The topic

Climate: “Now is the time to act!”

For Jean Jouzel, leading climatologist and glaciologist, formerly emeritus director of research at the CEA (a public-sector research institute), increased awareness among younger generations is providing us with a glimmer of hope. A conversation with this former vice chair of the scientific Working Group panel of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change).


Could you give us a brief overview of the current climate situation?

Jean Jouzel: Year on year, we are emitting the equivalent of over 50 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. If we don’t get active, we are on course for total emissions reaching a staggering level of 70 billion tonnes by 2030, with average global temperatures set to increase by 4 to 5°C above those of the pre-industrial era between now and the end of the century. This will have a highly significant impact on extreme weather, ocean acidification, population shifts and rising sea levels, etc. If we want to remain below the 2°C mark, deemed just about acceptable by the scientific community, it’s necessary to bring the equivalent CO2 waste levels down by 20% by 2030 and achieve our carbon neutral target by 2075! Even if the pledges made during the Paris Agreement signed in 2015 were to be honoured by the international community, emissions are still set to rise by 10% between now and 2030, a far cry from the targets set at under 2°C. This is a clear indication of just how ambitious we need to be!


Is it still achievable?

Jean Jouzel: Yes, technically it’s still possible. However, for this to happen, as of now, every investment made on the face of the globe would need to bear the hallmark of allegiance to the fight against global warming. What’s needed is for all states, every individual and all sectors of industry to be pulling in the same direction. It would also take genuine international solidarity. Unfortunately, we are a long way off. In any case, we should be doing our utmost to limit global warming. Reductions in greenhouse gases revolve around transport, housing, food, industry and so forth and this takes place on regional, community and corporate levels. Everyone has a role to play. 


Audencia, which already integrates climate issues transversally into all its programmes, has just launched a specialised master (MS) in energy transition. What do you think about the creation of this new MS?

Jean Jouzel: The education system is taking up the climate issue and that’s great. If young people are beginning to want to work in sectors involved with climate change, then this stands to further the cause. The setting up of specific courses often arises from a huge wake-up call that we are witnessing at present, especially with the mobilisation of young people. Around 30,000 grand école and university undergraduates have recently signed the “Student Manifesto for an ecological awakening”. Yet, although this wake-up call is necessary, it is sadly insufficient. This very quickly needs to translate into action. Now is the time to act! I would also add that on a global scale, with the United States opting out of the Paris Agreement, economic leadership needs to be taken on with regard to the fight against climate change.

Photo courtesy of Alexandra Khlopotova ©


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


The topic

Raising awareness for more effective action

Faced with the climate emergency, Jennifer Goodman, CSR (corporate social responsibility) lecturer and professor at Audencia, has come up with a winning formula for increasing awareness among her students with regard to plastic pollution. A specific example of this can be found with the Audencia Plastic Forum, set to take place at the end of October.

“Climate change impacts us all in various different ways”, explains Jennifer Goodman.

In her view, what really counts isn’t merely political announcements but rather action. What’s more, for her, all countries and governments need to be singing from the same hymn sheet.

Climate change has no borders and requires a global response”, she states whilst declaring herself to be optimistic in light of the growing awareness seen amongst young people in particular. “It is encouraging to witness and this movement needs to carry on but urgent action is still needed when it comes to climate change.”

Time for action!

Therefore, Jennifer has decided to make a stand. The courses she gives at Audencia are a means of raising awareness with regard to the defining societal issues of our time, including climate change, poverty and inequality, by pinpointing business opportunities that could limit environmental impact, coming up with innovative solutions, cross-sector partnerships and new business models, as well as prompting students to examine and challenge their own values. Therefore, during class, these students work on concrete case studies, such as a food truck project in Nantes, which is involved in helping with the integration of migrant women.

I always urge the students to keep a keen eye on their consumption habits and on how much waste they are generating and so consider ways in which they can make changes to their behaviour.”

The Audencia Plastic Forum represents one of the projects undertaken. The third edition, set to take place this coming 30 and 31 October, will bring together over 100 Masters students from across the various programmes (IMM and more). So, what does it aim to achieve? To provide a fun way of increasing awareness with regard to plastic pollution. These students will be taking on the roles of various stakeholders (companies, NGOs, consumers among others) and working in teams to come up with joint innovative solutions (services, products, business models). The purpose here is also to walk in the shoes of a business leader and take measures to curb and avoid plastic pollution. Following a pitch where they will be selling their ideas, an online vote will be held to select the best initiatives. So, it’s time to get your thinking caps on!


Florence Falvy, Editor


The topic

Green companies are the future according to Sarah Diouri

In 2015, Sarah Diouri graduated from the Grande Ecole programme with a specialisation in finance before heading back to her home country, Morocco, to join the green tech social incubator Bidaya. Objective: contribute to the growth of green companies.

Companies have a role to play in protecting the environment because they are directly affected by its problems. However, even if they are aware that environmental communication is an asset, they don't always understand why,” says Sarah.

At just 28 years old, Sarah is the general manager of Bidaya, an incubator she joined in 2017. Bidaya’s role is to support entrepreneurs with a high social or environmental impact through group workshops, individual coaching sessions, financial support or networking. In four years, no less than 60 Moroccan start-ups have been incubated. Bidaya also aims to raise public awareness of green and social entrepreneurship by organising monthly events promoting entrepreneurial successes... Today, the aim is to give more visibility to the incubator through local support programmes in six Moroccan regions. 


Going international

This Franco-Moroccan globetrotter can lay claim to a 100% international -both personal and professional- journey. Sarah began her first experiences with large private companies, such as Renault in Casablanca, Société Générale in Paris and Coface in Australia. She also worked for three years at the World Bank in Washington. This gave her the opportunity to contribute to the Doing Business project funded, among others, by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She also had the chance to understand how international development projects work and to launch a project to help young women farmers in the Western Cape Province of South Africa develop their skills and become familiar with entrepreneurship. Finally, it is in Morocco that she has contributed to several projects by international organisations (EBRD, ICZM, UNDP, UNIDO). Now Sarah is looking at a new, more personal project: to start her own green and social business in the coming years.


Florence Falvy, Editor


The topic

An unprecedented global wake-up call

The general public, elected officials, local authorities and business sectors: right across the board, never has our awareness of climate change and its ensuing dangers permeated to such an extent through every layer of society. Spotlight on the building sector which constitutes one of the major greenhouse gas emitters.

Construction accounts for around a quarter of all our national CO2 emissions and is subject to tactical manoeuvrings. Marie Gracia holds a 5-year degree in communications and media from Audencia SciencesCom (class of 2015) and is now in charge of communication and the running of territorial sustainable construction planning networks at the ministries for Ecological & Inclusive Transition and Territorial Cohesion.

For a long time now, issues relating to environmental impact in the construction trade have been on the political radar”, she notes, “roughly speaking, this came about around the time of the Grenelle agreement on the environment. However, at the time there was more of a focus on the sector’s energy consumption rather than on the amount of greenhouse gases it was emitting.”

Fast-forward a decade and we are all much more switched on to the perils of climate change.  Individuals, politicians and economic stakeholders alike are all becoming more committed to the cause and helping to change the rules of the game.

“We stand at a crossroads regarding energy transition and the fight against global warming”, Marie points out. “People no longer question if we should be doing something. Of course, the debate about how to go about things still continues, and how best to come up with support and funding, but at all levels of society, from the ordinary man on the street to the large CAC 40 groups, we all know there’s no other way out of this. Climate change has been all the more impressive of late.”

France is a trailblazer on the subject and is busy gearing up for its 2020 Environmental Regulations which will take into account the carbon footprints of new constructions throughout their entire life-cycle, as well as considering how much energy they stand to consume. There is also an arguably more pressing issue at stake here: energy retrofits for existing buildings.

On this topic, we are a long way off hitting our target of having a stock of low-carbon homes by 2050 which are in appliance with the norms”, Marie admits. “However, the rate of growing awareness seen over recent months will encourage stakeholders to get involved and so take us up to the next level, giving massive momentum to the amount of energy renovations taking place. And what goes for the building trade also stands for the transport sector and many other industries too.


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


Campus life

Audencia welcomes the first cohort of the Specialised Master in energy transition

Higher education stakeholders are increasingly taking on the global challenges of sustainable development and societal responsibility. This is the case of Audencia, which has just launched a Specialised Master's degree in energy transition (MS APTE).

Conversation with André Sobczak, who initiated this new programme, and Ronan La Sierra, one of the 14 students who joined the first cohort.

The objective of this new Specialised Master launched by Audencia is for its participants to “Acquire the skills and knowledge to become key players in energy transition,” explains André Sobczak, Associate Dean for Faculty and Research, who initiated the programme. The MS APTE is the product of an alliance with Centrale Nantes, the School of Architecture and the School of Design. It will provide a one-year “transversal perspective” to meet the needs of companies seeking technically advanced employees with a management vision. During the 7-month course, taught by professors from the four partner institutions, always in pairs (engineers/urbanists, managers/designers, etc.), and by professionals, students will be required to work on real projects, such as building a strategy and a marketing plan for Eram Group. Various meetings with companies are also on the agenda, as well as regular contacts with business stakeholders (executives, trade unionists, political decision-makers, NGOs, etc.). A 4 to 6 month internship is also planned from April.


“Gain credibility”

To be admitted to the programme, candidates must have a 5-year university degree and “the motivation to engage in a professional project that aims to change the world”, says André Sobczak. The first cohort has 14 students from various backgrounds. Among them is 32 year-old Ronan La Sierra. Hailing from the Paris region, Ronan aspires to find a position in line with his ethical values and his outlook on society. A Master in International Strategic Management, two years of professional experience in Panama and Peru and two years at Nestlé Purina have enabled him to gain knowledge in finance, marketing and corporate strategy. He now wants to improve his technical skills and “better understand the energy sector” thus gaining “more credibility” and “a certain added value” to support companies in their energy transition.


Florence Falvy, Editor


Campus life

My first days at Audencia: walking in the shoes of an undergraduate

Early September, the summer is not yet over but it is already time to head back to school. As the drill goes in every school all over the land, the start of the new academic term at Audencia is full-on! Each course has its own set of events and challenges, in a bid to get everyone well acquainted and help students familiarise themselves with the school.

  • Audencia Talents "Dare for good", is the back-to-school seminar for undergraduates following the first year Grande Ecole programme. This two-day event sees around 500 students coming up with their own business concepts. What’s on the programme? Brainstorming and creativity! For 2009, Audencia has decided to put a new CSR spin on this event that never fails to deliver on reflecting the values championed here at the school.


  • Career Connection Days: formerly known as Welcome Days, this year the event has taken on a fresh new look. Undergraduates on the Grande Ecole programme at Audencia with academic specialisation in finance, marketing and consulting attend workshops and talks by our corporate partners who come along to speak about their professions together with their HR needs. This indeed constitutes a powerful turbo career boost from the very start of the school year!


  • Career KickOff for the Specialised Master and International Master programmes: to welcome the new intake of students on these two courses, the school has joined forces to make it possible for them to immerse themselves in Audencia’s rich ecosystem from their very first day here at the school. Therefore, undergraduates have been interacting with alumni members and learning best practices in terms of their professional networks, as well as taking part in highly inspiring workshops on how to play an active role during training.


  • “Knowing Me, Knowing You”: over these five days, the MEDIACAMPUS was buzzing with some 150 students from 14 different nationalities. There was an intensive and imaginative seminar on content production: photos, videos, the making of, Fast and Curious, instareporting and more besides. The new academic year has certainly got off to a flying start for the Audencia SciencesCom students by getting them up to speed with communication tools and bringing everyone’s strengths to the fore!


  • There was also quite a buzz over at City Campus, aka Bachelor HQ. A total of 226 students took up the sports challenge and took part in a puzzle-themed Nantes walking trail which enabled them to (re)discover some of the city’s famous landmarks.


A busy schedule getting to know one other, connecting with classmates, learning how to grow one’s professional network, honing one’s creativity skills and lots more to boot. While there may be as many back-to-school activities as there are programmes, they all share the same common goal: to ensure that all our new freshers feel right at home here at Audencia!


Lauranne Heaume, on behalf of the communication team


Campus life

Audencia’s myriad of partnerships

With a view to expanding its network as it continues to provide students with the highest-quality training, Audencia has signed some new daring partnership agreements to come into effect as of this new academic school year.


Audencia and Le Wagon

Signed, sealed and delivered! Students of the Grande Ecole programme now have access to the training courses offered by Le Wagon. This school ranks among the best coding bootcamps worldwide, where students learn how to build web-based apps and collaborate with developers.

By signing this new cooperation agreement, all students enrolled on the GE programme will now benefit from a module named UX/UI design. Hence, they will gain highly specialised skills to support businesses who are undergoing digital transformation. This will equip them with everything they need to play an active role in the rapid development of start-ups in the tech world.


Audencia and the EPITA school of engineering

In partnership with EPITA (School of Engineering & Computer Science), this new term welcomes the launch of a new double degree. On successfully completing a minimum of four years post-baccalauréat studies at EPITA, students in Paris will now have the possibility of joining the ranks of Audencia’s Grande Ecole programme. Classes are taught in either French or English depending on the modules selected by students.

This alliance opens up the opportunity for engineering students to earn a prestigious double diploma.


Audencia and Sciences Po Aix

Audencia has joined forces with Sciences Po Aix (Aix-en-Provence Institute of Political Studies). On the one hand, as of this September fifteen students from Nantes were able to enrol on the Grande Ecole programme in social sciences within the framework of the standard Master in International Expertise. They had the choice of two possible options: The Master 2 in International Affairs or the Master 2 in International Relations. 

Conversely, fifteen students from Sciences Po Aix joined the “MSc in International Public Management and Policy” (MPPI).

Once again, this alliance reflects Audencia’s spirit of openness and also its determination to make double diplomas available to undergraduates.


Géraldine Lance, Editor


Network talk

Homecoming Day: let the celebrations begin!

Audencia’s very first Homecoming Day is fast approaching. This event is taking place on Saturday 12 October here at Audencia, so you only have a few more days left to register! Like Habiba Laraki (IMM 09), come and enjoy all these unforgettable moments happening right at the heart of the school and here in Nantes.

“When I found out that Audencia was putting on its first Homecoming Day, I thought it was a great idea. I knew right away how much fun it would be for us all to get together at Audencia for a huge celebration”, says a rather excited Habiba who will be making the special trip back here from Copenhagen where she works for the Moroccan airline Royal Air Maroc.

“A lot can happen in ten years at Audencia,” Habiba continues. “I’d love to know what has become of the school. For those of us who are all set up in our careers now, it’s always interesting to discover the profiles of the new students graduating from the school, see what they are expecting to do next and find out what kind of job openings are available to them.” 

Will she get to cross paths with some of her classmates from IMM 2009?

“I’ll have to wait and find out when I get there! In any case, it will be a good opportunity to get to know some other alumni members, take a walk down student-memory lane and reconnect with the school via the alumni network. I just can’t wait!”

This event, co-hosted by Christophe Germain, Dean of Audencia, and Flavie Lorre (GE 98) President of Audencia Alumni, promises to be a truly exceptional day. Whilst comfortably seated in the Edit de Nantes auditorium, from the get-go attendees will be plunged into a series of flashbacks. The dominant theme of the afternoon will be the great Audencia adventure, with challenges to help attendees discover or rediscover the School. We’ll be diving into the world of virtual reality, we’ve also laid on oenological entertainment, meetups with student clubs, discussions with iconic former lecturers and lots more besides. The organisers have all bases covered and haven’t forgotten to set aside some free time for you at the end of the day’s proceedings before moving on to the final showstopper: a mouth-watering fine-dining experience, prepared by the Michelin-starred chef Jean-Yves Guého, in a secret prestigious location which is yet to be revealed. All that remains now is for you to help set the dancefloor alight!

Register here


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


Network talk

The engagement of our alumni athletes

La Parisienne

On Sunday 8 September, 35 Audencia alumni took part in France’s most famous women's running event. Budding joggers or accomplished sportswomen wearing the colours of Audencia Alumni covered the 6.7 km course, from the Eiffel Tower to the Champs de Mars.

It was a first for Marine Riff (GE 18), a seasoned runner.

It was the diversity of the runners’ profiles that surprised me the most. Women usually represent a small percentage of participants and their profiles are often similar. At La Parisienne, it was crazy! All you had to do was turn your head to see your neighbour, your colleague... The atmosphere was incredible!"

Alumni Challenge at the Audencia La Baule Triathlon

For the 32nd Audencia La Baule Triathlon on 21 September, 13 teams of graduates took part in the Alumni Challenge on the seafront at La Baule. This year the “Tri-relai” featured an “alumni” ranking for the first time.

Jean-Denis Haudebert (GE 96), Isabelle Michenaud (GE 97) and Laurent Isnard (GE 95) competed in the same team. They knew each other shortly before the race, but as Laurent says:

It's a great way to meet other alumni in a different setting”.

Isabelle opened the relay with a 500-metre swim. Then Jean-Denis cycled 20 km:

I’m used to cycling every Sunday so it wasn’t too much strain".

Then Laurent ran 5 km for the last leg of the race, a walk in the park for someone who has already run the Paris half-marathon for times to raise money for associations.

This first Alumni Challenge was a great success and was followed by an after-triat' on the beach. See you all again, same time next year!


Les Foulées du Numérique

Sport was definitely at the top on the agenda on 21 September! Twelve Audencia Bachelor alumni and students ran in the first edition of the Foulées du Numérique wearing the colours of the school.

The run, created by Thomas Mathieu (Bachelor 12), takes participants past Nantes' digital highlights via two itineraries (a choice of 4.2 or 8.4 km). The profits from the race are donated to the Institut de Cancérologie de l'Ouest, an excellent way to end the Nantes Digital Week... And the circle is complete!


Marina Normand et Amandine Luce, on behalf of the communication team and Audencia Alumni team



Network talk

Our tremendously active alumni network

Two standout events marked the start of the new school year: our Inter-Alumni evening and a women-only gathering dedicated to oenology.


Back-to-school season for Inter-Alumni

The very first edition of the Pays de la Loire Inter-Alumni was held on 11 September. This inaugural event proved to be a huge success for the Grande Ecole networks. 

The event was already sold out two weeks prior to the gathering and on the day, over 180 alumni from French Grandes Ecoles came together to join in the fun. 

Featuring on the programme of events: a presentation outlining the urban redevelopment taking place on the Ile de Nantes site, an innovative, large-scale undertaking. Then it was time for some fun and games! Alumni from the twelve schools (Audencia, Centrale Nantes, Centrale Paris-Supelec, the Nantes School of Design, EDHEC, Ensam Paris Tech, ESCP Europe, ESSEC, ESTP, HEC, IMT and Sciences Po) were split into teams before going on to compete in some games and tournaments organised by each of the schools. It was all in good fun of course!

This type of gathering already takes place in Bordeaux and abroad and caters for a genuine need: to bring together what the schools do best and strengthen social and professional opportunities.

Given the buzz it has generated among alumni, this initiative will definitely be making a comeback, especially as each of the schools is pledging to open up some of their events to alumni from other schools across the network. This will pave the way for the community to go from strength to strength.


The women-only oenology gathering

At the end of September, an oenology evening took place and was exclusively reserved for women members of the Audencia Pour Elles (Women-Only) Club.

At the very stylish Vernet Hotel in Paris, fifteen alumnae had the honour of sampling some exquisite wines whilst admiring a work of art. This imaginative initiative of pairing together art and wine was initiated by Sophie Roulé (GE 01).  

“When describing a particular wine, one talks about how light or elegant it is and also evokes the sensory dimension. These very same terms are used when describing a painting. It’s all to do with emotion and feelings as opposed to knowledge.”

One of the delights on show for our alumnae members to contemplate was Sandro Botticelli’s work entitled “Allegory of Spring”. This ornate painting is very spring-like and ethereal, as is the wine selected by Sophie Roulé to accompany it. The hostess for the evening opted for the Domaine Lecomte Quincy Tradition, this wine is 100% Sauvignon with herbaceous notes and a light fruity flavour.

What a feast for the eyes and taste buds of all our alumnae members in attendance!

Alumni in London continue the oenology theme as ambassador Tristan Pelloux (GE 15) has organised an inaugural winetasting evening with Chateau de Pommard on Wednesday 9 October (30 places are available at a price of €10 per person).

Register here


Géraldine Lance, Editor


Around the globe

Portrait of a big ocean and environment lover

At the age of 46, Carlo Grigoletto (MBA 10) has been fortunate enough to surf the waves of all five oceans. Originating from Peru, his parents can be credited with passing onto their son this love for the ocean. Thanks to family trips to Spain, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Indonesia, he became aware of the damage being caused to our coastlines and realised just how important it is for us to protect our environment.


When did your concern for the protection of our planet first begin?

Carlo Grigoletto: Back in childhood, thanks to my father’s job, we moved house a lot and I got to do a lot of surfing! Surfing enabled me to get closer to nature. Surfing is a way of life: it forever changes how we see the world around us. As a surfer, your environment is your principal ally!


What have all these years on the water taught you?

Carlo Grigoletto: Little by little, I began to realise that the sea swells were changing, that the quality of the waves as well as erosion were becoming a major problem, that the spots I loved were deteriorating, among other things. You see, when the environment is spoilt, we are the first to suffer the consequences. For instance, water pollution can make us fall ill, we can actually feel coastal erosion affecting our airways. For this reason, I’ve decided to do something about it.  I have a duty to share some good environmental values regarding ocean conservation and coastal development.

So, what precisely is your commitment to supporting the environment?

Carlo Grigoletto: I have set up an organisation which brings together experts in the field of coastal development. It has two basic objectives: to promote public awareness and persuade companies to adopt work practices that are both sustainable and environmentally-friendly. Along with this, I’ve also worked on a number of different environmental projects for example with the German Development Institute, the Save The Waves and Surfrider Foundation, as well as with the Peruvian Ministry for Tourism.


On several occasions, you have had the opportunity of speaking at the COP 20.  Could you tell us what conclusions you’ve come to? 

Carlo Grigoletto: We need to keep pushing our policy makers to help them understand that they have a duty to address these issues. They’ll have their work cut out. That’s why we believe that grassroots activism is a significant part of this change. In the United Kingdom back in 2015, we went to parliament to sign agreements with a number of MPs. In 2017, Peru this time, we took to the streets campaigning to stop infrastructures which are anti-nature and against public places on the beach. I believe that every one of us should pass the message on and must be a fervent defender of the planet.

Read more about Lou Botherel: “sea pollution really hit home with me”


Géraldine Lance, Editor


Around the globe

Touring Europe in search of sustainability initiatives

The younger generation is first in line when it comes to suffering the consequences of global warming and therefore is naturally intent on playing an active role in this transition. This is the case for Nicolas Gumy (Audencia Bachelor in Management 18) along with three of his associates who have joined forces to spearhead the Impul’S Tour project, the very first European tour on board an electric car, showcasing sustainable initiatives across Europe. So, what’s it all about? The aim here is to demonstrate that there are solutions out there and to share a few suggestions on how to take action.

Emergency action is more necessary than ever!” warns 22-year-old Nicolas Gumy.

As of January 2019, this Audencia Bachelor, a 2018 Management programme graduate, has been in charge of developing sales and marketing at LM Innotech, a start-up enterprise which has successfully developed Greenfib, a patented, innovative polymer that is 100% bio-based, sustainable, recyclable and made using short-cycle-time manufacturing. His career choice is all the more relevant as it is in keeping with his own personal convictions. Indeed, in his own words, making small changes to one’s daily routine helps push things forward.

I’m an optimist as well as a realist. It’s important to come up with a new model if you want to take concrete action.”

Change your habits

As a student, Nicolas decided to take the plunge alongside three of his twenty-something friends who were equally avid nature lovers and so the Impul’S Tour project was born: the very first European tour mapping sustainable initiatives.

There are so many solutions out there which probably aren’t on people’s radar. We wanted to provide everyone with the necessary keys required to make changes to their daily routines” he explains.

That’s how this adventure, with the four of us on board an electric car, came about and it took several months to prepare for. The starting gun went off on 1 August, 2018.

On the programme: a month spent driving around Europe, clocking up 6,000 kilometres, travelling through 10 different countries and with a total of 40 electric charges. Throughout the expedition a series of accompanying videos were made providing “some top tips and suggestions on how to take action and get involved in the transition”. With anything from a company in Nantes which is endeavouring to revolutionise transport by using sailing boats, to De Ceuvel, in Amsterdam, where old flat-bottomed vessels are being converted into mini start-up incubators, calling in at Sonderborg, a Danish town striving to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 100% by the year 2029, or Copenhagen where free fruit, vegetables, bread rolls and pastries are given out, or Berlin where coffee dregs are collected from restaurants to be repurposed into plastic.

In Europe, there are plenty of initiatives under way. Yet, it has taken a project like Impul’S Tour to put them on the map and get the message across that what’s going on there can equally be achieved elsewhere too.


Florence Falvy, Editor


Patronage & support

“The learning trip? It's just one of the best things that's ever happened to me at Audencia!”

Niels Rolland (GE 19) took part in the very first learning expedition along with five other students from Audencia. As we are gearing up for the 2020 edition, he takes us back over this once-in-a-lifetime experience that has certainly left a lasting impression on him.

“In all honesty, the learning trip is just one of the best things that’s ever happened to me during my time here as a student at Audencia. There absolutely has got to be a second trip and the event needs to keep on going with more and more students taking part as the years go by!” claims Niels, one of the six winners who was fortunate enough to head off to the States in January 2019 for an awe-inspiring week at the pinnacle of the digital innovation hub that is the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and Silicon Valley.

Putting his money where his mouth is, Niels didn’t have to think twice before making a donation – via the Audencia Foundation – to help fund the upcoming learning trip. He points out that this donation goes directly towards a targeted project and its effectiveness can very quickly be gauged both in concrete terms and on a human level with its high added value. This experience has stayed with him and he believes that the opportunity he benefitted from should also benefit others.

What’s stayed with me from this trip? The content: all those start-ups we visited, from Facebook to GitHub as well as Plug&Play, they provided us with a “bigger picture” of what Silicon Valley actually is, with its opportunities and pitfalls for both entrepreneurs and investors alike.

Another high point was the group itself

“All the people on the trip with us, from the students that were selected to the accompanying professors and staff who managed and supervised the trip, not forgetting those who contributed towards the funding and so forth. There was a real sense of cohesion in the group and so bonds were naturally forged,” Niels continues, which goes to show just how much the quality of interaction mattered throughout the adventure, among the group itself, with the entrepreneurs they met as well as with the Audencia alumni in San Francisco.

He only has one regret: being out of the running to take part in the student selection taking place this autumn! 

Make a donation


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


Patronage & support

Learning trip to the CES and Silicon Valley: here we go again!

For the second year in a row, the Club Audencia des Dirigeants de l’Ouest (CADO), an association bringing together business leaders in western France, and the Audencia Foundation are offering up a voyage of discovery on the west coast of America. Thanks to the fundraiser, which has been set up to finance this adventure, somewhere between six to ten undergraduates from Audencia will be able to take part.

How do you fancy diving headfirst into the very heart of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and Silicon Valley? We are here to make this dream of yours come true. The learning trip, spearheaded by CADO along with the support of the Audencia Foundation, will enable a group of ambitious and deserving undergraduates to immerse themselves in the world capital of digital technology in Las Vegas and to roam the offices of some of the world’s most iconic companies.

The learning trip will start off at the CES de Las Vegas. Guiding them and bringing along his in-depth knowledge of the CES, CADO member Michaël Thoby (Exec MBA 13 – Founder and CEO of Emotic) will be conducting the tour for our Audencia undergraduates, as he has also been doing for around a decade now for various businesses. Once they arrive in San Francisco, their alumni ambassador Lucie Gouanelle (GE 98) will be drawing on her list of contacts to help facilitate business encounters in top cutting-edge companies like Facebook, Intel and Github.

The stakes are high: in an age where AI is reshuffling the digital deck of tomorrow’s economy and where trust in digital breakthroughs is becoming paramount, the key lies in being able to inspire our trainee entrepreneurs, who are passionate about digital technology, by bringing them up close with the very innovations that are revolutionising today’s world.

As was the case for their forerunners, the undergraduates heading off on this 2020 trip will be selected this autumn by a top panel, hand-picking winners on the strength of the applicants’ projects and motivations. Travel, hotel, CES pass and company tours: the overall cost of the learning trip tots up to €2,000 per student.

From A to Z, this trip has been specifically thought up, organised and funded by the alumni network and our corporate partners. A fundraiser, enabling a maximum number of students to get on board the learning trip, has been set up and is currently open until the end of October. You can access this via the foundation’s website.

The target: 20,000 €. Donations made are income tax deductible, 75% wealth tax deductible, and 60% corporation tax deductible. Be part of the adventure!

Make a donation


Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor


Innovation hub

Portrait of a cycling enthusiast and environmental activist

After a double degree in engineering at the École Supérieure du Bois and management at Audencia, Charlie Colin (GE 17) founded Ernest Cycle with two classmates, Valentin Diot and Julien Milcent. The start-up, founded in 2017, offers custom-made bamboo bicycles that are perfectly comfortable, functional and aesthetic.

In addition to setting a trend and offering a designer look, bamboo is a renewable material that has a low carbon footprint. Ernest Cycle frames are made of Iron Bamboo, the only variety strong enough to build their bicycles. The joints are made of linen fibre, renowned for their length and strength. The resulting product is then carefully varnished to prevent the colours from crackling. Ernest Cycles are custom-made and perfectly adapted to each individual body shape. The only downside? Luxury has a price and a frame costs around 8,000€.

When asked what motivated Charlie to embark on this crazy adventure, he enthusiastically answers:

I simply wanted to combine my two passions which are cycling and ecology.

For 20 years, he participated in competitive cycling events, and very early on, he realised that the environment had to be a priority:

If we harm our environment then we damage industry and the economy which means we will have lost everything and will no longer be able to live. Our environment is the most important thing we have. It is essential to preserve it and to raise public awareness.”

Even if he is not an expert in ecology or committed to a specific environmental cause, according to 30-year-old Charlie, we must all change our habits in order to preserve the planet:

We must all change our habits. As citizens, consumers or industrialists, we always have the means to take concrete action. For example, we can realign our buying patterns, reduce our consumption, limit our waste, design renewable products and trade in our cars for bicycles!

According to Charlie, cycling is by far the best way to travel… So let’s all get pedalling!


Géraldine Lance, Editor


Business corner

Interview with the Director of the Energy Transition Department at the Banque des Territoires

There are many trades operating in the field of energy transition. Join us as we shine a spotlight on one of them, in the company of Emmanuel Legrand (Exec MBA 09) who heads up the Management Department for Ecological and Energy Transition at the Banque des Territoires.

Trained at Supelec (School of Electrical Engineering) in Paris, 52-year-old Emmanuel Legrand, began his career working for telecoms in various departments including sales and marketing. Following this, over the next fifteen years, he witnessed the changes taking place in this sector from the inside, which was starting to open up to competition and also saw the launch of the mobile phone as well as the Internet. Given this, he had a firm conviction that the energy market was likely to undergo a similar transition of its own. What’s more, in 2009, after earning an Executive MBA from Audencia, he noticed that one particular subject was starting to surface: the fight to combat climate deregulation. By now, he was intent on pursuing a meaningful career by getting involved in what he calls “a huge collaborative undertaking”: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address global-warming mitigation and adaptation. He would go on to take part in the setting up of the CDC Climate, subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépôts dedicated to environmental and energy transitions in the economy. He started out as Deputy Director, before being appointed as chief investment officer, funding schemes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy projects in developing countries. As the world was witnessing the market demise for carbon, he was busy setting up development activities in order to reduce fossil fuel consumption in industry.


The greatest challenges

His career was to reach a new milestone in 2015, with the creation of the Environmental and Energy Transition Department which he currently steers as part of the investment board at the Banque des Territoires (a brand of the Caisse des dépôts set up in 2018). His role: investment in renewable energy schemes in France, energy efficiency in the realms of building renovation and waste/water treatment.

Another issue at the heart of the energy transition debate is transport. According to Emmanuel Legrand, this sector is undergoing an important transformation and is set to experience a technical shake-up with the emergence of alternative hybrid, electric and hydrogen energies. This brings us to another major challenge but one that is also rather complex: how to improve the energy related performance of our existing building fabric.

Read more about Etienne Reynaud "a custodian of biodiversity"


Florence Falvy, Editor



Recent publication

Mémoires du Viaduc d'Anthéor (Memoirs of the Viaduct of Anthéor)

Situated 15 kilometres from Saint-Raphaël, Anthéor is a seaside town which is easily recognisable due to the impressive viaduct which can be seen overlooking the area.  Ideally located between the Massif de l’Estérel and the Mediterranean lapping along its shores, this is a must-visit spot and one of the jewels in Saint-Raphaël’s crown.

This book recounts the history of the town. It recalls all the significant factors that have contributed towards the development of the district, including the construction of the viaduct, the establishment of the Domaine d'Anthéor-Plage, the supply of running water and the promotion of tourism in the area.

It recalls the dark days of war: 11 bombings, the Operation Dragoon landings on 15 August 1944, the destruction of the viaduct, etc.

This historically accurate work is teeming with stories, some of which are being revealed for the very first time.

A book to delight all lovers of Anthéor, this “gem running along the Corniche d'Or".

"Mémoires du Viaduc d'Anthéor" has been written by Alain Dubreuil (GE 66), founding chairman of the "Anthéor - Yesterday and Today" association.

Are you a published alumnus and would like to share your published work with fellow alumni?  If so, then please drop the team a few lines here at:


Emilie Tendron, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni Team



New appointments

News of fellow Audencians who have changed post in recent months:

  • Laura Abou Khalil (GE 18) has been appointed Customer Success Manager at Panopli
  • Dimitri Arrondeau (GE 18) has been appointed Mid Cap & Corporate Consultant / Strategy Consulting at CMI Strategies
  • José Baghdad (GE 99) has been appointed Partner and Automotive Industry Director at PwC
  • Alexis Barrassin (GE 15) has been appointed Event Development & eSports Manager at AccorHotels Arena
  • Julien Bavencoffe (GE 11) has been appointed Recruitment Officer at Pays de La Loire Regional Council
  • Lucas Berthuit (GE 18) has been appointed Business Engineer at GATEWATCHER
  • Antoine Bourree (GE 18) has been appointed Junior Manager European Graduate at XPO Logistics
  • Jacques-Henri Daniel (GE 80) has been appointed Southern Area Manager at PAREDES
  • Aline De Snoeck (GE 15) has been appointed Project Manager at Académie du Service
  • Eric Dumanchin (Head of Communications 2018) has been appointed Head of Communications and Culture for the town of Thorigné-Fouillard
  • Anne-Laure Guermont (GE 10) has been appointed Head of Communications & Development at Publicis Activ
  • Charlène Hameau (SCOM 17) has been appointed National Programme Coordinator at Wintegreat
  • Béatrice Le Terrec (GE 91) has been appointed Human Resources Director at BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions
  • Anne-Lise Olivier (GE 08) has been appointed Network Coordinator at ATD (Actors of Sustainable Tourism)
  • Vincent Philippine (GE 07) has been appointed Managing Partner in charge of vertical mobility and industrials at AXIONABLE
  • Florence Therond (GE 95) has been appointed Group CFO at PRISMAFLEX INTERNATIONAL
  • Camille Winter (GE 14) is Co-founder of Le Fromage de Margot at BEL


Congratulations to each and every one of you on these distinguished appointments!

If you too would like to tell us about your own recent appointment or new start-up, then please drop us a line at


Emilie Tendron, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni Team


The end

Thank you for reading this tenth issue of The Mag. We look forward to seeing you again in 2 months for the next issue which is due out on 5 December.

Until then, everything happens on Together. Create your account, watch out for upcoming events near you and join the 12,300 Audencia Alumni who are active in the network.

And, if you have any ideas for future issues or want to get involved in the writing an article for the magazine, drop us a line at

As always, for any other questions, you can reach us at the same email address. 

See you soon!


Your Alumni Team

More info on Together