"We can be gardeners... just for one day"

The specialisation Digital Transformation is not a new one, but Yannick Meiller always offers his students new ways of thinking and exploring digital transformation.
This semester, thanks to the sponsorship of Sopra Steria Next*, he pushed students a step further with a permanagement workshop.

Permanagement is a new perspective on management inspired by permaculture

The permaculture system proposes twelve principles, which interplay with each other and can be used separately or in combination. 
The notion of “better business” and the goal of “creating sustainable value” can be aligned with the spirit and the goals of permaculture.
The aim of the workshop, students took part in, is to demonstrate how the structure of permaculture can be transferred to permanagement, around 12 principles but also three ethics: ecosystem impact – observe, map and manage your impact on your environment, employee flow – ensure everyone finds his/her “right place” in the organization and unleash his/her potential and perma-productivity – embrace an approach of productivity oriented towards sustainable long-term benefits.

44 lucky MiM students (10 nationalities) from the Digital Transformation specialisation became gardeners for an afternoon, on the Paris Montparnasse campus. On the one hand, they created the first permaculture garden of the ESCP Paris campus – for the benefit of the whole ESCP community. On the other hand, they exchanged with startupers and worked more specifically on the notions of ecosystem and inclusion - key management topics for a successful digital transformation. This rich and dynamic afternoon was orchestrated by the Natwork team – newly founded by two ESCP alumni to develop Permanagement workshops – an opportunity to create links between generations of students.

This is just the starting point of a full semester pedagogical project in which the students will analyse the links between permanagement and digital transformation. 
The purpose of the specialisation is to develop an expertise of the digital frontier in order to be a responsible actor of the digital transformation. During this 120-hour path the students focus on understanding the underlying mechanisms of transformation, on acquiring the relevant knowledge and tools to analyse the impact of digital technologies and on studying the human factor in this transformation.
“In order for our students to become actors of the digital transformation – and in fact actors of all the transformations that will unfold in our world in the coming years and decades – it is important to get used to consider new perspectives, new ways of apprehending management, always with a critical mind. Permanagement is one of them - a very fruitful one in many situations, mirroring nature and management.“ explains Yannick Meiller.

"As an ethical and digital transformation consultancy that shapes and deploys actionable strategies to prepare the company of tomorrow, it was logical for us to join forces and get involved in this course" says Philippe Marques, Partner, Sopra Steria Next.

"We are pleased to welcome Sopra Steria at ESCP. Thanks to the support of this innovative partner, the course will be enriched with new expertise as illustrated by this unique “Permanagement” teaching experience. The students will also have privileged contacts with Sopra Steria, which may widen their career choices", says Pascale Pernet, Director of Chairs and Business Development at ESCP which hosts the partnership.

Students enjoyed the workshop as proven by their feedback: 

Welcome to the Permanagement experience!


“In a one-of-a-kind experience, our workshop on permaculture and permanagement showed us management in a new light - following a methodical stepwise process, teams came together to perform various tasks. All from drawing a networking map by interacting with industry leaders, to building a flowerbed, planting saplings and taking quizzes to understand the ergonomics of nature and symbiosis between different stakeholders in the environment. Through the course of the day we slowly pieced together the relevance of digital transformation and the relation it bore to the permanagement experience - and how our end goal is to create sustainable value through our endeavours.” Anshuman Mishra. 

"The Permanagement workshop provided us with a very interesting and innovative approach to management. Not only did the workshop help us to understand how we can apply the basic principles of permaculture in management in order to create the concept of permanagement but also did it serve our Digital Transformation specialisation group as a team building activity. Through the playful approach offered by the Natwork team we were challenged to successfully work as a team. On behalf of the students in the Digital Transformation specialisation, I want to thank Yannick Meiller, Sopra Steria and the Natwork team for this insightful experience on the Paris Montparnasse Campus." Marie Groeller .

"What the permanagement project inspired me the most is the idea to link nature and organization together. In the natural world, if you want every plant to grow healthily and sustainably, you have to make sure they are in the best living conditions and can form harmonious relationships with their neighbours. The same principle holds true for the organizations. To create an efficient and innovative team, the manager needs to be familiar with the talents of team members and chooses proper collaboration methods. The creation of permaculture gardens not only decorates the campus with freshness and vitality, but also brings us the deep comprehension of sustainability and creativity." Yuqi Chu.




*Sopra Steria Next is Sopra Steria, a European leader in consulting, digital services and software development, helps its clients drive their digital transformation to obtain tangible and sustainable benefits. It provides end-to-end solutions to make large companies and organisations more competitive by combining in-depth knowledge of a wide range of business sectors and innovative technologies with a fully collaborative approach. Sopra Steria places people at the heart of everything it does and is committed to making the most of digital technology to build a positive future for its clients. With 46,000 employees in in nearly 30 countries, the Group generated revenue of €4.3 billion in 2020.
Sopra Steria Next also sponsored the Digital Spark Seminar dedicated to all MiM Master 1 students and hold in September 2021.