Summer School 2017 : Local Responses to Global Challenges


Discover the program of our Summer School, from June 15th to June 30th.

Program Theme : Local Responses to Global Challenges

In a multicultural environment conducive to critical thinking, students will face the challenge of creating a business model adapted to the globalized context. The theoretical tools and competences required for the project will be provided by an interdisciplinary team of professors in Management, Business, Economics, and the Social Sciences and reinforced through company visits. The specificities of the local context will be put into the perspective of international approaches, in order to provide future managers with a maximum of openness to new ways of thinking and acting.

  • Learn about doing business ‘the French way’ and how businesses are facing new challenges – through classes and company visits
  • Develop personal and intercultural management skills during classes and interaction with students and professors from other countries.
  • Test your skills during the Global Challenges game

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The Summer School Program in detail

Week 1

  • Day 1

    Arrival in Clermont

  • Day 2

    Morning : Welcome Session

    Participants will meet the other participants and will be introduced to the program and the School.

    Welcome Lunch

    Afternoon : Guided historical tour

    An official guide will take the participants on a guided tour of the old part of the city and Clermont’s magnificent 13th century gothic cathedral constructed in black volcanic stone.

  • Day 3

    Discovery of the Auvergne Region Including a 12th Century Castle, Cheese Museum and Farm, and Traditional Regional Meal

  • Day 4

    Day trip : Vulcania Theme Park

    Vulcania theme park is located right in the heart of the Auvergne Region’s Volcano National Park. The park offers a wide range of exciting activities including 5D films, moving platforms, interactive visits, a scientific theatre, hot air balloon….  All this and much more will await you to make your day a truly unforgettable one. Vulcania will offer you a unique adventure full of discoveries and new experiences. The beautiful setting of the Chaîne des Puys volcanoes of Auvergne is the ideal place to learn all you ever need to know about the world’s volcanoes and the planet Earth.

  • Day 5

    Morning : The Cultural and Economic Identity of France

    Throughout history, French society has had to evolve substantially and continuously to meet the challenges of an increasingly globalized planet. The course attempts to gain sharper insight into what it actually means to be French in the world today. A closer look at the daily lives of the people living in this country, as seen through the prism of its regional landscapes and languages, as well as its cultural, religious, and racial diversity. The course will be inspired largely from the works of Fernand Braudel and in particular “The identity of France” as well as “France in the New Century: Portrait of a Changing Society”, by John Ardagh.

    Particular attention will be given to the history, the customs, and the local responses developed in the Auvergne region to global challenges. A visit to a typical city “Pont-du-Chateau” will provide a case in point for the lectures.

    Afternoon : Visit to a River Shipping Museum

  • Day 6

    Morning : French Critical Thinking : Political, Economic and Scientific Consequences

    This course will explore the French tradition of intellectual critical thinking. In fact, France’s academic and intellectual heritage appears both widespread and diverse. France is a country where debates over ideas seem endless and provocative. This course will examine the reasoning behind this tradition of conflicting ideas, and controversy. With these thought processes as the backdrop, students will be given the opportunity to analyze the political, economic and scientific consequences of French critical thinking, which is not only full of potential but which also brings constant challenges.

    Afternoon : Intercultural Management from a European Perspective

    In an increasingly global world, managers must be able to handle cultural diversity effectively. Collaborative competence in an intercultural context is thus considered as one of the key qualifications in international management. The aims of this module are to increase the awareness of the impact of national cultures on management and examine theoretical and practical contributions to the area of cross-cultural management and to providing students with tools to improve their efficiency when working and doing business with people from other cultures. And with the French in particular This module handles, at the macroeconomic level, the main interactions of a company with other economic agents, and at the microeconomic level, the behavior of the actors in firms in a intercultural environment.

  • Day 7

    Morning : Managing Creative Communities

    This course deals with managerial change performed by the emergence of creative communities within companies and projects evolving in an environment increasingly marked by innovation. A creative community can be mainly defined as an informal group of people sharing a common objective: creativity and innovation based on collective experimentation and knowledge creation. As a self-organized social structure, i.e. without hierarchy, a creative community must be distinguished from traditional project teams. Therefore, managing creative communities is radically different from the main goals, tools, and practices of traditional business.

    Afternoon : Company visit : Michelin Museum and Guest Speaker

    Evening : Clermont’s Annual Summer Music Festival

    The annual music festival is held on June 21st which marks the first official day of summer in France. Even rain cannot dampen the great atmosphere filled with music, street food and joyous crowds.

Week 2
  • Day 8

    Day Trip to Lyon

    The splendid city of Lyon, which is known in France as the ‘City of Light’ is just a two-hour bus ride from Clermont. Lyon is the second largest city in France after Paris and is particularly famous for its wines and gastronomic cuisine and particularly its fascinating history which dates all the way back to the Roman Era. Due to its strategic location at the confluence of the Rhone and Saone Rivers, the city developed into a major economic, religious, and political center and was the birthplace of the French silk industry. Even today, you can visit the historic streets and the courtyards of the rich traders who lived close to the river banks in the old part of the city. Lyon is now reputed to be one of the most attractive cities in Europe for new and developing businesses offering financial incentives and events as well as an excellent public transport system and infrastructure. The city was recently awarded the title of Europe’s best week-end destination during the World Travel Award Ceremony.

  • Day 9-10-11

    Suggested free-time activities

    Participants will have a three-day weekend to enable them to make the most of their stay in Europe and either visit another European city or take the TGV high-speed train to Paris. For those who prefer to relax, Clermont is a pleasant city offering plenty of activities (Clermont beach, open-air cinema, concerts), places to socialize (bars, restaurants) and shopping opportunities (2 shopping malls and many boutiques). The city park is an ideal place to take a picnic and the Coubertin Olympic-size swimming pool has an outdoor area for sunbathing after taking a dip. The Royatonic spa center is a short bus-ride away in the thermal town of Royat, where there are many bars and terraces for enjoying  an ‘aperitif’ and simply watching the world go by.

  • Day 12

    Morning : International Strategies

    In the current context of increasing globalization, the ability of a firm to internationalize has become a source of growth and a crucial ingredient of strategic conception.  Internationalization, being a reality that is binding on all enterprises, regardless of size, industry and geographic presence, is indeed a strategic option commonly used in the development and the pursuit of competitive advantage.

    Accordingly, it is appropriate and necessary for future entrepreneurs, managers, and strategists to learn to design international strategies. And to meet this need, major and indisputable, the course, International strategies, offers students the opportunity to reflect on, discuss, and understand the basic elements of the conception of international strategies such as: the forces of local adaptation and global integration; the spectrum and the components of international strategies; the liabilities of newness and foreignness; as well as the progress and the pace through which firms internationalize. The course also offers students the opportunity to discover the dynamic reality of international competition, through different case studies.

    Afternoon : Guest Speaker from Local Industry

    Participants will hear a talk and will be able to exchange with an executive from a local industry.

  • Day 13

    Morning : Business ethics : European and Anglo-American Perspectives

    Ethics has become one of the keys to business practices over the past decades. Yet, while studies have demonstrated that Business Ethics contributes to companies’ profitability and their ability to ensure customer satisfaction, employee loyalty, and investor commitment, there is no consensus as to what exactly an “ethical” company is. Notably, there is a great divide between Anglo-American normative approaches to Business Ethics and Continental European axiological or teleological (goal and values-based) approaches. This course will analyze the origins of this division, and its consequences for corporate ethics policies, and will question the standard division between general morality and professional morality that is commonly applied in both of these approaches. The course will also examine new scientific research into the origins of morality (from the fields of psychology, anthropology, biology, and ethology) in order to rethink traditional understandings of ethics. With the environmental and organizational changes that new technologies have opened up for mankind and society in the 21st century, the course will underscore the importance of rethinking traditional ethics and its role in business practices.

    Afternoon : International Finance

    If we leave the European Union, there will be an immediate economic shock that will hit international financial markets. People will not know what the future looks like.

    George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer under the premiership of David Cameron.

    While tradition dictates that we refer to the subject matter in this quote as ‘‘international financial,”, the modifier ‘‘international’’ may be viewed as redundant: with fewer and fewer barriers to international trade and financial flows, and with communications technology, all finance is increasingly international. Not only are domestic financial markets more and more internationally integrated, but the issues faced by individuals and companies are remarkably similar. Among the issues that firms must manage are changes in exchange rates, interest rates, inflation rates, as well as asset values. These changes are related risks so that international finance is not just finance with an extra cause of uncertainty but a legitimate subject in its own right, with interrelated risks and ways of managing them. Accordingly, knowledge of international finance is situated at the intersection of important finance research persuasions namely: financial markets, international banking, and investments.

    The course ‘‘International Finance’’ introduces class participants to global financial markets and the operations of multinational companies. Topics to be discussed will include foreign exchange markets, international bond and derivative markets, corporate risk management, and investment decisions in the global marketplace.

  • Day 14

    Morning : Persuasion Techniques in Marketing and Communication

    This course examines the subject of manipulation in both marketing and everyday communication before and after the dawn of the information age, raising many questions, attempting to answer some, but most importantly inspiring a discussion about an intriguing topic.

    Whenever we hear the word “manipulation” we often think of a stereotypical villain, an evil puppet master forcing its will upon its victims. However, in reality it can take many forms: advertisements promoting the next big thing, intriguing headlines of boring articles or our cousin begging for “likes” with his latest cat video on Facebook. And sometimes, more often than we would like to admit, we are the so-called puppet master.

    But is this really a problem? As Joseph Kirschner put it: “If one opens their mouth to say something to somebody, their only purpose is to manipulate those.” How can we recognize manipulative elements in messages? Is it acceptable to use them in our communication? In general, is manipulation something evil or just a part of our everyday life? Should we protect certain consumer groups or is every adult responsible for their own well-being? Can we say the same about children?

    The advent of the digital age has brought about a wide range of new communication tools and channels. One thing has remained though: manipulation and the fear of it. Now that we have all the world’s knowledge at our fingertips, are we still in danger? Maybe in a greater danger than ever before?  Are there any new – and better – techniques and tools or do we still use the tried and tested ones in a new form?

    Afternoon : Company Visit : Ikea

    The IKEA concept starts with the idea of providing a range of home furnishing products that are both affordable and designed to improve the daily lives of as many people as possible. This is achieved by a combination of combining function, quality, design and value – always with sustainability in mind. The Swedish company was founded in 1943 and now operates around 340 stores in 28 countries. When IKEA opened its Clermont store in 2013, it was the 30th store in France.

    Evening : Farewell Dinner in Restaurant

  • Day 15

    All Day : General Business Management Simulation Game

    At the end of the program, participants will take part in an online business simulation that integrates the functional areas of production, marketing, and logistics. It increases awareness of operating a company from a general management perspective.

    Teams will work on managing the sales and operations of an international pharmaceutical company and will develop and execute strategies for their simulated company operating in different markets with specific customer behavior, cost structures, and currency fluctuations. Key success factors include accurate forecasting and planning, an analytical approach to decision-making, and effective teamwork.

    Participants will improve their understanding of operating a company from a general management perspective and develop a market and value-driven approach to decision making. Participants will also improve their ability to interpret and forecast market situations and financial results, and translate them into goal-oriented decisions.

  • Day 16

    Morning : Final Session

    The General Business Management Simulation Game will end with a debriefing session and participation certificates will be handed to all participants. The final session will end with a cocktail.

    Farewell Lunch

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Practical Information

Cost of the program

  • Including Accomodation * : €1500
  • Without Accomodation : €950

Included in the cost: Tuition fees, Excursions, Company Visits (Regional Visit, Guided Tour of the City of Clermont, Shipping Museum, ‘L’Aventure Michelin’ Museum, Day-trip to Lyon and the Miniature and Cinema Museum), Welcome Dinner, Farewell Luncheon, Traditional Regional Meal, Lunch at Vulcania Theme Park, Picnic-lunch for the excursion to Lyon.

* The Business School works with a local private residence to provide good-quality, low-price accommodation for our summer school participants. The residence is close to the train station and within walking distance of the School. Participants will be housed in individual studios with private washing and cooking facilities.

Participants may also opt to reserve their own accommodation.