Unlock hidden creativity: the Option E Art Thinking Seminar in Turin

In a VUCA world, thinking out of the box is crucial, just like learning that sometimes it is necessary to destroy what you have built in order to start again. This is how ESCP Turin Campus Option-E cohort of students from the Master in Management kick-started their 2022.

In fact, the first step in the Impact Entrepreneurship specialisation was a real transformational experience: Option E students attended the Improbable Seminar to learn Art Thinking.

The disruptive workshop was a 3-day training course based on the flexible method designed by Sylvain Bureau, Scientific Director of the Jean-Baptiste Say Institute and ESCP Professor. The Art Thinking method makes it possible to create the improbable with certainty.

Led by the artist Pierre Tectin and ESCP professors, participants had access to conferences, creative workshops, and mentoring sessions.
The Art Thinking method is a hybrid of two disciplines, art and entrepreneurship, around three main phases - doing, criticising and exhibiting – and six practices – Donation, Deviation, Drift, Destruction, Dialogue, Display.

"It is always very exciting to see how much students have changed their mindset from the start until the final exhibition. Especially, the moments of destroying some of their ideas are very impactful in preparing the students for the whole entrepreneurial journey in Option-E", said Alisa Sydow, Entrepreneurship & Innovation Professor at the ESCP Turin Campus.

In a nutshell, the aim of the workshop is to experience the creativity of artistic thinking to be able to use it in a business context.
The seminar nurtured collaboration, listening, leadership, negotiation and healthy confrontation and helped participants unlock their hidden creativity.

The workshop, and the final exhibition, were hosted in the inherent simplicity of Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo space, which was specially created to house and display contemporary artworks.
"What a pleasure to teach the Improbable seminar on-site this year. And what a location: Fondazione Sandretto! The building is super impressive. You are in Turin and at the same time far from anything. Michel Foucault would call it a heterotopia: A place which helps you to transform yourself and think about the world differently. The students were very much involved and we had a very stimulating improbable learning experience," declared Sylvain Bureau. 

Supported in their journey, students created pieces of art from scratch to reimagine the world.

The Exhibition

On January 14, Option-E students presented their works of art, created to rethink our world and challenge the status quo, at the prestigious Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo:

[ Destructive Protection, by Jeanne Royer De La Bastie, Lorenzo Pastorelli, Rui Bai and Marc Sime-Goldfrad, is a biology book photomontage that reflects on how the masks used as protection from the Covid-19 virus have a massive impact on the environment, posing serious threats to wildlife, soils, water bodies, and oceans. Will our efforts to protect ourselves be the cause of our destruction.

When does a lecture become activism?, by Francesca Barra, Corentin Cabanis and Niccolò Maglioli, reflects on climate change and awareness in education. This work is set as an ESCP two-faces lecture with two main characters, the lecturer and the students who have swapped voices; the professor, performed by students, is sharing concerns and harsh opinions, while students, performed by the professor, are questioning what his role should be: an activist or an academic?

Be positive at Christmas, by Mariafrancesca Dagostino, Sidney Togu and Federico Liboi Bentley, is an installation that shows the loneliness and loss of social interactions of the “new normal”, where Covid-19 quashes dreams and lives, leaving space for anxiety and missed opportunities, especially in young generations. Indeed, anxiety and depression doubled in youth compared to pre-Pandemic time.

Nous sommes à un Carrefour [We are at a crossroads], by Matteo Carlo Bertani, Sixtine De Buchet, Giulia Piras and Luca Scivetti, is a video of a dystopian scenario that aims to warn the audience about climate change and how our daily life will be directly affected. Are we ready to face the consequences, or will we do something about it? In the video, a tourist spending holidays in a flooded Ferrara in 2050 is looking for a supermarket in a city that has adapted to the change due to the dramatic increase of the seas levels.

The Cell-Phones, by Marco Allori, Sacha Cormont-Zins, Valentina Johannson and Filippo Petecchi, shows the psychological issue faced by their generation due to excessive use of digital devices and tools. Data reveals that people who use electronic devices for more than 5 hours per day show 48% to 171% increased probability of having depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts. Young people are not aware of how dependant they have become on their screens and how companies are exploiting this problem to their advantage.

Congrats to all the students for the remarkable results! 
They presented five impactful works, raising awareness on some of the world’s most compelling challenges.

Guests from the ESCP community were invited to the artwork exhibition in one of the leading contemporary art foundations in Italy to discuss the pieces displayed with their creators.
The onsite show only lasted for one day; however, the public can still enjoy the exhibit thanks to a parallel virtual exhibition. 

If you want to discover the final pieces of art created by the students, take an online tour of the Art Thinking Collective – Improbable Turin 2022 exhibition.