October saw Margaret and me visiting Switzerland where our son, James, had recently taken up employment with Louis Dreyfus in Geneva. He and his family moved during the height of the pandemic last year and have rented a house in Gland about midway between Lausanne and Geneva.
It was our first opportunity to visit them so we drove from England so that we would be able to get around independently. James and his wife Sarah have two sons, Nicholas ,9, and Thomas, 6. It was also the boy’s half term so Granny and Grandad were tasked with child minding while the parents worked.
We decided, just prior to travelling out, that it would be an opportunity to revisit old haunts in Lausanne end especially a visit to the IMD campus. Accordingly, I contacted Cinthia Grande who made arrangements for our visit. Wonderfully Bob Collins was around so he was able to join us.
We arrived early afternoon and entered through the old gateway to realise that things were very different. Fabulous new buildings were everywhere but it was a comfort to see the old house and buried behind the new library was the old canteen/restaurant. Our old volleyball courts were gone but some table tennis tables remained.
We took our daughter in Law with us as my son was working and he ended up doing child minding as well. Cinthia and Bob gave us a great tour and we came away very impressed. It has been 24 years since I was last on the campus and whilst we saw the impressive Bignami Building at that time, seeing the whole development brought home that IMD is no longer the sweet little business school we went to. Our lecture hall building has been replaced by the Nestle building and the rest of the site was overwhelming.
But missing were participants. Of course, some were in lecture halls or study rooms, but this pandemic has moved so much teaching online. We then saw one virtual lecture hall with a wall of 24 x 2m TV monitors. 8 across and 3 deep. A look behind the scenes had beautifully choreographed wiring and controls. We all came away highly impressed.
It was a pleasure to visit our home of 6 months and to meet up with Bob, looking spritely, and Cinthia. Our thanks go to them for their hospitality (and an umbrella).
We were also able to help Jorge effect a transfer of his website onto a IMD hosted site which will soon be live.
Best Regards to you all
12th November 2021
Dear PED 15 friends
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