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S&O Institute

Help organizations to develop alternative and sustainable business models and transform themselves

S&O wants to be a catalyst for change. It aims to push boundaries on an organizational level, facilitate the emergence of new economic models co-created by companies, civil society and public authorities, develop a new culture and way of thinking that would be inclusive, cyclical and low carbon, create bridges between large companies and social entrepreneurs and help for-profit organizations move towards more inclusive business models and social/non-profit organizations explore more autonomous models for social business.

HEC Students For Sustainability

The S&O Institute has teamed up with several student groups in its effort to guide and support a new generation of leaders who use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. The aim is to encourage these students to develop leadership skills outside the classroom.

HEC Students for Sustainability initiative is a collective of students passionate about sustainability and social innovation, committed to having an impact on the campus and beyond, whose mission is to raise awareness and inspire students to become actors of change now and in their professional lives.

It is supported by S&O, the HEC Career Center, the HEC Students Affairs and the HEC General Secretary.

This initiative is driven by the following associations and students:

* The students of MSc Sustainability & Social Innovation who reflect on: what is a change maker? Well, in short, it is what this Master’s is all about. It is about finding ways to create positive change and impact in the world. About looking at existing models and asking how we might be able to innovate and improve them. About building ideas that might help us shift that dial in the direction we need to be moving in.

* Net Impact, a global non-profit organization, is a progressive and influential network of new generation leaders who use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.  The HEC Net Impact chapter  works to inspire, educate and empower students and by doing this, they emphasize how it is possible to make a net impact that benefits not just the bottom line – but people and planet as well.

* ESP'R is a student association whose role is to promote social economy on the campus of HEC Paris through advocacy and student engagement. Throughout the year, ESP’R organizes conferences, challenges and other multiple events with its partners - Babyloan, ProBono Lab, and the SOS Group among others - to raise campus awareness of the issue of social economy.

Join them on the facebook page : HECstudent for Sustainability

4 pillars to the students' initiative

Inspiration and learning

Thanks to conferences, events and campaigns and case competitions.

Career development

Such as careers workshops, networking events, industry partnerships and connections with Alumni.

Field experiential learning

Through FACT Programs for instance, and associations such as HEC4Refugees or Wintegreat@HEC.

Sustainable Campus

Through initiatives such as an action plan, awareness campaigns, sustainable events for instance.

Raising Awareness with conference Series

Every year, the S&O center organize with the HEC Alumni a conference on sustainable and societal big topics such : 

  • The 2° degree challenge : Climate is our Business
  • Finance For Good
  • Alliances for Cities in Transition
  • AI, Robotics and Work

Check AI, Robotics and Work web site


Just before the confinement due to COVID-19 crisis, we were very luck to meet with Corentin de Chatelperron, an expert in innovation low-tech. For a few years, he has traveled around the world aboard a laboratory boat to identify, experiment, document and disseminate low-tech innovations. Over the past 4 years, it has made stops in 16 countries and allowed the study of more than 40 low-tech products.

External content from has been blocked.

S&O Poster Annual Conference ACTION

Action Tank Social & Business


Action tank  Social & BusinessTo contribute to a more inclusive economy in France and in other developed countries as well as in developing nations, the S&O Institute facilitates experimentation by bringing together HEC Paris academics, large firms, government members, and heads of the non-profit organizations.

In France, the S&O Institute has a privileged partnership with the Action Tank “Social & Business”, an innovative project incubator launched by the formerly known HEC Paris Social Business/Enterprise and Poverty Chair, which has since become the Movement for Social*Business Impact. The Action Tank brings together academia, multinational corporations, the public sector, and charity organizations to test new business models that offer essential services to the French populations that suffer from economic poverty and spatial and social isolation.

Sustainable Cities workshop

Synergies with the IDEA CENTER and its ‘impact’ programs

The S&O Institute and the I.D.E.A. Center support the HEC Stand UP program dedicated to women entrepreneurs with impactful business projects.

The Ile-de-France Region, INCO, HEC Paris and Accenture launch the Accélérateur ESS to support major actors of the French Social and Solidarity Economy

Philippines SASI study trip

Students Business Projects

Each year, in their curriculum, some students from the MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation (SASI) chose the latter (the intrapreneurship track) and had the opportunity to do a consulting project and work with firm to expand their sustainable practices.

Check the 2019 Consulting Projects

Experiential Learning

The S&O Institute places renewed emphasis on the value of experience in the field, crucial to the development of future decision-makers who are responsible and open-minded.

On this page you will find a range of experiences that HEC students can live when studying at HEC Paris:

Experiential learning that matters

Voices of Inclusive and Social Business Certificate Alumni

The Inclusive & Social Business Certificate sponsored by Danone, Schneider Electric and Renault and Veolia is a very special place at a very special time! For its 12th edition and despite the lockdown constraints, we did our best to organize the online sessions and provide to our students with an active and fruitful learning experience. As part of this “experimental learning part”, they were requested to work on an “entrepreneurial project” with impact or to design a “social business” project that addresses the current COVID-19 crisis. See below some testimonies of their experience.