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Ideation Camp 2021

SHULU’s “Sustainability in Action” Leadership Platform delivers concrete and actionable results

Sacred Heart University’s recently launched “Sustainability in Action” Leadership Platform has produced its first tangible outcomes. An ideation camp, ran in collaboration with Luxinnovation and +Impakt, produced impressive results with five concrete business plans in the field of circular building construction in Luxembourg.

“As promised by the name of our ‘Sustainability in Action’ Leadership Platform, we have delivered concrete and actionable results made in Luxembourg, for Luxembourg, two months after its launch at KlimaExpo last October. Our success has been based on our 3C approach to sustainable development: generating Confidence, inspiring Creativity, fuelling Collaboration. These are amazing outcomes that showcase the effectivenss of SHULU’s education”, said Marcus Muller, Professor of Management at SHULU and ideation camp co-ordinator.

The five winning projects:
• One business plan is centered around the development of an AI-driven online platform effectively connecting owners of non-living spaces such as schools, garages or malls with potential users for sports, crafting or community events outside business hours.
• A second team identified the need and proposed a compelling solution for a material bank, made in Luxembourg. The service platform would be designed to centralize the quantity and quality of raw materials such as steel, concrete, wood, glass or copper per individual building. An online link to commodity market pricing would allow for actual ‘on the spot’ valuation of the material.
• “How to create a market for used materials?” was the key question that team 3 tackled. As a result of their background research and subsequent ideation, they put together an intriguing business plan for an online market dedicated to used products and materials from the construction sector.
• The fourth project introduced the novel perspective of a certification of construction processes to assess and certify the quality of products and materials for practical re-use in the construction lifecycle instead of shipping it straight to waste.
• Finally, a fifth team came up with an avantgarde solution of a modular “house within a house” concept to make efficient use of unoccupied or too large residential spaces, in response to Luxembourg’s increasing housing problems.

“None of the twenty two MBA students had any prior experience in either circularity or the construction industry. Our ideation camp enabled them to become ambassadors of change through sustainable innovation and transformation. This awesome journey confirms Malcolm X’s quote: Education is the passport to the future; tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today!” added Marcus Muller.

All five ideas made it into Luxinnovation’s idea-to-flagship pipeline. SHULU will carry two of the promising business plans forward (material bank and certification), immediately into its “Capstone Consulting Services” Course, where students will drive the projects towards further implementation with Luxinnovation as their client.

“Outstanding results”, was Johnny Brebels’ reaction to the output of SHULU’s ideation camp. He is Luxinnovation’s Director of Company Relations and Support and sees “significant synergies for each of the five business plans. A win-win with ongoing innovation initiatives in Luxembourg. Beyond the educative aspect, the sustainable and innovative dimensions are perfectly aligned with Luxinnovation’s mission to support companies and contribute to a digital sustainable economy. In case some of the student teams intend to create startups we could also see how to support them with incubation, state aid, acceleration or venture capital as we do for other startups”.

SHULU article Lux WMN

SHULU in Lux WMN Magazine

Something big is happening within the walls of Sacred Heart University Luxembourg (SHULU). The university has made a firm commitment to developing leaders of tomorrow that will
drive the systemic change needed to create a circular economy with a more environmentally friendly approach to challenges.

SHULU has created its Sustainability in Action Leadership Program, with the program making changes in how we are educating future leaders. To foster the growth and development of this program, SHULU has partnered with international and local actors amongst which +ImpaKT, a Luxembourgish consulting firm. Working hard to make this partnership a success is a team of brilliant changemakers. We had the pleasure of learning more about one of them, Anne-Christine Ayed.

About Anne-Christine

Anne-Christine Ayed, AOC Innovation AssociateAnne-Christine is a proud mother of three grown-up children, who spends her free time, outside of changing the world, in her home in Paris listening to jazz and appreciating modern art and literature. She started her career as a chemist in Switzerland, but since then, has lived all around the world relentlessly working to prove that innovation and sustainability can both drive
business growth and human progress.

During the ten years of her career that she spent in Luxembourg, Anne-Christine was the Executive Vice President of Research, Innovation and Environment at Tarkett, a global leader in Flooring and Sports solutions. Anne-Christine said, “In that position, I led the launch of many innovative products and developed the environmental strategy which positioned the group as the industry leader in circular economy.” She continues to use her innovation and passion for change in her current position as an Associate at +ImpaKT.

What is +ImpaKT?

When asked about +ImpaKT, Anne-Christine replied, “At +ImpaKT, we believe that the circular transition is essential to solving the environmental crises we face in biodiversity loss, climate change, and pollution.” +ImpaKT’s goal is to contribute to solving these issues because the price of not acting is far too high for humanity. With the combined efforts of partners, like SHULU, and its customers, +ImpaKT wants to be the vessel of change that brings us into a circular economy.

What is a Circular Economy?

Throughout this article, you’ll see many references to the circular economy. For those that aren’t familiar with the concept, Anne-Christine explains it the best:

“Contrary to the linear economy, which consists of the extraction of natural resources, their transformation, distribution, and consumption before throwing them away or forgetting them, the circular economy aims to maintain the stock of natural resources and to respect the living. If there is waste, it must systematically become inputs for other processes either as a component or recovered resource for another industrial process or as regenerative resources for nature.”

+ImpaKT strongly believes that education is key to making a circular economy possible. People, especially future leaders, need to learn and understand the environmental challenges that lie before us, the systemic approach to a circular economic model, how to eco-design products and services to thrive within the circular economy, and develop new business models to do the same.

Education is Key

This value placed on education by +ImpaKT is the reason why the partnership between SHULU and the consulting company is so cherished. SHULU’s program is extremely flexible and allows students to learn the content in a way that fits their needs. The goal of it is to provide a wide view of sustainability and its many facets while ensuring that the newly acquired competencies that the students gain are applicable to their careers and everyday life. Students in the program prepare an action plan that they put in motion outside of the classroom, whether that is at their jobs or in their private lives.

SHULU’s commitment to educating students to make a change at this pivotal point in history continues to strengthen the bond between the two organisations. “We are at the dawn of an environmental revolution, which will be at least as important as the digital revolution,” said Anne-Christine. She stated that it will be in strong synergy with the decade of the last chance for the climate to recover. Anne-Christine continued, “The transition back to the circular economy won’t just happen with some exemplary experiments. It won’t happen either with green marketing as we see so much these days. It will happen when young leaders will no longer be afraid of driving the change and develop the business models of the circular economy that create value and make businesses sustainable.”

That is why educating people about the economic opportunity of a circular economy within the limits of the planet is the key to success. A total shift of mindset and lifestyle is necessary and
is possible through education.

Ways You Can Get Involved

If you’re looking for ways that you can make an impact, educate yourself so you better understand what is at stake and what needs to be done to have a positive effect on the lives and health
of others, the environment, and the climate. Anne-Christine said that if you feel you can act and be part of the solution, it gives a purpose to your life.

Be sure to do your research and seek out companies that are embarking on the journey to create change, changing their business model to focus on things beyond profits, and attracting talents
to join the journey and continue the legacy and positive impact they hope to leave behind. Always keep the environment in mind when you influence and support governments to make circular economy and sustainability a priority; luckily, Luxembourg has put sustainable development as a priority to ensure an equitable and good life quality for the country’s citizens.

Women especially have demonstrated their concern for the environment throughout the decades; however, they are still underrepresented in the discussion of these serious matters. According to a Boston Consulting Group analysis, women are underrepresented in the green economy even though they have a strong sensitivity to environmental issues. With the gender inequality issues that are present in society, many women realise that they need to have a background in science, economics, or sustainability in order to have equal access to jobs or to do things like seek funding for green tech startups. Promoting women in STEM, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, is the first step to opening the door for more women to get involved, but we must also ensure that there is gender equality across the board in academia. No matter who you are, what your profession, or where you’re from, sustainable development is everyone’s business

Written by Macayla Temple for Lux WMN

KlimaExpo Sacred Heart University Luxembourg

Sacred Heart University Luxembourg at KlimaExpo 2021

KlimaExpo was the 1st national exhibition dedicated to actors and solutions to the climate cause, which took place from October 9 to 11, at LuxExpo, Kirchberg, Luxembourg.

With 2,600 visitors, 30 exhibitors, 32 conferences, this 1st edition was a real success.

On Saturday, 9 October, Sacred Heart University Luxembourg (SHU) launched its newest project–the “Sustainability in Action” Leadership Platform–at the KlimaExpo in the presence of economy minister Franz Fayot.

KlimaExpo Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
Marcus B. Mueller at KlimaExpo with Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
KlimaExpo Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
Marcus B. Mueller at KlimaExpo with Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
Erica Van Ossel Leclercq & Franz Fayot - KlimaExpo Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
Erica Van Ossel Leclercq & Franz Fayot – KlimaExpo Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
KlimaExpo Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
Erica Van Ossel Leclercq at KlimaExpo Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
KlimaExpo Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
Marcus B. Mueller at KlimaExpo Sacred Heart University Luxembourg
Pierre Gramegna Sacred Heart University Fairfield

Sacred Heart University welcomes Pierre Gramegna, Luxembourg’s Finance Minister, for lecture

Pierre Gramegna discusses the euro, climate change and the purpose of the European Union.

FAIRFIELD, Conn.—Sacred Heart University recently hosted Luxembourg’s minister of finance, Pierre Gramegna, for a lecture about the European Union (EU).

The University has a special connection to Luxembourg: SHU established a satellite campus there in 1991 as a graduate business school and now also offers short-term and semester-long undergraduate programs at the Luxembourg campus.

The minister’s lecture touched on the EU, the formation of which stems from efforts to forge closer social, economic and political ties among the European countries after World War II. The euro was created to be a common currency across the continent, he noted. “It makes no sense to build common currency if you don’t have common economic policies,” Gramegna said.

Gramegna also discussed COVID-19 and the panic it created. He said that, before the pandemic, the EU had experienced several years of economic growth, including the creation of 15 million jobs. The lockdown halted that growth as the pandemic crushed economies across the globe.

Two-thirds of the population is now vaccinated, which has allowed people to return to work and the economy to begin to recover. “We need to build forward better,” Gramegna said, referring to global initiatives for recovering from the pandemic’s sweeping impacts.

Regarding the climate crisis, Gramegna said he hopes to see a number of measures enacted, including taking businesses to task for “greenwashing,” or falsely marketing products as environmentally friendly; shortening the timeline for ending the use of coal plants and implementing sustainable financial practices. He also pointed out that, to promote a healthier environment, Luxembourg became the first country to offer free public transportation for commuters.

Gramegna holds a master’s degree in civil law and economic sciences, as well as an honorary doctorate from SHU Luxembourg. He was appointed Luxembourg’s minister of finance in 2013 and reappointed in 2018. Throughout his tenure, he has worked to balance the budget and make the country’s tax rules more transparent, according to a government website. He also has been active in promoting environmental initiatives.

David Taylor, associate dean of the Jack Welch College of Business & Technology (WCBT) said Gramegna’s lecture was enlightening. “Minister Gramegna’s visit provided an excellent opportunity for our students and faculty to hear perspectives from a European leader on an array of topics, including what may be the most pressing issue of our lifetime, the climate crisis. The intersection of finance and sustainability is an important area, and the minister provided everyone who attended with much to think about,” Taylor said.

Sacred Heart, as part of Luxembourg’s business and educational landscape, is doing its part to promote a green environment, Taylor said. “Working with the Luxembourg business community and government, the WCBT is committed to creating more sustainable business practices to address the climate crisis. With initiatives such as our ‘Sustainability in Action’ leadership platform, which has led to the creation of courses focused on green and sustainable business practices, SHU is working toward a better future, and we will continue to work with Mr. Gramegna and the ministry of finance to find innovative solutions to sustainability challenges.”

You can find the original article on Sacred Heart University website.

Sacred Heart University Luxembourg Alumni

SHULU Alumni Committee in action! – October to December 2021 Agenda

Dear fellow Shulu Alumni, students, faculty, and friends,

Let us tell you, It has been a flying start so far! The plans for the Alumni were first discussed almost one year ago and see us now:

• The team of Sahil, Mike, and Christine have been reinforced by Claudia and Sime;
• The July re-connect garden party was a great success with the help of Carolina;
• The first and second “alumni voice” articles and motivational cartoons were posted on LinkedIn.

And with our committee, we want to achieve more with next on the planning a nature re-connect walk and our winter re-connect party. For more details, have a look at our below agenda.
Looking for a job or a new colleague, follow us on our LinkedIn page and private Alumni group.

Alumni and Faculty exclusively, there is also the Signal group for all last-minute get together drinks, dinners, and advice questions. Click the hyperlinks for access requests.

Get to know us a bit better, and check out our last “Alumni Voice” article: “The committee” about our history, our purpose, and the team.
You want to help us either with the events, our social media, or joining the committee, reach out to us via LinkedIn.

Looking forward to re-connect the Shulu Alumni and seeing you at our next events,

Christine Impens, Claudia Koppelkamm, Mike de Dood, Sahil Goel, Sime Jurlina

On the agenda

30 October 2021, Nature (Re) Connection on Saturday
Subscribe: https://lnkd.in/dPhYZtRJ
A three-hour – connecting with nature and yourself – experience. This is a unique experience for SHULU Alumni and their partners. Places are limited, thus hurry to register!

Nature Re-connection

7 December 2021, Save the date for the re-connect, the winter edition!
Subscribe: Keep an eye on our LinkedIn page
Are you ready to greet some old friends, make new connections, all under the theme of the jolly holly winter holidays? “SHULU Alumni Committee” is organizing a Christmas theme party on Tuesday, 7th December 2021.

Save The Date

More about SHULU Alumni association : https://www.shu.lu/shulu-alumni-association/

Andy Schmidt Seismic

SHULU’s podcast series “WeCare” with Andy Schmidt (Seismic)

Hello everyone and welcome to the third episode of « WeCare », Sacred Heart University Luxembourg’s podcast series :

Here we will speak with SHULU Alumni & Students to learn about their unique stories and their experience in our program.

For 30 years, SHULU has worked to educate business professionals in Luxembourg through a thoughtfully designed curriculum taught by engaged and experienced faculty and practitioners.
We care deeply about providing valuable educational opportunities. We care about our students. We care about our graduates. And, we care about you!

Andy Schmidt, 44 years old, is the co-founder and COO of Seismic. With over 20 years of experience, Andy helps organisations achieve their strategic objectives and supports the growth and development of world class, values-led organisations. Andy has an MBA in Strategic Management in International Business from the Sacred Heart University Luxembourg, as well as a Master’s degree in Strategic Public Relations from The George Washington University.

In this episode of the « WeCare » podcast series, he shares with us his journey and in particular how the Sacred Heart University part-time MB benefited his career.