IMT-Télécom École de Management students step into the shoes of international negotiators in the fight against global warming

Published on 05/02/2018

Being a 4.0 manager is all about leading projects that integrate every single technological, organizational, financial, social and human dimension…

The practice already exists within the School as part of our project-based teaching (Challenge Projets d’Entreprendre®, as well as Creativity and Innovation Week). But it’s now being further accentuated with the introduction of a new kind of active learning altogether, known as ‘problem-based learning’ (PBL), which puts students at the very heart of the learning process.

Raising awareness of climate change among future digital managers, its challenges, and the difficulties of international negotiations

Between February 16 and 17, 2018, first-year students on the Grande École Program will take part in a ‘simulated global warming negotiations’ challenge, under the supervision of Fabrice Flipo, Research Professor at the IMT Business School.

The originality of IMT Business School’s methodology lies in its resolute focus on the issues of our times, so the approach to negotiations throughout the course explores the issues around sustainable development.

This particular challenge, which students have been preparing for since September, takes the form of a ‘mini COP21’: two days of challenges punctuated by time for research, analysis, summation and, above all, negotiations between students representing various – often contradictory – interests.

Firstly, each of the 24 countries and 8 non-governmental organizations (NGOs) taking part will be represented by a group of 5 or 6 students. These countries and NGOs will then be grouped into several distinct ‘families’, whose features and interests are similar, or at least close to one another. The international NGOs will then be split into a further two groups (those for-profit and those not-for-profit). Negotiations will take place between different groups of countries in parallel with discussions between countries and NGOs.
“The negotiations are built around a multi-stage diagram”, explains Fabrice Flipo, Research Professor at the IMT Business School. “Negotiations will first take place between representatives of individual countries, then between countries and NGOs within their own country groups, and finally between different groups of countries and NGOs”.

IMT-Télécom École de Management: active learning

The basic principle of PBL is that students are faced with a number of problematic situations to deal with, it’s an original and global approach to teaching that promotes autonomy and casts aside traditional lecture-style learning. PBL, or problem-based learning, is a teaching-style that engages everyone involved. It’s no longer about simply listening to a professor, but about getting up on your feet and facing a challenge as a team.

From the very beginning, students experience the same conditions they’ll face in future, being part of a company’s project team where you can’t necessarily choose who you work with. There’s a guaranteed mixture of male and female students from all different geographical backgrounds (international students make up 30% of the school) and even educational backgrounds (CPGE, DUT, BTS, Licences, Bachelor, and so on). It’s a fantastic way to inject a truly open spirit into the project’s dynamics!

But as students take on a different role in this new way of learning, teachers acquire a new position of their own. “Teachers don’t teach… they assume a new role in overseeing, but never directing, the action” (Des Marchais, et al.).

This learning methodology helps students organize their own learning processes and take responsibility for their learning. Problem-based learning (PBL) increases motivation, interest and engagement in the learning process.


Discover more about school life at the following links:

Télécom École de Management, Institut Mines-Télécom’s Business School.

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