The article points out how the radical disruptor COVID-19 has rendered a world-class entertainment business to nothing and begins to broach possibilities for a new world order.

Getting Started

Appropriate subject areas(s):

Entrepreneurship, marketing, future trends

Key questions to explore:

  • How can a major disruptor such as a worldwide pandemic help to renew a business?

Materials Needed:

Profile of Guy Laliberté, Founder of Cirque du Soleil. Students will have the opportunity to visit the original vision of Cirque du Soleil through the eyes of its founder, see how it grew and how the pandemic impacted this world class entertainment company.  Students will be encouraged to think about the road forward.

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

The lesson will look back and look forward to see how a strong foundation can help lead to a brighter future.


  • Ask students if they have ever seen a Cirque du Soleil production. What was it like? List the attributes students come up with.
  • Have students watch the video on Guy Laliberté. What was Laliberté’s initial vision for Cirque du Soleil? How did the Cirque grow over time? What were the attributes of growth?
  • Distribute the article for reading.
  • Guy Laliberté sold his share of Cirque due Soleil in 2015 for $1.5billion. Due to the pandemic, the Cirque is worth considerably less now.  Why does Quebecor want to purchase it?
  • Spend time with students dissecting this paradoxical question: What opposing yet complementary strategies does Quebecor need to pursue simultaneously in order to ensure Cirque du Soleil and Quebecor are successful?

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Ask students to write a brief paper answering this question: How is it that Cirque du Soleil can have a singular global identity and also be uniquely adapted to the local setting? How could this work for other global enterprises?
Success and Additional Learning

Success criteria:

  • Students are able to examine both sides of a paradox.

Confirming activity:

  • Working in pairs, have students identify a global business that has been disrupted by the pandemic and think through the same questions to look towards the future for that business.