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Welcome to
our new content curators! Cohort 2022-2023

The GenZ Observatory

The GenZ Observatory is an initiative from the Cartier Chair ESCP HEC Paris Turning Points Chair.

A modern think tank

Set up as a modern think tank to explore emerging generational and cultural changes, it features students who represent a culturally diverse population, and are well-tuned and connected to the diverse range of social media platforms from mainstream to niche ones.

The first inception

For its first inception, in 2020 / 2021, ESCP and HEC Paris called for applications from students to join and formed a team of content curators.

A selection of 7 students

7 students were selected for a pilot phase from March to June and contributed to exploring the perception of Gen Z on topics such as Work & Workplace, Grassroots Movements, Sustainability, Friendship & Interpersonal Relationships. 12 students were selected for the 2021-2022 academic Year.

A new task force of trend spotters, and opinion seekers

In October, the two Business Schools launched a new call for applications from students to join and formed a teal of content curators.

A selection of 7 talented and diverse students

The jury chose 7 students representing a diverse mix of backgrounds. Welcome Farah Houari, Nicolas Mas, Hanru Yang (ESCP) and Takayoshi Tokai, Inès Le Chatelier, Annika Bautista, Yeonoo Kim (HEC Paris). Collaborative spaces inluding students from both Schools are not so usual. The Turning Points Chair offers this great opportunity. We are sure they'll make the most of this outstanding experience! The Observatory’s community managers are: Alma Ullén  (former ESCP student and former content curator) and Charlotte Rietzler  (Regional Operations Specialist MEIA at Cartier).

 

Want to learn more about who they are?
5 questions to our ESCP content curators

Discover some of our
ESCP Business School content curators

Farah Houari, ESCP Business School
DiscoverFarah's portrait

Curious - Passionate - Creative
Currently an MBA Candidate at ESCP, studying in two different European countries. Led by a strong belief in the power of both community and story-telling, I have previously graduated from a Bachelor’s degree in Politics, European Studies from King’s College London and an MFA  from LAMDA.
The duality of my analytical thinking along with my artistic creativity has allowed me to explore different paths in my career, constantly enriching me with new perspectives while meeting people from different horizons along the way.
For the past four years, I have worked as a communication consultant to leaders in both the private and public sectors supporting disruptive projects with a positive impact on society.


► Why did you want to join?

I am ecstatic to be joining the Turning Points Chair. The Observatory is an enlightening opportunity to observe, explore and reflect on the stakes that Gen Z faces today and the plurality of its voices. I strongly believe in the power of this generation to challenge, disrupt and redefine our society and that is why I wanted to become an active member of this research. I very much look forward to collaborating with my fellow curators and being transformed thanks to enthralling interactions !

► How do you identify with Gen Z? What makes you a typical Gen Z student?

It is hard to pinpoint such a student as I have not met any “typical Gen Z student”. We all come from different backgrounds, ways of life and countries. There does not seem to be any typical path or profile. I would however like to note that we all seem to be very curious people who love to be challenged. We are also eager to question our bias and learn from each other.

► What do you expect from this experience?

I expect to learn from my fellow curators and their diverse experiences. I expect to challenge my own perspectives and explore topics that are at the heart of the Gen Z generations. This is an exciting opportunity to investigate and reflect on the plurality of voices within Gen Z. I look forward to sharing ideas, nuancing opinions and being surprised. Moreover, this is a delightful opportunity to meet and learn from people at Cartier and HEC Paris. It is a wonderful way to build bridges, open up the debate and strengthen our community.

► What do you expect to learn from collaborating with HEC students for the (first?) time?

I hope it will feed a sense of community and build bridges between the two schools. Indeed, we form a society of students who will most certainly be colleagues and as such we should develop collaboration amongst our peers but also make the conscious effort to expand this community and reach outwards. The world we live in is interconnected and it is essential to open up conversations, collaborate and be able to listen to each other in an empathetic way. 

► What are important topics these days from a Gen Z point of view and why?

I believe that the question of authenticity would be an important topic from a Gen Z point of view. Indeed, how is one authentic through constructed self-images on social media that are validated through likes or at risk of being "cancelled"? We are increasingly creating a mise-en-scène around our own life events for the world to see. Consequently, one can wonder whether we are allowing ourselves to experience them in a genuine way. Let’s take the trend of the “crying selfie” for instance. Is it a useful way to break down the need for perfection and constructed happiness on social media ? Or rather a way to bring awareness towards mental health struggles? Or is it a vulgarisation of our vulnerability? Has our life become a commodity for everyone to enjoy and criticise?

Nicolas Mas, ESCP Business School
DiscoverNicolas's portrait

Elegant - Unconventional - Astonishing
Nineteen-year-old French student from Toulouse. Currently pursuing a master degree in ESCP Business School, more precisely in pre-Master, after two years of classe préparatoire in order to work in the fashion industry as a consultant.
Highly fond of philosophy, throughout writing philosophical literature or throughout lecture, as it is inherently fertile to better understand beings, yourself or others, and consequently the world surrounding us.
Enjoys the Art of drag, as I find the idea of performing gender identity and aesthetic with makeup, wigs, outfits, and mannerism, both entertaining and fascinating.


► Why did you want to join?

I find myself to be highly moved by the idea of understanding my peers and capturing through a refined and accurate lens the plurality of existing identities and grids of lectures of the world, especially by way of social interactions, discussions and debates, hence the reason as to why I applied for the Observatory. Thus, the opportunity to contribute to the Turning Points Chair is very precious to me, giving me room to analyse and explore a plurality of subjects, topics and visions to fulfil such a purpose. As a member of Gen Z myself, I utterly look forward the shedding light on the new dynamics impulsed by our generation, and by extension our incidence on social structures and paradigmes!

► How do you identify with Gen Z? What makes you a typical Gen Z student?

I’d say that what makes me a typical Gen Z student is that I’m always willing to learn and to grow from diversity, and to confront myself to experiences and visions of the world I’m unfamiliar with, throughout courses or interactions, and I hence despise dogmatism. This critical approach of dogmatism is deeply related to my link to gender and sexuality, as my questioning and my exploration of identity, of my gender and of my sexuality, has led me to deconstruct several schemes I’ve been taught during my youth, and I do believe we’ve ushered in an era characterized by such a renewed consideration of norms and dogmas, obviously, in my opinion, for the better.

► What do you expect from this experience?

From this experience, I truly expect to confront myself to a variety of opinions related to the three subjects we’ll have to work on and explore, whether it is related to a difference of culture, of backgrounds, or any determinant that may have shaped the beliefs of individuals I’ll interact with. I hope I’ll be able to rethink and reconsider my own ideas, in order for me to have a more refined and plural consideration of our changing world, taking into account many different perspectives. Eventually, I strongly believe that this experience would give me room to grow, which is what I was looking for applying for the Chair.   

► What do you expect to learn from collaborating with HEC students for the (first?) time?

I always cherish the idea to discover new people, therefore the opportunity to meet and collaborate with people from HEC resonates with me in the best way possible. I do not think there is much of an intrinsic difference -not to say any- between HEC and ESCP students, but I am sure that there are many potentials in both HEC and ESCP, and that such a collaboration would simply widen and extend our visions and possibilities. I hence highly look forward to working with HEC students, and I hope that this adventure will be fertile and fructuous, even though I’ve never quite doubted about it.   

► What are important topics these days from a Gen Z point of view and why

Many topics matter, from a Gen Z perspective, as the question of gender, of sexuality, of race, of ethnicity, of beauty, of ideal, of society and superstructure, of tradition, and so on. If these topics are so important for many of us, it is probably because our generation is heartily inclined to deconstruct diverse prevalent paradigmes in our societies and to re-establish new bases, mainly related to identity, in order to emancipate themselves from oppressive -or at least perceived as so- norms and schemes regulating our ability to express our idiosyncrasies. This dynamic is co-extensive of the rampant singularization of beings: no matter what we think of it, it is, I believe, symptomatic of our new generation.

Hanru Yang, ESCP Business School
DiscoverHanru's portrait

Adaptive - Communicative - Creative
Born and raised in China, seeking education in France.
Now Master in Management student at ESCP, specializing in marketing and consulting.
Prior to ESCP, my professional profile is immersed in marketing and strategies, ranging from internships at the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China to Tesla and PwC.
Driven by a huge passion for beauty and luxury, I will start my next internship at L’Oréal. 
Admirer of antiques and jewelry. Learned Chinese calligraphy for over 10 years.


► Why did you want to join?

Having a profound interest in trends of intercultural and cross-generational changes, as a Gen Z myself, I want to explore this socially responsible and mentally honest generation’s feelings, preferences, and status quo, aside from the stereotypes that have been imposed. Joining the GenZ Observatory is such a great opportunity as I will be exposed to various trendy and meaningful topics to study, abundant and enriching curating knowledge from the directors of this chair, and the endorsement of the prestigious maison Cartier. 

► How do you identify with Gen Z? What makes you a typical Gen Z student?

Born in 1998, immersed in the world of social media, surrounded by the information explosion, I grew up with the perception of living in the digital age. There are three keywords I found myself embedded within and considered to be typical Gen Z characteristics:

1) Open-minded. The unprecedented globalisation enables us to think big, dream big and be more acceptable of diverse cultures and more inclusive towards social dynamics.  
2) Fast learner. In order to adapt and respond to the constantly changing world, we Gen Z are fast learners of evolving technologies, new social norms, and unexpected challenges.
3) Exploratory. In a dynamic world full of noise, the exploration of the genuine inner self and the ambition for self-actualization have paced Gen Z to endeavor, live, and experience adventures of self-discovering.

► What do you expect from this experience?

By joining Cartier - ESCP- HEC Turning Points Research chair, I am ready to discover variously-themed research topics, with fellow curators of diverse backgrounds. I am looking forward to sharing and hearing different points of views which are shaped by our distinct life stories and origins, which will form a cultural hodgepodge and a functional content generator for inspirational ideas. In conclusion, I aspire to learn, contribute and execute through this splendid journey of curating.

► What do you expect to learn from collaborating with HEC students for the (first?) time?

Collaborating with HEC students for me is a cherished chance to exchange with another top business school as HEC. I very much expect to see our interactions and clashes of ideas, to facilitate the chair with our perspectives as today’s business school students. Meanwhile, we will be a team of seven with variant education backgrounds. Some of us formerly majored in arts, some in fashion, some in international politics and sociology, in consulting, and in languages. As I majored in translation and interpreting during my bachelor’s degrees, I am keen on intercultural communication and cultural appropriation. I am sure our team with HEC of diversity will be a strong plus for we can all leverage our former expertise.
 

► What are important topics these days from a Gen Z point of view and why?

As far as I am concerned, there are three fundamental topics for Gen Z today:
1) Mental wellness. This generation of youth has put a huge focus on having a healthier relationship with our own mental stability and healing traumas. To better define ourselves for clearer self-identity, we are thriving to better understand themes such as self-love and self-care. This topic could be elaborated into setting up our own standards of beauty, and of success.
2) Culture and heritage. Gen Z are now having a growing interest in traditional costumes and the old Art de Vivre. In China, the traditional clothing - Hanfu market has rapidly grown to 8 billion RMB in recent years. Young people are extremely active in consuming and raising awareness of the preservation for cultural heritage. Many luxury groups and brands have a similar interest: the continuation of craftsmanship and know-how. This could be aligned not only with the group’s strategy but also could be linked with Gen Z’s interest in tradition and heritage.
3) Sustainability and environment. The concept of recycling, up-cycling, vintage, and second-hand clothing has been omnipresent in today’s life for the youth. The concerns of responsible consumption and environmentally-friendly lifestyle are a heated topic and shoulder its mission to shape the future.

What is
next?

Professors Ben Voyer (ESCP Business School) and Anne Laure Sellier (HEC Paris), Scientific co-directors of the Chair, are looking forward to discuss with content curators and explore the findings of the observatory.

Ben Voyer, Professors ESCP Europe

To bring ESCP and HEC Paris students together as part of the Gen Z Observatory journey represents a unique opportunity.
So far, academic Chairs have build bridges between companies and the academic world. The Turning Points Chair and its GenZ Observatory also build bridges between two student communities: ESCP students and HEC Paris students. We will learn as much from their work as they will, for sure, learn from each others during this outstanding experience!

— Ben Voyer, Professor ESCP Business School, Co-Scientific Director Turning Point Chair
Cyrille Vigneron, PDG Cartier

The Observatory is a very fruitful example of the way companies can collaborate with Business Schools:

Getting the new generation’s perspectives on a wide range of business and societal topics from across the world is highly valuable for our Maison. Listening to Gen Z helps better understand and anticipate changes and trends.Young generations can bring outstanding inspirations to address current and future turning points in business, as well as their societal impact. I have been extremely impressed by the outcomes of the pilot phase

— Cyrille Vigneron, President and CEO, Cartier International

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