Parsons Paris Awards First Cathay Capital Prize

May 4, 2020

this post originally appeared on The New School’s Parsons Paris blog.


The first Cathay Foundation Prize for Strategic Design & Management students from New York and Paris was awarded on June 11th in Paris. The honors were delivered by Mingpo Cai, President of Cathay Capital Private Equity, and Parsons Paris Dean Susan Taylor-Leduc.

Image above from L to R: Hervé Descazeaux, Isata Yansaneh, Ashley Rui Li, Susan Taylor-Leduc, Mingpo Cai, Maureen Muse, Jessica Wong.


First prize was awarded to Isata Yansaneh & Amina Suleimanagich for their project Koutré, a design-based, fair trade marketplace that creates connections between textile communities to promote sustainable growth. The two students from the Strategic Design & Management program in New York and Paris respectively, took away the top prize of $3000.



Fostering team-building skills across continents and age groups, the teams – each composed of one graduate from the New York campus and one undergraduate from the Paris campus studying the Strategic Design & Management program at Parsons School of Design – spent a week in Paris working intensively on their presentations, before the jury decided who would take away the top prize.


The runners up were Jessica Wong (NY) & Maureen Muse (Paris) for MakeDo, the first and only online social network that unites Makers to learn, collaborate and bring their curiosities to life (and to market) in a global and multidisciplinary way; and Ashley Rui Li (NY) & Ksenia Muzyka (Paris) for CF:CO, a solution-oriented, network-driven, immersive business-in-residence program based in Paris and Shanghai that helps small and medium-sized enterprises in China and France to understand the business, cultural and legal environments of the other market. The runners-up took away prize money of $2000 and $1000 respectively.


The Cathay Foundation Prize was created at Parsons Paris to award innovative work in design, especially with a concrete application to the real economy, an entrepreneurial perspective, or a bearing on relations between China and Europe.


Mingpo Cai, President, Cathay Capital Private Equity and Parsons Paris Honorary Committee member, said: “Our mission is to deepen French and Chinese entrepreneurs’ understanding of each other’s respective culture and I am very happy for Isata and Amina’s project which will help bring about more awareness of sustainability in the textile trade.”




Susan Taylor-Leduc, Dean of Parsons Paris, said: “This “coopetition” between our New York and Paris students demonstrates the entrepreneurial do-it-yourself attitude that reflects the project-based methods of The New School, but is a skill set that is missing in French design schools. Parsons Paris is a place where we teach our students creative entrepreneurship so that they can drive and create new economies.”


From L to R: Ashley Rui Li,Ksenia Muzyka, David Braid [faculty advisor], Amina Suleimanagich, Isata Yansaneh, Maureen Muse, Jessica Wong

Thank you Kakee Scott (Interim Director BBA Strategic Design and Management, Paris) and Andy Atzert(The New School’s Vice President for Distributed and Global Education)!


Thank you David Braid and Rhea Alexander (Assist. Prof. of Strategic Design + Mgmt. School of Design Strategies Parsons The New School for Design)!

Learn more about the BBA Strategic Design and Management at Parsons Paris, the MS Strategic Design and Management at Parsons NY and the Global Executive Master in Strategy Design and Management in Paris, NYC and Shanghai.

Photos by PuxanBC