Organized for the past seven years for the MSc in Management students and deployed in 2015 to the Global BBA, Masters, and Executive Education programs, iMagination Week is a unique seminar dedicated to creativity, imagination and transdisciplinarity. The 7th edition of iMagination Week - France which took place on the Cergy campus on January 2-5, welcomed over 750 students and centered on the theme ‘How Far Can Progress Lead Us?’. The 3rd edition of iMagination Week – Singapore began on Monday, January 8 and revolved around the same theme.
iMagination Week at ESSEC Cergy
An innate part of the pedagogical innovation at ESSEC, iMagination Week exposes students to the concept of transdisciplinarity through conferences and workshops conducted by experts from a variety of disciplines. It also encourages students to consider and imagine the future and cultivates the visionary leader in them. The theme of the seventh iMagination Week focused on, ‘How Far Can Progress Lead Us?’.Throughout the week, international experts came to present their vision of what progress is in various fields such as new technologies, medicine, biology, gastronomy, philosophy and art.
Leading experts who, each in their own way, have found ways to bring creativity into their fields of expertise came to share their testimonials. Guest speakers included neuro-psychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik; Canadian cyborg Jens Naumann; neurosurgeon Philippe Menei, the first to have performed brain surgery on a conscious patient using a VR headset; French philosopher Jean-Michel Besnier; the graffiti artist Nebay; and the musician and YouTuber PV Nova to name a few.
At the end of the week of testimonials and workshops, the students had to present a proposal explaining their vision of what progress should look like. The use of PowerPoint not being permitted, students were required to present their work via an artistic, literary or multimedia format. Among all of the final presentations, three stood out for their creativity and inventiveness:
- 1st Place: in the form of a video entitled "Going the Right Way," the winning team presented its vision of progress by examining the impact of new technologies on social relations.
- 2nd Place: the presentation of the second place team imagined the future of the human species under the sea with the video "Planet Sea.”
- 3rd Place: the team in third place presented a play entitled "Emotion Control, Your Key to Happiness," a solution based on Big Data and the practice of yoga to reduce psychosocial risks.
iMagination Week at ESSEC Asia-Pacific
During iMagination Week – Singapore, students were challenged to generate ideas that will help themselves and those around them strive for progress and improvement, whether through an economic, social, or personal perspective.
Harry Seah, Assistant Chief Executive (Future Systems & Technology) at PUB, delivered the opening lecture of iMagination Week – Singapore. Over the course of the week, several high level guests from various fields of expertise participated in the conference and inspired the students by sharing their personal journeys.
Among the invitees were esteemed leaders like Dave Lim, Founding Curator of TEDxSingapore; Bianca Draghici, VFX Art Director at Industrial Light and Magic; Dr. Liu Thai Ker, Former Master Planner of Singapore and Founder of Morrow; Rebecca Assice, Owner of Virtual Room Singapore, a multiplayer virtual reality game center; André Chiang, Taiwanese Chef and Owner of Restaurant André; Hossan Leong, a Singaporean stage and screen actor; Stéphanie Rigourd, Wine Director at Raffles Singapore; and Kathirasan K, Director of the Center for Mindfulness (Singapore).
According to Professor Xavier Pavie, Associate Academic Director of the MSc in Management in Singapore and Director of the iMagination Center at ESSEC, “When people think about education, they usually equate that to knowledge acquisition and passing exams. Creativity and imagination are two skills that are immensely useful and important, but often undervalued. With our unique approach, ESSEC’s iMagination Week aims to produce extraordinary leaders of today and tomorrow, by training them to respond to the ever-changing world around them.”
iMagination at its Best
Through iMagination Week, ESSEC aims to prepare its students — the managers of the future — to understand the increasing complexity of the world. The annual week-long event reflects ESSEC’s cross-disciplinary learning approach and represents a disruptive change for the education industry. Into its seventh run on the Cergy campus, iMagination Week led ESSEC to emerge as a finalist out of more than 1,000 candidates in the 2017 Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards. An initiative that acknowledges and rewards successful transformational programs that enhances student learning outcomes and employability, the Reimagine Education Awards is also a global conference for groups and individuals to share their thoughts and ideas towards enhancing the future of education. iMagination Week also won the AACSB 2017 Innovations That Inspire award.