ESCP Business School Launches 'C-Suite Talk Series: The European Way' to Explore the Future of Leadership, Inviting Eurostar to Start the Conversation.

Hosted by ESCP London Campus Dean, Prof. Kamran Razmdoost, this event marked the beginning of a crucial dialogue on adopting European values and shaping the future of management and leadership.

The series promises this through the exploration of inspiring stories, insight into overcoming challenges, and exploring future visions.

Inspired by mobility, both transportation and that of ideas, innovation and knowledge, the first discussion followed the story of Gwendoline Cazenave, shedding light on her journey, personal values, and vision for leading Eurostar into the future of mobility and sustainable transportation.

“As we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of ESCP Business School operating at a European level, it is important to explore further what European leadership means and how the European Way is manifested in businesses. Inviting Gwendoline as our inaugural speaker was a natural choice, as she is clearly showcasing the European way of management and leadership through Eurostar,” shares Kamran Razmdoost. “In these C-Suite Talks, we want to collectively rethink the way we lead new generations in a complex, changing and interconnected world, and see more examples of authentic sustainability, humanistic leadership, and creative and boundary-breaking strategies.”

Picture: Kamran Razmdoost, ESCP London Campus Dean, and Gwendoline Cazenave, Eurostar CEO, in active discussion on the future of leadership

Affected by growing population numbers, changing consumer preferences, and pressure to come up with more sustainable mobility solutions, it is not surprising transportation companies need to innovate both inside and out.

The worldwide count of passenger rail users keeps steadily growing, soon to surpass one billion users worldwide. This growth underscores the increasing demand for the industry and the urgency to adapt to the evolving landscape.

Recognising the transformational nature of society and the world, ESCP invited Eurostar for its inaugural event. Eurostar shares ESCP's values for multiculturalism, purpose-driven approaches, and innovation in the face of pressing industry concerns, making their CEO, Gwendoline Cazenave, a remarkable first speaker to share her story with the ESCP community.

During the talk, Ms Cazenave shared her vision for the future of mobility and travel, touching on the importance, challenges and opportunities of an international outlook and mindset.

She emphasised the growing need to think beyond one's institution and find creative ways of dealing with strategic and operational challenges, as well as the importance of being the trailblazer in guiding your team towards your vision. Additionally, she urged for consistency and a holistic approach when an organisation decides to put sustainability at the heart of its strategy, agreeing that we are now at the stage where prioritising pro-social and pro-environmental values should come hand in hand with staying commercially profitable.

The three key leadership lessons and takeaways from the talk were:

  1. Future leaders should place inclusion, diversity and sustainability at the heart of their strategies, prioritising people and the planet alongside economic and financial objectives. They should portray a clear vision and bring everyone together to move towards the common goal.
  2. Merely acknowledging interculturality isn't sufficient; future leaders must actively overcome cross-cultural biases on a daily basis, acknowledging and celebrating differences as a source of strength across all operations.
  3. Leaders need to think collaboratively to innovate. Ensuring everyone in your organisation understands your values, mission, and vision and their individual role in realising it will help you think bigger, innovate, and grow.

This event has been released as an exclusive podcast. Listen here.

ESCP Business School continues to play a key role in the ecological, technological and societal transformations that affect our world. The European Way talk series is one of the many methods by which the School educates and inspires purpose-driven leaders. The next event will take place in September 2024.