CUT Rennes

2 rue Robert d’Arbrissel
35000 Rennes


CUT executive director
Raouf Boucekkine

The Centre for Unframed Thinking (CUT) is an initiative of Rennes School of Business (Rennes SB) and its partners to foster interdisciplinary research at the highest international level. It contributes to the global effort to analyze the many complex issues raised by the current crises. CUT is the first business school-based Institute for Advanced Study. Launched in March 2022 by Rennes School of Business, it’s interdisciplinary and intersectoral, also involving partners and fellows from the corporate and institutional spheres. CUT is entirely devoted to the incubation of research projects on the ongoing transitions. To this end, it counts on a cohort of world leading academic senior fellows and distinguished personalities from relevant socioeconomic areas.

Premises and facilities

Rennes School of Business (RSB), the CUT host institution, is an international management school located in Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine, Brittany. It is a private higher education institution created in 1992. Rennes SB is distinguished by a unique faculty with 90% of permanent international professors, representing 40 different nationalities. The FIAS fellows will be accommodated at the Constellation Residence near the campus. Residents also have access to individual or shared offices. The fellows benefit the access to IT infrastructure and Learning Center facilities and other relevant resources to conduct online conferences.

Scientific priorities in FIAS

The CUT places ecology (and other life sciences), environmental and energy sciences, and technology studies at the heart of its scientific program. This choice is guided by the nature of the transitions underway and the associated strategic trends. The CUT research incubation builds on the three following programs.

Green Innovation and Climate Management

Sixty percent of the earth's natural environment has been degraded over the past few decades. Consequently, environmental degradation has moved from being a peripheral issue to a significant socioeconomic concern in the past decades. Green innovation initiatives are purported to be one of the crucial strategic orientations in dealing with the seemingly inexorable environmental degradation. A concerted effort, however, involving various types of governmental, intergovernmental, industrial and societal stakeholders is essential to develop and deploy effective green innovation activities. This stream explores the strategies, causes, consequences and barriers of green innovation at three broad levels: (i) Country level green innovation (ii) Industry level green innovation (iii) Company level green innovation. Further, this stream endeavors to shed light on how the interconnectedness between and among these three levels accelerates or decelerates the green innovation activities within a specific country/regional context. Thus, this research stream encompasses a multi-disciplinary topic that necessitates the integration of diverse perspectives such as sociological, political, financial, economic, ecological.

Organising towards or against extinction? Past, present and future

This interdisciplinary programme aims to explore how human organising can support the future development of sustainable organisational systems, advancing the future of humanity. Drawing on sociology, anthropology, philosophy, political science, social activism, as well as business and organisation studies, it’s designed to foster interdisciplinary dialogues and debates between and by theorists, researchers, strategists, practitioners and activists, focusing on organising past, present and future respectively. We discuss how prevailing studies and theories of organisation, and interest representation have been complicit not only in the development of unstainable business practices and behaviours, but also in excluding alternative theoretical paradigms, negatively affecting efforts to develop (alternative) ideas. We follow how the legacy of such processes in the present-day poses ongoing threats to the development of more equitable and sustainable forms of organising and explore how to legitimize and adopt a variety of perspectives. The programme then strives to advance alternatives by highlighting present good practices and identifying future opportunities for organising against (rather than towards) global extinction and for improving societal and organizational structures.

Knowledge in Society

Technological development and innovation influence the evolution of societies and are in turn influenced by the way societies evolve. What are the new emerging patterns of technological development and innovation? How are these related to new attitudes toward innovation? How will they change the perception of what is good or not for the society? Could we define a sustainable technological path along with all these dimensions and devise tools to implement it?

CUT tackles these questions through a multidisciplinary approach where business and economics considerations are integrated with views from technology assessment and forecasting, ethics, knowledge diffusion, history and philosophy of science, as well as societal and political considerations. To this end, CUT connects the broad range of knowledge hold by different stakeholders including academia, industry, civil society and policymakers. Research efforts are particularly focused on human-centered innovation systems, on the relationships between innovation, ethics and political power, and on the rising digital diplomacy and sovereignty controversies.