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Faculty & Research

Sustainability & Organizations Institute Sustainability & Organizations Institute

The Sustainability & Organizations Institute (S&O) is an interdisciplinary institute at HEC Paris whose members study and teach about the contemporary challenges faced by organizations and how these organizations influence society.

Its three pillars of research, teaching and action give rise to the motto of our Institute: Think, Teach, Act for an inclusive and sustainable world!

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


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in the world is leaving many people confused, ill-equipped, and disoriented, as many old rules and skills are seen as outdated or ineffective.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 Sustainability & Organizations Institute is an interdisciplinary Institute at HEC Paris that brings together over 60 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 Sustainability & 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.


Download the S&O presentation

S&O staff and organization



Leading with purpose for an inclusive and sustainable world





SASI Opening Seminar 2023
15 Years of Social Business at HEC Paris
François Gemenne on the Planetary Bounderies Class


photo event escp x hec
Paris, January 16, 2024 — A groundbreaking discussion unfolded in Paris as part of the ongoing efforts to leverage Social Economy Science for sustainable societal change. The event, co-organized by the...
photo de groupe uk house event
In a recent high-profile conference organized by the S&O Institute and the HEC UK House in London on January 23, 2024, academics and businesses shed light on the complex reality of forced migration and...
Drapeaux Paris2024 x HEC Paris x CMA CGM
Students in the Sustainability and Social Innovation Master's program at HEC Paris were able to reflect - thanks to the expertise of the CMA CGM group, Official Partner in logistics solutions for Paris...
Sens & Leadership - Speakers
At a time when young business school graduates are expressing a lack of purpose and a growing concern for the world’s major challenges, an increasing number of them aspire to combine professional success...
Photo issue de l'article de Forbes
In the ever-evolving business landscape, the fusion of innovation and sustainability is paramount. The 3rd edition of "Reinvent Your Business Model with Odyssey 3.14" is enriched with new recent examples...
Image des speakers de l'événement De Gaulle Fleurance
As the debate intensifies and we prepare for a veritable revolution in the field of non-financial reporting with the European CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), the S&O Institute has...
photo montage de groupe des étudiants et intervenants SASI
Going back to school for the 93 students of the Master in Sustainability and Social Innovation (SASI) 2023-2024 cohort means getting real about the world’s challenges. Climate change, decarbonization...
At the onset of the new academic year, HEC students were granted the exceptional opportunity to engage with distinguished speakers, sustainability experts, and CEOs who generously shared their wealth of...
MOOC Become a changemaker - vignette
How can you engage in an impact-oriented work and contribute to the ecological and social transformation of your country? To democratize impact careers around the world, HEC and Ticket for Change are...
Montage photo des speakers de "companionship for purposeful career"
Inaugurated in 2021 and supported by the Joly Family Chair on Purposeful Leadership, this atypical course offers a unique experience between an alumnus or an alumna and a student in the final year at HEC...
Signature de la collaboration entre Mazars et Hec Paris
Extra-financial reporting, ESG indicators, extra-financial performance, responsible leadership: these are the themes of the new Mazars and HEC Paris "Purposeful Governance" Chair, supported by the Purpose...
Nexans signature - vignette pic
Nexans, a global group and key player in the energy transition, HEC Paris through its Society & Organizations Institute and the HEC Foundation have jointly launched the "Orchestrating sustainable business...
20th Anniversary of the SASI Master Vignette
The Master in Sustainability & Social Innovation of HEC Paris was created in 2003, and was the first Master in Sustainability in a Business School, in France. This year, it celebrates its 20th anniversary...
lead image- galerie
Phasing out fossil fuels, challenging public policy, debating the implications for vulnerable populations of the transition to renewables – and highlighting some success stories. These were just some of...
“How experimental research could help real world organizations address concrete social challenges”. This was the ambitious objective set by HEC’s first-ever Inclusive Economy (IE) Day, attended by...
Rodolphe Durand at the The Why Project vignette
"Taking up the challenge of an effective, efficient and sustainable Purpose (“Raison d'Être”)" was the theme of the 2nd “Grand Forum de la Raison d'Être” organized by The Why Project on April 21 at the...
Purpose day
Philanthro-Lab was the appropriate setting for HEC Paris’ first-ever Purpose Day. The five-hour event was devoted to the research projects conducted by the S&O Purpose Center and Purposeful Leadership...
The 46th edition of the HEC Foundation Awards once again highlighted the cutting-edge excellence of the school’s research at all levels. 11 prizes in nine categories were awarded to academics and students...
Nobel laureate Esther Duflo called on HEC Paris students to do their part as a lobbying and political force in creating an international taxation system to finance the fight against climate change...
One of the world’s most successful short-only hedge funders, Fahmi Quadir, was the keynote speaker at a January 26 research workshop entitled “Frauds in Capital Markets: the Role of Short Sellers”. It was...
Vignette HEC COP to COP Recap News
Last year has been marked by two crucial international conferences to decide the future of the planet and life on it. The U.N. climate change conference, COP27, at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, which closed on...
Miniature News ESG report
What Gets Measured: Social factors coverage in corporate ESG frameworks is a new report published by Professors Marieke Huysentruyt, Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, Leandro Nardi, from the S&O Inclusive...
HEC Paris - SASI Ideas Festival - Sept. 2022
HEC’s 2022-2023 academic year kicked off with talks by a host of outstanding guest speakers largely devoted to the world’s most pressing environmental and societal issues. In the context of geopolitical...
signal Forbes - vignette
From August 21 to 24, all the new students from the Master in Management were in Chamonix for the "Purpose and Sustainability" seminar. The objective? To enable them to understand the challenges of the...
One of the most keenly anticipated annual research gatherings returned to its 100% in person format on May 13, as HEC Paris hosted top academics to debate over topics as diverse as migration, business...
Vignette article R.durand
HEC Professor Rodolphe Durand and Veolia CEO Antoine Frérot recently published “A Broader Vision of Business: Toward a New Narrative”, the English adaptation of their 2021 work “L’entreprise de demain”...
Climate Days News recap - vignette
The need to tackle climate change has created massive challenges for businesses and policymakers. The Climate Days organized on the HEC campus on May 30th and 31th brought together actors from the...
Change Now - May 2022 - Global View
On June 7, 2022, the HEC Alumni Association officially releases its most ambitious publication yet on biodiversity and business. Led by Christine Rodwell (H.92), David Vaillant (H.98) and a team of young...
Livre en quete de sens vignette
The book "En quête de sens: dialogue entre dirigeants et futurs dirigeants" (In search of meaning: dialogue between leaders and future leaders), published on March 16 by Dunod, is a choral work in which...
HEC Talks with Alan JOPE, CEO of Unilever - April 13, 2022
Unilever CEO since 2019, Alan Jope has stamped his leadership qualities on the consumer goods business by facing head-on the world’s social and environmental challenges. The charismatic Scotsman was the...
Daniel Halbheer, Associate Professor of Marketing and holder of the FII Institute chair on “Business Models for the Circular Economy” at HEC Paris, has his research on Carbon Footprinting and Pricing...
"United in diversity" is a new series of video portraits of entrepreneurs and change makers, proposed by the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center and the Society & Organizations Center of HEC Paris, and...
Rodolphe Durand & Denis Gromb - The Case Centre 2022 Awards
For the first time in its 32-year history, the Case Centre, a leading independent case-publishing platform, has rewarded not one, but two, HEC academics in the same year for their outstanding case work in...
vignette BMFSDGS
In the wake of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), HEC Professor of strategy Laurence Lehmann-Ortega along with her academic team shed a new light on companies and initiatives working in...
Immeubles avec des balcons remplis de plantes vertes.
An expert in the social and environmental aspects of running a business for almost two decades, Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot - Associate Professor of Strategy & Business Policy at HEC Paris, and also...
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 & Organizations Institute (S&O). In a wide-ranging Q&A led by S&O...

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