SKEMA has inaugurated its Grand Paris Campus. A flagship (30,000 m2) on the banks of the Seine in an environment that the Impressionists would have liked. But why keep opening physical campuses in the digital age? Alice Guilhon, General Manager, and Jean-Philippe Courtois, President of the Board of Directors, explain that if campuses evolve, they are more than ever necessary for the exchange of knowledge, discussions, friendships….
It is inaugurated on SKEMA Greater Paris Campus, today the flagship of the Business School born from the merger of the former Ceram of Sophia Antipolis with the ESC of Lille. At the end. Although it has been open since January 2021 to around 3,000 French and international students of the school, its inauguration has had to be postponed several times due to the health crisis. It was possible to take place on Thursday in the presence of Frederique Vidal, (former) Minister of Higher Education, Guillaume Boudy, Mayor of Suresnes, local authorities, Jean-Philippe CourtoisChairman of the Board of Directors of SKEMA e Alice GuilhonGeneral Manager and numerous representatives of the various Campus and of the school and its partners. (Photo Lora Barra: An original ribbon cut through a “buzz”)
A new hub of 30,000 m2 on the banks of the Seine
The inauguration of this new hub of 30,000 m2 on the banks of the Seine, in the former premises of the Airbus, was done with elegance. It featured an original “ribbon cut” (a “buzz” that triggered a fireworks display) and a reception on the building’s fabulous “roof” overlooking the Seine and the Eiffel Tower.
But what we will remember are also several messages that were given on this occasion: the importance of a campus for student life in the new digital age; the modularity and agility of these new generation spaces; the reaffirmed project of a “glocal” school (both global with strong local settlements), with French roots, with an emphasis on the use of new digital technologies and on CSR.
“A place of community creation, a place of physical interactions that reassure, facilitate connections and consolidate trust”
“The campus today combines the experience of co-living and co-working, it becomes a place of community creation, a place of physical interactions that reassure, facilitate connections and consolidate trust”Alice Guilhon explained. “The more AI, the metaverse, 5.0 infiltrate the daily life of families (and this is a good thing) and young people, the more our campuses will become the extension of the family, a place of exchange and peace in this respect. humanity has something more beautiful: the exchange of knowledge, discussion, friendship … “
“We will continue to build and inaugurate campuses for a single mission: to accompany our students to be transformers of society, free, responsible, ethical and aware citizens”.
A fully modular campus to adapt to the uses of the SKEMA community
Adapted to the era of mobility, the classroom on the Grand Paris campus is a larger and more open space. The campus is fully modular to suit the uses of the SKEMA community. The same space can be mobilized and configured for different types of activities according to educational needs. The aim is to promote the diversity of learning experiences, the decomposition of communities (teachers, students, alumni, collaborators, etc.) to mix experiences and skills.
Circulations are not only corridors that allow flows and exchanges, but also informal work spaces. Note the spaces for the Ko-Working spaces (in particular for a “makestorming” approach to problem solving), Ko-living (for a learning community) and a K-Box (to facilitate the “projects” approach).
The three convictions of Jean-Philippe Courtois
As for the evolution of SKEMA, from the former Ceram of Sophia Antipolis to today’s Campus Grand Paris, it has been retraced by Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president of Microsoft international sales, marketing and operations, and chair of the school’s board of trustees. A story he knows well: he graduated from Ceram Sophia in 1983 and immediately approached computer science through Memsoft, a start-up of Sophia Antipolis, then with Microsoft.
He recalled the “remarkable” work of the Côte d’Azur Chamber of Commerce which had established the school at the time in Nice sur Sophia. “These business schools were a tool for the economic development of France in the 1970s and 1980s. But it was difficult for them to go much further than the traditional model. The regional anchoring is exceptional, we keep it, but it is not enough. “Hence the merger with ESC Lille and a new start in January 2010 under the name of SKEMA and under the direction of Alice Guilhon But alongside the regional roots in the north with the ‘ESC Lille and in the south with the former Ceram we needed a flagship in Paris. This is our first conviction. “
“The second sentence”, he underlines Jean-Philippe Courtois“is that the anchor doesn’t have to be just regional or national. It has to be global. We have set up our campuses (these are not just alliances) in China, South Africa, Brazil, the United States and a research center in Canada so that our students can evolve globally with an international culture.
The third conviction reminds us that Jean-Philippe Courtois is also president and co-founder of the Live for Good association: to amplify the positive impact of the entrepreneurial movement started with SKEMA Social Ventures. “Many students are preparing to create their futures through positive impact companies. At Campus Grand Paris, these positive leadership initiatives should multiply and be placed at the heart of the management and leadership practices that need to change in a world that has nothing. to do with what we have known in recent years.