September 14, 2023
4 min

Announcing a strategic collaboration between London Interdisciplinary School (LIS) and emlyon business school


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We are proud and excited to announce our plan for a strategic collaboration between London Interdisciplinary School (‘LIS’) and emlyon business school, one of the prestigious French grandes écoles.

The collaboration will provide long-term freedom and security for LIS to pursue our mission to foster thinking about interdisciplinary approaches to tackle complex problems, with greater opportunities for our students and our staff.

As part of our collaboration, emlyon is investing significant growth capital in LIS over the next 3–5 years and will become one of our notable minority investors.

Who are our new partners?

Our direct investor and partner institution is emlyon, a leading European business schools and French grande école, established in 1872.

emlyon recently became a benefit corporation with a mission, embedded in its articles of association, ‘to provide lifelong training and support to enlightened people who effectively change organisations to build a society that is fairer, shows solidarity for others and respects the planet’. It was ranked 12 in the FT 2022 ranking of European business schools.

emlyon’s investors include growing education group, Galileo Global Education, whose primary focus is building prestigious institutions linked to the creative industries. Galileo’s owners include the Canadian public pension fund (CPP), which is globally known for being at the forefront of long-term investing.

Why are emlyon and Galileo investing in LIS?

emlyon’s investment in LIS is an outstanding endorsement of LIS and our mission, less than two years after we started teaching, from a 150-year-old French university and leading European business school which sees us as an equally prestigious institution and brand.

emlyon’s rationale for investing in us is precisely to enable us to pursue our mission and plans. They see LIS as being at the forefront of global innovation in education. They are keen to learn from us for their own focus on interdisciplinary thinking (‘hybridisation’) and their belief in the importance of disrupting traditional approaches to education.

What does the collaboration mean for LIS, our students and our staff?

The move increases our ability to further our mission — with increased potential global opportunities for our students and our staff, increased financial security and opportunities for us to innovate and grow, increased access to international students and student exchanges, and increased access to shared technology.

What does it mean for our status as UK university?

This will not change. We will continue to be regulated in exactly the same way. Our regulator has approved emlyon’s investment.

Does this mean that we will have a more commercial focus?

Not at all. There will be no change in our mission, mindset and objectives. Indeed, the additional financial security from the collaboration will enable our staff to focus more on our core mission and courses.

In addition, we will also benefit from a new set of long-term, values driven investors. emlyon’s recent accreditation as a “benefit corporation” reinforces their commitment to long-term social and environmental impact. Galileo’s investors include globally renowned long-term investors, notably investment funds linked to the French and Canadian governments.

Does this affect our independence?

The collaboration increases our freedom to execute on our mission and plan. We will retain an independent board with colleagues from emlyon and Galileo joining this September.

Will there be changes to our leadership?

No changes are planned. Chris Persson, Carl Gombrich and Ed Fidoe all plan to continue in their current roles as LIS’s Chair, Dean and CEO.

Nicolas Pejout, Executive Vice President, emlyon and Charlotte Campanella, Integration and Transformation Officer, Galileo Global Education will join the LIS Board of Directors. For any further questions, please contact or

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March 20th 2023

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