Invitation to a LECI expert group research seminar (March 15th 2019)

Professor Jean Louis Magakian from EMLYON Business School, France, will give a presentation in the monthly research seminar organized by the Learning, Culture and Interventions (LECI) expert group

Professor Jean Louis Magakian from EMLYON Business School, France, will give a presentation on Friday 15th of March at 10-12 AM, in room K213, Siltavuorenpenger 5A, (Minerva building).

The topic of the presentation is: How to Engage in Cognitive Activities in the third place?


In this research I study cognition in « third places » from Activity theory (AT) and Material Engagement Theory (MET) perspectives. While the existing literature has focused on third places mostly from the collaborative facet and explored how actors of different institutions encounter, discuss and produce goods or services as a result of their interactions, I suggest that the conceptualization and comprehension of third places need to be extended as thing(s) for distributed or situated cognition. Third places, as material arrangements, are then regarded as things for collective thinking, or cognitive activities. Applying the MET framework, my study shows that third spaces are materialized, distributed, situated and collective. Further, taking an activity theoretical stance, I will demonstrate how third places can be regarded as materialized Zones of Proximal Development, consciously instrumentalized for engaging in cognitive activities. Finally, I will demonstrate how different materialized zones help its users to engage in various forms of cognitive activities. This perspective is empirically supported by the analysis of a workplace situated in France.


Jean Louis Magakian is Professor of strategy and change management at Em-Lyon Business School. His research focuses on exploring cognition in the workplace, strategy and collective intelligence. He teaches BBA, MsC and MBA programs in universities located in Lyon, Paris, Shanghai and Casablanca. Currently he is on a sabbatical year visiting Finland (Aalto University, School of Business, Helsinki), and visits also some Chinese universities, and companies in Silicon Valley, California. For more information, see:

Everyone interested is very welcome to join the seminar!