Creative narratives in the age of AI – The speculative future of short story writing at ESSEC and beyond

By Michael Kouklakis,  Director – Department of Languages & Cultures. 

On a sunny day in the first week of June, as the academic year of 2023 was coming to an end, several students, teachers and staff made their way to the Learning Center where they gathered for an awards ceremony to celebrate the 15th edition of the Short Story Contest – one of our most important and long-standing pedagogical initiatives. In nurturing the art of storytelling amongst our bright, talented students and encouraging the writing of original, creative fiction, this endeavour has carved out a unique space in higher education in general and in business schools and the Grandes Ecoles of France in particular. This much is stated proudly on the back cover of each copy of the short story book we publish every year and distribute during the end-of-the-year event we organize. The blurb on the back cover touts this initiative’s longevity and success and ends confidently with ‘There are many more tales to be told…’ However, with the sudden emergence of AI platforms in our daily lives and accelerated development of their capabilities, an unexpected question has arisen which never had to be asked before for the simple reason that the answer would have seemed so self-evident. Yes, there are many more tales to be told … but who will be telling them?

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Let Me Tell You A Story

Crafting Fiction in an Elite Business School

By Michael Kouklakis,  Director – Department of Languages & Cultures. As an educational practitioner interested in utopian praxes, Michael strives to create, develop or encourage the emergence of transformative, meaningful and significant learning experiences in collaborative settings with students and colleagues alike.

To my knowledge we are the only business school in the world that compels an entire incoming class of approximately four hundred students to write an original work of fiction in English. In this respect, short story writing in a business school environment is a highly innovative pedagogical initiative – all the more so when situated in the educational landscape of the French Grandes Écoles system. Lire la suite »