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The meaning of Facebook

Society April 19th, 2017, Benjamin Hoffmann / Assistant Professor of Literature, Ohio State University

Facebook heralds the advent of a society that mirrors what the social network claims to promote. Not a society of democratic exchange, where people interact within a virtual agora by opposing arguments, but a society divided by antagonism and defiance, one that is partitioned in isolated bubbles; not a society of free sharing of information but of commercial exploitation of the data we deliver each time we visit Facebook. Should we turn away from this social network and all those who promote its paradigm?

Quantum control: when automatic control supports experimental quantum physics

Industries April 11th, 2017, Pierre Rouchon / Professor at Centre automatique et systèmes, Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

In September 2011, Nature published a paper about the first experiment involving quantum state feedback. This breakthrough offers many perspectives: the ability to monitor in real-time typical quantum states without disrupting them opens new paths, both in terms of basic research and practical applications. Gathered around the specialist of quantum mechanics, Serge Haroche, the experiment was carried out in combination with other disciplines. Here's the story of this collaboration.

A philosophy of data

Science and Technology April 10th, 2017, Bruno Teboul / Senior Vice President of Science and Innovation, Keyrus Group

Ongoing digitization has placed data at the center of economic and social life. We are producing a growing amount of data that are exchanged, secured and analyzed by increasingly sophisticated technologies. Data economics defines the value of these operations. Data policies are implemented both by governments and large corporations. An emerging business revolves around big data. But the precise nature of a datum remains unclear. A philosophical approach, as led by Luciano Floridi, can help us refine the definition.

A revolution in US corporate tax

Business April 7th, 2017, François Meunier / President, Alsis Conseil, Associate Professor of Finance, ENSAE ParisTech

As reported by the media, US Republicans in the House of Representatives have launched an initiative to lower corporate tax to 20%, instead of 35% today, one step further in the tax competition between countries. The Trump administration seems to support the project. Donald Trump himself even mentioned the possibility of lowering this rate to 15%. As worrying as is seems for the United States' trading partners, this drop isn't even the most important part of the reform. In reality, the measure forms part of wider radical project that will give corporate tax the same features as a tax that doesn't exist in the United States, namely, VAT or value-added tax, probably the most innovative and popular tax (as far as governments are concerned) since the 1950s.

The impact of Brexit on the UK’s climate change policy

Society April 5th, 2017, Jan Svoboda / Student, Department of Geography, University of Bristol

Over the last years, the UK has been one of the most active European Union Member States in climate change policy and energy talks and it has often led the way forward. Some policies successfully implemented by the British legislation were later proposed by the European Commission for all the Member States to adopt. But on the 23rd of June 2016, the UK voters declared against the membership in the community and on March 30th Prime minister Theresa May triggered Art. 50. How does this decision affect climate change policy in the UK and in Europe? What could be the outcomes of Brexit in this field?

Digital labor and the limits of critical thinking

Society April 4th, 2017, Dominique Cardon / Associate Professor of Sociology at Medalab, Sciences Po, Associate Researcher at Centre d'études des mouvements sociaux, EHESS/PSL Research University

In the analysis and understanding of the Internet, the role of sociology needs to be defended: facing a widespread tendency to economization, it offers resources and references that allow to change perspectives and view practices from another angle. This difference is healthy. But let's face it: in the way it conceives the Internet, the sociological debate is itself beset with contradictions. Digital labor provides an illustrative case.

A new R&D paradigm: crafting strategy by designing patents

Business March 28th, 2017, Olga Kokshagina / Innovation Manager, STIM, Associated Researcher at the Chair of Design Theory and Methods for Innovation, Mines ParisTech PSL Research University

Undoubtedly patents represent, today, a major criterion in making investment decisions and in firms' competitive advantage. Yet, the way we deal with designing patentable inventions does not reflect their strategic potential. Patents are strategic assets in theory but mainly secondary activity in practice. What if they were not an outcome but an input to craft your company's' future?

There are two main components of a compensation policy: salaries and equity. An equation with only two variables? Should be pretty simple, right? Well, not when you are talking about something as symbolic as money. Let's dig dive and look at the best practices of compensation policy for startups. Starting with equity.

How should you design your compensation policy? As we’ve seen in the first part dedicated to incentives in startups, equity should be the main driver for both founders and early employees, since it rewards risks and performance. The question is to determine what level of equity should be offered to a given candidate.

Companies like others? A sociological survey of French startup

Business March 21st, 2017, Michel Grossetti / Senior Researcher, EHESS PSL Research University, LISST lab

Young innovative companies are the subject of much interest. Their example reinforces a mythology of innovation that has its classical examples, its specific locations (MIT, the Silicon Valley), its theoreticians (Joseph Schumpeter and the economics of innovation), its heroes (from Edison to Mark Zuckerberg). But behind the scene lies a more complex reality. What does a sociological approach reveal?

The digital revolution and the 5 Ps of medicine

Society March 17th, 2017, Julien Damon / Associate Professor at Sciences Po, President of Eclairs Consulting

In the healthcare industry, the digital revolution affects two major areas: big data and eHealth (digital tools applied to healthcare). The availability of massive volumes of data is a hard fact. This exponential rise has layed the foundation for the medicine of the future, caracterised by 5 Ps: preventive, predictive, participatory, personalized, pertinent.

3D printing is considered the new industrial revolution, likely to disrupt the behavior of consumers and manufacturers, involving relocation of production facilities, reconstruction of labor, changes in material applications and what's more, a growing challenge for intellectual property owners. To copy an object you only need two things: an electronic schematic of the product and a 3D printer. This means that anyone can reproduce any available design, putting designer brands in the same situation that the music industry found itself in when MP3 files hit the market.

Very few areas have remained unchanged by the digital revolution. Politics is no exception. In recent years, various initiatives have emerged to harness the possibilities offered by digital technology in order to improve or renew democracy. Amidst the crisis of our Western democracies, undermined by a growing gap between citizens and their representatives, by abstention and by the rise of extremism, civic technology revives the democratic process by improving information, enabling greater citizen participation and empowerment, ultimately improving government transparency.

Is democracy just another market? Can we build a sustainable economic model with the help of digital tools whose purpose is to put citizens at the center of the democratic game? If yes, how? Must these structures be associative by nature or can they embrace a commercial scale while remaining true to their goals? Should they opt for an open source or proprietary logic? This expanding ecosystem raises a number of questions about their financing and business model.

While civic technology undeniably offers promising solutions to the democratic crisis, it also suffers from serious limitations. Even if it reaches millions of people, its primary objective, achieving greater involvement of citizens in democratic life, is far from being reached. Based on an idealized vision of citizenship, civic technology is still struggling to expand beyond its natural public. Lastly, it defends goals of openness, transparency and collaboration that face a fragmentation of information, on social networks and the Internet, dangerous both for our societies and democracies.

PSL and the Paris Innovation Review: behind the partnership, a strategic vision

Industries February 15th, 2017, Thierry Coulhon & Francis Mer / President of PSL Université Paris & President of Paris Innovation Review, Former Minister of Economy

The partnership between PSL and ParisTech Review, which gave rise to the Paris Innovation Review, reflects a shared vision: for developed economies, as well as for institutions with a global vocation, innovation is the very key to power. Yet one does not simply decree innovation. Innovation dynamics, on the other hand, can be enabled, by enhancing exchanges between disciplines, between institutions, between cultures, between public and private stakeholders, between researchers and entrepreneurs. An institution like PSL is an exchange enabler. Such is also the vocation of Paris Innovation Review.

Top universities: new players in the global game of power?

Society February 15th, 2017, Cédric Denis-Rémis & Armand Hatchuel / Deputy Director of Mines ParisTech (PSL Université Paris) & Professor at Mines Paristech, Chair of Design Theory and Methodes for Innovation

The term university covers a wide range of institutions. In time, this diversity could narrow down to two main types of universities: a local model, with institutes and Bachelor degrees related to regional development; a global model, including prototypes such as Harvard or Oxford, and emerging players in Europe or China. These world-class universities can be seen as a new type of universal power.

Research exploitation: catching up at a quick pace!

Science and Technology February 15th, 2017, Jacques Lewiner / Professor and Honorary Scientific Director of ESPCI ParisTech, Dean of Transformation, PSL Université Paris

In France, there has been a long-standing contrast between the high level of academic research and the modest result of research exploitation. Old habits die hard, but the situation is changing fast. PSL's Jacques Lewiner, sometimes nicknamed as the man with one thousand patents, was among the pioneers.

Overthrowing digital platforms: lessons from WeChat

Business January 15th, 2017, Julien Legrand / Yenching Scholar & Mines ParisTech Engineer

Tencent's WeChat is your Whatsapp, Facebook, Skype and Uber, it's your Amazon, Instagram, Venmo and Tinder, and it's other things we don't even have apps for, says the NYT. Gathering all these functions within a single app is already very impressive. But Tencent has even larger goals: WeChat will soon distribute its very own apps. With this move, it takes competition from an app-to-app level to an app-to-OS one.

Why the current price of Uber stocks is a daring wager

Business January 12th, 2017, François Meunier / President, Alsis Conseil, Associate Professor of Finance, ENSAE ParisTech

The arrival of Uber and other booking platforms has a strong impact on the taxi licensing market, while the shares of new operators are taking off. From capitalization to revenues, the sector as a whole sees its economy turned upside down. Financial economics offers good insights on what is going on... knowing that the disruption movement has only started: on the one hand Uber is far from having realized its potential, on the other the platform paves the way to its future competitors.

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