Artists: the future innovation leaders?

Artists are not only dreamers but doers! Artists certainly provide new ideas but not only. Their collaboration with engineers and designers can give birth to new innovative tools and to gain time for R&D.

Event Details


  • January 23, 2018 : 17.00 - 19.00 (05.00-07.00pm)(Paris time)
  • January 25, 2018 : 17.00 - 19.00 (05.00-07.00pm)(Paris time)

On-line Round-Table special event

Chairman or Expert of the event:

Agathe de Rocca-Serra, Contemporary Art Consultant

Agathe’s professional life has always been divided between the two worlds of business and culture.

After History and literature education, she decided to study marketing which seemed much closer to everyday life and kept her passion for books, museums, theatre and dance for spare time.

Having practised and taught marketing for a few years, she discovered the vivid contemporary art scene in London in the early 2000 and concluded that it was the best way to reconcile her passion for culture and contemporary concerns.

She organized talks and visits about contemporary art and cofounded Eidos art in London, a consultancy helping architects, promotors and councils to work with artists in public art projects.

Moving to Italy where contemporary public art was not so familiar to the public, she proceeded to explain the purpose and nature of contemporary art to various audiences collaborating especially in company seminars to illustrate the potentail connection different business topics and artworks in the prolific Italian context.

These experiences added to her conviction that artists have a critical role in economic life, acting not only as cultural agent but as protagonists for progress! 

Agathe also enlightened different groupings as to the necessity of a person acting as a translator and catalyst in this process, able to trigger collaboration between artists and their public.

On returning to Paris, she decided to identify artists and companies, combining the two by way of visits, talks and events for those who wished to discover the contemporary art scene as a mirror of our society and a stimulus for creativity and inspiration.


Through different examples and speaker insights, the round table event will:

  1. Gain understanding why an organization should integrate an artistic project in its innovation process and what are the motivations of an artist to be involved
  2. Define the conditions of a successful collaboration
  3. Come up with a toolkit of best practices in applying art to innovation practices
  4. Form a community of know-how and meet highly interesting people with conviction on Art & Innovation

Brief Description:

Artists are “the new business leaders”, provokes John Maeda, internationally recognized speaker, in his book “Redesigning leadership”. They can challenge the company about its practice, know-how and technology, delivering different points of view to the company’s innovation process.

Artists are not only dreamers but doers.

Artistic interventions provide new ideas but not only. Their collaborations with engineers, designers and makers give birth to innovative tools. For example, the Lab Art et Sciences in Grenoble developed with the beat dancer Ezra an interactive glove which increases the power of his voice through the space. Ezra and his orchestra used the glove for a spectacular “bionic” show, and the lab studied how to develop this augmented reality technology for home automation, video games or disables environment.

Collaborations happen also inside companies without the intervention of research structures. In 2015, some artists were invited by French companies to develop artistic projects in situ. One of the managing directors explained that it was extremely challenging to provide time, technology and knowledge to satisfy the artist’s requests but at the end, all these efforts were paying off, creating an element of differentiation in front of the competition with the opportunity to generate a 4 to 5 million of additional revenue in 5 years.

Artistic contribution does not support only technical innovation. In the era of service experiences, the technological progress is not anymore sufficient to be different from competitors and the key words are creativity, emotions and individuality. These new values resonate perfectly with the world of Art and our “new business leaders” bring successfully their unique approach to worlds of luxury, management and services.

Many collaborations have occurred recently and through different testimonies we will examine the conditions and results of these successful partnerships.

During the two event episodes the following issues will be addressed:

  • Is combining art and innovation an experience for a few arty knowledgeable business people or can it be experimented in any innovation oriented company? What are the different ways to collaborate with artists? What kind of competences, attitudes and way of thinking the artist can bring to the company?
  • In the artistic work both sides of the brain, “reason and emotion”, are involved as often in the business decisions the reason side is more valued. How artists are different thinkers and collaborators?
  • How artistic collaboration can be developed in technological field but also integrated in services innovation?
  • What will be the position of the artist when he takes part in a new development? Is defining the copyrights and other intellectual property in this partnership a challenge? What kind of objectives and how to evaluate it?
  • Does this form of collaboration trend for the future? Does it need special structures: Fab Lab for example, clusters or hubs?

Target Audience:

Artists and Designers, Innovation and R&D Directors, Business Development Managers, Strategy Directors, Marketing Managers

Meeting Date(s) and schedule:

January 23-25, 2018, from 17h00 – 19h00 (05.00-07.00 pm) (Paris time)

Introduction of Speakers (to be completed):

Ms. Johanna Häiväoja, Sculptor

Johanna Häiväoja is a Finnish sculptor working both in Finland and in France. She has studied in the ENSBA (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts) and got her diploma on 1989 with jurys compliments. Her work has been seen at Dieppe Chateau Museum in 2011 and in Sculptor Gallery in 2004. Johanna Häiväoja works also on command for enterprises and public entities. Johanna Häiväoja has had a sculpture price from the French Academy, Roux et Tronchet – foundation in 2009 and an honorary mention at the SOK cenotaph competition in 2013.

More informations :

Nicolas Aubouin, Associate Professor, PhD,
PSB Paris School of Business

Nicolas Aubouin research interests focus on the management of arts and culture, human resources management, and corporate social responsibility. 

His research develops more specifically on the dynamics of professions, on the elaboration of managerial tools, and on the institutionalization process prevailing for emerging working spaces.

Nicolas closely collaborates with public and private institutions for his research, primarily in relation in the domains of arts and culture.


Ms. Amandine Guruceaga, Sculptor

Amandine Guruceaga is a young French artist who graduated from art school of Ecole des Beaux-arts in Marseille in 2013. Already a recognized sculptor she was invited in 2017 by the LVMH Group to pass 6 months artist residency at Riba Guixà tannery. This collaboration with the exceptional artisans gave her the opportunity to explore techniques and unknown materials leading to creation of unexpected colors and unusual transparency of the traditional crafts work.

On the eve of her exposition in Paris she will share her insights and experience of the art residency and collaboration with the industry.


Episode 1.
  • Tuesday, January 23, 2018 from 17.00 to 19.00 Paris time
  • 17.00-17.05 Welcome to Hyphenity by Marja-Liisa Pihlstrom
  • 17.05-17.15 “Coffee” and Introductions by All participants
  • 17.15-17.30 Focus on the topic: Agathe de Rocca Serra Expert and Chairwoman
  • 17.30-17.45 Speaker 1: Johanna Häiväoja, Sculptor
  • 17.45-18.00 Speaker 2:
  • 18.00-18.40 Q&A and Discussion
  • 18.40-18.50 Take Away Messages of the 1st session
  • 18.50-19.00 Focus to the 2nd Episode
  • 19.00 End of the 1st episode

Episode 2.
  • Thursday, January 25, 2018 from 17.00 to 19.00 Paris time
  • 17.00-17.05 Welcome to Hyphenity by Marja-Liisa Pihlstrom
  • 17.05-17.15 “Coffee” and Introductions by All participants
  • 17.15-17.30 Focus on the topic: Agathe de Rocca Serra, Expert and Chairwoman
  • 17.30-17.45 Speaker 3: Nicolas Aubouin, Associate Professor, PhD,
    PSB Paris School of Business 
  • 17.45-18.00 Speaker 4: Amandine Guruceaga, Sculptor
  • 18.00-18.40 Q&A and Discussion
  • 18.40-18.50 Take Away Messages of the 2nd session
  • 18.50-19.00 Wrap-up and End of the Event 

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