Sep 6th, 2008, Christophe Bruchansky
I have a background in engineering (polytechnic at the Université Catholique de Louvain) and have been involved in innovation for 8 years (management in the new media and information technology). The former gave me a taste for rigorous thinking and the latter for the sometimes chaotic process of turning an idea into a reality. Having lived in many countries (Belgium, the UK, Germany, France, and Canada), and having been familiarized with quite a few domains (engineering, experience design, business development and communication), I couldn’t however refrain myself from attempting to conceive the big picture – in science, economics, culture, politics, and more generally, in human existence –, envisioning the future and establishing its philosophical foundations.
My biggest achievement in life is, and I’m convinced will remain, the writing of a book in which I develop the concept of a digressive society (political philosophy). This is a concept that I plan to keep promoting in academic conferences and other intellectual meetings, to apply in as many fields as possible and to test against reality. I am, according to my own political theory, a “digressive agent”: someone whose goal is to increase individual choice.
My quest for meaning also took the form of art exhibitions that I’ve curated in London back in 2009 and 2010, experiments in video art, and most recently, the graphic novel Omniscience : all secondary products, cryptic testimonies if you will, of my intellectual journey.
Here is a more detailed narrative of that journey.
2013 up until now, Montreal
I’ve been granted permanent residency in Canada and have published the graphic novel Omniscience. I’ve started submitting chapters of the Digressive Society book to academic conferences and periodicals, process that should take few months before becoming fruitful.
2010 – 2012, Berlin, Cologne and Montpellier
I quit my job in London to spend three years wrapping up the “Omniscience” graphic novel and writing the “Digressive Society” manuscript. These tasks didn’t require staying in any particular place; I lived in Hong Kong for three months, in Germany (Berlin and Cologne) for one year and in France (Montpellier) for another year. I also found the time to give a few talks at academic conferences (universities of Oxford and Helsinki), and to get my videos screened at various art events.
January 2011, article: Conversation with Kati Blom on the appropriation of space, from the International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture.
2007 – 2010, London
I felt somehow confined in Belgium, so I decided to move to London. I worked for two large American companies there, and climbed up the corporate ladder. I liaised with teams across the globe and significantly extended my experience in business development, marketing, and PR.
I persevered in my artistic career and had my videos screened at international art events. I began organizing and curating contemporary art exhibitions. It was also in London that I started getting involved in philosophy, giving my first talks and publishing my first articles.
lastminute.com (Travelocity Europe), May 2008 – February 2010
lastminute.com is a well-known online travel agency in Europe. I was responsible for the products developed by their newly formed lab team, as well as for its marketing and PR. The job involved eliciting the vision for brand new mobile applications, integrating focus groups in the proccess, liaising with our marketing agencies and teams across Europe, establishing new partnerships, as well as reviewing contracts and legal aspects. We launched eight services, achieved substantial press coverage, and developed exclusive partnerships with big players such as Google and Samsung.
AOL Europe, March 2007 – March 2008 (1 year 1 month)
AOL operated some of the most visited websites in Europe at the time. I contributed to:
- Its expansion in new European territories: Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland.
- An upgrade of its portals in the UK, Germany, and France.
The job involved liaising between business and technology teams in the USA, India, the UK, France, and Germany, also a lot of problem solving, task prioritization, and quality assurance.
2001 – 2006, Brussels
I started my career in Brussels. I chose not to follow the traditional path of freshly graduated engineers from the polytechnic school – that is to take on a highly skilled technical position in a large corporation –, and joined an Internet start-up instead. It allowed me to work in a truly multidisciplinary environment (a team composed of editors, game developers, designers, sales, and marketers), as well as to develop my entrepreneurial skills. The start-up was then acquired by the national telecommunications company, which gave me the opportunity to apply these new skills to larger projects. At the same time, I also started an artistic career in moving images.
Belgacom, January 2005 – June 2006 (1 year 6 months)
Digital TV was in its early days in Belgium. I improved the Belgacom TV user interface and incorporated new services in its flow, such as video-on-demand. It meant making business cases, planning resources, as well as prioritizing internal and external developments (Siemens was our set-up box provider).
KidCity, October 2001 – December 2004 (3 years 3 months)
KidCity.be was the most popular web destination for children in Belgium, with games, articles, and various community applications. It operated like a marketing agency, but with a governing structure made in a way that the sections developed for our clients had to also achieve didactic goals. I took part in all the brainstorming for our clients, wrote project requirements, analysed web traffic, and by the end of my involvement, coordinated web development.
1995 – 2001, Louvain-la-Neuve
My biggest desire at that time was to better understand the mechanics of our universe, which is why I chose to study science — not because of job opportunities or familial influence, but solely by curiosity. My thirst for knowledge later drove my attention towards the social sciences, and culminated in philosophy.
Université catholique de Louvain, École polytechnique, 1995 – 2001
Education focussing on mathematics and theoretical models in science, from nuclear reactions to bridge mechanics and artificial intelligence. Pass with high distinction.