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The NEOMA Accelerator at The Digital Corner: the digital and environmental challenges facing Normandy’s entrepreneurs

Published on 07 January 2021 by NEOMA

The Digital Corner, a new event to examine the digital strategies of Normandy’s retailers, self-employed and SMEs.  Gwendal Rozier, head of the NEOMA Mobility Accelerator, will be on hand to talk directly to companies on the morning of January 15th. A look at the philosophy behind this participation.

You will be face-to-face with a number of  companies from Normandy during the Digital Corner. Is it important for NEOMA to take part in such an event?

Yes, our presence is important at such an event as we seek  to firmly establish ourselves in the region. And yes, it’s important because this event gathers many local companies involved in the digital sector, which is a major concern today.

What would you like to bring to the 30-minute interviews?

As an accelerator, we certainly provide a business vision, but also a vision that includes economic, social and environmental performance. Companies rethinking their development strategy often focus solely on economic performance. It’s ok to challenge them on these criteria, the cost of customer acquisitions, the hourly profit rate of a deliverer…. but I also want to implement environmental and social KPIs: what management style is needed to ensure that people are committed to the company, to guarantee happiness at work… In other words, through a company, how can we build a sustainable society?

This is also the philosophy of NEOMA’s mobility accelerator. How is this conveyed, in practical terms?

Our watchwords are simplicity, optimisation, cooperation. We focus on tools that simplify the flow of people and goods. Then on the tools that allow us to optimise these movements. Finally, tools for cooperation between the people involved. For example, simplicity means grouping people who are making the same journey into the same car. This reduces traffic jams. Optimisation means indicating the available parking spaces, which saves drivers from having to drive around for hours. Cooperation is an application that allows you to share a car or a barge so that it never travels half empty.

Do you always target these issues when you work with companies?

Yes, absolutely. It’s an important factor when choosing who to accelerate. Even if you don’t have to be perfect for us to take you on. One aspect of the programme involves us challenging all company managers to position themselves in relation to this ideology, and whether they can implement more initiatives, whether they can simplify and optimise things more and be more cooperative.

In terms of digital strategy, what has lockdown taught us? What lessons have we learned?

The first thing is that digital quality is expected for every company, even the smallest tradesperson. It has become a necessity for retailers to be able to offer a delivery service. The second thing is that Earth Overshoot Day, the day humanity has used up the ecological resources the planet’s natural ecosystems can regenerate, shifted from July 29 in 2019 to August 22 in 2020. That means three weeks later thanks to lockdown. The lesson is that the only way to build a sustainable society is to slow down. And therefore to propose a positive vision of business for society.

 

THE DIGITAL CORNER

Date : 15 January 2021. Optional date 5 February, if postponed due to the health situation..

Venue : Seine-Innopolis Petit-Quevilly (76)

Number of participants : around 50

Format : 30-minute micro-consulting sessions with experts; and 30-minute design thinking workshops; a “green” space to demonstrate the  carbon footprint of a website

Partners: Neoma-BS and Allianz.