UNESCO chair

Art and science for sustainable development goals

Our mission

The ICN UNESCO Chair develops research oriented towards the transformation of mentalities in a perspective of responsibility and sustainability. Our research locates at the intersection of the imaginary and rationalities, in a transdisciplinary framework, in order to better understand and enable changes in behavior and practices oriented towards achieving the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations (SDGs).

Holistic Sustainable Development

The vision of the ICN UNESCO Chair is to engage in holistic sustainable development. The 17 goals are not independent siloes. Instead they are deeply interconnected with each other. These interdependencies imply synergies and tradeoffs that must be considered in the implementation process. Another dimension of holism is the integration of multiple forms of knowledge including the natural sciences, social sciences, the arts, humanities, and faith based knowledge systems. Our vision is also universal in scope. That means sustainability needs to be inclusive of all peoples and nature, across economic, national, religious, ethnic and other cultural boundaries at a planetary scale. Such inclusiveness needs a change in mindsets and reconsidering our social and organizational models and theories.

Imaginarity and rationalities

The purpose of the ICN UNESCO Chair is to prepare and promote change by systematically researching and introducing the imaginary, symbolic and aesthetic dimension into functional rationalities, in order to enrich decision-making processes among policy makers.


Head of the chair : Dr. Paul Shrivastava, Chief Sustainability Officer at Pennsylvania State University, Director of the Sustainability Institute, and Professor of Organizations at the Smeal School of Business. He is a Full Member of the Club of Rome. Research program advisor for the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature , Kyoto, and the Network for Education and Research in Peace and Sustainability, Hiroshima University.

Chair Manager: Philippe Mairesse, PhD in Humanization of Organisations (Utrecht Universiteit voor Humanistiek) and in Arts and Art Sciences (Paris La Sorbonne). Leader of Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Steering Committee, ICN Business School, Nancy. Researcher at Cerefige-University of Lorraine. Co-founder of Dysfunction Journal. Founder of artistic enterprises AccesLocal and Grore Images.

The UNESCO Chair on Art and Science for Sustainable Development Goals at the ICN Business School was conceived as a think-and-do tank about sustainable organizing focused on the integration of natural and social sciences with the arts and humanities. A bridge between academia, civil society, local communities, research and policy-making it aims at implementing concrete local solutions for global sustainable development goals. The Chair is a network comprised of Faculty members from at the ICN Business School, University of Lorraine (CEREFIGE) and several foreign universities. It encourages regional cooperation on implementation of SDGs particularly through North-South collaborations that address inequalities in the Francophone world, and its manifestations within France.

Research groups

  • Early Growth Acceleration Initiative (EGAI), in collaboration with SAM (“Africa Management Society”)
  • Poetry and Intercultural managemet education
  • Chinese philosophy for sustainability
  • Inter-and-Multi-Cultural Policies
  • Education Sustainability and ECC
  • Sustainable public management
  • Humanistic Management
  • Social Movements
  • Recycling Behaviors
  • Painting and public sustainability
  • Green Banking
  • Creativity, ECC and Sustainability
  • Digital and Sustainable Work
  • Gender Equality
  • Ethics and Spirituality
  • Organizational Art-based Practices and Research
  • Social & Environmental Reporting


Our conviction is that the joint mobilization of artistic and scientific modes of thought will be a decisive factor for the transformation of mentalities and practices.
Our action consists in setting up experiments in partnership with the actors of change.
Our philosophy is based on the concern of impact on the territories, at the regional, national and international levels.

  • Evolving research themes, in line with our environment and the context
  • Action research: to set up experiments with our partners that serve them as much as they serve as a field of study.
  • Dissemination and diffusion of research results: because research that is not translated into effective and transformative applications remains a dead letter.

Projects (examples)

  • “Workindness” doctoral research, in partnership with the GEME (Groupement d’Employeurs de Moselle Est), studies benevolent management and its implementation conditions.
  • “The future of work” and digital and sustainable organizations, in collaboration with the science fiction festival “Imaginales” (Epinal)
  • Surveys on telework and loneliness
  • “Affinicity” Study of reactions to the creation of a fictional dystopian service start-up.
  • Investigations on acceptance and resistance to technologies, on threatening and stimulating technostress, and on the impact of digitalization on professional identities (measurement tools available for audits for example)
  • “Design thinking for sustainability”, action research for the Vosges Chamber of Agriculture: development of responsible practices.
  • Special issue of the journal RIPCO: “Arts and Organizations: from individuals to structures, the aesthetic dimension inseparable from politics”.
  • Art for the emergence of a vision of sustainable development on the scale of the city of Nancy.

Sample publications


Impactful actions for a sustainable future through art and science

07/03/2022 – 01/04/2022

Participative performances, hybrid presentations, workshops, round tables, scientific communications, hackatons, mobs, apps, role-plays, games, 

The TRANS-GENERATIVES 2030 inaugural initiative by the UNESCO Chair at ARTEM-ICN and the CEREFIGE-Université de Lorraine proposes to build a network of sustainable practices, research and education across a diversity of regions, countries, communities and cultures, focused on introducing imaginary, symbolic and aesthetic dimensions into functional rationalities, in order to feed and influence decision-making processes towards sustainability transformations.

Call for papers

Submission Deadline: closed

Call for Papers – Ethics and Temporality: Moral Practices and Ethical Issues Related to Time in Organizations https://www.springer.com/journal/10551/updates/18307418

Guest Editors (in alphabetical order)

Wendelin KĂŒpers, Karlshochschule International University, Germany, Unesco Chair ICN Business School, France

E. Gunter Schumacher, Unesco Chair ICN Business School, France

David Wasieleski, Duquesne University, Unesco Chair ICN Business School, France