Specialization in Sustainability and Social Innovation

This specialization is aimed at those who have a passion for creating more environmentally friendly and sustainable business models. By the end of the program, students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to succeed as responsible business leaders in all sectors (consulting, marketing, finance, etc.)

The Curriculum

Core Courses

  • Have a Cause, Make an Impact
  • Sustainable Operations & Supply Chains
  • Strategy and Sustainable Development
  • Responsible Investing 
  • Intellectual Capital, Intangible Assets and their Link with Sustainable Development
  • HR and Unconventional Paradigm of Management
  • Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods.

Elective Courses

  • Sustainable Business Planning – Business Plan Workshop
  • Geopolitics of Energy and Transformation of Energy Paradigm
  • Change Management
  • Introduction to Consulting Methodology 
  • Innovation and Design Thinking
  • NGO Management
  • Interactive Discovery of Iso 26000 
  • Histoire de la critique du capitalisme*
  • De l’économie sociale à la coopération 2.0*.

* These 2 electives are taught in French.

Specialization Tracks

Impact Entrepreneurship Track

In partnership with HEC’s MS Entrepreneurs, students who have a solid entrepreneurial project can take the opportunity to work full-time on the development of their idea, mentored by experienced entrepreneurs and professionals. The Track includes:

  • a Leadership seminar
  • specific workshops
  • a short consulting mission for a social entrepreneur.

Intrapreneurship Track

Students choose at least 7 courses among the following:

  • Radically Innovative Business Models and Sustainability
  • Sustainable Cities
  • Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Procurement - A Practioner Approach
  • Managing Energy in The Company
  • LCA, Sustainable Design and Marketing
  • Consulting Methodology Seminar
  • Issues Management and Community Relations
  • Global Law
  • Climate Change Economics
  • Macroeconomics
  • Sustainable Development and Systemic Shocks
  • Reinventing Work
  • Critics of CSR Strategies.

Research Specialization Track

Students can lead a full-time personal research project, linked to a field experience or internship in France or abroad. Tained on the research methodology, they are mentored by members of the Faculty.

Optional exchange programs

  • Norwegian School of Economics (NHH): MSc in Economics & Business Administration
  • Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo: Specialized Graduate Program in Sustainability.
  • AgroParisTech: Programme Forêt Nature et Société (Exchange for students who already have a Masters degree prior to the MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation).

Optional Double Degrees

HEC has established Double Degree agreements with two leading universities:

The Double Degree option extends the curriculum by 1 or 2 semesters (students can apply during their first term).

Constant Interaction with Business Leaders


Professional Economists, Business Leaders, Top Bank Managers, Consultancy Firms, Entrepreneurs are invited to lecture on important current issues throughout the year.

Examples of guest speakers:

  • Freddie Tinga, Founder and Chairman of Global Electric Transportation
  • Robin Cornelius, Founder and Executive President of Switcher
  • Benoit Derenne, CEO of the Foundation for Future Generations
  • Eric Julien, Anthropologist, Founder of the School of Nature and Knowledge and Co-Founder of Novasens Conseils
  • Vincent Stanley, Director of Marketing at Patagonia
  • Jean-Claude Vandenbosch, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Getronics.

Consulting Project

Students enrolled in the Impact Intrapreneurship track work in teams on real life projects led for a company, an NGO, or a public organization, or an entrepreneurial project.

Examples of projects:

  • Develop innovative social business models to feed SODEXO’s sustainability strategy
  • Devise strategies to mainstream adoption of new sustainable building techniques in emerging countries for CLEIA
  • Detail the business and financial planning for the CarbonCoin project, developed by the start-up G.A.M.E.

Study Trip

Every year, students go on a study trip to witness the sustainable development issues of other countries and to study the measures already implemented or those to be developed.

The latest study trips:

  • Ethiopia
  • Philippines
  • Kenya
  • Indonesia
  • Burkina Faso
  • Morocco
  • Bangladesh
  • Brazil
  • Madagascar.

Read a study trip report by Camille Vicier (Class of 2014)