The First European Center of Managerial Education was launched in Bologna

1 March 2016

Collaboration between BOLOGNA BUSINESS SCHOOL and YOOX NET-A PORTER GROUP the CDE (Center for Digital Business Education) was unveiled in Bologna.

Bologna, 1 March 2016CDE (Center for Digital Business Education), the first European center of managerial education for digital business, was launched today, thanks to the partnership between BOLOGNA BUSINESS SCHOOL (BBS) and YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP (YNAP), the world’s leading online luxury fashion retailer.

The project combines the managerial training expertise of BBS and YNAP’s experiencein luxury fashion e-commerce, together with the know-how of prestigious international players and leaders in digital innovation: Boston Consulting Group, Google, GroupM, IBM and WPP. These companies will collaborate with Bologna Business School in a range of activities, including defining educational content, scholarships, and the involvement of their managers as teachers, ensuring the right mix of academic and managerial skills.

CDE was unveiled today at the Bologna Business School (Villa Guastavillani) by Massimo Bergami, Dean of Bologna Business School, and by Federico Marchetti, CEO of YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, together with the top managers of partner companies: Massimo Beduschi , CEO of GroupM (a WPP company), Enrico Cereda, CEO of IBM Italy, Fabio Vaccarono, Managing Director of Google in Italy, Marc Vos, Senior Partner & Managing Director of The Boston Consulting Group. The Rector of the University of Bologna, Francesco Ubertini, opened the event and the President of the Emilia Romagna Region, Stefano Bonaccini, gave the concluding remarks.

The new Center for Digital Business Education will train students to manage the challenges of digital transformation and provide them with the necessary skills for roles such as Web Analyst, Web Marketing Specialist, Big Data specialist, E-commerce Manager, Online Store Manager and Site Manager. Demand for these types of professionals is increasing, as demonstrated by a recent European Commission study which found that 90 percent of all jobs will require digital skills in the near future[1] while an estimated 40 percent of Europeans currently have insufficient digital skills[2].

Massimo Bergami, Dean of Bologna Business School, said: “Our School supports the development of human capital to support business growth. With this initiative, together with our partners, we want to create something that does not yet exist: a center based both on research and on managerial knowledge; applying this concept to the digital world, a world still new and constantly changing, one that is a challenge for all the partners, and a way to offer professional opportunities while contributing to society.”

Federico Marchetti, Chief Executive Officer, YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP, says: “I am sure that the digital talents who pass through this school, co-founded by YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP and BBS, can look forward to brilliant career paths wherever they work. Education is an act of social responsibility for YOOX NET-A-PORTER GROUP and this partnership further demonstrates our commitment to Bologna where we have been active since 2000. Our foundations in Bologna and across Italy have helped us to become the world leader of luxury e-commerce.”


Partners of the initiative:

“Digital technology affects and transforms every aspect of business, from objects to people’s lives. The digital transformation cannot be resolved by connecting an app or a new site to an existing business; instead, it is a much more radical change in the very way a business works. BCG, as a global leader in management consultancy with more than 10,000 professionals across 48 countries, has evolved throughout its experience and 50 years of history and is in a unique position to understand and navigate the next wave of Digital Transformation – stated Marc Vos, Senior Partner e Managing Director, The Boston Consulting Group

“In an ever-connected society, expectations towards brands are changing rapidly. In order to deal with the many challenges of today’s business, companies need professionals with high-level digital skills. It is with pleasure that Google, already committed in several training projects, has chosen to collaborate with Bologna Business School in promoting this cultural transformation.” – stated Fabio Vaccarono, Managing Director of Google in Italy

“Among our priorities is the continuous support for the development of useful competences with respect to the digitalisation processes of the Country. To ensure this, we provide the best universities with technical and managerial capacities that harness the force of a global network, developed in research centres alongside clients from every industry. Here in Bologna we have found specific academics and the highest level of business leadership. And all this, we are sure, will be invaluable for the young people who are preparing themselves to begin their educational journey.” – stated Enrico Cereda, Chief Executive Officer, IBM Italy

“In our industry, the process of digitalisation has brought with it profound transformations. The new era of digital communications not only makes it possible and mandatory to leverage the numerous opportunities offered by technology and big data, but it has also made profound transformations necessary in work processes and, above all else, in the training of new professional figures who are able to anticipate and lead the change. I am therefore particularly proud to make available to the CDE the international leadership from the digital area of GroupM and WPP, as well as the know-how of our professionals to contribute to the provision of training instruments, which are now crucial for the development of talents who could become the new drivers of our industry.” – stated Chief Executive Officer, GroupM and Board Member, WPP Italia

Due to the synergies between business and academia, the Center for Digital Business Education will become a significant reference point for the digital world, a place for sharing knowledge and experiences, networking, and the highest quality training:

  • Executive Master’s in E-Business: designed for managers and professionals with at least five years of experience, it offers global and advanced knowledge of the e-business world. The course runs part-time for a total of 16 weekend sessions (Friday-Saturday) with a 3-week gap between sessions. The start date of the first edition of the Executive Master’s is scheduled for 4 July 2016;


  • Full-time Master’s Degree:aimed at new graduates and young talent at the beginning of their careers, the establishedobjective is to provide in-depth knowledge, both theoretical and practical, of specific subjects including Marketing, Data Science and E-Commerce. It is a full-time commitment with a total duration of 12 months: a 7-month course, followed by a 4-month internship. The start date of the first iteration of the Master’s is scheduled for 5 December 2016;


  • Open Programme:dedicated to managers and senior professionals, it consists of a short intensive course focused on analyzing specific themes regarding various aspects and areas of the digital world. The expected duration of each course varies from a minimum of two to a maximum of 12 days;


  • Workshop & Lab: provides a wide target group with in-depth sessions on specific topics and the opportunity to share best practices and case studies. The structure of the workshops will vary, depending on specific needs and the topics discussed.




Back To Top