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Smart City and the Common Good


Research Chairs

Chair holder: Bertrand QUELIN, Professor, Strategy and Business Policy

Logo chaire bouygues

In the context of major upheavals, organizations face four major challenges of the contemporary world:

• Population growth and urbanization.

• Climate change.

• Digital and technological transformation.

• Transformation of users’ behavior and evolution of usage.


By creating this Chair, HEC Paris and Bouygues are responding to these four challenges. More specifically, the Chair is aiming to support excellent academic education and complement the practical training of high-level professionals by explaining the ways to set up efficient partnership, the mechanisms to create social value, and to demonstrate how organizations can work for the common good.

This Chair demonstrates HEC Paris willingness to participate actively and visibly in the progress of management, and thus to continue being one of the leading institutions where this knowledge is produced and shared.

Bertrand Quélin, Professor of Strategic Management at HEC Paris and Chair holder says: “By creating the “Smart City and the Common Good” Chair, Bouygues is supporting academic research and higher education in a broader sense alongside HEC Paris.” The work carried out by this Chair will contribute to the enhancement of knowledge of inter-organization forms in the field of urban development and its impact on the common good and societal welfare, as well as imparting this knowledge to students from various HEC Paris programs. “I am delighted to be participating in this exciting project with Bouygues’ teams and managers.”

Professor Bertrand Quélin’s research will focus on the following themes:

  • Partnerships between the various actors, organizations, and stakeholders in the context of major projects (urban projects, mobility, response to climate challenges).
  • The legal and contractual forms of organization of these major projects (governance, type of collaboration, value creation and sharing mechanisms).
  • The contribution of private actors to the common good and to the community (metropolises, territories, urban spaces).

The academic research is an essential component of an internationally renowned business school such as HEC Paris. Rankings and reputation are largely determined by the relevance of the knowledge diffusion and quality of the teaching excellence.


This chair will help HEC Paris to:

• Contribute to the understanding of phenomena (such as, for example, climatic constraints, and scarce resources, increasing social inequalities, technological transitions, and ethical imperatives).

• Support players in these transformations.

• Prepare future leaders and managers to take into account the challenges of today and tomorrow.


Created in 1952, Bouygues is a diversified group structured by a strong corporate culture. For Bouygues, "Sustainably responding to the major challenges of today while bringing progress in daily life" is the Company's mission. Moreover, the Bouygues' mission is to “bring human progress to the greatest number in everyday life”. Bouygues is convinced that satisfying the essential needs of daily life with an ethical and social sense advances the whole society.


These challenges are meaningful and source of opportunities for the Bouygues Group and its various businesses. These businesses are organized around three main activities: Construction with Bouygues Construction (Building and Public Works & Energy & Services), Bouygues Real Estate and Colas (Roads), Telecoms with Bouygues Telecom, and Media with TF1.


The aim of these businesses is to provide the greatest number of innovative solutions and to reflect on the ways of using synergies, collective intelligence and cross-experience to work collectively on the subjects that bring meaning and development.


For the Bouygues Group, supporting HEC Paris with the creation of the “Smart City and the Common Good” Chair makes it possible to:

• Sustain a meaningful chair.

• Contribute to the awareness of future leaders of a humanist vision of the smart city.

• Take inspiration from academic reflection to bring additional meaning to its sustainable city offers.

• Federate its various businesses through innovative projects.


The “Smart City and the Common Good” Chair aims to perpetuate a collaborative relationship between the Bouygues Group and HEC Paris.


Learn more about Bertrand Quélin