Closer to EIRD Community – Meet Our New Honorary Member, Mr. Arnault Pachot

Mr. Pachot, tell us about yourself and your professional experience. (Describe what are you working on).
I am 46 years old, married and father of 5 children. I grew up in France and studied Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Montpellier. I worked in software development in France and Canada. I am currently the director of OpenStudio, a company I created 15 years ago, and a PhD student in Computer Science at the University of Clermont Auvergne.

As it is known for us, you are a PhD candidate. What is your subject of research. (Describe in several sentences and tell us what will be the outcome of your research and who will benefit from it).
I am working on the use of AI methods for the modeling of productive systems. In particular, I am trying to better characterize the notion of industrial resilience for a territory by taking into account various dimensions, including the capacity of production units to adapt. This ability to “switch” from one product to another according to market changes or shortages is a key element of resilience and I’m relying on the work of Harvard University on Economic Complexity to carry out the modeling.
I’m using AI to perform predictive models of ecosystem evolution and to semantically analyze textual data (nomenclatures, websites).
My work aims at guiding public policies and companies strategies.

How did you start your career, what were your obstacles from an early stage of your professional and academic career?
I have had three distinct careers in my life. I started as a computer engineer in different companies and I worked in particular in the fields of automatic document reading (OCR) and 3D modeling.
Then I spent several years abroad, in Canada and Georgia, during which I developed an entrepreneurial project around free software. That’s how I created in 2005 the IT company OpenStudio that I’ve been running for 15 years, and which now has more than a hundred employees. We had an important growth leading us to regularly evolve the organization of the company. This is how I came to invest myself in areas such as Human Resources, finance, accounting, sales or marketing. I felt the need to consolidate these fields with theoretical training and thus obtained an Executive MBA in 2018.
Regarding my young academic career, I am currently doing the last year of my PhD in Computer Science at the University of Clermont Auvergne. I find in the academic world a number of values that I particularly like: sharing, rigor, cooperation and humility. These are the same values that we find in the world of free software! I like to investigate, experiment, imagine and the world of academic research is a great playground for scientific and creative minds. It is also a challenging experience, and I had to brush up on my mathematics and AI skills. I want to continue to do research in the coming years, even if it means taking a break from my management activities.

What is your life motto? and why?
I love life and people. I like to learn and discover new things. I work a lot by institution, but then I need to formalize and find consistency. I like passion and enthusiasm, everything is not only business plans and financial forecasts.
My family is very important, I spend a lot of time with my children. All these situations outside the professional or academic world help me to step back and see further.

What is your recommendation for fellow researchers and academics?
The areas on which my work is based are: resilience of complex systems, economic complexity, supply chain, multi-objective recommender systems, and the many areas related to AI. Among the researchers working in these areas, the works of Ricardo Hausmann, César Idalgo, Luca Fraccascia, Alexandros Karatzoglou, Ali Kharrazi, Robin Burke, Gediminas Adomavicius, Himan Abdollahpouri, and Diana Genkova are particularly relevant.

Share your experience around the collaboration with EIRD.
I discovered EIRD at the last conference in December 2021 in Tbilisi. I was looking for a conference in the field of economics and the positioning around the sustainable economy of EIRD was in total adequacy with my research work.
I really appreciate the kindness of the members of the organization and the participants. The discussions were very enriching and the “off” moments were very nice. Beautiful values and speakers carried by ideals that I really liked.
When the organizers of the EIRD proposed that I become a scientific member, I accepted with joy and I intend to invest myself in this mission. I will of course be present in Istanbul and Batumi for the next meetings in 2022.