Do you really know Diego Zunino, Head of the Technology, Knowledge, and Organization SKEMA Centre and Professor of Digital and Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship? Let’s check it out!

Your top resolution for 2024: I aim to have a paper accepted in a FT50 journal, co-authored with an Assistant Professor up for tenure. It is vital to support junior colleagues in their progression, helping them navigate the challenging ‘publish or perish’ landscape of academia.

The historical figure you would want as a research partner: Marco Polo. His adventures as a merchant in the Middle Ages represent a truly fascinating journey, ripe for exploration and discovery. We could publish a great qualitative piece on international entrepreneurship!

The book you (would like to) read twice: The Lord of the Rings (J. R. R. Tolkien). The narrative of a group of heroes enduring great trials to dispose of a treasure, rather than seeking one, has always captivated me.

If your research centre had a theme song: “Non sum dignus”. I confess I am quite dumb with anything related to music and rhythm. For musical insights, you should consult Daniela Iubatti or Francesco Castellaneta. They are forming a band – something to look forward to!

Your favourite social media: No social media! I steer clear of social media to avoid unnecessary anxiety. However, I do enjoy browsing LinkedIn and Twitter to keep up to speed of the various activities of our SKEMA colleagues.

The subject you can talk and read about for hours: History and Linguistics. While my primary focus is on innovation and entrepreneurship, delving into history and linguistics provides a fascinating backdrop, enriching my understanding of our origins and evolution.

The best piece of advice you have received regarding academia: When you start, you think there are very few good ideas and plenty of time. Then, you find out there are plenty of good ideas and very little time. Understanding the value of our time and learning to say no to engaging, yet ultimately distracting tasks, is crucial.

The quirkiest item on your office desk: A print of Goya’s etching “Los Caprichos,” Plate 38, titled “Bravo! (Bravissimo).” It depicts a donkey applauding a monkey playing the violin, a satirical jab at elites who feign sophisticated tastes without true understanding.

Your favourite spot on campus for inspiration or reflection: The coffee machine at the Sophia Antipolis campus, a hub for daily gatherings with KTO members. Many problems have been solved and insights gained from our casual conversations there.

The other job you would have liked to do: Lifeguard. I am a certified lifeguard, I worked in the summers from 2005 until 2007, and value this experience deeply. The fondest memory was celebrating the 2006 World Cup right after an intense July shift and being back to work at 7:30AM the day after! In 2016, I jokingly announced I would leave academia for a lifeguard position in Finale Ligure, Italian Riviera. The reactions were mixed – my advisor was concerned, while another colleague, trusting much less my research skills, felt it was a more suitable career for me!

One word to describe the Research Centre you represent: Exciting. Every week, KTO scholars bring forward innovative research and initiatives that keep our collective passion for this field alive. I am immensely grateful for such an inspiring and challenging group of colleagues.

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