Grandhomme, “REALITES – Living the Intelligence of the Territories” co-chairholder, stated:

I’m very happy about signing this partnership with the association Villes de France, with whom we have special ties. Thanks to this partnership, we will be able to take our research works and future events to a new level. 

For Bastien REGNIER, CEO - Villes de France, this partnership enables the association to pursue its mission of defence and recognition of mid-sized cities and their conurbations, but also to meet the need for highlighting these urban territories’ specific issues and expectations, reinforce their contribution to economic, social and cultural development required for national balance, and promote their image.

Ideation Review

A guide of responsible initiatives

Before leaving Audencia, André Sobczak who was co-chairholder of Positive Impact, was a guest with Laurent Geoffroy, HR Director of KPMG France, of Thomas Hugues’s TV program Smart Impact.

The occasion for both organisations to discuss their partnership (reconducted for 4 years in March 2022), the guide of good CSR practices which they both co-wrote, #NégoTraining...

Common objective: developing pedagogical projects that have a positive impact on society and making social and environmental commitment a lever of innovation and performance.

Watch or rewatch the replay

Partners Review

Chairs: Partners were at the rendezvous

Funded by Fondation Audencia, a chair is a centre dedicated to the promotion of an emergent discipline or knowledge by developing researches and learnings on a concrete management issue. Generally, partnerships last four years. This past year there have been the reconduction of three partnerships and the arrival of two new sponsors. Overview.

REALITES Group, KPMG, CIC Ouest-CM Equity Group renew their commitment

Major sponsor since the creation of the chair REALITES - Living the Intelligence of the Territories in 2018, the group REALITES pursues the partnership with Audencia until 2026. As a territory developer and company with a mission, REALITES is keen to understand and analyse thoroughly the deep and constant changes related to the making of the city. The aim of the chair’s new mandate is to create and share knowledge about big urban project developments by gathering the territory developer’s collaborators.

Major sponsor of the Positive Impact chair since 2014, KPMG France pursues its partnership with Audencia for 4 years. The leading audit and advisory firm will therefore support research projects related to Corporate Social Responsibility, especially in terms of men/women equality. The objective? To develop pedagogical projects and researches that have a positive impact on society and companies. By doing so, it makes social and environmental commitment a lever of innovation and performance.

Never two without three! The group CIC Ouest- CM Equity renews its partnership for the third consecutive time with the chair of Family Entrepreneurship & Society for another 4 years. Concerned about having a long-term partnership, it makes perfect sense that the banking group, founding partner of the chair in 2013, wishes to extend this cooperation, which actually took place in 2015, by creating a certificate for young entrepreneurs. It will continue to back the chair’s research works on transgenerational entrepreneurship and intrafamilial legacies.

Two new sponsors for the Positive Impact chair and Family Entrepreneurship & Society chair

GRDF joined Audencia’s Positive Impact chair as a major sponsor. This partnership aims at tackling more efficiently social and environmental issues that GRDF has to face. Known for her action in the field of corporate social responsibility of companies (CSR), Audencia’s Positive Impact chair concretely illustrates the possible and necessary synergies between the business world and higher education. This partnership, agreed for a period of 4 years, will allow GRDF to benefit from a strategic assistance around its CSR strategy. It also aims at the development of pedagogical and research projects related to energy issues, especially regarding the development of biomethane, a renewable gas which GRDF is committed to.

With the aim of developing study and research projects on topics like the transmission of entrepreneurial spirit in family companies or even the growth of family companies, the law firm Cornet Vincent Segurel signs a 4-year sponsorship partnership with the Family Entrepreneurship & Society chair. Audencia and Cornet Vincent Segurel share a strong commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility. This collaboration will enable the law firm to use the lessons of the chair to change its practices with clients, and thus upskill regarding family companies’ issues. In parallel, the share of experience and field feedback of the firm will feed into the chair’s works and expertise.

Reading review

Marketing, les illusions perdues ("Marketing, Lost illusions") Florence Touzé

In this particularly stressful current context (climate emergency, pandemic, energy crisis…), marketing and communications have never been so criticised, decried or even hated. A complete questioning of the system is inevitable. Another option is however possible. For several years now, a trend has been increasing in favour of an involve-and-get-involved type of marketing.

This is what Florence Touzé explains in her book Marketing, Les illusions perdues* (“Marketing, Lost Illusions”) – (Editions La Mer Salée) by suggesting a more responsible marketing: implicative marketing. Florence Touzé, Audencia’s Positive Impact chairholder is one of the pioneers and devout supporter of implicative marketing.

*Marketing, Les illusions perdues (« Marketing, Lost Illusions »), Editions La Mer Salée, recommended retail price : 19€, N° ISBN 979-10-92636-32-1

Talking about us

Press review




09/20/22 - Petit-Déjeuner #3 : "Fabrique de la ville & Design fiction" (REALITES - Living the intelligence of the territories chair) as part as Nantes Digital Week

09/28/22 - Step Conversation #2 : Gender in family business (Family Entrepreneurship & Society chair)

09/28/22 - "Entrepreneuriat responsable et rentable!" workshop (Positive Impact chair)

09/28/22 - Podcast recording "En toute transparence"  (Positive Impact chair and Audencia SciencesCom students)

10/06-07/22 - 17th EIASM Workshop on family firm management research (Family Entrepreneurship & Society chair)

10/13/22 - #NégoTraining Workshop at Atlantic Campus (Positive Impact chair)

10/21/22 - Lancement Conférence des ambassadeurs-rices de la plateformes RSE Nantes (Positive Impact chair)

11/08/22 - #NégoTraining Workshop online with KPMG (Positive Impact chair)

11/18/22 - Elle Active show (Positive Impact chair)

12/01/22 - Women & sustainable leadership round table (theme to be confirmed) ( Positive Impact chair & Executive Education)

12/09/22 - "Petit-Déjeuner" #4 about E-sport (to be confirmed) (REALITES - Living the intelligence of the territories chair)

12/15/22 - #NégoTraining Workshop at Atlantic Campus (Positive Impact chair)


01/27/23Qualités de Vi(ll)es Conference (REALITES - Living the intelligence of the territories chair)

02/20-24/23 - 2d Gaïa Case Bootcamp's edition

03/23 (to be confirmed) - Conference about women leaders (Positive Impact chair)