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The Alliance Program celebrated its 15th Anniversary on October 10th in Paris

A Symposium titled “Bridging Ideas”, celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Alliance Program, was held on October 10th, hosted by Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. A community of scholars from Columbia University, Paris 1, Sciences Po and École Polytechnique exchanged on some of the critical challenges the world is currently facing.

This academic scientific event gathered together more than 150 participants and marked the 15th anniversary of Alliance, an innovative partnership between Columbia UniversityÉcole Polytechnique, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, and Sciences Po. The four universities collaborate to develop academic partnerships and exchanges through joint projects, visiting professorships, doctoral mobility grants, and student-driven initiatives.

Eric Labaye, the new President of École Polytechnique, said: "Today’s students evolve in a more global and growing higher education sector; they continually seek to forge close links with both society and the business community and experience new learning models. They shift towards a more diverse choice of academic paths and our aim is to develop their skills for the rapidly evolving future in which they will play defining roles. The Alliance Program facilitates the creation of academic links, synergies and know-how transfers for the strong cosmopolitan network of leading professors and research centers from our four institutions and offers students the unique opportunity to benefit from the commitment of its community."

Eric Labaye stressed the strategic importance of the Alliance program: "As a laboratory for innovation in Higher Education, Alliance explores the future of global education and encourages the exchange of people, knowledge practices and resources."

The event featured two keynote panel debates. The first one focused on “Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities” and explored how innovative ideas could help cities face the challenges of unemployment, social divides, and housing and infrastructure issues. L'X was represented by Bérengère Lebental, Researcher at Laboratory of Physics of Interfaces and Thin Films (École Polytechnique, CNRS) and French Institute of Science and Technology for Transport, Development, and Network (IFSTTAR).

The second panel investigated the question: “Will the Future Work?” It highlighted the insights of scholars who have thought extensively about the advances in automation and artificial intelligence and how they would transform the way we work, learn, and share knowledge. Patricia Crifo, Professor of École Polytechnique's Graduate Degree Program for Smart Cities and Urban Policy exposed her research.
In addition, a Marketplace of Ideas session presented the research of faculty and doctoral students who have been previous grantees of the Alliance Program. Héloïse Berkowitz, Researcher in Management at CNRS and École Polytechnique and Yvan Bonnassieux, Professor at l'X  Laboratory of Physics of Interfaces and Thin Films participated in this discussion.

Photo credits: © Pascal Levy/Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne