Designing Europe 2021
“European Union biodiversity strategy for 2030”

Designing Europe is an interactive immersive learning process for ESCP Business School Master in Management students whose aim is to show how the European Union functions.

The focus of the 2021 Edition of the Designing Europe seminar was the “European Union biodiversity strategy for 2030”, a central part of the European Green Deal and a comprehensive, long-term plan to protect nature and reverse the degradation of ecosystems. The EU’s biodiversity strategy is based on specific commitments of a range of institutional bodies, which include:

  • the European Commission, the European Council, and the European Parliament,
  • stakeholders, including businesses and NGOs
  • international partners, in particular the USA, China, and Brazil.

Making the School’s future managers aware of the legal authority as well as the processes of the EU

The key objective of the project is to make the School’s future managers aware of the legal authority as well as the processes of the EU, through a negotiation simulation concluded by a vote and adoption of a European Parliament draft resolution that normally takes place in the EP Hemicycle in Brussels, Belgium. In 2021, due to health concerns, the event was carried out entirely online.

Guests – Speakers – Coaches

Distinguished guests included: Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission; Bérangère Abba, French Secretary of State in charge of Biodiversity, Virginijus Sinkevicius, European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans & Fisheries; Luc Bas, Director of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Daniele Benatoff, Co-founder of Planet Farms; and Céline Charveriat, Executive Director of the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IIEP).

During his keynote speech which spoke to the current status of the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans thanked the students for the sacrifices they had made during the Covid-19 global pandemic. “Young people have shown tremendous solidarity during the pandemic. It’s time we repay that by taking action to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises,” said Frans Timmermans.

List of external speakers

List of coaches

Main learning objectives

Designing Europe has three main learning objectives:

  • understand the roles of the European institutions;
  • comprehend how EU decisions are negotiated and adopted;
  • appreciate the major challenges faced by the EU, in particular in the economic, societal and environmental realms (for example the implementation of the European Green Deal).

“As students, during this seminar we had the opportunity not only to learn about roles and decision-making processes of the EU and the EU Parliament, but also to put ourselves in the shoes of the different stakeholders to discussing the "EU's biodiversity strategy for 2030" as part of the European Green Deal, to elaborate main proposals and challenges,” said student Max Nomrowski.

“Seeing the reality of how the voting of an EU resolution works was really interesting. The fact that we all had assigned roles made it an immersive experience”, added student Alexandrine Glassière.

Promoting discussion and enhancing knowledge on European Union affairs

Designing Europe is an annual event, in line with the objectives of promoting discussion and enhancing knowledge on European Union affairs. It is the key “European” component of their studies which fosters their understanding of the importance of Europe, regardless of their national origin.

Students engage fully during all phases of the training process, which has several experiential learning steps:

  • a SPOC series (Small Private Online Course) on the European Union’s authority and activities;
  • face-to-face or online lectures organised in each of the 5 participating campuses;
  • working groups chaired by practitioners of European Union institutions and specialists;
  • keynote speeches delivered by high-level  politicians;
  • negotiation and votes on a resolution in the EU Parlement’s hemicycle.

Designing Europe Week

The 1271 ESCP Master in Management students have played the role of  stakeholders during a Simulation Game whose final conclusions took place during the Designing Europe Week, 16th to the 19th of March 2021. It was divided into four complementary sections:

  • 16th March
    A high-level Round table on the European Union’s biodiversity strategy with the participation of Secretary Bérangère Abba, Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius (read the speech), Director Luc Bas, Co-founder Daniele Benatoff, and Executive Director Céline Charveriat.
  • 17th and 18th March
    Two days of student-led presentations, discussion and votes on the draft positions and resolutions prepared by the ESCP student delegations.
  • 19th March
    A final debate and vote on the ESCP student delegations’ positions and resolutions, followed by a Keynote speech on the European Green Deal delivered by Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, in charge of the European Green Deal. Mr Timmermans spoke to the current status of the initiative. Its main political, economic, social and diplomatic challenges were addressed during the Q&A session with the students connected from the Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and Turin ESCP Business School campuses.
Pr. Frank Bournois - Executive Director & Dean - ESCP

Professor Frank Bournois
Executive Director & Dean

“Even online, the Designing Europe seminar is a great ESCP Business School tradition. I warmly thank the 45 highly experienced stakeholders who inspired our Master in Management students, as well as Affiliate Professor Yves Bertoncini, who designed the learning experience.”