An important addition to the emlyon business school program portfolio in 2020, the MSc in Global Innovation & Entrepreneurship is directed by a man on an educational mission. Professor Rickie Moore explains the factors that make the program stand out from similar training and learning opportunities currently available on the market, as well as targets he has set for the program in the near future.
Design of the program was a year in the making. What were the main motivations behind this?
We had various reasons driving the conception of the program at emlyon. I wanted an MSc that was global not just in name but also in nature, meaning that participating students would actually travel in order to discover business ecosystems on site and not just in theory from the classroom. Whilst from a carbon footprint perspective there may be room for criticism, this is offset by the emphasis the program places on developing sustainable business models, drawing upon entrepreneurship and innovation. COVID-19 has seriously disrupted our world but that isn’t going to stop us trying to disrupt existing business models. But you can’t develop this kind of mindset in students if they never leave campus so there’s no greenwashing going on here.
How is the program structured and delivered?
Like I said, global not just in name but also in nature, embracing four continents (including Africa). It runs over 18 months and includes sessions in Lyon, Shanghai and Casablanca. We have a diverse and eclectic cohort of 30 students at present who benefit at the beginning of the program from a 10-day immersion period designed to start instilling an understanding of different business approaches. The content is delivered in a very hands-on way, favoring the experiential approach to learning, and comprises not just the fundamentals but also heavy emphasis on sustainable business practices, the creation of new ventures, and disrupting the current status quo via innovation. We also place great importance on the use of business tools and platforms and the practice of entrepreneurship via an in-company project and internship.
What is the originality of the teaching approach to entrepreneurship and innovation?
Blended experiential, experimental and immersive learning. I would insist again on the fact our students actually travel and see for themselves on site how various ecosystems operate. You can read up all you like from your home school but to better understand how innovation and entrepreneurship can be drivers of change, you’ve got to see it “in the flesh”, as it were. These learning trips also provide our students with opportunities to develop the kind of personal and professional networks that will provide an incredibly rich resource for their future career.
Beyond the global aspect, what other learning opportunities for students set this program aside from others on the market?
When designing and preparing the program, we took a conscious decision to concentrate on sustainable entrepreneurship, as opposed to its social equivalent. That said, we do not neglect the social dimension as we also want to instill in our students an understanding of how creating new and innovative business ventures can make a positive contribution to society at large. By offering a training program that is both experiential and global in nature, they will acquire especially broad insight into how entrepreneurs operate around the world and just to what extent the business world is crying out for more sustainable products, services, and technologies. They’ll also get the chance to put what they have learned to the test via the implementation of a personal entrepreneurial project. What better way to learn how to set up your own business strategy and model in your future career than doing so during your studies?!
What kind of applicant would therefore be best suited to the program?
The ideal applicant for the MSc in Global Innovation & Entrepreneurship program is one who is driven and passionate, especially when it comes to learning. While students will be stimulated on a wide variety of entrepreneurial dimensions, each student will craft their own trajectory. Our approach is to facilitate and guide rather than script and prescribe what or how they should do. Given that talent and capability are the currency of the future, it is critical that the students are avid proactive learners and who are motivated by achievement.
What targets do you have for the program in the near future?
In a nutshell, more diversity and more opportunities for cross-fertilization, both in terms of course content and how the program operates. I would like to work in tandem with more partner schools, which could only enrich the learning experience. Also, it is quite possible that we’ll explore some other destinations and ecosystems in the very near future. COVID-19 hasn’t made life easy in recent times, but we’ll continue with this drive to get students to discover and explore other ecosystems up close and not just from a textbook in a classroom. If we want to encourage them to become sustainable and innovative entrepreneurs who will make a difference, our program has to make a difference as well.