From education to employment

ESCP Business School & Galeries Lafayette group join forces to support art and entrepreneurialism through the “Improbable” Chair

Image: François Daburon

@ESCP_bs Providing access to creation by bridging the worlds of art and entrepreneurship is the stance taken by these two institutions with deeply entrepreneurial DNA

On Tuesday, March 19th, Léon Laulusa, Dean and Executive President of ESCP, Jean-Stéphane Arcis, President of the ESCP Foundation, Philippe Houzé, Executive Chairman of the Galeries Lafayette group, and Guillaume Houzé, Image and Communications VP of Galeries Lafayette group, signed the first Chair dedicated to artistic and entrepreneurial creation.

The Improbable Chair, named after an innovative pedagogical approach called “Art Thinking,” originated in France within the walls of ESCP, the prestigious European business school. This methodology borrows from the practices of contemporary art to stimulate the act of creation, aiming to create the improbable with certainty. An avant-garde pedagogy that has already trained thousands of students, entrepreneurs, executives, and employees worldwide, placing art and culture at the center of all creation. This bold approach is widely supported and shared by the Galeries Lafayette group.

The Improbable Chair is the first structure to strengthen the links between Art and Entrepreneurship by acting as an ambassador for the creative process. It supports creation by building bridges between artists and entrepreneurs, between businesses and cultural institutions, and between artistic creation and business strategy.

“The Improbable Chair is all about bringing together artists and entrepreneurs, linking art with business in a new way. It supports creative practices by connecting artists with entrepreneurs, businesses with cultural institutions, and artistic creation with business strategy. It encourages everyone to embrace the ‘improbable’ to think like creators. Through a unique method called ‘Art Thinking’, developed at ESCP, the Galeries Lafayette group and ESCP offer a way to support, encourage, and spread the act of creation.”

Guillaume Houzé, Image and Communications VP of Galeries Lafayette group.

Taught at ESCP for the past 15 years, the “Art Thinking” methodology aims to provide an understanding of creation and place it at the heart of any career or path. It is taught during Improbable seminars: three-day training sessions that immerse participants in the role of contemporary artists to question and express a message through creation.

Recognised and shared by major names in contemporary art such as the Centre Pompidou and certain Parisian galleries, this approach encourages participants to create together and gain insight into their daily challenges or business strategy through the prism of contemporary art.

“The creation of this Chair marks a historic moment for our institution. It reflects our unwavering commitment to innovation, creativity, and interdisciplinary dialogue.”

Léon Laulusa, Dean and Executive President of ESCP Business School.

Supporting scientific research to better understand the practices of creation and disseminating the Improbable pedagogy around the world to teach the Art Thinking method are the main objectives of the Chair. This will be achieved through research and development (scientific publications, doctoral theses and dissertations, seminars bringing together researchers, artists and creative experts), teaching and events (conferences and workshops, exhibitions and openings, Improbable residencies).

“Our initial belief was simple: to make creation accessible to as many people as possible. To achieve this, we developed a method called Art Thinking, which characterises how artists, entrepreneurs, and scientists go through similar steps in the creative process, such as gift-giving, deviating, destroying and drifting. For 15 years, our Art-Thinking seminars have trained thousands of students, entrepreneurs, managers, and researchers across a dozen countries and twenty universities and schools. Partnering with Galeries Lafayette group, a company with a strong entrepreneurial DNA, our chair combines theory and practice to amplify this approach and promote creators and creation in the broadest sense.

Sylvain Bureau, ESCP Professor, Scientific Director of the Improbable Chair, Founder of the Art Thinking methodology.

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