The 80 students from the geopolitical track at Rennes SB decipher the global underground economy
The mapping laboratory is an original Rennes School of Business creation
“This project aims to render the invisible visible”, according to Thomas Flichy de la Neuville, associate professor and Chairholder of the Rennes School of Business Chair of Geopolitics. For the 2020/2021 academic year, students have been focusing on the underground economy.
“Using maps is the preferred method, from both a practical and operational perspective, to visualise and survey the work of the 80 students in the geopolitical track at Rennes SB. Designed and organised as a monitoring unit, each student in the mapping laboratory acts as an agent that is responsible for a specific zone or country. They monitor current events and summarise the relevant information and operations using maps.” In order to carry out this ambitious mission, the 80 students in the geopolitical track called on the 700 students in PGE 1 to participate in the project.
This pedagogical choice is a way to encourage students to think outside the box and connect with some of the key players of professional geopolitics and intelligence. Everyone is responsible for his or her maps and produces them for collective use, the aim being to produce an atlas of the underground economy of which the students will be co-authors.
According to Thomas Flichy de la Neuville: “It is important to engage students in a collective assessment process and reverse the concept of the traditional individual exam. The final goal of the students’ collective work will therefore be to publish the final product. Their time is precious, and it is crucial for their work to contribute to a project that will also be of use to others.”
The geopolitical track and international affairs
The track in geopolitics and international affairs focuses on learning the fundamentals of management using a geopolitical approach in order to obtain the key to an in-depth understanding of the world. This track combines the art of management with international openness, notably by focusing on two indispensable methods: reading and debate.
This new track has been available to Rennes SB students since September 2020 and is particularly well suited to candidates that have a background in literature. Available in the 1st and 2nd year of the Programme Grande Ecole, the fundamentals of management are intertwined with aspects of geopolitics in subjects such as geopolitical management, the humanities, arts and culture. The track is based on a combination of independent learning, silent reading, individual tutoring aimed at promoting greater openness to the business world and collective tutoring during the mapping laboratory project.
Students also benefit from teaching partnerships with prestigious universities, including professors on the art of leadership from Oxford University, and theatre professors, creating a pedagogy that is built on a blend of management, the humanities and the arts.
Manon Chapuis, a PGE1 student in the geopolitical track at Rennes SB tells us more:
“For me, geopolitics is absolutely necessary for business schools. It allows us to understand the people with whom we will be in contact as a manager of tomorrow and to understand how their point of view may differ from our own, according to the culture of their country. This complexity interests me greatly and I truly appreciate Thomas Flichy de la Neuville’s teaching methods. He teaches us by giving us cultural sources, showing us that it is through an understanding of the 18th century of the country that we can gain a true understanding of the 21st century. I think that this approach is profoundly intelligent because our culture influences our actions today, more than we might imagine.”