The emlyon business school Class of 1997 held its 20th anniversary reunion in Lyon on November 18.
We started off the day by attending the campus activities organised by emlyon forever.
We listened to the various talks, notably the inspiring speech from the Dean, Mr Bernard Belletante.
The lecturer Alice Riou delivered an enlightening presentation entitled ‘Pedagogic Innovation’. She traced the educational system's evolution in the past twenty years, and demonstrated how the new digital systems and teaching tools work.
The ‘Back to the Future’ panel was very entertaining too. Alumni from each of one the past 7 decades, shared their most significant stories about their time at emlyon business school. In addition to this, two expats described their professional lives in North America and Asia.
The final speaker was our very own classmate Olivier Brourhant, who is the founder and CEO of the consulting firm Amaris. He highlighted the importance that emlyon business school has played in our life and career, and encouraged the audience to contribute to the school’s funding.
Thereafter we visited the campus, and got the chance to see the impressive the Learning and Entrepreneurship Hub. For the teenage daughters of our two fellow alumni who had travelled to Lyon from abroad, the trip and the campus tour broadened their horizon.
Finally, we had the pleasure to catch up over a drink with the current and previous emlyon staff, including Christèle Fernand and Marie-Claude Pitance.
We would like to thank all the emlyon business school forever alumni network team for organising this event, as well as the students who looked after us during the day.
Later that evening, whilst the younger alumni were dancing the night away on the barge "La Plateforme", thirty of our MBA alumni gathered for dinner at the "Caro de Lyon" restaurant., We also reconvened for lunch at the "Café Comptoir Abel bouchon" the following day. Our friends Philippe Laurent, Bertrand Briet, Mark Holdefehr, Olivier Bonnet, and Etienne Piciocchi had made the necessary arrangements to make this happen.
20 years indeed seem like yesterday. It was a real joy and great fun to get together again and share memorable moments. We also felt the warmth of our loved ones who have left us.
Walking along the streets of Lyon also brought back beautiful memories. We admired ‘Notre Dame de Fourvière’, the Opera house, the townhall, ‘Place des Terreaux’, ‘Place Bellecour’, and both river banks.
Several of us had travelled from afar: Ching-Fen Her from Taiwan, Kadir Gökta from Turkey, Erik Bryld from Denmark, Anita Arboleda from Spain, and Etienne Piciocchi from the UK. Others had come from Geneva, Paris, Marseille, and Lyon itself. Those who were unavailable that weekend had sent their greetings to everyone present.
Hopefully, we will all manage to get together next time. A few of us are already competing for the location of our 25th anniversary. For now, we have simply agreed that it should take place abroad. We are also considering a ski weekend or a sea resort holiday in the interim!
Last but not least, thanks to our friends Dominique Rakotoarison and Virginie Khalifa, our fellow alumni can now watch a video souvenir of our year of 1997.
Etienne Piciocchi, from London.