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Purpose Center

We are teaching with the aim that business and capitalism massively contribute to social and economic development, as well as to individual fulfillment


The essential questions guiding our pedagogy around purposeful leadership are:

  1. Why do we need purposeful leadership and to what end? This implies a  detailed reflection about why we work and how to find meaning in our work. What is the purpose of a company or an organization and what are the links with Corporate Social Responsibility? Is a worthy purpose solely in the realm of philanthropy or CSR, or can we make this the core focus of a company and all its activities? 
  2. What are the situations that require or produce responsible leaders? What are the ones you are faced with? What principles and practices can guide the actions of today’s leaders? 
  3. What are the main characteristics and dimensions of purposeful leadership? How can we create an environment in which individual members of an organization can be themselves and develop personally and professionally? Can Purposeful Leadership result in superior business and financial performance?
  4. How can you specifically develop your responsible leadership?

Purposeful Leadership is a fundamental part of HEC Paris’ mission to shape the leaders of tomorrow, leaders who understand that their obligations go beyond the bottom line and should contribute to the greater good in society. 

Thus we train HEC students to understand the theme of purpose through experience and humanities. We help them place purpose at the heart of their student lives and professional projects. 

All HEC students follow a curriculum on purpose-linked topics. The students entering HEC Grande Ecole take our 200-hour mandatory course in Purpose & Sustainability throughout their school curriculum, including 100 hours on the theme of purpose and 100 hours on sustainability. This curriculum is credited as a core course.  

grand ecole curriculum


Developing tomorrow’s leaders goes beyond teaching them management techniques. We need to help grow the next generation of leaders by offering them multiple pathways and journeys to become actors of change in a purposeful way. Those pathways can be scholarly, experiential, collective, or introspective.

In all cases, purposeful leadership is a transformative process intrinsically linked to sustainability awareness and enhanced through hands-on learning initiatives. It needs knowledge on the key social and environmental challenges, but, above all, it needs an experiential program that marks a break from traditional teaching methods. In particular, purposeful leadership involves deep knowledge about oneself, our ways of expressing and communicating ourselves.


We teach to unleash human potential by placing purpose at the heart of leadership.


Our learning experience embraces new forms of teaching and learning, using flipped classroom and mentoring, coaching and sharing, introspection, and role modeling rather than the traditional techniques used as a toolbox. It also places humanities and social sciences at the heart of the journey.

We are teaching with the aim that business and capitalism massively contribute to social and economic development, as well as to individual fulfillment. We teach to unleash human potential by placing purpose at the heart of leadership.