December is upon us, rounding off a tough 2020 that will go down in the books as an altogether peculiar year. Wishing to focus on better days ahead in 2021, and ever eager to resume our network’s regular activities, the Alumni Center thought it would be good to see what lies in store further down the line. That’s why this issue’s topic of “Tomorrow’s world” is more relevant than ever.
At a time when Audencia is already planning ahead for 2025 (see inside this issue), we are delighted to present you with our 15th edition of The mag.
Come and discover our selection of testimonials, undertakings and forecasts from fellow network members, as they share their analyses, aspirations and reasons to be optimistic about the future.
Looking forward to once again being able to meet up at one of our forthcoming events, where we can reflect together on our hopes for tomorrow.
Have a great read !
Matthieu Bonnamy, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni team
The world health crisis has reinforced the general realisation that our world has become an increasingly complex and uncertain place in which to live. We are witnessing an accelerated shift in model that stands to impact jobs and new working methods. Now for the good news: it’s something we can all learn to adapt to.
As many as 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t even been invented yet (1). While this impermanence may prove a source of anxiety, it equally brings with it a message of hope for a brighter future that will be more inclusive and responsible. In his book “The Human Bug” (2), Sébastien Bohler, a neuroscience specialist, demonstrates that the model shift needs to be accompanied by a change in values. Unsurprisingly, education is a vital lever in this changeover. Indeed, if altruism and respect for the planet are fostered from a young age, social status will in turn become associated with these behaviours in a lasting way, prized above any desires of owning a fancy high-powered car to make you the envy of the neighbourhood!
Audencia has been one of the forerunners in taking up the CSR challenge and has placed a great deal of importance on the notion of responsibility when building its toolkit of behavioural skills. All courses endeavour to provide graduates with everything they’ll need to go on to become responsible actors as they face the challenges of our future world. Audencia has developed a roadmap to prepare them for this complex and interdependent world ahead: trans-disciplinarity and the hybridisation of skills, both academic and behavioural, as well as openness to the global scene so as to step up the school’s adaptability to change and foster an inclusive attitude towards others.
“In this way, explains Françoise Marcus, Director of Corporate & Alumni Relations at Audencia and contributor to prospective works on the future of professional life, future-oriented thinking takes on its true meaning. Far from predicting the future, it is a way of projecting oneself forward towards various potential scenarios. Hence, from a situation of uncertainty emerges a desire to do whatever it takes to work towards a world we’re comfortable with. We’re in the process of developing these very notions at Audencia and they are incorporated into our teaching methods.”
In this context, forging ever closer links between academia and the corporate world should be pursued. The alumni network plays a predominant role in this. Staying close to the School is key, so as to prepare students to meet the challenges of tomorrow and allow Audencia to remain a few steps ahead when it comes to the impermanence of the world.
Source: “The next era of human-machine partnerships,” Dell Technologies and the Institute for the Future (IFTF)
Sébastien Bohler, The Human Bug, Robert Laffont, 2019
Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor
Both men have their own take on what tomorrow’s world will be like. Persuaded that the future belongs to those who are quick off the “provotype” mark, Martin Lauquin (GE 10 and MS MDC 11) is urging decision-makers to take a step back, to better grasp what’s happening in the current climate, so that they can then project themselves forward and shape their own future. As for Thomas Roulet (GE 09), he sees the school of tomorrow as being both inclusive and hybrid.
We all wonder what tomorrow’s world will be like, all the more so given the current climate.
“We are living in uncertain times. Therefore, our reference points and boundaries are being eroded away. This calls for us to broaden our perspective on things, to generate multiple possible scenarios and, above all, to provoke the future (provotyping),” explains Martin Lauquin.
He is employed to help firms incorporate creative practices into their organisation. For this thirty-year-old, it’s important to have the capacity to generate future scenarios, that is to say to make use of prototyping to visualise all possible future scenarios in 5, 10, or 20 years’ time. It consists in adopting “a leadership position and entrepreneurial stance” to “influence events” and commit towards “desired futures rather than those thrust upon us.” In other words, “to become the trailblazers of tomorrow’s world.”
Hybridisation, digitalisation, interaction
The current crisis also prompts us to rethink the way we teach. This is substantiated by Thomas Roulet. This 35-year-old teacher-researcher at Cambridge University (in organisation theory and sociology) has been forced to restructure his course contents and come up with shorter formats to cater for more online interaction. Looking ahead, this will inevitably impact the student experience, as it will the lecturer. So, what exactly will the school of tomorrow look like? It will be “inclusive,” replies Thomas. He goes on to say:
“The challenge will be to generate enough social mobility to in a position to communicate with those from every social stratum, and attract them towards higher education.”
The school of tomorrow will also be “hybrid”. That is to say “blended” education, with a mix of both face-to-face and online learning. “This model stands to become increasingly important.” Educational hybridisation will unsurprisingly need to be accompanied by digital transformation. In his view, over the coming 5 to 10 years, the technologies we’ll be using in education do not exist as yet, despite the fact that virtual reality has already been making inroads in a number of our schools. The goal will be to “establish a learner experience able to equip students for their future” which henceforth remains fraught with uncertainty.
Florence Falvy, Editor
Co-founder of the Nantes-based Intuiti agency, then head of ecosystem at NUMA in Paris, Arnaud Chaigneau (GE 00) is now opening up a whole new chapter to his professional career by heading up communications at Schoolab, MoHo and RaiseLab, three business entities joining forces on issues relating to innovation and impact.
“My work entails forging links between these three companies which are all pulling together in breaking new ground and coming up with solutions,” Arnaud explains. Schoolab is an organisation that has long championed corporate innovation, for instance by making good use of in-house training and consulting. The main goal is to demonstrate that innovation can actually come from the associates themselves.”
As for Raiselab, this is the fruit of a joint-venture between Schoolab and Raise, whose investment fund was set up by Clara Gaymard and Gonzague de Blignières:
“It’s aim is to establish successful collaborations between startups and large groups, an activity driven forward by its iconic location set to open in February 2021 in Paris, near the Place de la République.”
A further challenge for Arnaud is running Moho, a hybrid organisation that brings groups together around some big issues, including ecological transition, food systems, data protection, and healthcare.
"With this initiative, we are seeking to create opportunities for people from different backgrounds to make connections - artists, researchers, academics, and more - to help generate innovative solutions to tackle the big issues facing the world today.”
So, where exactly does tech come into this?
“Clearly, it is present all around us and remains one of the ways for us to support this group initiative,” Arnaud adds. "It helps facilitate the task of coming up with appropriate solutions and overcoming obstacles."
The group needs to gather and reflect a rich diversity of profiles: "We are fully aware that, when it comes to innovation, the best teams are those best able to bring together people that are very different to each other. This goes against the present-day culture, where we tend to recruit people similar to ourselves.”
To give voice to this powerful concept, in 2020 Arnaud launched the Mohotalks, a series of events which he says, “is needed more than ever, especially in these uncertain times where joint collaboration holds the key to solving what comes after.”
Jordi Soude (SciencesCom 07), Editor
As we meet up via video link on this morning of Friday 6th November, the face of the 46th President of the United States is fast emerging but yet to be substantiated. The world that comes after is lacking in certainties for Marie Barbezieux (GE 09), a professional coach and founder of Little Ecologists. The day before, she witnessed her adopted country leaving the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and is now bracing herself for stormy times ahead in an America that remains deeply divided, fallen prey to a violent upsurge in the pandemic.
This isn’t really the ideal climate in which to launch a new innovative project, yet still Marie, who settled in New York with her family back in 2016, has spotted some opportunities in the prevailing climate.
“America has reached a tipping point,” she explains, “a time when things can change dramatically. From an environmental standpoint, either the right decisions are made quickly and decisively, or we stand to find ourselves hurtling towards a catastrophe that will affect us all. Here, ecological consciousness resonates in a completely different way, and clearly education is a crucial lever if we are to bring about lasting change to the way we live and consume.”
Thus, Marie is pushing forward. In September this year, she started her Little Ecologists initiative, a series of workshops and classes seeking to raise awareness among children in the 4- to 10-year age bracket, on the impact they have on the world around them. During small group sessions, currently taking place remotely, the children take part in craft activities and readings, making headway as they build new patterns of behaviour that are respectful to nature, which they then go on to share with their families.
“The children are at the heart of this issue, even in large cities. They are experiencing the phenomenon of eco-anxiety, and that’s completely understandable: they see first-hand the effects of global warming on their own lives, for example by witnessing the fires in California. It’s tangible for them and part of life as they know it. What’s more, the children play a dual role as both the victims and actors of tomorrow’s world. This is why we have to be there to work alongside them, emotionally equipping them and enabling them to get into good patterns of behaviour.”
This course is taught in French and, for the time being, is exclusively available online. Whenever there is a let up in the current climate, Marie intends to go into schools and support pupils in the classroom setting, however she also sees the value of dispensing classes remotely as this makes for a genuine diversity of pupils from different geographical areas, with children from a number of regions in Eastern America able to attend. She also welcomes online participants from France during her Saturday morning sessions, opening up the scope of exchange where they can swap stories on what is happening in each of the countries represented.
After getting off to such a good start, Marie Barbezieux is now looking to the future, and is entertaining the idea of starting a true Franco-American school of nature and life, so as to transform our relationship with the planet in a lasting way.
"It all begins with education,” she concludes, “it’s about loving yourself and others, having respect for yourself and others.”
Reading list: The Leader in me, how schools around the world are inspiring greatness, by Stephen Covey
Florence Alix-Gravellier, Editor
Audencia’s current strategic plan is now drawing to an end. Consequently, the time has come for five thematic groups to examine the priorities and lines of development we’ll be pursuing over the next five years. Spotlight on two of them.
What is the overarching vision driving these strategy changes? The desire to create a “differentiated” impact to aid the school in asserting its position, explains Alain Brouhard (GE 85). He is one of the eight members on an “international” taskforce helping to draft the new strategic plan, set to come into force in 2021 for a five-year period. This alumnus featured among the very first of our students to have taken part in the school’s international exchange programmes. He subsequently went on to gain 30 years’ experience working on the international business scene.
The purpose of this working group is to define the future positioning of the school with an idea of it becoming “One International Business Ecosystem.” From this starting point, several workstreams have emerged, all focusing on this notion of “one”: to create an experience, a teaching programme that is “simpler and more transparent with regard to the student world,” an international community, a more central location on the premise that “Paris could become the bridgehead,” and even adopt an official language, in this case English. Among the proposals put forward is a drive to open up our network of international partners to welcome new universities, with the possibility of opening up to countries in Africa. In this context, a technological platform would facilitate connections between all players in this ecosystem.
Mobilise, share and innovate
Audencia’s international dimension is particularly apparent among its network of 28,000 alumni that is present in all four corners of the world. This topic is being worked on by one of the other topical groups, steered and led by Laure Bernuau-Diakov, an alumna and class-year ambassador (Exec MBA 18).
Here, there is a clear vision on the horizon for 2025: “to go from being a network of former students, to becoming an active and tight-knit alumni community.” The three watchwords: mobilise, share and innovate. More specifically, the team of six have been working on how to get people involved.
It’s a question of “rethinking the way we go about things in order to make operations more streamlined, allowing alumni to become committed contributors who play an active role, as opposed to just being clients of the school.” How so? “For instance, by fostering inter-alumni opportunities and connections, enabling them to work through the issues they encounter together.”
The ultimate goal is, of course, that of fostering community growth via our inter-school “alliance”. Our mantra? “Hybrid skills to enhance career paths.”
Florence Falvy, Editor
This year Audencia is renewing its triple accreditation (AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB) for a five-year period. Joining us to share their insights, Katrin Erdmann (MSCPM student) and Christian Ashong (IMM student) who both took part in the student session of the EQUIS audit.
Replying to the EQUIS audit is optional. Why did you choose to respond?
Katrin Erdmann: In the main, students are fully aware of the ranking and accreditations held by the establishments where they study, yet don’t really know how they are awarded these recognitions in the first place. I find it interesting to see how schools like Audencia are granted their accreditations. I responded to the EQUIS audit to get a better grasp of the process and understand how it works.
Christian Ashong: Katrin and I are both class representatives. By responding to EQUIS on the quality of teaching received at Audencia, we are aiming to boost internship and job opportunities for our class peers and the school’s international students.
How do Audencia’s accreditations, such as EQUIS, raise the standing of your diploma and in turn assist your entry into the world of work?
K.E.: The school’s EQUIS, AMBA & AACSB triple accreditation is the main reason behind my choosing to pursue my Master here at Audencia. Very few management schools are accredited by three different institutions. As a student, the “triple crown” really raises the bar in terms of our expectations towards teaching and helps in seeking employment. Concerning the world of work, it can help you find a relevant job opening, especially abroad. It proves reassuring to companies and your qualification is more easily accepted in the country concerned.
C.A.: An institute of higher education with sound accreditations grabs the attention of students and businesses alike. It affords them a clear idea of the quality of instruction dispensed to students. This in turn guarantees that our CV has a certain standing.
What is your view on the work carried out by accreditation bodies like EQUIS?
K.E.: This work is tremendously important. That’s why Audencia has been trying to raise cross-cultural and cross-curricular involvement, so as to generate a representative sample of students who respond to this survey.
C.A.: By taking part in this audit, we have endeavoured to do our bit to spread the word, on the quality of education and career support provided by Audencia.
Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor
Since its grand opening back in 2017, the Mediacampus has played host to students and faculty staff alike from Audencia SciencesCom, as indeed it has to local businesses working in the media and communications sector. Marion Andro (SCOM 99) and Godefroy de Compreignac (GE 13), two business leaders involved in this unique centre, share their thoughts.
Marion Andro is co-director of the communications agency B-Side. The company has been at the Mediacampus since its inauguration in 2017.
“We were the first to unpack our boxes here,” Marion explains, “even before the start of the new school year for SciencesCom student. When we made the decision to leave our former offices, two projects really caught our attention. For everyone on the team, the idea of being part of a collective, championed by the Mediacampus, really won us over.” As a SciencesCom alumna herself, Marion has continued to maintain close ties with the school. “Although we haven’t given any exclusive rights, we have naturally taken on a lot of SciencesCom interns and students on work-study programmes, who occasionally go on to become co-workers of ours.”
There are a great many projects we collaborate on, be that with other companies at the Mediacampus (the television station Télénantes, L'incroyable Studio, etc...), or with SciencesCom students.
“We regularly take part in conferences, roundtables, entrance exam panels, and the like. Of late, we have even mentored students as part of a study for the chair on ‘Responsible Communication and Digital Transformation.’”
Tech & Media
For Godefroy de Compreignac, co-founder of Lonestone Studio alongside Pierrick Bignet (GE 13), both alumni of the engineer-manager programme in 2013, the Mediacampus has proved the ideal venue for them to set up their business:
“Located within the digital ecosystem in Nantes, close to La Cantine and right next to downtown Nantes.”
Lonestone, established at the Mediacampus for two years now, is both a video-games studio and a tech agency, specialising in web and mobile products, with a staff of around 30 employees. Becoming part of this media hub was a no-brainer for us: “Our complementary backgrounds work well together: ‘tech’ is our distinctive feature that sets up apart and so we rely on the media.” The business is currently expanding, with the agency soon looking to take on its very first SciencesCom intern.
Jordi Soude (SciencesCom 07), Editor
What better opportunity than Audencia’s 120th anniversary in 2020 to showcase the school’s iconic alumni? This was the initial spark that ignited an idea which led to Katia Hérault (GE 01) joining the team creating a web gallery of portraits featuring a rich tapestry of alumni life stories. The prime objective: “to inspire students.”
Imagine if just one click was all it took to meet up with alumni “each with their very own distinguished, inspiring or unconventional career path”. This is the thinking behind our new Audencia's Iconic Alumni website (coming soon). You get to discover a diverse range of 10 portraits (five women and five men), each one as inspirational as the next. Amongst them, you’ll find Dominique de Font-Réaulx (GE 82) the current director of mediation and cultural programmes at the Louvre Museum, Nicolas de Villiers (GE 03) the president of the historical theme park Puy du Fou, as well as the French international handball player Estelle Nze Minko (SciencesCom 15).
Not a “cut-and-paste CV” in sight
Each and every one of these portraits has the hallmark of 42-year-old Katia Hérault, who for the past 18 years has made London her home. “Audencia contacted me to compile a collection of portraits.”
Despite her background in media, with three years working for National Geographic Challenge and 10 years at Discovery, she was completely new to the art of conducting interviews.
“The school selected alumni and then gave me carte blanche!”
So, she opted to carry out long-format interviews, later transcribed into English, introducing each portrait with “a more personal angle” and illustrated with photographs. There wasn’t a cut-and-paste CV in sight.
“I wanted to showcase the characteristics which set them apart, to reveal their main strengths and values, all the while encouraging them to open up to me about their childhood and what they find most fulfilling in their professional life. We also discussed any messages they’d like to pass on to students and managed to get a glimpse into how they spend their weekends, for a more human and personal touch. As they told their stories, the barriers came down and we managed to bond. They replied to my questions with utter transparency and humility.”
The interviews were carried out via video call, all bar one that is.
“The composer Claude-Michel Schönberg (GE 67), who also lives in London, hosted the interview at his home, from his living room beside his piano, with his posters and Tony Awards on display. It was such a special time,” she recalls.
Please note that this initial collection of 10 portraits is set to be completed in before the end of the year. Katia is seeking to take the format up a notch, so we may even see the inclusion of podcasts.
Florence Falvy, Editor
Erik Campanini (GE 96) certainly knows a thing or two about how to make the most of digital technology to pursue operational excellence and growth. He made a specialised, 20-year-long career out of it, before leaving BearingPoint, his employer at the time, to co-found Le Pont, leading digital training centre of excellence, established in France and the US and publish his book, *Digital is like learning to ride a bike, it’s a learned skill (1) in September 2020.
“The vast majority of corporate digital transformations don’t achieve their objectives due to skills-related issues,” Erik explains.
Today, digital technology, and data in particular, is omnipresent in the workplace. We’re not just talking about focusing on certain key posts, but rather fostering a digital culture at all levels of the company. All members of staff must take ownership of the key issues at stake, if they are to contribute towards value creation. Naturally, this implies the acquisition and development of new skills.
“Digital technology very rapidly causes skills to become obsolete and it’s not only down to the company to provide vital training,” Erik adds. “The book came about as a way to vent my frustration! Individual commitment to personal development, after initial training, remains weak. Yet, in France, we are lucky enough to benefit from some tremendous training support.
With 800,000 jobs “erased” by the crisis in 2020, and some 700,000 young people entering the labour market, it’s critical for us to come up with individual and collective solutions to ensure each and every person finds a job, manages to hold onto it, and thrives doing it. Truth be told, we are not going to be replaced by a robot, but by someone that can master digital technology, big data, and artificial intelligence. Acquiring digital skills is paramount, regardless of which profession you’re in… and now, more than ever before, there are solutions aplenty for people to train!”
Unfortunately, people continue to feel put off due to outdated preconceptions which are rife: a job for geeks, for young people, for men etc. The number of women working in the digital workforce is under 15%, which also leads to biases in the design of algorithms. As such, diversity is a crucial challenge for the jobs of tomorrow, as is managing data security and data exploitation.
“This handbook, featuring practical, real-world testimonials from those who have successfully trained or changed career, seeks to remove the barriers currently in place,” Erik concludes. “Demonstrating that it’s entirely possible to engage in remote learning, even if you work in a bakery for example, bringing training within everyone’s reach. Edtech is surging. It’s up to each of us to take charge of our own lives, seek out the missing training link, then put everything we have into making things happen. If needs be, there are groups on hand to support you.”
Are businesses good to go? Schools rebooted and ready to welcome the idea of learning to learn? Maybe we have a way to go, but Erik Campanini is picking up on a lot of positive signals, and things are definitely starting to stir in the teaching world.
“At Audencia,” he explains, “hybridisation and complementary skill sets, for instance, together with personalised educational pathways, are interesting routes to continue exploring, in order to encourage students to take charge of their own professional development.”
*Digital is like learning to ride a bike, it’s a learned skill – Handbook on winning at work with digital technology, Erik Campanini (Inter Editions, Sept. 2020)
Florence Alix-Gravellier, Editor
Stéphane Monod (GE 15) and Thibault Barthez (MOS 14) are both at the helm of their own business ventures, each moving in two very different worlds: the agri-food trade and sport. In their own unique ways, both are pushing back the boundaries and helping to shape the world of tomorrow.
Grain, actor in the new responsible agriculture trade
Stéphane Monod, co-founded Grain alongside his brother Jean-François, and the company has now established itself as “an alternative to importing food from far afield.” This initiative has its roots in Peru, where Stéphane spent a school term as part of an exchange programme while studying at Audencia:
“Over there, I discovered the chia seed, a popular food to eat in the country. I learned of its many properties: it’s an energy booster and high in omega 3. I talked about it with my brother, who’s a farmer in the Lauragais region of France. At the time, he was looking to diversify his crops and so became interested in the seed. So, I sent him a few samples over in the post.”
A new business sector
This then developed into almost four years of research into the seed, which was never intended to be grown in France. In the meantime, Stéphane held a number of posts, including one in an advertising division and another working for a marketing agency. A somewhat far cry from the agricultural trade.
“Yet, I felt a yearning to work towards a better future, in something more meaningful. I didn’t really understand how it was that being a farmer could be so difficult, when consumers are crying out for more locally-sourced produce. My brother and I thought we could go some way to addressing the problem.”
And so, in April 2020 the business they named Grain was born, thereby ensuring the development of this second-to-none chia seed (pronounced “tchia”), grown by local farmers before being sold on to manufacturers and various distribution channels.
“This bypasses the need for them to import this product from South America, allowing them to massively reduce their carbon footprint. What’s more, it’s a new agricultural sector that opens up some promising new opportunities for our local farmers.”
The company has already benefitted from support given by the Occitanie Region and the Aude Department of France. It is now setting its sights on growing its farming network to increase production, so as to meet the growing demand for its produce. On the horizon for this agricultural start-up: conducting studies into new seeds and taking their business model global.
Mysportmarket.fr, a marketplace proving bang on trend
Thibault Barthez launched his mysportmarket.fr website in 2018, after doing some substantial groundwork: “This venture really started back in 2016,” he explains.
“It took the company over a year to find the right associates to come in on the project and for us to develop the website etc. The aim of Mysportmarket is to help sports shops go digital and to sell on their stocks of unsold items. You should know that 20% of the items on display in sports shops will never find a purchaser and end up being destroyed or removed from stock. Our marketplace helps them have a second life.”
This on-trend business venture is completely in sync with the anti-waste legislation stipulating that, as of 2021, the destruction of unsold items will be made illegal. In light of these strange pandemic times we’re experiencing, the timing couldn’t be better.
“We are stepping up our activities as shops need our sales channel during this lockdown period. We provide them with a comprehensive service package which goes from putting their products online to delivering to the end user.”
Keeping it local
Today, there are approximately 8,000 items which feature on the website and there are around fifty partner stores. One of the entrepreneur’s goals is to develop and promote the benefits of buying local:
“We are soon to set up a click and collect, with a tracking system so you can identify the store nearest to your home.”
Based in Montpellier, Mysportmarket currently has a staff of four as well as its own board.
“I’ve surrounded myself with a team of four mentors with very different backgrounds. They help me when it comes to taking certain decisions, steer me away from making certain mistakes and generally save me a lot of time.”
This entrepreneur is also heading up a roundtable with a group of investors, which should come through by the end of the year.
Jordi Soude (SciencesCom 07), Editor
The public health crisis has thrown a spanner in the works for many of our alumni seeking to pursue an international career. We catch up with two of them, Benoît Zoetelief (GE 14) and Habiba Laraki (IMM 09), who kindly bring us up to speed with their current situations.
He is still out in Hong Kong but due back on French soil by January, health crisis conditions permitting that is. It should be said that Benoît Zoetelief, Alumni Ambassador for the Hong Kong chapter, has certainly had to adjust to the new set of circumstances brought about by coronavirus:
“Together with my partner, who is also French, we were due to return to France last summer. We’d also planned on travelling for two to three months prior to that. Clearly, when the virus took hold this scuppered all our plans.”
Therefore, Benoît decided to postpone his homecoming and stay on at his post instead. However, the company where he worked, a software publisher providing offers from restaurants and shops, shut down its operations for the summer season.
“Hong Kong brought in a set of very drastic health measures which everyone complied with. Most activities ground to a halt.”
In September, Benoît applied for a number of jobs in both France and Hong Kong, the city he’s called home for the past six years. Yet, in the end, it was in mainland France, on the team of Amazon France, that he would continue his professional career path, “I may have to work remotely to begin with, if ever it’s not possible for me to leave Hong Kong.”
As regards Habiba Laraki, she has now made her way back home to Morocco, to Casablanca, after spending the last two years in Copenhagen. This country manager for Royal Air Maroc was forced to cut short her stay, a posting which was scheduled to last for a period of four years.
“Due to Covid, the entire fleet of planes had to be grounded. As such, there seemed little point keeping the team on in Denmark,” Habiba explains.
In spite of this challenging situation, she has only fond memories of her time there.
“It was a truly wonderful experience. Even the transitional phase went smoothly: I was given three months’ advance notice before I returned home on 1st September.”
Despite the challenging context, she still wishes to pick up where she left off and continue the adventure working for this airline: “I’ve been working for Royal Air Maroc for coming up to ten years now. I think there should be more promising opportunities in the future.”
Jordi Soude (SciencesCom 07), Editor
This turbulent health crisis has led Highered, leading global specialist in the provision of career support to students and alumni endorsed by EFMD (the European Foundation for Management Development), to bring its pioneering spirit to the fore and set up online forums which have become the new recruitment normal on campus.
Back in January, in light of the lockdown measures and restrictions to movement enforced across China, the Shanghai branch of Highered proved pro-active in its planning of a virtual recruitment event for Chinese schools. It turned out to be a real triumph!
Moreover, as the epidemic was spreading across the globe, less than six days was all it took for Highered to channel its extensive experience into the planning of forums and in-person trade fairs, delivering its high-quality, digital proposal which was quickly adopted by some 112 schools and universities worldwide, as well as over 25,000 students and alumni.
The Virtual Career Fair Series took place over the spring and autumn terms. At a time when millions of students the world over found themselves in lockdown, Audencia, one of the most active institutions present on these forums, hosted this event enabling 11,800 recruiters to position themselves on the 35,771 submitted applications.
In late June, following the first round, there was an undeniable sense that this had indeed marked a massive step forward in recruitment: 71% of those responding to the Highered satisfaction survey saw no going back. At best, they hoped to see a switchover to hybrid fairs with a clear move towards “phygital”.
“Digital is a perfect fit for the purposes of addressing recruitment-related issues in businesses, schools and when searching for talent, especially in an educational environment that is both global and mobile,” explains Amber Wigmore-Alvarez, Chief Innovation Officer at Highered. “It is not only time and cost efficient, it can also dramatically enhance your networking opportunities and the scope and number of potential applications and offers, with everyone standing to gain.”
Given that 75% of companies hiring on campus use applicant tracking systems, data collection is also a central issue and so, to this end, a more precise targeting of job offers and profiles together with a better comprehension of successful matchings would allow schools to push forward with the courses they deliver.
What’s more, Audencia is playing its synergy card to good effect thanks to its combination of career services and the Highered offer. In the spring, Audencians submitted some 1,006 applications to position themselves for over 730 internships and job postings.
“I found my job as a FP&A analyst at UCB in Belgium, thanks to a virtual Highered forum hosted by Audencia,” explains Yesha Oza (IMM student). “I remained in contact with Audencia’s Career Centre right the way through my interview phase and they provided me with some valuable advice. I could count on their expertise, which proved so crucial during these exceptional times when I really needed to get their take and seasoned insights on things. My career path wouldn’t have got off the ground without this tailored support and their online event.”
Indeed, remote recruitment is looking very rosy for 2021!
Florence Alix-Gravellier, Editor
The Audencia Foundation helps in promoting the social and cultural diversity and scope of the school, as well as fostering student entrepreneurship. In this increasingly challenging economic climate, its end-of-year campaign is seeking to come to the assistance of our students currently experiencing difficulties. Every donation - no matter how big or small - counts!
The Audencia Foundation is pursuing its 10-year commitment to help young people continue their studies, no matter their social background or geographical origin, and has already awarded 180 of its grants to students so far this year. It has no intention of stopping here and is redoubling its efforts. To this end, the Foundation’s end-of-year campaign is endeavouring to raise €30,000, by 31 December 2020, to go towards its social diversity and entrepreneurship grants. This is where you come in. This is your chance to get behind the cause.
Social diversity grants are a way of promoting inclusion and opening up the school’s wealth of teaching to all talents. Since 2019, the funding requirements of these grants has risen by 48%. Given that the average student cost of living currently stands at €600 per month (for accommodation, meals, transport, etc.), this can very quickly become a stumbling block to education. The Foundation wishes to add a further €25,000 to the fundraising pot for these grants between now and the end of the year, a fundraiser aimed at supporting 12 of our students.
Entrepreneurship grants help alleviate some of the financial strain linked to the living costs of our student entrepreneurs, by assisting them in pushing forward with their projects. Over the last five years, the funds required to finance these grants have increased by 45%. Student startup projects truly do deserve our full support. The Foundation is looking to allocate €5,000 to the end-of-year fundraising total of these entrepreneurship grants, so as to support three of our student entrepreneurs.
To see just how much of a positive impact your donations are having, here's a video here with testimonials from students, all recipients of a grant from the Audencia Foundation.
At a time when this hard-hitting health crisis is leaving a great many of our students in a vulnerable position, the solidarity underpinning our alumni network is becoming all the more meaningful.
By choosing to make a donation - no matter how big or small - you can benefit from an income tax deduction to the value of 66% of the sum donated.
Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor
As the pandemic storm continues to rage, leaving in its wake segments of the population in a precarious position, the generosity of the French has never been stronger. To assist vulnerable Audencia students facing hardship, the Foundation is calling on your support!
According to the Generosity Barometer, a poll conducted by the France Générosités union aimed at promoting and developing charitable giving in France, donations made to non-profits and foundations appealing for philanthropic giving leapt by 22% during the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. This is an all-time high!
In response to the crisis, rather than withdrawing and turning in on themselves, the French have chosen to adopt an attitude of selfless giving. The Audencia Foundation can indeed testify to this: in the period between 2019 and 2020, donations made by alumni and friends of Audencia, towards the fostering of equal opportunities among all students, has increased by 29%.
“Times are hard, the solidarity of our long-standing Alumni is needed more than ever,” explains Guy Rognant (GE 63).
“It’s an act of kindness that doesn’t cost a thing and provides a way for me to show my solidarity,” adds Rémi Hebbrecht (GE 18).
As for Claire Bernardin (GE 20), she is one of the students on the receiving end of this generous giving: “The grant I received turned out to be a real godsend, making it possible for me to focus on my academic studies and prepare for my professional future under the best of conditions,” she says. “I’m beyond grateful and hope to, one day, return the favour by helping out students who find themselves being held back career-wise.”
There are many reasons why you might choose to support the Audencia Foundation. Your donation may reflect your attachment to Audencia, your wish to give something back in light of how the school has helped you on your professional way, or show your support for an equal opportunities policy in a school which simply must continue to provide grants and remain open for all. As for any difference it might make, rest assured your donation really does have an immediate impact.
Come and join our group of 1,900 generous givers, all donating to the Audencia Foundation. No matter how big or small, every donation really does count!
You can enjoy some great tax benefits:
Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor
“Breaking new ground isn’t all there is to innovation. At times, it can also be about bringing in the right educational tools that have proved their worth elsewhere,” explains Daniel Evans, Professor of Strategy at Audencia, on the subject of PeerWise, an online educational tool developed in New Zealand. Used on Bachelor degree courses, before becoming part of the BBA in Chengdu, and more recently on the Grande Ecole programme, PeerWise ranks Audencia as one of the French trailblazers when it comes to peer-to-peer learning.
PeerWise allows students to create their own course-related assessment questions, and then to comment on and review the questions formerly raised by other students. In so doing, they can explain their understanding of the questions, serving as a baseline from which to train and get to grips with a number of key issues central to the course. In a certain manner, PeerWise is a sort of Past Exam Paper 3.0, compiled and brought together by students for students.
“Facilitating peer-to-peer learning is crucial,” adds Dan Evans. “This fosters student involvement, proves a great source of motivation, and prepares them for the autonomy companies will expect from them. Once graduated, they then become responsible for their own growth. Their peers will prove to be a valuable support to them.”
In English-speaking cultures, peer-to-peer learning in the educational realm has long proved effective. In France, however, there continues to be a certain degree of push back, yet the initial results speak for themselves.
When first introduced, as part of a Bachelor’s macroeconomics lesson, PeerWise elicited 330 questions, in turn generating some student discussions and very fruitful debates. The quality of feedback passed on from one student to another, and their ability to come up with useful commentaries for the group as a whole, goes towards the continuous learning assessment marks on their strategy course.
A further positive aspect to note: hundreds of new questions, sorted by students according to their degree of difficulty and relevance, have now been added to the databank of questions, used when compiling assessments. The school has even pledged to incorporate a sample of these questions into its final assessment papers.
“I’m delighted at how well my colleagues have welcomed this new tool, which they’ve had no trouble taking on board, thanks to a number of helpful tutorial videos. Our initial results are very convincing and we are now looking to make more extensive use of this approach.” In light of the ongoing health crisis and extensive use of remote learning, peer-to-peer tutoring and the like makes a great deal of sense. “What’s to stop us helping students set up their own virtual networks of support? At times, it’s the students themselves that are best placed to share ideas amongst themselves and provide each other with support,” Daniel Evans concludes.
Florence Alix-Gravellier, Editor
Thanks to its use of hybridisation models, Audencia provides students with the opportunity to gain insight into realities that are different from their own. This is a clear advantage especially when it comes to creating a business where transversal skills are proving essential qualities to have. Such is the case for Bocoloco, a company which is bang on trend, cofounded by a business school graduate and an engineer.
Urging consumers to change their consumption habits, taking a step towards a zero-waste lifestyle and so much more. For Alexis Dusanter (GE 07), “every little bit counts” if we are to shape the world of tomorrow. The idea of creating Bocoloco was built on this premise and was cofounded by Alexis alongside his younger brother Florent, a graduate of French engineering school Centrale Nantes (and partner of Audencia alliance). The company has eight associates and their key mission is to facilitate and help people to consume better in their everyday lives.
A duo with a complementary pair of skill sets
Bocoloco was established in July this year following a crowdfunding campaign in February 2020 that enabled the company to find its audience of 350 donors and raise funds amounting to “several hundred thousand euros”. The driving force behind this launch: a duo with a complementary pair of skill sets. Alexis, 39 years of age, has spent his entire career working in supply chain management and e-commerce for international companies (Accor and L’Occitane Group). Florent can be deemed a “multipreneur”, and is a technology buff and connected devices enthusiast. While their profiles and backgrounds may differ, they both share the same ultimate goal of building “an impactful project” that rings true with their own personal convictions”.
An alternative way of consuming
Their online grocery store Bocoloco.fr offers a wide range of produce which is organic, sold loose by weight, and locally sourced. It encompasses some 300 references including food, beverages, cosmetics and cleaning products. Next-day home delivery is dispatched to the customer by cargo bike in the Paris area, as well as to 22 neighbouring towns. Bocoloco has taken things to the next level in steering people towards a more zero-waste lifestyle by the setting up of a deposit-return system. This enables the customer to opt for produce to be delivered loose by weight in connected glass jars or reusable linin bags. There is a further move towards zero waste thanks to their smartphone application. This offers product information (expiry date, origin, producer etc.), recipes, top tips and advice from those across the community (4,500 people).
According to Alexis Dusanter, it’s “gathering real momentum” as between 20 to 30 orders are now being placed every week. Their current objective is to see orders go up to 100 by the end of the year. The next step remains for the company to provide fresh produce (fruit and vegetables) and grow a nationwide network in France by means of pick-up points.
Florence Falvy, Editor
Calling all students and alumni of Audencia, now is your golden opportunity to benefit from the support of our development programme, perfectly adapted to suit the maturity of your start-up, set right at the heart of a vibrant and innovative, deep-tech, ecosystem in the Pays de la Loire region, home to brands like Doctolib or iAdvize.
The Centrale - Audencia - Ensa business incubator currently supports approximately thirty projects. Since 2003, the 150 start-ups incubated here have created around a hundred companies, still trading today, and helped generate over 500 jobs.
The project leaders are Centralians, Ensa graduates, and Audencians, all with very different profiles. A number of them, like Jérôme Pasquet (MBA 10 - Peek’In) or Sylvie Davila (Exec MBA 10 - Hera Mi), are embarking on this entrepreneurial adventure after an initial period working as a salaried employee. Others, like Matthieu Gervais, Marc Francis and Guillaume Odier (GE 17 - Captain Data) rammed their advantage home on leaving the school. Paul Cales (GE 18 - Naostage), for his part, started during his studies, within the framework of the Audencia Startup Lab.
Yet, regardless of the programme they followed or whatever year they graduated in, all share the same ambition of carrying their enterprising project forward by benefitting from some second-to-none expertise and a support programme that is perfectly adapted to their start-up’s phase of development.
Thanks to the Centrale - Audencia - Ensa business incubator, they have privileged access to a work space within a dedicated framework at Centrale. In addition, they are put in contact with the Alumni network of the three establishments and the incubator, and more generally with stakeholders and funding-partners in the region, as they are with the training courses and research programmes at the three schools.
Two programmes are available as part of the incubator:
For more information regarding the Centrale - Audencia - Ensa incubator, check out some testimonials from our project leaders.
See you on 16 December 2020 at 6.30pm for our comprehensive webinar.
Florence Alix-Gravellier, Editor
A number of Audencia alumni have changed post in recent months. Congratulations to each and every one of them on these wonderful new appointments!
Our fellow Audencians who have started their own business in recent months:
We’d like to wish them all the best of success as they embark on this new chapter in their professional career!
If you too would like to tell us about a recent change in post or business creation, we’d love to hear from you. Please drop us a line here at firstname.lastname@example.org
Emilie Tendron, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni team
Exporting: key considerations for international business growth, by Laurent Houlier (GE 90) & John Blaskey
Globalisation or international development is more vital than ever for business survival, let alone growth. This book equips readers, optimise genuine export opportunities. It addresses the fears and risks associated with exporting and reassures readers that international growth is available to any business that conducts in-depth research, adopts the right attitude and develops a comprehensive strategy.
Readers are challenged to consider seven key business considerations facing them when seeking success in export markets: product and service adaptation, comprehensive communication, portable protected branding, high-performance tradeshows, optimized go-to-market channels, fit-for-purpose internal organisation and controlled effective cashflow.
This concise book serves time-starved small to medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs, owners, and directors in any industry anywhere in the world who seek international or global development and those studying or teaching international business.
Chief Data Officer: practices, tools and perspectives, by Gilbert Ton & Alain Yen-Pon (GE 91)
The new and emerging role and career of Chief Data Officer has now earned its rightful place on a company’s organisational chart.
Indeed, with the endless rolling out of technology on such a massive scale, together with new structures and changes in the way we work, the CDO represents a pivotal figure, tasked with facilitating access to data and making the best possible operational and strategic decisions for a company.
Mediators, directors, strategists, builders, alchemists, or disruptors:
- Who exactly are these Chief Data Officers?
- What can they bring to the corporate table?
- What practices, methods and tools do they employ?
This book, the first of its kind dealing with the role of CDOs in France, describes the current state of play regarding the profession and sets out the essential methodological tools it requires. The reader gains valuable hands-on insights from seasoned CDOs, as well as a better grasp of the best practices to adopt and stumbling blocks to avoid. It also looks ahead to potential changes in the role in light of current technological and organisational trends.
Are you also a published alumni member? If so, then please drop the team a few lines here at: email@example.com
Emilie Tendron, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni team
Thank you very much for reading the mag #15, the last issue of this very special year 2020! We hope that, like us, the beautiful stories of Audencia's graduates will inspire you and put balm in your heart to end this year in style.
We look forward to seeing you in March 2021 for the next edition of The mag. Until then, if you have any ideas, suggestions, remarks or questions, we remain at your disposal and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime, everything is happening on Together: create your account and join the Audencia community. You'll find a range of services designed to support you throughout your professional life: invitations to online or face-to-face events, job offers, training, career events, alumni directory, forum and chat...
Happy Holidays to all and see you very soon,
The Audencia Alumni team
More info on Together