New academic year 2023: understanding societal and technological challenges
At the start of every academic year, EDHEC Business School organises conferences, round tables and competitions for all of its programmes. The goal is to familiarise all students with major societal and technological challenges.
The fight against gender-based violence played a central role in the awareness-raising day arranged for incoming EDHEC International BBA and Pre-Master students. First-year BBA students listened to a speech by Hager Jemel, Director of the Diversity & Inclusion Chair, devoted to the importance of fighting gender-based violence collectively. They then took part in a “Gender-Based Violence: Act and Stop it!” workshop, a unique initiative among management schools, created at EDHEC by the Diversity & Inclusion Chair. During the workshop, mediators guided students in analysing several examples of gender-based violence and helping them to understand and qualify such behaviour.
For their part, Pre-Master students attended a conference - “How the law can and must serve the fight against sexist violence” led by Valence Borgia, barrister practising in Paris and New York and co-founder of the Fondation des Femmes. During her talk, she discussed gender inequalities within law firms (the under-representation of women among law firm partners, the persistence of gender stereotypes within the profession) and presented legal cases in which judges took into account the sexist nature of the cases in their verdicts.
Technological challenges, particularly those related to artificial intelligence, were tackled during a round table - “AI in Education: Exploring Challenges, Boundaries, and Ethical Considerations” - in which Geneviève Houriet Segard, Deputy Director and Research Engineer in the EDHEC NewGen Talent Centre, Nathalie Devillier, Doctor in Law, specialist in cybersecurity issues, Arne de Keyser, Associate Professor of Marketing, and Charles Chevalier, double degree student at Centrale Lille and EDHEC, all took part. In front of an audience of 720 Master 1 students, participants discussed the impact of AI on the education sector, along with the associated ethical issues (such as personal data protection) and limits to the use of AI (such as the lack of plurality and the standardisation of data).
For several years now, proposals concerning sustainable development and ecological transition have been an integral part of the agenda for the start of the academic year for EDHEC programmes. First-year BBA students, for example, begin their curriculum with Sustainable Impact Projects. These are practical cases, involving issues aligned with one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set out by the United Nations, such as health and well-being, education or gender equality. Assisted by a tutor, each group of students has a year to create a project under a not-for-profit association status and prepare a solution for their case. For their part, Master 2 students, took part in the Sustainable Campus Challenge, a competition co-constructed with partner Capgemini Invent. The competition called on students to consider solutions for improving sustainable development education at EDHEC or for making the campus more ecological and more inclusive. Lastly, as is customary every year, Pre-Master students took part in the “Fresque du Climat” workshop focusing on climate change and its consequences.