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'Makes Sense?': SKEMA's new institutional podcast to link pop culture and learning

Published on 22 May 2023

The Marketing and Communications and the Research & Knowledge Transfer departments at SKEMA Business School, in collaboration with the Calliopé agency, have launched a new institutional podcast today, 15 May 2023, titled: "Makes Sense?". In the first episode, law professor Olivier Lasmoles and Kevin Erkeletyan address the question: "Could Darth Vader have pleaded self-defense?".

​An excellent tool for disseminating knowledge on diverse and disruptive topics, the podcast will enable us to reach a broad and diverse audience. Accessible on multiple audio streaming platforms, it will facilitate storytelling, expression, and learning about complex, deep topics in a playful tone. Fabien Seraidarian, director of Research & Knowledge Transfer at SKEMA Business School, explains the approach behind this project.​​​

How does the "Makes Sense? podcast fit in with SKEMA's knowledge enhancement strat​​egy?

The mission of the Research & Knowledge Transfer department is to create mechanisms to develop SKEMA's impact on different stakeholders, such as students, companies, and society in general. This enhancement is therefore educational, managerial and societal. In addition to our ThinkForward website, the Makes Sense? podcast is a project initiated with the Marketing & Communications department that extends the mechanisms of our knowledge dissemination activity.


What is the main objective of "Makes Sense?" in terms of dissemination and promotion of knowledge at SKE​MA?

Makes Sense? is mainly aimed at students, from SKEMA and elsewhere. They can make it their own through references that speak to them and subjects that interest them. It is also a great pedagogical tool for teachers who want to pass on knowledge in more contemporary ways. But... it is designed to appeal to all curious people, irrespective of their age or interests.


How will "Makes Sense?" contribute to changing the public perception of academic res​​earch?

Pop culture is a mirror of our contemporary society. By referring to cult works that we are all familiar with, we decipher the underlying issues by presenting the concepts and notions that these works echo. We provide reading keys to enable everyone to form their own convictions. I don't know if we will change perceptions, but the podcast reminds us of the impact of social science research on our daily lives and on social debates.


What kind of topics do you plan to cover in the podca​st?

Our editorial line targets themes or topics that concern us as citizens and in our professional or student lives. For example, artificial intelligence, law, organisations, our relationship with objects... The aim is not to be technical and address experts but rather to grasp the complexity - not always apparent - of societal issues. The choice of themes thus touches our sensitivity as individuals and encourages us to ponder over them.


How can the podcast format, as a disruptive medium, help to present research in new and interesting ​​ways?

The form of the podcast is based on a recognisable sound identity and relies on several features: a host, i.e. our dynamic and playful presenter who welcomes a SKEMA expert and sometimes other guests; and the choice of a pop culture work for each opus of the series which immerses us via the music and sound effects produced in post-production in a recognisable atmosphere.


What is your long-term vision for the "Makes Sense? podcast and its impact on the SKEMA community a​nd beyond?

So let's dream a little... the Research & Knowledge Transfer and Marketing & Communications teams enjoy working on this project. If the enthusiasm is shared by the SKEMA community, we hope that this format will find an echo well beyond our targets and reference audiences to feed the science/society relationship in a context where critical thinking is becoming a major skill and detecting the truth from the falsehood an art in itself. 


How can listeners participate or interact with the podcas​t?

They can start by listening to it! And, if they like it, by rating it and subscribing to it. We are also open to feedback and suggestions for topics.


Can you tell us what the next episode of the podcast will be?

It's scoop time! With our next mystery guest, we'll be looking at "Why we can't let go of certain things". What is the pop culture reference? Here's a hint: it's a four-part saga!


Will there be bridges between Think Forward and the podcast? Will any of the articles be related to the s​​​hows?

All episodes of the podcast will be relayed on the school's Knowledge website, ThinkForward. The first one is already online.​


"What is 'Makes Sense?'?

The name 'Makes Sense?' translates as 'does it make sense', referring to SKEMA's primary mission: to share knowledge. It takes its name from the well-known English phrase 'Does it make sense?'. Deliberately oriented towards pop culture, the made in SKEMA podcast will easily illustrate a seemingly complex subject using assumptions inherent to this culture. A smart choice to capture the attention of a student audience, for example, but not limited to that. "We designed Makes Sense? with a dual objective: to produce quality information and to establish connections with audiences who may not necessarily know us. The podcast is thus a new lever for the image and reputation of SKEMA," explains Cédric Bédini, SKEMA's Marketing and Communications director.

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