The Mercure Project

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Nikita Godard, Arthur Guena, Antoine Natta

“Give a child a pen; he will draw. Give a 2.0 child a communication center; he will communicate”

A pedagogic challenge faced by the French Business Schools is to fill the gap between the theoretical world and the professional one. This is even more critical when dealing with communication where savoir-faire is the only-thing that actually matter. While some common subjects can be properly taught through lecture, communication needs practice to be actually improved. If everyone gets a natural need to communicate, the tools of modern communication are barely accessible.

I.             Mercure project

That is why, we decided through the project “Design your Business School”, to set up a laboratory which will provide specific resources to the students, allowing them to improve their communication skills. This innovative library, that we named Mercure, will represent a new strength for its school. Indeed, this practical space will provide a sophisticate audio & video studio, an adaptable space of collaboration, plants, an inspiring creation area, while maintaining its traditional library services. Mercure will not be useful only for students; this communication center could become the area where synergies, between the different internal (students, teachers, administrations, students associations…) and external (Lecturers, CCI, Professional and Businesses…) actors, could be developed. Therefore this project is about enriching all the interactions around the business school, through better quality of equipments and services.

II.           Mercure at the ESC Pau

A.     Required Skills

In order to accomplish the project, several skills and competences are necessary such as:

  •           Designer
  •           IT system Engineer
  •           Audio/Video Engineer
  •           Communication expert

B.      The ESC Pau Mercure Laboratory

1.      The Minerve cabinet

The physical library will take less space through a progressive process of dematerialization of the archives, which are stocked in the backrooms, and a reorganization of the books in a small room. This small “Knowlegde well” will be opened to the Minerve cabinet to make easier the access to the books, while saving space. The Minerve cabinet will be a common and collaborative room that we would design like a Google Space (with colors, sofas, plants, and designed seats). The The Minerve cabinet will be sharable in smaller rooms thanks to movables walls, to enable teamwork and adapt the space in accordance with the size of the groups. This comfortable space will facilitate exchanges, socialization and combination of knowledge (tacit/explicit). Around this adaptable area, the project articulates three rooms centered on Communication skills.

Estimated price: around 40000€ (without installation)

2.      The Jupiter Space (Creation)

The Crea-Space will provide tools to enable students to create physical communication supports. It includes high quality colors printers, scanners linked to a computer provided with image editing software. What’s more, this space will permit students to share easily ideas thanks to a circular table with a video projector in the middle and white boards on the walls around it. The concept is about sharing ideas through the expression of each individual person from each group on a white board. Then, the circular table is going to facilitate the integration of each idea in one common vision, before realizing the output.

Estimated price: around 5000€ (without installation) planned for 6 people group.

3.      The Phoebus workshop (Sound)

This room is soundproof and provides a circular table, with as many microphones and headphones as seat, several speakers and a prompter (such as a tablet). This will enable students or professionals to create radio advertising, broadcast on the radio and take part in international conferences.

Estimated price for 10 seats: 5000€ (without installation)

4.      The Pythie temple (Video)

This room will provide a green-screen, a high quality camera, costumes, accessories and speakers. To profit or to hide from the natural sunlight, this specific area will have several windows equipped with lightproof blinds. An additional screen will be on the room to allow the student in front of the camera to get an instant feedback. The Video-Space is the main core of the project, because it will give to the business school the opportunity of the video sharing channels access (such as Dailymotion and YouTube), in terms of communication and practices. Students, associations and professional will be able to broadcast video which could be followed by many people, and it could potentially do a buzz through social networks.

Estimated price: 5000€ (without installation) for 5 people (Engineer, actors, prompter…)

    1. The Vulcain

This space will be established between the Phoebus workshop and the Phytie temple and will provides enough computers to record, edit, mix and broadcast the outputs. What is more, the Vulcain will enable students to practice on digital marketing tools and on editing audio and video files.

Estimated price: 5000€ (without installation) for 6 users.

  1. Mercure’s Spaces Interactions

To favor the interactions within the new library, the Thinking Room will give an insight on each space thanks to internal windows (still equipped with blinds) and doors. The project considers the Thinking Room between the both bay windows with an insight on the external environment. The Crea-Space will be implemented in the middle of this main work area, and will be made of transparent walls and door. Several screens will broadcast outputs from the different spaces.

  1. Budget and reputation proposition

The Mercure project is expansive and can be a good opportunity to develop new business relationship. It can easily welcome an external partner to settle a co-branding agreement under the form of a sponsoring through naming (i.e.: “Philips Esc Pau Mercure Laboratory”). It’s a win-win situation. It is a way for the selected partner to underline its involvement in its social responsibility, and promote his innovation and top range product. The school on its side would get a financial support, enhance its credibility and get the opportunity to welcome a new major partner.

C.      Project promotion and animation

Like the AJE (Association de la Junior Entreprise) the project will require a student association which will in charge of the promotion, and management of Mercure. In term of promotion, the project suggests YouTube and Dailymotion channels where the students will be able to put their works, to show it to anybody (recruiters, candidates, institution, partners, friends…). Those video sharing channels will be linked to social networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkIn…) and the ESC Pau official website where works from the Jupiter Space and the Vulcain will be shared to promote the school.

With the Mercure project, this students association in charge and leaded by an ESC Pau manager, will respond to communication issues from local businesses. This new association will provide a new low cost students marketing service to ESC Pau external partners (Operational services creating ads). Therefore, the communication laboratory will also provide to students, through this new professional activity, to practice on a real business cases. Moreover, some trainings will be organize to provide for student the ways to use potentially complex tools.

D.     Considerations

The project must consider the planning (reserve each space before), the security (necessity of taking care about the equipment via a badging system keeping a track of users), the interface between software. To solve this problem, the project suggests a reservation system based on a caution. Reservations will be possibly done by the administration, lecturers or students on the school’s intranet (E-campus).

To control the success of this project, the business school should take care about:

  •           Utilization rate for each space / Visits
  •           Businesses entrance rate
  •           Students and Professionals (Administration and external partners) satisfaction survey
  •           Incidents numbers regarding the equipments
  •           Number of outputs, segmented by nature (from each space)
  •           Number of projects (Teamwork, Class work)

E.      Project within a global Strategy

To be successful the Mercure project must be embodied in a bigger project that will concern the reorganization of the building’s whole ground floor. Therefore some there is some steps to follow:

Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9
Space optimization Equipment/furniture suppliers identification Partners selections Security system to set up Set up a planning system Realization Creation of the student association and selection the ESC employee in charge of it Creation and management of the promotion (event creation) Animation (set up and management of training)

F.      The Happy End

The vision behind the Mercure project is to create a collaborative place where students will be willing to go and to use the communications tools that are provided. Through this daily living they will improve their communication skills, and integrate it on their association life. The school associations will also improve their communication and so the result of their actions.

Once this integration in the student life achieved the teachers will naturally have a new pedagogic tool at their disposition. Tool that will be also a new service that the school will be able to provide to its partners, and create new business opportunity.

Eventually the Mercure project is a good way to enhance the credibility and the visibility of the school, through the social media and through the conventional ones.

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