Bridging Worlds for Inclusive Innovation | Women’s Forum


On September 12th-14th, emlyon business school attended for the first time, the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society in Singapore, a key event to foster women’s leadership for social progress and economic impact in Singapore and in the region. This year is also the France-Singapore Year of innovation and this meeting contributed to intensify innovation cooperation between the two countries.

emlyon business school was very visible in this event thanks to Margherita Pagani, Professor of Digital Marketing at emlyon business school, who was the moderator on the discussion about “Unmasking the future of AI in Asean”. The main discussion was about how AI can help better growing urbanisation in the healthcare sector by detecting disease at an earlier stage, or how it can help empower more people in financial services. The roundtable also tackled the following topics:

  • How AI can contribute to a better society trying to address existing and new needs in Asia and worldwide?
  • We discussed the ethical issues related to AI and the privacy concerns that need to be addressed;
  • We stressed the critical role of education in improving the readiness of the market;
  • Finally, a mention was done to the gender gap still existing in many countries in Asia.

Since the school is strongly committed to developing strong connections to support women’s career, Mrs. Françoise Dany, a member of the Executive Committee of the school, also attended this conference. To reinforce its presence, emlyon business school invited some alumni working in the region to participate as well in this event.

What do we take out from this 1st time participating in the Women’s Economic Forum?
  • It is important to continue to be present in this forum and take an active role, like other business schools are doing such as INSEAD and ESSEC Business Schools to grow and support career driven women;
  • Women need a supportive system during their education but also in their company to have more confidence in taking roles that involve P&L management. How at emlyon business school, are we supporting our early maker women to give them the extra push in confidence to achieve strong leadership roles?
  • Ethics, social responsibility, doing good, are more important than ever – having a purpose and a strong storytelling on social impact is what will make young graduates choose some companies over other. How are we integrating this at emlyon business school?
  • Being part of board, understanding the venture capitalist sector are equal ways to learn how to become an entrepreneur or a future CEO. How can we continue to innovate and ensure we prepare our students in that direction?
What kind of actions have been developed by emlyon business school to answer those needs?
  • emlyon business school has recently launched a new Master of Science in Digital Marketing and Data Science which integrates these competencies in Data Science and in Management. The first cohort is composed by 61 students coming from 21 nationalities!!! There are more females than males.
  • The school has also just launched a new Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Management and Margherita Pagani will lead inside this Institute, a new Research Center on AI in Value Creation. She is in contact with the panelists of the roundtable held in Singapore as they are actively involved in this subject.
  • The emlyon forever alumni network has set up two “emlyon au féminin” business clubs, which organize events and conferences in Lyon and Paris to address those issues.

“During the Women’s Forum I had the opportunity to moderate a session on “Unmasking the future of AI in Asean”.

We discussed how Artificial Intelligence transform lives and communities, address new and existing need in a more efficient way. Yet, the human brain is needed more than ever in order to be creative, to think critically, to keep learning, to be emphatic and not least, to be an “early maker” of the future. Ethical and privacy concerns have a high relevance. Moreover we must ensure that Artificial Intelligence becomes gender neutral and inclusive, not leave anyone behind, but instead empower all, as creators and leaders of our digital future.

The Education emerged as major drivers of the development and we presented how emlyon business school is contributing in creating these new competencies thanks to a MSc in Digital marketing and Data Science recently launched and taught in Paris, Boston, Shanghai and a new Research center on AI in Value Creation I lead inside the Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Management.

”Margherita Pagani, Academic co-Director of MSc in Data Science & Digital Marketing at
emlyon business school