An Immersive Perspective on Sustainability in Singapore | Participant Testimonies


Fresh from a transformative journey to Singapore, the ESSEC Executive MBA Class of 2024 reflects on their week-long residency – a deep-dive into innovation, sustainability, multiculturalism and geopolitics, all themes that resonate deeply with our program. EMBA participants Wilfried Roth, Head of Unified Communication Support at SFR, and Elena Bertholet, Growth & Innovation Strategic Marketing Leader at Aliaxis share their perspectives, offering a glimpse into the profound impact of the Singapore residency on their professional and personal growth.

ESG at the Core: Nurturing Sustainable Futures

Echoing the ESG considerations at the heart of the ESSEC Executive MBA, the Singapore residency immersed participants in on-the-ground explorations of various sustainability issues through sessions with experts and visits to innovative hubs. “This trip gave me a lot of new ideas,” says Elena Bertholet. “It's clear that making things sustainable is key to our future, and Singapore's way of doing things shows that smart solutions can really make a difference.” Throughout the curated Singapore residency, participants were able to glimpse a more equitable and sustainable future, finding inspiration and motivation to make changes, and applying newfound insights to their work and everyday lives. They left, in the words of Wilfried Roth, fueled in their “determination to catalyze positive change in our respective industries.”

The Strength of Multiculturalism

Multiculturalism, a catalyst for innovation and growth and a key value of the ESSEC Executive MBA program, was another focus of the residency. The thought-provoking session on cross-culturalism by Frederic Gillant, Chief Revenue Officer at Convide, provided participants, many of whom work in international environments, with a better understanding of the nuances, complexities and advantages of diversity. One of the key takeaways for Wilfried was “the realization that multiculturalism can indeed serve as the bedrock of a harmonious society.” In his words, “Singapore's celebration of tolerance and diversity sets a precedent that we in Europe can aspire to emulate.” 

Innovate, Innovate, Innovate 

The journey featured stimulating, immersive visits to the Schneider Electric Innovation Hub as well as the Marina Barrage Sustainability Center, where participants were able to observe innovation in action, exploring the practical applications of ESG theory. At Schneider Electric, participants explored the integration of energy and water management with smart buildings, thanks to an innovative platform. “The company’s multi-purpose platform,” Elena says, “merges these essential resources into a comprehensive solution.” This integration, Wilfried adds, “is a testament to how companies can spearhead environmental stewardship while driving efficiency and innovation.” At the Marina Barrage Sustainability Center, a paragon of multifunctional urban sustainability efforts, participants learned about Singapore’s groundbreaking efforts to reduce freshwater consumption by 60% through innovative solutions.

Over the course of the week, Executive MBA participants enjoyed insightful classes on Geopolitics in Southeast Asia with Professor Cedomir Nestorovic; ESG Investment in Asia with Professor Peng Xu; and Intellectual Property Management with Sivakumar Rajagopal. These sessions, led by renowned experts, enriched participants’ understanding of global dynamics and all that’s at stake.

Overall, the Singapore residency is a case study of the transformative power of immersive, collaborative learning. Empowered by these resonant and real ESG experiences, participants possess a more clear understanding of leadership in the 21st century. They know that it requires more than knowledge – that it requires embracing diverse perspectives, fostering innovation and championing sustainability.