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Patrick Artus conference: the economic challenges France faces now and in the future

25 June 2019

French economist Patrick Artus and high-ranking official and company head Jean Peyrelavade agreed to come and talk, on 25 June 2019 on the Lille campus, about the economic challenges France faces now and in the future.

The 1.5-hour-long round table, which ended with a Q&A session, left quite an impression on each of the 100 spectactors who attended the debate.

While the picture of the French economy painted by these two giants may have seemed rather alarmist, the two pro-Europeans were able to discuss the most essential, albeit delicate, issues: Brexit, France and Europe in the face of the USA and China, the new industrial revolution, energy, etc. It was a heated but fascinating debate that overlooked none of the current hot topics, such as the much feared virtual currency, Libra.

The world of work is also undergoing a radical transformation that started in the last few years. According to our two experienced speakers, the drastic changes happening worldwide will bring a transition on the part of politicians, companies and their employees.

The term ‘transition’ was actually discussed by Delville Management, the interim management specialists who co-organised and facilitated this conference.

“It’s important to take a step back sometimes to establish links between the macro and the micro environment”

Vincent Debels, CFO for nearly 30 years, of which the last 18 have been with the northern France fashion label Promod, former president of SKEMA Alumni and long-time friend of Patrick Abadie, the co-founder and director of Delville Management, is the best placed to talk about it.

SKEMA Alumni: Why did you want to organise this conference at SKEMA?

Vincent Debels: It all stemmed from me realising that, unfortunately, interim management is still little-known. During my career as a CFO I had to deal with a crisis that involved the departure of our German subsidiary’s entire finance & accounting team. Of the 7 employees, there was only one temp left... Working with Delville Management, in just a few days we found an experienced finance manager with exposure to the French and German cultures. It saved the day. Interim management is crucial for getting back on one’s feet and it’s also a wonderful career opportunity that should be seized!

What advice would you like to give Skemans today?

It’s important to take a step back sometimes to establish links between the macro environment (the way the world is evolving, economic challenges, innovations, etc.) and the micro environment, meaning our personal and professional environment, our own ecosystem. By attending these types of conferences, reading, continuing to learn on a daily basis, we gain a sharper and broader view of these two environments and their interconnections. I’ve actually just finished reading the latest book by economics journalist François Lenglet about years ending in 9, “Tout va basculer ! 2019, l’année de tous les dangers”. I won’t spoil it for you, promise…

Our students and alumni who are interested in or have questions about interim management can contact Vincent Debels by email to discuss the subject with him

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