of Virginia Darden School of Business
Paris Leadership Forum on Saturday, 12 September convened members of the Darden
network from more than 20 countries to explore luxury business in Paris.
event assembled more than 100 people, including Darden alumni from Europe and locations
across the globe; Class of 2016 students on the Western European residency of
Darden’s Global MBA for Executives (GEMBA) format of the MBA program;
members of Darden’s faculty and leadership team; and friends of the University
forum coincided with a meeting of Darden’s Global Advisory Council, whose members — hailing from such
far-flung locations as Argentina, Switzerland, India and Indonesia — help shape
Darden’s global strategy and expand its global influence and reputation.
Darden Dean Scott Beardsley, who holds dual citizenship from the
U.S. and France, expressed his delight at joining Darden 1 August as the School’s ninth dean and
at being in Europe for his first official international event. Over the course
of the day, he reflected on global business, on UVA founder Thomas
Jefferson’s time in France and on Darden’s future.
“There is no
better place than Paris to study luxury business,” he said. “In his day,
Jefferson, too, was captivated by Parisian luxury. One historian writes of him ‘shopping
for a lifetime’ while in France. Evidently, he shipped 86 crates with all
manner of goods back to Virginia. Including wine. And the recipe for ice cream.”
“As your dean,
I want you to know that I come into my role asking, ‘What would Thomas
Jefferson ask Darden to aspire to?’” said Beardsley. He thanked the audience
for their role in helping to build the University of Virginia and Darden’s
growing global footprint.
“When the Darden
Class of 2016 graduates in May, 36 percent of our new graduates will be
international,” he said. “That’s incredible.”
The Paris Leadership
Forum kicked off at the InterContinental Le Grand Hotel with the Darden tradition
of First Coffee, followed by a case study discussion about the Four Seasons Paris
hotel. Guided by Professor Lynn Isabella, participants explored the entry of the
Canadian luxury hotel chain into Paris at the iconic 18th century palace, George
capstone event was an evening soirée at the Four Seasons George V, where
participants experienced firsthand learnings from the morning’s case study.
Prior to the
soirée, and despite rain, participants embarked on a themed tour of Paris: “Power,
Luxury and Business in Paris: An Insiders’ Walking and Metro Tour.”
departed from the opulent Palais Garnier, or Opéra de Paris, built in the 19th
century, which served as a showcase for not only opera and ballet but for power
in Paris: It was the place to see, be seen and conduct business.
The group then
visited Place Vendôme, home to some of France’s high-end luxury brands and then
passed through the Tuileries Gardens and to the Left Bank. There, they stopped
to visit the statue of Thomas Jefferson by the Pont Solferino footbridge over
the River Seine. Jefferson lived in a nearby neighborhood, the 7th arrondissement,
for five years, from 1784 to 1789, while on a diplomatic appointment.
stands near Hôtel de Salm, which inspired the design of Monticello, Jefferson’s home outside of
Charlottesville. When the Jefferson statue was erected in 2006, it was the
culmination of 10 years of effort from University of Virginia alumni and friends.
the role of global innovation in improving lives, the first Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Global
Innovation, awarded by UVA and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello, and hosted by the Darden
School, will be awarded on Jefferson’s birthday, 13 April 2016.
“I am deeply
inspired by Jefferson because he thought big,” said Beardsley. “He innovated.
He took risks.”
global potential is very exciting, and I believe that — if we work together —
anything is possible.”
of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial and responsible global leaders
through its MBA, Ph.D. and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked
faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business
knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of
Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in
Sophie ZunzDirector of Media RelationsDarden School of BusinessUniversity of VirginiaZunzS@darden.virginia.edu+1-434-924-7502
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