Back on the EDHEC Students Against the Crisis (ESAC) after its launch a few months ago
Written on 28 September 2020.
“In crisis, success depends on agility in thinking and acting. Over more than a decade we have been empowering managers to make their strategic decision making more anticipatory, agile and robust. The ESAC initiative was a solidarity and pedagogical mission” says René Rohrbeck, Director of the FIT chair.
The ESAC initiative was created as a response to Covid-19. Students worked with the leadership teams of companies hit by the crisis by developing recovery scenarios and re-imagining business models using foresight methods and tools. 33 students received an initial training and used the Chair’s strategic foresight toolkit in small teams to work with companies of different sizes, countries and industry, including Lufthansa from Germany, Strabag from Austria and Côté Nature a local chain of garden centres in the North of France.
Students worked on their company challenges with supervision from EDHEC Professors Pierre-Jean Barlatier, Karin Kollenz and René Rohrbeck, and concluded their projects with final recommendations to the management teams. The companies commented that the projects were very helpful to think outside the box and identify unconventional solutions to business challenges. Moreover, challenges presented a chance for students to follow a systematic methodical process and work with sophisticated foresight methods and tools, including the Itonics Campus suite, to work on deliverables such as trend radars, recovery scenarios and alternative portfolios of strategic actions.
Feedbacks from supported companies has been very positive:
Jörg-Stefan Fritz, Head of Flight Operations Digitalization Strategy Lufthansa Group Airlines said:
“Working with the students in the ESAC program for the “Future of Air Travel” was a wonderful experience. The team quickly developed credibility and trust given their ability and understanding to identify and solve problems. Their 4-step approach to scenario planning and the scenarios developed were quite comprehensive. Plus, the factor listing, and signal scanning was meticulous throughout the project. With a scope this wide, the industry has definitely benefited with their inputs and solutions."
The work of the ESAC initiative supporting companies through the crisis will continue under the supervision of the Foresight, Innovation and Transformation Chair. The first project working closely with the aviation industry – FIT to Fly - was launched in September.