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Faculty & Research

Society & Organizations Institute

Society & Organizations Institute

The Society & Organizations Institute is an interdisciplinary Institute at HEC Paris that brings together over 60 professors. Together, they carry out research, teach and implement ideas to organize and lead our responses to the daunting challenges of our time. Its purpose is to reinvent business through promoting sustainability and unleashing human potential.

Leading with Purpose for a Sustainable and Inclusive world! 

Society & Organizations Institute Video
Discover HEC Paris' S&O Institute

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While business and capitalism have massively contributed to social and economic development, including a material reduction of poverty, it has become clear that the system is failing in several important ways:

  • The planet is under stress due to the impact of business on the environment
  • The level of inequality has reached unacceptable levels in many countries
  • Business falls short in engaging, inspiring, and fulfilling the majority of employees
  • The pace of change and the level of uncertainty in the world is leaving many people confused, ill-equipped, and disoriented, as many old rules and skills are seen as outdated or ineffective.

The Society & Organizations Institute is an interdisciplinary Institute at HEC Paris that brings together over 50 professors and educators. Together, they carry out research, teach and implement ideas to organize and lead our responses to the daunting challenges of our time. These contemporary challenges include climatic constraints, social inequality, loss of purpose, technological disruption, epidemics, social contestation, ethical imperatives, and liberalization and regulation. 

The Society & Organizations Institute’s purpose is to reinvent business through promoting sustainability and unleashing human potential.

Its mission statement is to contribute to our understanding of these phenomena, support anyone with a role to play in these transformations, and prepare future generations of managers to lead in these complicated times. We seek to participate in a re-foundation of business and market organization, inside-out through research, education and action, and outside-in through the recognition of key stakeholders, including investors, civil society, and regulators.

Have a look at the S&O Brochure

cover lead news - smart cities ebook

Smart Cities: The Sustainable program of six leading business schools

A model for today's urban centers, smart cities pave the way towards a more creative, inclusive and sustainable society.

Read and download the report


Jean Dominique Senard - video Parcours Purpose 2021
Séminaire Purpose & Sustainability 2021


ebook Smart cities - vignette

In the wake of the Smart City Expo World Congress (SCEWC) in Barcelona, HEC Professor Bertrand Quélin and SASI graduate Isaac Smadja publish a key study of six award-winning smart cities across the globe...

Etudiants HEC Paris - Chamonix (© Quentin Iglésis - Mountain Path)

For the second time ever, HEC’s first year L3 students began their school career with the off-campus “Purpose & Sustainability” seminar. 370 freshmen converged on the Alpine village of Chamonix for a...

une main tourne des dés pour former le mot inclusion

In recent decades we’ve seen inequalities growing in society, exacerbated in part by the current global health, social and economic crises. It falls to ambitious businesses to recognize the benefits of...

HEC Paris - S&O Research Day 2021 -

Edition N°6 of the S&O Research Day lived up to its top billing yet again, with 45 co-authors presenting 20 scientific papers over two days. The academics’ research was prefaced by two outstanding keynote...

S&O - Portrait Hilary Matson- MBA alumni - vignette

Hilary Matson, HEC MBA alumna 2020 is the founder of Yūgen Earthside that aims at shaping the future of sustainable tourism. Thanks to her new online platform, she helps us to travel better to protect and...

transition écologique

“This is an historical moment.” Since he took up his post, François Collin, Director for Climate and Environmental Sustainability at HEC Paris has been emphasizing how important it is for schools to bring...

S&O News - STM - vignette

For those seeking to make a positive impact on the world, HEC Paris has created the first online sustainable management program.

S&O - Margault Phelip

Margault Phélip, HEC alumna 2008 is now CEO of Impact Studio, and Manager at Archipel & Co. She has kindly accepted to answer our questions with authenticity and passion. Focus on her career path and...

S&O - François Collin - 2020

François Collin, Director of Climate and Environment Strategy at HEC Paris, testifies to the growing awareness of the ecological urgency, climate and biodiversity. He reacts to the call of the students of...

Impact Career Fair 2021 - HEC Paris

HEC’s third Impact Career Fair once again united students from all programs as leading companies highlighted potential career opportunities designed to impact society. This edition focused on...

S&O - academie economie circulaire - news vignette - 2021

In the last few years, rising awareness of the issues of resource scarcity and climate change has demonstrated the need to move from a linear economy to a circular and resilient one. To understand this...

Marieke Huysentruyt - media

In 2020, the Society &Organizations Institute (S&O) marks 12 years of research on the notion of an inclusive global economy with the report “Inclusive Business: What it is and Why it Matters”. This third...

© HEC Paris - Race to Zero Dialogues

The 2020 Race to Zero campaign mobilized academics, business professionals and militants in a 11-day November series of virtual dialogues on climate-related issues, climaxing with the November 19 Finance...

Louis Fidel - Président d'ESP'R HEC PARIS

For the second time in a year, HEC Paris hosts Earth Week, a student-driven event designed both to promote social and environmental initiatives; and to debate over programs for sustainable development and...

© HEC Paris

HEC Paris and the Bouygues industrial group jointly launched the “Smart City and the Common Good” Chair. It will be headed by Professor Bertrand Quélin until 2023. In his October 12 online Masterclass...

In the face of complex challenges such as climate change, automation, and the distribution of wealth, the definition of change management needs to change. This is the view of Professor Mathis Schulte...

© HEC Paris

The HEC Paris Foundation marked its 48th birthday with the first-ever 100% online Foundation Annual Gathering. The event was marked by messages of support from alumni who have become top business leaders...

so institute - yunus - zoom conference - vignette

In the second of a series of online seminars, HEC Paris invited Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus for an hour-long exchange on bouncing back after the COVID-19 health crisis. Led by Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot...

so institute - Podcast - Hubert Joly - news

HEC Paris invited Best Buy’s Executive Chairperson Hubert Joly to the first in a series of online seminars, organized by the Society & Organization Institute (S&O). In a wide-ranging Q&A led by S&O...

Earthweek poster - poster

In February 2020, the HEC Paris campus welcomed a week-long event on the topics of sustainable innovation and responsible business, organized by the student association Esp’R. The 1,500 students living on...

Purposeful leadership - remise des prix denis machuel - HEC paris

Sodexo CEO Denis Machuel helped bring down the curtain on the three-month freshman course in a closing ceremony featuring 381 students, 18 tutors and a top academic team from the S&O Center. The event...

Conférence d'Alain Grandjean à HEC Paris - décembre 2019

French economist Alain Grandjean joined HEC students and academics for a 90-minute exchange co-organized by Pour un Réveil Ecologique. The campus event with the cofounder of Carbone 4 was part of an S&O...

vignette - S&O nouveau parcours pédagogique- climat - sept 2019

Members of the Society & Organizations Center at HEC Paris recently responded to an appeal by Shift Project, aiming to ‘teach all students about climate and ecological issues’. Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot...


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