The development of Diversity Fresco was initiated in 2019, through a partnership between ESSEC Business School and Belugames, a company specializing in educational games and cooperation. This Fresco is designed to help fight against discrimination in the same way as the famous Climate Fresco does for climate issues. After numerous beta-tests with a wide range and variety of users, a first version – adapted to the French cultural and legal context – was designed and presented to 45 member schools of the Conférence des Grandes Écoles (CGE) on July 7, 2021. ESSEC's objective is to share this new tool with as many people as possible and to turn interest into support so that it can be rolled out in several schools. At ESSEC, this initiative will be offered as from September 2021, to the 420 students admitted to the Grande EÉole Program through its competitive entry exam. It will then be extended within two years to all students in pre-experience programs in.
Among the CGE schools who took part in the July 7 presentation of the Fresco were: Burgundy School of Business EBI, ECAM Strasbourg Europe, École Centrale de Marseille, École Centrale Lille, École des Mines de Nancy, École des Mines Paristech, École des Ponts Paristech, EDHEC, EFREI, EM Normandie, EM Lyon, École Nationale Supérieure d'Arts et Métiers, ENSSAT, ESCE, ESIGELEC, ESITCCPE Lyon, ESSCA, HEC Paris, IESEG, INSA Lyon, INSA Strasbourg, ISAE-SUPAERO, KEDGE Business School, NEOMA Business School, SKEMA Business School, Toulouse Business School, UniLaSalle.
Together, ESSEC's ecological and social initiative
As part of its 360° transition approach titled Together, ESSEC Business School has made the commitment to incorporate societal issues into every dimension of its operations, and, most importantly, into the curriculum of its pre- and post-experience programs.
“The Diversity Fresco was designed to provide students with a framework for debate designed, among other things, to help them become aware both of the cognitive biases that lead to discrimination and their consequences. It is the first step in a process aimed at building a more inclusive school, a more tolerant society and more efficient organizations. ESSEC’s ambition is for the Diversity Fresco to have the same impact on social challenges as the Climate Fresco does on climate challenges”, explains Anne-Claire Pache, Director of Strategy and Social Commitment at ESSEC Business School.
The Diversity Fresco: an awareness-building tool
The Diversity Fresco is a tool designed to help build awareness about discrimination and to challenge preconceptions surrounding issues of discrimination and inclusion within organizations (schools, universities, companies, associations, etc.).
The various concepts and definitions used on the cards which make up the Diversity Fresco are based on the academic expertise of Junko Takagi, Chaired Professor of the Leadership & Diversity Chair at ESSEC, as well as on research in cognitive sciences and social psychology.
The Diversity Fresco in action
The Diversity Fresco is based on the same educational techniques as the Climate Fresco. It works as an interactive and experiential awareness-raising workshop that lasts three hours, for a group of six to ten people, run by a specifically-trained facilitator.
It is based on a set of concept cards, which serve as the basis for discussion and debate. As part of the workshop, the participants are expected to work as a group to produce a logical process.
The cards are successively dealt out in batches, each of which is introduced by a mini-game so the participants can familiarize themselves with the underlying issues of diversity, discrimination and inclusion. The whole process helps develop awareness among participants, as well as a shared foundation for reflection and a new understanding of key notions, thereby empowering them to take action and to reinforce existing initiatives.