This Monday, September 5, 191 students of the Master 1 Grande Ecole Programme enrolled in the Gaïa semester were gathered for the very first time for the start of the new academic year. They will follow 240 hours of coursework, divided into 10 courses, all offered in English. These courses align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The courses are divided into 4 blocks, with a total of 20 courses being offered. 7 courses are compulsory, while each student chooses from the catalogue the 3 other courses to make up their semester of 10 courses.
The 240 hours of classes are taught by permanent professors from the School and by professionals, all specialists in environmental and social issues and their management.
After the presentation of the programme, the day was dedicated to the exchange of ideas with key figures in the world of ecological and social transition, such as Agathe Duplessy and Juliette Beriot, from the Collectif pour un Réveil Ecologique, or Walter Bouvais, founder of Open Lande, which supports projects working for a regenerative economy to "repair the earth," and co-writer of the film "Animal" directed by Cyril Dion. Nicolas Vergne, Audencia graduate and Head of Development at Jobs that makesense, and founder of the Audencia Alumni Transition Club, was also present to share his daily action for impact jobs.
In the afternoon, the students took participated in an immersive experience called "The Walk of Time". It retraces the history of the planet and of living beings through a 4.6km walk; a workshop that is both scientific and meditative. The workshop is led by experts who introduce concepts, figures, milestones and major events in the history of the planet, which allows us to become aware of the impact of human activities on the planet, over a very short period of time (the Anthropocene).
Manon, an AST student, explains why she chose to take the Gaïa semester:
“I wanted to link management to the societal and ecological dimensions. I wanted to get up in the morning and do something that made sense. Audencia was the only school that offered such a programme.”
Constantin, 22, adds:
"It is important for us in business school to learn how to adapt our business models. They have to integrate the major issues that we will have to face in order to lead the change in our future companies. Our generation is mobilising and Audencia is a school that responds to these challenges.”
Audencia is also pursuing its other commitments in favour of the ecological and social transition. On September 22, all students will be able to attend a lecture by Jean-Marc Jancovici on campus.
On November 8, Audencia and The Shift Project, which it chairs, will also present the results of the final report of the ClimatSup Business project, a first-of-its-kind initiative within business schools, aimed at transforming all of the school's courses and business specialisations through a skills reference framework and an action plan that can be replicated by all higher education establishments.