About us

π Our mission

Polytechnique Insights is a free online review, available in French and English, dedicated to research and innovation, their socio-economic implications, as well as the major movements affecting the world in the fields of environment, health, natural resources, finance and demographics. Polytechnique Insights is a vector for the international reputation of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

π Reading experience

 Polytechnique Insights offers two types of editorial content.

  • Our “Braincamp” format offers insight on a major contemporary issue in the form of a series of four to six articles.
  • Our "Column" format gives researchers the opportunity to express their view on current news.

These formats, available on the Polytechnique Insights website and via social networks, are grouped together in a free fortnightly newsletter distributed every second Friday (subscribe here).

π Ethics

Polytechnique Insights complies with the following ethical guidelines:

  • Conformity with facts, rigour in reasoning, freedom of speech, controversy and criticism.
  • Publication of information of known origin.
  • Correction of inaccurate or incomplete information.
  • Free from ideologies, propaganda and advertising.
  • Constant attention to potential conflicts of interest.

π Governance

 Polytechnique Insights is an association (Siren n°532 865 482) with the objective of dissemination of scientific knowledge. Its governance is composed of a board of directors and an editorial board. The operational body consists of an editorial committee. The association has established a contractual partnership with the Institut Polytechnique de Paris.

π Board of Directors

The board of directors supervises the association’s activities and implements its budget. It delegates part of its executive power to a board which meets once a month to monitor the association’s activity and approve guidelines proposed by the Executive Director of the association. The composition of the board is available here.

π Editorial Board

The editorial board defines the editorial policy and the topics covered by Polytechnique Insights. It identifies the authors who could be involved in the journal and helps the editorial team to contact them. The composition of the committee is available here.

π Scientific Editor-in-chief

The scientific editor-in-chief of the journal is the president of the teaching and research committee of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris. The Scientific Editor-in-chief of the journal is the Head of Education and Research Committee of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris. He can be contacted by a member of the editorial committee and refuse the publication of a text if it does not conform with the editorial line of the journal.

π Editorial Committee

The editorial committee is operates editorial production, continuously deciding editorial content on the basis of the themes defined by the Editorial Board. It chooses and contacts authors, orders and manages articles, interviews and podcasts. It occasionally calls upon specialists for additional detail on certain subjects and to validate certain articles.

The publication director is ultimately responsible for the choice of subjects, their production and their conformity with the editorial line. The composition of the editorial committee is available here.

π Funding

The Polytechnique Insights association is funded by corporate sponsors up to the sum of 20,000€ per year, per company. For the 2020-2022 period, 19 companies support the project:  Altice, Ardian, Arkema, Axa, Deloitte, EDF, Engie, Generali, Goldman Sachs, Groupama, Iliad, L’Oréal, LVMH, Pharo Foundation, Sanofi, Société Générale, Sopra Steria, Total et Veolia. Other companies may join Polytechnique Insights to contribute to its editorial development and the performance of its tasks.

 

Board of directors

Philippe Donnet

Philippe Donnet

CEO of Generali Group and President of Polytechnique Insights.

A 1983 graduate of École polytechnique, Philippe Donnet began his career at AXA in France and Canada. Named CEO of AXA Italy in 1999, he headed AXA Corporate Solutions, of the AXA Re reinsurance subsidiary, and several AXA areas. Before joining Generali Group in 2013 as CEO of the Italian subsidiary, he launched and developed the Wendel group’s Asia region, and co-founded the investment firm HLD.

François Ailleret

François Ailleret

Honorary CEO of EDF and Vice President of Polytechnique Insights

A 1956 graduate of École polytechnique, François Ailleret began his career at the civil engineering department in France’s Nord region, before taking part in the construction of Roissy airport with the ADP group, from 1967 to 1970, and becoming director of operations for Paris airports. He then worked his way up through the ranks at EDF (transport, distribution), where he was named CEO in 1994. Following his departure in 2002, he chaired a number of institutions, including Afnor, the Pasteur Institute and the School of Neurosciences in Paris.

Claude Bébéar

Claude Bébéar

Honorary chairman of AXA Group and Vice President of Polytechnique Insights

A 1955 graduate of École polytechnique, Claude Bébéar began his career in the Anciennes mutuelles d’assurance (AMA) group, where he took on various roles before being named CEO in 1975. In the 1980s, he made AXA the leading French private insurer, through business creations (AMré) and acquisitions (Drouot Group, Mutuelles unies, Présence, Compagnie du Midi), before turning it into a world-class group (Equitable, National Mutual, UAP) in the 1990s. He is committed to humanitarian sponsorship, and is the founder and honorary president of Institut Montaigne.

Marc-Antoine Jamet

Marc-Antoine Jamet

General secretary of LVMH Group

A graduate of ENA and Sciences-Po Paris and holder of a bachelor’s degree in literature and a master’s degree in history, Marc-Antoine James began his career at the Court of Auditors as an auditor. He then became a public auditor, before being appointed chief of staff to the president of the National Assembly (1992–93 and 1997–2000), and special advisor to the minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry (2000–01). He was elected mayor of Val-de-Reuil in 2001, and is the vice-president of the Seine-Eure conurbation. He also was the vice-president of the Haute-Normandie regional council (2004–15).

Mohamed Kabbaj

Mohamed Kabbaj

Chancellor of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Fez

A former wali for the Casablanca region and a member of Parliament, Mohamed Kabbaj is a graduate of École polytechnique de Paris and École nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (the French civil engineering department). He holds an advanced degree (DEA) in econometrics from La Sorbonne and is member of the Académie Hassan II des Sciences et Techniques. Previously chairman of Lafarge Morocco, he was advisor to the King Mohammed VI, minister of Finance and Foreign Investment, minister of Public Works, Vocational Training and Executive Training, and chairman of the Development Committee of the IMF and the World Bank.

He is not a member but a permanent guest of the editorial board of Polytechnique Insights as a board member.

Eric Labaye

Eric Labaye

President of École polytechnique and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris

Éric Labaye is President of École Polytechnique since 2018 and President of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, created in May 2019 to bring together École Polytechnique, ENSTA Paris, ENSAE Paris, Télécom Paris and Télécom SudParis. Previously, Éric Labaye was Senior Partner at McKinsey&Company, a member of the firm’s Shareholders Council (Global Board) and Chairman of the McKinsey Global lnstitute (MGI), where he led numerous research projects on key economic issues such as growth in Europe, productivity, digitisation, the future of work and inequalities. Éric Labaye is a graduate of École Polytechnique, Télécom Paris and holds an MBA from INSEAD. He is guest member of the board of directors and editorial board of Polytechnique Insights.

 

Catherine Lucet

Catherine Lucet

Deputy CEO of Editis group and Vice President of Polytechnique Insights

Catherine Lucet is a graduate of École polytechnique and École des Mines in Paris, and holds an MBA from INSEAD. She began her career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before joining McKinsey. She then became director of the Harlequin publishing house, before being appointed CEO of Elsevier. She is president of Nathan, Bordas, Retz and CLE International, and former president of Le Robert dictionaries. She is also a member of the Casino Group board of directors and of the supervisory board of Dutch publisher Brill.

Hervé Machenaud

Hervé Machenaud

Partner at Franco-Chinese investment fund Trail Capital

A graduate of École polytechnique and Sciences-Po Paris, Hervé Machenaud is also a member of the Académie des technologies. Hervé Machenaud began his career within the Ivory Coast’s Ministry of Planning, before joining the French civil engineering department, and then the EDF group. He was technical director for the construction of China’s Daya-Bay power plant, head of the nuclear programme, executive director of production and engineering, and, finally, director for the Asia-Pacific region.

He is not a member but a permanent guest of the editorial board of Polytechnique Insights as a board member.

Francis Mer

Francis Mer

Former Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry

A graduate of École polytechnique in 1959 and École des Mines, Francis Mer began his career in administration before joining Saint-Gobain Pont-à-Mousson in 1970 as planning director, where he moved up through the ranks to CEO. In 1986, he became chairman of Usinor and Sacilor, under the state-sponsored merger of the two companies. He restructured the company and handled its privatisation. In 2002, he was named minister for the Economy in Jean-Pierre Raffarin’s government. He is one of the founders of Polytechnique Insights.

Jacques de Peretti

Jacques de Peretti

CEO of AXA France

A graduate of École polytechnique, Supaéro Toulouse and Sciences Po Toulouse with a degree in actuarial sciences, Jacques de Peretti joined a regional branch of AXA in 1996. Named to the France executive committee and appointed CEO of AXA Courtage (2001), AXA Entreprises (2003) and AXA Particuliers-Professionnels (2009), he became CEO of AXA Japan and a member of the group’s executive committee in 2015, before taking the reins of AXA France the following year.

Bernard Ramanantsoa

Bernard Ramanantsoa

Company administrator (Orange, Bred Bank Cambodia, Château de Versailles)

A professor of strategy at HEC Paris since 1989, Bernard Ramanantsoa was its CEO from 1995 to 2015. A former Supaéro engineer, he holds a HEC MBA, a PhD in management sciences from the Paris Dauphine University, an advanced DEA degree in sociology from the Paris Diderot University, and a DEA in the history of philosophy from Paris La Sorbonne. He has published a number of notable works, including Technologie et stratégie d’entreprise, Stratégie de l’entreprise et diversification and, most recently, Apprendre et oser and L’Enseignement supérieur français par-delà les frontières : l’urgence d’une stratégie.

Stéphane Roussel

Stéphane Roussel

Member of Vivendi management board and CEO of Gameloft

Stéphane Roussel is a graduate of the Paris School of Practising Psychologists. He began his career at the Xerox group in 1985, before joining Carrefour in 1997 as HR director for Carrefour hypermarkets in France, director of international HR development and, finally, Group HR director. He held the same positions at SFR and Vivendi, before being appointed CEO of SFR in 2012. He is also president of the HR Circle of Excellence, of Entreprises pour la cite, and spokesperson for the Diversity Charter.

Jean Salmona

Jean Salmona

Partner and director at J&P Partners, senior advisor at Ardian and Vice President of Polytechnique Insights. President of the Editorial Board.

Jean Salmona is an École polytechnique, ENSAE  Paris and Sciences-Po Paris graduate. As an administrator at INSEE, he has spent most of his career in the public sector. He was ultimately appointed CEO of public company CESIA, privatised in 1998, which became Unilog Consultants. In 1971, he founded the NGO Data for Development, which he chaired until 1996. In 2009, he launched ParisTech Review, now known as Polytechnique Insights. He is also a musician and the author of a novel, Une Fugue de Bach.

Editorial board

Jean Salmona

Jean Salmona

Partner and director at J&P Partners, senior advisor at Ardian and Vice President of Polytechnique Insights. President of the Editorial Board.

Jean Salmona is an École polytechnique, ENSAE  Paris and Sciences-Po Paris graduate. As an administrator at INSEE, he has spent most of his career in the public sector. He was ultimately appointed CEO of public company CESIA, privatised in 1998, which became Unilog Consultants. In 1971, he founded the NGO Data for Development, which he chaired until 1996. In 2009, he launched ParisTech Review, now known as Polytechnique Insights. He is also a musician and the author of a novel, Une Fugue de Bach.

François Ailleret

François Ailleret

Honorary CEO of EDF and Vice President of Polytechnique Insights

A 1956 graduate of École polytechnique, François Ailleret began his career at the civil engineering department in France’s Nord region, before taking part in the construction of Roissy airport with the ADP group, from 1967 to 1970, and becoming director of operations for Paris airports. He then worked his way up through the ranks at EDF (transport, distribution), where he was named CEO in 1994. Following his departure in 2002, he chaired a number of institutions, including Afnor, the Pasteur Institute and the School of Neurosciences in Paris.

Florence d'Alché-Buc

Florence d'Alché Buc

Holder of the chair "Data science and artificial intelligence for digitalised industry and services" at Télécom Paris (IP Paris)

Florence d’Alché-Buc specialises in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Her work involves assessing predictive models from complex data; her area of expertise applies to a range of fields, such as industry, health and bioinformatics. A professor at Télécom, she also holds the chair of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence for Digitalised Industry and Services.

Antigoni Alexandrou

Antigoni Alexandrou

CNRS Research director in biophysics at École polytechnique (IP Paris)

A researcher in biophysics, Antigoni Alexandrou works on the biological and biomedical applications of luminescent nanoparticles doped with lanthanide ions. She previously worked on semiconductor nanostructures, their optical properties and electronic dynamics. She is a French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) research director at the Laboratory for Optics and Biosciences at École polytechnique, and teaches at Master’s level.

Silke Biermann

Silke Biermann

President of the Physics department at École polytechnique (IP Paris)

The core of Silke Biermann’s work involves physical systems with strong electronic correlations. She specialises in the development of methods to describe such systems. She also chairs the Physics department and teaches at École polytechnique.

Cyril Crevoisier

Cyril Crevoisier

CNRS Research Director at the Dynamic Meteorology Laboratory (LMD*) at the École Polytechnique (IP Paris)

Cyril Crevoisier and his team study atmospheric climate variables, and greenhouse gases in particular, using spatial and airborne observations. He is a French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) research director, and head of the Atmosphere, Biosphere and Climate Through Remote Sensing team at Laboratoire de météorologie dynamique (LMD) at École polytechnique. He also chairs the Scientific Committee for Earth Sciences at the National Center for Space Studies (CNES).

Claudia d'Ambrosio

Claudia D'Ambrosio

CNRS researcher at the Computer Science Laboratory of the École Polytechnique (LIX*)

Claudia D’Ambrosio works on the theoretical and practical aspects of operational research. At the Computer Science Laboratory of the École polytechnique (LIX), she studies mathematical and algorithmic tools for decision-making. She is also a French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) research director, heads the Integrated Urban Mobility Polytechnique-Uber chair and is a lecturer at École polytechnique.

Philippe Escande

Philippe Escande

Daily columnist for the Economics pages of Le Monde

Philippe Escande also runs and hosts the monthly meetings of Le Monde’s economy club. He was a columnist for Les Échos until June 2012 and had a daily slot in the morning edition of Radio Classique. He is the author of Les Pirates du capitalisme, comment les fonds d’investissements bousculent les marchés (Albin Michel, 2008), Le Grand Bestiaire des entreprises (Eyrolles, 2009) et Bienvenue dans le capitalisme 3.0 (Albin Michel 2015). He holds a master’s degree in biology from the University of Paris.

Thierry Gacoin

Thierry Gacoin

President of chemistry department at École Polytechnique (IP Paris)

Head of the Solid State Chemistry group at the Laboratory of Physics of Condensed Matter (LPMCN) at École polytechnique. Thierry Gacoin and his team mainly study nanostructures (nanocrystals, functional thin films) with remarkable optical properties. He is also a French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) research director, and the president of the chemistry department, and a physics and chemistry professor.

Marc-Antoine Jamet

Marc-Antoine Jamet

General secretary of LVMH Group

A graduate of ENA and Sciences-Po Paris and holder of a bachelor’s degree in literature and a master’s degree in history, Marc-Antoine James began his career at the Court of Auditors as an auditor. He then became a public auditor, before being appointed chief of staff to the president of the National Assembly (1992–93 and 1997–2000), and special advisor to the minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry (2000–01). He was elected mayor of Val-de-Reuil in 2001, and is the vice-president of the Seine-Eure conurbation. He also was the vice-president of the Haute-Normandie regional council (2004–15).

Eric Labaye

Eric Labaye

President of École polytechnique and the Institut Polytechnique de Paris

Éric Labaye is President of École Polytechnique since 2018 and President of the Institut Polytechnique de Paris, created in May 2019 to bring together École Polytechnique, ENSTA Paris, ENSAE Paris, Télécom Paris and Télécom SudParis. Previously, Éric Labaye was Senior Partner at McKinsey&Company, a member of the firm’s Shareholders Council (Global Board) and Chairman of the McKinsey Global lnstitute (MGI), where he led numerous research projects on key economic issues such as growth in Europe, productivity, digitisation, the future of work and inequalities. Éric Labaye is a graduate of École Polytechnique, Télécom Paris and holds an MBA from INSEAD. He is guest member of the board of directors and editorial board of Polytechnique Insights.

Juliette Lambin

Juliette Lambin

Head of scientific programs at the National Center for Space Studies (CNES)

Juliette Lambin and her team collect, instruct and convey the needs and challenges of the scientific community, from the preparation of future orbital systems to the roll-out of programmes in France and Europe, to the scientific exploitation of ongoing work. She is also the deputy director of Science, Exploration and Observation at the CNES department of Innovation, Applications and Science.

Yves Lazlo

Yves Laszlo

Provost at Institut Polytechnique de Paris and Scientific editor-in-chief of Polytechnique Insights

With a PhD in mathematics from the University of Paris-Sud, Yves Laszlo is a world-renowned specialist in algebraic geometry. After a career at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC), he became an associate professor at École polytechnique in 2004, in the Laurent-Schwartz Mathematics Centre (CMLS), which he headed from 2006 to 2010. He then became a professor at the University of Paris-Sud, before going on to launch and head the Jacques-Hadamard Mathematics Foundation and its LabEx LMH, which brings together mathematicians from the Plateau de Saclay. From 2012 and 2019, he was deputy director for Sciences at École normale supérieure de Paris.

Pierre-Marie Lledo

Pierre-Marie Lledo

CNRS Research director "Genes and cognition" at Institut Pasteur

Pierre-Marie Lledo’s research focuses on the adaptation and regeneration of neurons in the brain, and their interactions with the immune system. He is a French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) research director and director of its Genes and Cognition laboratory, and the director of the Perception and Memory unit and of Plasticity and Development of the Nervous System at the Pasteur Institute.

Philippe Lemoine

Philippe Lemoine

Administrator at La Poste, Fondation Collège de France and member of CNIL committee

Philippe Lemoine co-chairs GS1 and sits on various boards of directors (La Poste, Trevo), having previously managed Monoprix, BHV, Groupe Galeries Lafayette and LaSer. In the area of forward-looking and societal debates, he chairs the Forum d'action modernités and is on the board of directors of the Collège de France Foundation. In the digital field, he chairs the Fondation Internet Nouvelle Génération. He started his career as a research engineer at Inria, then helped design the French Data Protection Act and the French Data Protection Authority, CNIL, in the late 1970s. He is now a member of its outlook committee.

Catherine Lucet

Catherine Lucet

Deputy CEO of Editis group and Vice President of Polytechnique Insights

Catherine Lucet is a graduate of École polytechnique and École des Mines in Paris, and holds an MBA from INSEAD. She began her career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before joining McKinsey. She then became director of the Harlequin publishing house, before being appointed CEO of Elsevier. She is the president of Nathan, Bordas, Retz and CLE International, and is the former president of Le Robert dictionaries. She is also a member of the Casino Group board of directors and of the supervisory board of Dutch publisher Brill.

Stéphane Marchand

Stéphane Marchand

President and Editor-in-chief of Pour L'eco and delegate general of Institut du Capitalisme Responsable

Stéphane Marchand is an École polytechnique and ENSAE graduate. He was a senior reporter and a foreign correspondent in the Middle East and then in the US at Le Figaro, as well as deputy editor-in-chief. He founded the online economics news site E24.fr, was the editor-in-chief at Paris Tech Review and is now the editor of French magazine Pour l’éco. In 2020, he joined the Institute for Responsible Capitalism as an executive officer.

Bernard Ramanantsoa

Bernard Ramanantsoa

Company administrator (Orange, Bred Bank Cambodia, Château de Versailles)

A professor of strategy at HEC Paris since 1989, Bernard Ramanantsoa was its CEO from 1995 to 2015. A former Supaéro engineer, he holds a HEC MBA, a PhD in management sciences from the Paris Dauphine University, an advanced DEA degree in sociology from the Paris Diderot University, and a DEA in the history of philosophy from Paris La Sorbonne. He has published a number of notable works, including Technologie et stratégie d’entreprise, Stratégie de l’entreprise et diversification and, most recently, Apprendre et oser and L’Enseignement supérieur français par-delà les frontières : l’urgence d’une stratégie.

Benoît Schmutz

Benoit Schmutz

Professor of Economics at École polytechnique (IP Paris)

Benoît Schmutz is a lecturer at the Department of economics of the Ecole Polytechnique and a member of the Centre for research in economics and statistics, also associated with the Institute of Politics. His work lies at the intersection of urban and labour economics and also touches on issues of public and political economy. The main objective is to seek to add a spatial dimension to the study of inequalities and social mobility. His research combines theoretical elements with statistical analyses based on survey data, administrative data and data collected on the Internet.

Jean François Semblat

Jean-François Semblat

Head of mechanics and energy department at ENSTA Paris (IP Paris)

Jean-François Semblat’s research focuses on the propagation of seismic waves in geological layers during major earthquakes. Using numerical simulation methods, he studies their amplification, attenuation, liquefaction, and dynamic soil-structure interaction. He is a member of the scientific council of the French Association for Earthquake Engineering, a professor at ENSTA-Paris, and the head of the Mechanics and Energy department at the Institut polytechnique in Paris.

Ezra Suleiman

Ezra Suleiman

Professor of Political Science at Princeton University

Ezra Suleiman is the author of a number of books, including Politics Power and Bureaucracy in France (Princeton University Press, 1974), Elites in French Society: The Politics of Survival (Princeton University Press, 1978), and Private Power and Centralization In France (Princeton University Press, 1987). He was also a professor at Sciences Po for several years and has been a guest lecturer and researcher at a number of European universities, in Bordeaux, Rennes, Grenoble, Lyon, Florence, Turin and Luiss. He is a member of the Academy of Moral and Political Sciences.

Anne Trotoux-Copermann

Anne Trotoux-Coppermann

Head of communication for École polytechnique (IP Paris)

From 2004, Anne Trotoux-Copperman was the communications director at Les Echos, a group she joined in 1992 as head of External Relations, then head of the communications department from 1999. She began her career as the deputy Communications director with the Expand Group. She has an advanced postgraduate diploma (DESS) in marketing and a master’s degree in business administration. She is also a certified HEC coach.

Editorial committee

Clément Boulle

Clément Boulle

Executive director of Polytechnique Insights

Clément Boulle is a journalist and entrepreneur. A graduate of École supérieure de journalisme (ESJ) in Lille, he holds an executive MBA from INSEAD. Before joining Polytechnique Insights, he spent six years developping digital marketing company Local Media, an online advertising agency for local advertisers, which he then sold. Early on in his career, he was a journalist and editor-in-chief in the La Dépêche du Midi media group. He also worked for the French Red Cross as a consultant, helping design and develop a social innovation incubator.

James Bowers

James Bowers

Chief editor at Polytechnique Insights

James Bowers has a PhD in molecular biology from the Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle and an MSc in Science Media Production from Imperial College London. He has six years of experience creating engaging scientific media in digital, TV and other outlets in the UK and France. Most recently, James worked as a science communication consultant and trainer for French agency, Agent Majeur, for three years where he co-authored the book, Sell Your Research: Public Speaking for Scientists published by Springer.

Chloé Aubisse Daniault

Chloé Aubisse-Daniault

Head of Science communication at École polytechnique

A graduate engineer of the Institut l'optique graduate school, Chloé Aubisse-Daniault began her career in research at the CEA, before gravitating towards scientific mediation. She worked for seven years at Cité des sciences et de l'industrie (CSI) in Paris, first in public mediation, then in museography. In 2016, she joined École polytechnique as the head of Scientific Communication in the Communications department, in close cooperation with the Research department.

Benoît Deveau

Benoit Deveaud

Vice provost at École polytechnique

Benoit Deveaud has been an École polytechnique research director since 2017. Having completed a thesis in physics at the University of Grenoble, after a post doctorate at Bell Labs in the US and 20 years at the French National Centre for Telecommunications Studies, he became a professor at EPFL (Lausanne) in 1993. He is an expert in ultrafast spectroscopy of semiconductors. He went on to direct the Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics and the National Centre of Competence in Quantum Photonics Research, before being named dean of research at EPLF in 2008.