HEC Paris and The Bouygues partner to create the “Smart City and Common Good” chair

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The FINANCIAL — The Bouygues group and HEC Paris announce the creation of the “Smart City and Common Good” chair with the objective of contributing to thinking on major societal challenges and the contemporary world.

Through the creation of this chair, in partnership with HEC Paris, the Bouygues group aims to:

  • Help convey a people-focused vision of the smart city to future decision-takers;
  • Draw on academic thinking to make its sustainable city offerings more meaningful;
  • Raise awareness about the diversity and quality of careers within the Group.

This chair, held by Bertrand Quélin, Professor of Strategy and Business Policy at HEC Paris, will have four strands:

  • Research work: Professor Bertrand Quélin will create a Bouygues case study in collaboration with managers from the whole Group; the case study will be published on international platforms and all lectures using the case study will be made accessible;
  • Academic initiatives: representatives from the Bouygues group will make presentations on pre-defined subjects during lectures or carry out specific initiatives within the academic courses of HEC Paris;
  • The recruitment of new talents for the Bouygues group, who may contribute additional viewpoints (international, sustainable development);
  • The organisation of joint events.

For the Bouygues group, the creation of this chair forms part of its firmly-held belief that meeting essential day-to-day needs with an ethical and a responsible attitude helps to drive improvement for society as a whole. In response to the challenges of population growth, urbanisation, climate change, managing health risks, digital and technological transformation and changing user behaviour, the innovative solutions offered by Bouygues for the city of the future form a core part of the mission pursued by the Group’s people:
that of “making life better for as many people as possible every day”.

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For example, Bouygues Energies & Services recently introduced the OnDijon solution, which makes the Municipality of Dijon the first connected and smart urban authority in France by facilitating centralised management of public amenities and of all the connected urban infrastructure of the 24 municipalities that comprise the authority. This solution modernises and improves the performance of public services, stimulates the area’s digital economy and improves its pulling power.

Likewise, the ABC (Autonomous Building for Citizens) concept, which is self-sufficient in water, energy and waste management, the first Positive Economy Hybrid Building in France and recognised by the Solar Impulse Foundation, was developed by Bouygues Construction’s R&D department. It was inaugurated in Grenoble in 2020.

Finally, Sensations by Bouygues Immobilier is a residential project in Strasbourg in which consideration was given to ways of improving indoor air quality in the apartments by using materials with low pollutant emission levels.

For HEC, the “Smart City and Common Good” chair forms part of an overall policy of nurturing future generations and thinking towards a more sustainable and inclusive world.

This chair is also in association with HEC’s Society and Organizations (S&O) Institute, which comprises over 50 professors and educators. Their aim is to contribute to refounding the company on the values of social and environmental sustainability, thanks to a responsible leadership based on a shared purpose.

The S&O Institute aims to accomplish the following through research, education, and action:

  • Contribute to the understanding of phenomena such as climate constraints, scarcer resources, growing social inequality, technological transition and ethical imperatives;
  • Support the actors of these transformations;
  • Prepare future business leaders and managers to take account of current and future challenges.
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This chair underlines the constant commitment by HEC to train actors of change who are able to challenge the status quo and develop new paradigms and models for businesses.

Martin Bouygues, Chairman and CEO of the Bouygues group, welcomed the creation of the chair and said the following: “We are delighted to be partnering a top-notch academic institution in order to support our thinking on the smart city and public well-being, an issue that will be very important over the next few decades and to which Bouygues intends to contribute.”

Peter Todd, Director General Dean of HEC Paris, commented: “Like Bouygues, we also believe it is urgent to deal with issues arising from ethics and the sustainable world, which are a core part of our teaching and research. This partnership will help us provide better support to the young generation of managers that we are training on the issues of societal impact and respect for the planet.”

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