iMagination Week 2016: ESSEC Students Imagine the World of Tomorrow


For the past five years, ESSEC has emphasized cross-disciplinary learning and as such offers the MSc in Management students the opportunity to participate in iMagination Week, a unique seminar dedicated to imagination and creativity. The 5th edition of iMagination week took place on January 4-8, 2016.

“Our objective is to culturally enrich the students by taking them out of their usual work habit and exposing them to experts from various disciplines like life sciences, future studies, art, technology, and sciences, among others. It is also to invite the students to envision the future and develop their creative minds by stimulating their imagination and team work capabilities.” explains Prof. Xavier Pavie, Director of the iMagination Center at ESSEC.

The theme of the week was “Work to live, live to work” and was placed under the patronage of Bénédicte Richard, an alumna of ESSEC and the Director of Human Resources and Development at Chanel. Among those in attendance were international experts Professor Hubert Reeves, a Franco-Canadian astrophysicist and ecologist (former Scientific Director for NASA and Research Director for CNRS) who inaugurated the event as well as Prof. Cédric Villani, Fields Medal recipient in Mathematics, Neil Harbisson, a contemporary artist and cyborg activist and Fabrice Midal, philosopher and founder of the Western School of Meditation.

At the end of the week, after numerous conferences and group work sessions, all students had to render their vision of what a work-life balance should be through a unique medium: literature, art, multimedia or through performance (e.g. a play, etc.). The "traditional" PowerPoint presentation was prohibited.

Build Your Own Course, a unique Learning by doing experience
During the 2016 edition of Imagination Week, five professors presented a six minute pitch to students about their research they wish to develop in to a course through the Build Your Own Course (BYOC) format. Launched in 2015, BYOC is a unique and innovative approach to give students the opportunity to imagine new courses, the way they would like them to be taught, by co-creating the course content and format together with the professors.

Following a creative session of exchanges between students and professors, a general vote served to identify the course that would be co-created and offered during the 2016/17 academic year: “Lead up!” Maurice Thévenet, Management Professor

iMagination Week at ESSEC Asia-Pacific
The first Singapore iMagination Week took place on the Asia-Pacific campus from January 11-15, 2016. It was a week-long seminar revolving around the same theme and involving some 200 students in addition to several high level guests from various fields of expertise such as genetics, architecture and cognitive sciences to name a few. The goal of the week was to help students understand that the ideal society of the future can only become a reality by applying their imagination and their commitment. The week also saw the first Build Your Own Course program being held in Singapore, where the course "Elevator Pitch" emerged as the most popular and chosen course.

Read the presse release

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