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SKEMA Business School Hosts Conference and Networking for FACC-PNW High-Tech and Education Committees

Dr. Thierry Warin spoke on the future of AI to an attentive audience at FASPS as part of this joint committee meeting.

High-Tech & Education Committee: “Conference on Competitiveness in an A.I. Era

October 21 – Meeting Minutes

On Monday, October 21, 2019, the first-ever joint High-Tech and Education Committee took place at theFrench-American School of Puget Sound (FASPS) in Mercer Island. Thirty-one representatives, including education and high-tech professionals, attended and learned about SKEMA Business School(particularly the Raleigh Campus) from Alice Guilhon and Gisa Rollin. Next, Marc Wendling introduced Dr. Thierry Warin who conducted a conference on the evolution of competitiveness in an ever-changing world - one where A.I. becomes more and more present.


Alice GUILHON (Dean of SKEMA Business School): 

Presentation of SKEMA Business School

The SKEMA Business School is a public and private higher-education and research establishment plus non-profit association founded in 2009 from the merger of two French universities: the Lille School of Management or École Supérieure de Commerce de Lille (founded in 1892) and the CERAM Business School from the Univeristé Sophia Antipolis de Nice (founded in 1963). With 7 campuses to their name worldwide, SKEMA Business School gathers roughly 45,000 alumni as of this year, with more than 8,500 multi-cultural students (over 120 different nationalities) throughout their seven campuses worldwide: in Lille and Nice, France (Paris campus planned to open in September 2020); in Belo Horizonte, Brazil; in Suzhou (苏州), China, in Raleigh (NC), USA and in Cape Town, South Africa (due to open in January 2020). Future prospects for the school’s development include the creation of three additional campuses in Russia, Australia and India to cover all continents of the SKEMA footprint.

The multi-national school offers several Bachelor and Master curricula addressing diverse fields ranging from International Business and Entrepreneurship to Management and Finances, amongst many others. While most higher education establishments try to focus only on academic accreditations, they follow a more professional approach, through internships and practical projects to better prepare the students after they graduate and give them both an academic and professional accreditation: in 2018, the employment rate of the school’s alumni 2 months after graduation was of 90%.

SKEMA Business School is ranked as among the most efficient and elitist Business Schools in the world and in France, according to numerous international and national newspapers (Worldwide: ranked 25th by The Financial Times and 17th by The Wall Street Journal; Nationwide: ranked 6th by Le Parisien and 7th by Le Point,Figaro and L’Étudiant); a consistent number of programs from SKEMA are also ranked among the best in the world in their specific fields: for instance, in 2019, their Master in International Business was listed 3rd worldwide by The Economist and 1st nationwide by the MOCI (Moniteur du Commerce International, the oldest French periodical about international commerce) while their Master in Entrepreneurship & Innovation was ranked among the Top 10 by Forbes in 2018.


Gisa ROLLIN (Development Director of SKEMA Business School’s Campuses):

Presentation of SKEMA’s Campus in Raleigh, N.C.

Ms. Rollin presented the different opportunities available for students in SKEMA’s Campus of Raleigh, North Carolina, notably the brand new possibility of starting a BBA in International Business, the “Global BBA initiative”: this project essentially provides students with a three-to-four-years training in Business Administration and International Business, while allowing for mobility in between campuses. A student could then start their Bachelor in Raleigh’s campus for two or three years, and finish their curriculum in Suzhou’s campus in China for instance, within their program’s framework of courses.

She then mentioned the double-degree opportunity and learning expeditions within the Raleigh Campus, providing a human and academic skillset recognized both in France and in the US. Through direct partnerships with the University of North Carolina, Western Carolina University and Florida International University, students may follow half of their studies in the previous universities and be granted with a diploma from SKEMA and from the American university, while numerous other partnerships exists throughout the US (and the world) for exchange programs and learning immersion expeditions.


Marc WENDLING (Director of SKEMA Foundation):

Introduction to SKEMA Foundation and to the Conference

Mr. Wendling is a SKEMA alumnus now serving as Vice-President of Corporate Sale for a company of data processing and management in the Cloud, also member of the direction board of the SKEMA Foundation. He shortly emphasized the necessity of business owners to make more pronounced usage of data, computing systems and Augmented Intelligence in order to fully advance in the economic development of our world.


Dr. Thierry WARIN (Director of SKEMA Global Lab in Augmented Intelligence):

Conference on Competitiveness in an A.I. Era

For the first time in History, the world is now entirely connected: not only thanks to the development of data management techniques, computing powers, smartphones and the recent appearance of A.I., but also through a common universal language, understandable by everyone person on this planet: algorithms.

We are now witnessing the end of Humanity, and the birth of a new one.” - Dr. Warin

The 21st Century saw the emergence of High-Tech and computers, gradually evolving to create the interconnected world we know today and advancing toward a 4th Industrial Revolution, a leap forward in technologies, providing a new reality and new indicators and perceptions to understand it. Technology became a new engine of growth in innovations and economy, as an example the arrival of cryptocurrencies and digital fortunes: in two years, the growth of digital investments from the US went from 6.9% to roughly 20%, while those in China skyrocketed from 6 to 32%. Digitalization could in fact allow an exponential evolution in most sectors, from industrial to agriculture, working hand-in-hand with these professions to transition to a more complete powerhouse of innovations and growth.

According to the classical methodology, having competitiveness calculated according to twelve specific pillars, the leading country in terms of competitiveness would be Singapore, closely followed by a set of Asian-Pacific countries, while other have trouble implementing new technology without external investments (South-East Asia, Africa), and others have the digital skills (engineering, STEMs, telecom, software…) but no innovations, like Northern European countries. This inequality calls for a change in the way we look at competitiveness with the arrival of A.I. and data resources, providing a new methodology: innovations and technology.

This alternative method proposes to study the outcomes and final products of a country’s economy in terms of innovations by companies, while forgetting about traditional indicators like GDP or else. Using data analysis and calculators, Dr. Warin showcased the increase pushed by new computing power of Research & Development investments by the top 1000 companies in the world, regardless of their nationality of origin, and which should reflect the entirety of innovations. Fastest growing sectors included pharmaceutical (first most innovative), software (second) and technology (third), however, when looking at companies individually, the most innovative (meaning having the most expenses in R&D) per sales was surprisingly Volkswagen, showing a strong will to improve the automobile industry followed by Samsung and Alphabet.

The omnipresence of A.I. and High-Technology is especially visible when looking at the innovations and new creations of recent years: from 1990 to 2017, more than 14.3 million patents were filed, with 55,109 of them being related with High-Technology and Augmented Intelligence, most of them being held by multi-national North-American firms like IBM (first worldwide in patent holding), Microsoft (second) or Google (fourth), some European companies like Siemens (fifth) or Chinese ones like State Grid Corporation China (third). On the other hand of the spectrum of private establishments holding the most patents (meaning companies), are universities, all Asian (mostly Chinese), benefitting from never-ending state investments: a sustainable economy against occidental corporations. When comparing these indicators with the investments in technology of the US and China (the most present two nationalities in innovations and patents holding chart) and their digital presence, Dr. Warin clarified that the world, in terms of innovations, was essentially a bipolar economy between the United States and China, both incubators and creators of the biggest online platforms.

While Dr. Warin’s analysis regarded only the economy and innovations, he strongly emphasized on the idea that it is only an example of the possibility of details available from using A.I. and data computing.His idea was also to showcase the need to create an interface between technicians and engineers and the rest of the sectors.


This High-Tech and Education Committee and conference on Augmented Intelligence ultimately grew into a technology think-tank. It animated the exchange of ideas, with lots of audience participation during Dr. Warin’s presentation. The conference provided a new approach to the classical analysis of our world, shedding light on the opportunities given by the use of A.I. and computing powers in all fields. SKEMA’s Global Lab in Augmented Intelligence is the first research center of its kind and will lead the way for innovations to the methods used to look at our evolving society, as this new tool needs to be mastered not only by engineers, but also by representatives of all sectors, including business owners, politicians and more. 

Learn more: SKEMA Global Lab in AI

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