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European Innovation Tour for our Innovation & Strategic Management students - the trip to Paris from a student's perspective

Dilhan Camlica, Student Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management 2018-2019 07/06/2019 Stratégie, Leadership, Management, Innovation, advancedmasters

Discover the experience of our students who had the chance to visit top innovation hubs and companies in Paris.

Within the framework of our Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management, student trips in Paris and Berlin have been organized earlier this year: the so called European Innovation Tour. Students visited different institutions, companies, hubs, innovation centers, organizations and met with top of the line professionals. An unforgettable experience, which offered to the participants of our Advanced Master the opportunity to visit iconic brands and well-known companies, to learn more about their operations and way of doing things, to meet leading professionals and attend their presentations, to gain insights on new technologies and topics and of course, to enjoy the magic of Paris and Berlin!

Are you eager to know more about the trip to Paris?

Scroll down, read Dilhan's testimonial (Dilhan Camlica-student of Innovation & Strategic Management 2018-2019) and get a glimpse of what participating in a Solvay Advanced Master means:

>>> Click here to read Artur's testimonial about the trip to Berlin!

“Strategy eats culture for breakfast”

This is the motto that our academic director, Bruno Wattenbergh, likes to repeat. As a matter of fact, the best way to study a company is to first understand its culture. And what better ways to do so than by meeting the people that set the culture: the top management of these companies. Unfortunately, not everyone has the chance to be connected with top managers worldwide nor can ask them directly about how corporates perform at their higher level of governance. This is why the international company visits organised by Solvay Brussels School are a real opportunity. The chance of being introduced to these professionals eventually becomes possible thanks to the direct multilateral interactions between the accompanying teachers, the hosts and the students. Be ready though, you’re about to live a 48h sprint !

? Day 1 ?

RATP DEV, Station F, French Tech & Usine IO.

We started our day at RATP DEV, where we had the chance to meet with Sandrine Boussin, CEO of the company. If you have already been to France, you must be familiar with RATP as much as you’d be with the Eiffel Tower. It is the largest railway and mobility service company of the country. The public institutions is in its self-disruption process and decided to create its subsidiary RATP DEV to foster change and accelerate the innovation process. Performing in a very challenging environment since competitors like DriveNow, Car2Go, Uber, Lime, Mobike (and others) arrived in the market, RATP DEV is there to give the « Titanic » of public transportation in France the agility of a speedboat. Easier said than done of course, the interaction with the board gave us a good idea of the complexity these companies face as well as the unique opportunity to build new relationships with high level executives.

Although the means and mindsets aren’t comparable, big companies like RATP DEV get inspired by the Startup culture, of which we had a better taste in the afternoon. Indeed, the next visit took place at Station F where we could observe and learn about what is being done in the biggest start-up campus worldwide. After our visit, we met with the founders of French Tech, a recognised start-up label focused on many tech businesses all over France, Belgium, Spain, etc. We also could participate in a workshop at Usine IO, a startup specialised in the creation of MVP (Minimum Viable Product), which is a fundamental stage in the creation of new products and innovations. Honestly, it’s amazing to see the different levels of a product depending on the number of assumptions validated and budget allocated.

It had been a heavy day and we could only finish it with the whole group in a nice place. Little hint: the wine is not only good, it’s also cheap over there.

? Day 2 ?

AKKA Technology, Channel


A good shower, a couple coffees, and there we go !

The first visit was at AKKA technology. We all know these unending documentaries or presentations explaining how technology is changing the world, but without really showing you why. Well, that morning was all but that.
Not only had we the chance to get in touch with the managers and engineers of the lab but we could also get to try their augmented reality technology! Remember this scene in Iron Man 1 where Tony Stark plays with his armure’s digital prototype like if it was tangible ? Well, we kind of tried that… and it’s scarily fun.
We of course covered the business aspect of these innovations too by looking into real life applications and the potential such features could unleash in the right ecosystem.

Later that day, we had our last but not least of the visits. Lucky enough, we could meet with the responsible person at the Chanel HQ for fragrances. Luxury not being my personal cup of tea, I admit that I was a bit reluctant for this last visit. It turned out that the discussion was one of the most interesting. “How do you build a brand and empower women through something as simple as a perfume ?”, “How do you differentiate?”...

In short, innovation and strategy are at the heart of all businesses and depend strongly on the culture of the business. As future managers, there is no better opportunity to learn than by diving into the culture of these giants and understanding how leaders shape it on a daily basis.

Solvay Brussels School’s Advanced Masters have been developed to create a breed of ‘out-thinkers’ ready to tackle the continual changes of the business world. These postgraduate programmes confer Advanced Master degrees in focused areas for Master students with no or limited professional experience (normally maximum 3 years). They are designed as full-time programmes for one academic year, and represent 60 ECTS each.

With a placement rate within 3 months after graduation of 82.5% for our graduates, discover how our Advanced Masters can help you launch your career !

 The Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management:
This programme provides you with the essential tools, skills and mindset needed to deal with the challenge of organizations in fast-evolving environments. It helps you to develop your ability to analyse complex challenges, integrate technology and innovation into your projects or businesses, and influence your environment early on in your career. Full time, day classes. Includes a field project.

Contact us for more information: Vasiliki Boukouvala, Marketing & Recruitment, +32 (0)2 650 3915, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

More info on the programme : Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management

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