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The S&O Institute offers a wide range of courses and programs at all degree levels. Beyond this catalogue, it is working to integrate, purposeful leadership, sustainability and societal issues in core courses.  

Students for Sustainability @ HEC

Master in Management Grande Ecole program

Here are some examples of the courses that students can choose during their studies at HEC Paris regardless of their specialization:

All of the students who take part in the Master in Management (MiM) Grande Ecole program at HEC Paris follow modules related to the thematics of Purpose & Sustainability.

The urgency of environmental and social issues questions and even distresses our students. They are aware that economic activity is part of the problem, but also that it can be part of the solution, provided that we have the courage to rethink the role of business in society and the purpose of each individual's work.

This is the objective of the "Commitment" track, followed by all first-year students at HEC Paris. This track is at the heart of our mission: to help the future leaders grow by encouraging them to reflect on their commitment to society and the planet, the meaning of their work, and the role and responsibility of organizations. Our mission is also to enlighten this personal reflection with a deep understanding of environmental, social, and societal issues both based on scientific foundations and personal experience.

Discover the Commitment track for the L3

The Académies are offered to students in their first and second year of the Grande Ecole program. They have a strong "on the field" dimension which allows participants to fully discover a business sector or a profession.

A new academy on circular economy was launched in January 2021. The objectives of this program are as follows:

  • Understand the richness of the circular economy concept, its stakes and implications at different scales (states, territories, companies, individuals)
  • Develop a critical perspective on the main limitations of the circular economy as it is applied today and consider ways to improve it
  • Become familiar with different analysis tools used to implement a circular economy approach (life cycle analysis, material flow measurement)
  • Meet with circular economy actors in order to understand the practical challenges in different sectors and professions
  • Initiate a systemic reflection on how the principles of the circular economy can be applied to a territory

This Academy is open to all first and second year HEC Paris Grande Ecole students, as well as participants from academic partners. This 3-week program is taught in French.


Numerous elective courses are S&O topics related. Here are a few:


The course is designed to provide an overview of the profound cultural evolutions which are underway in society and in the world of business, and which are driven by the necessity for organizations to engage in today’s social and environmental issues.  
The course sessions will explore the development of the new relationship between organizations and society, based on purpose, social contribution and consideration for the common good. French and international case studies will be studied to support the theory.  
The program will offer students a practical and concrete approach to rising notions of purposeful business, conscious capitalism and meaningful communication, and the opportunity to deepen their perspectives on some the most pressing issues of our time.  

Language: English


This course is an introduction to social issues and public policy analysis. Beginning with the analysis of social protection systems, the course will end with the issue of homelessness. It will address the issues of inequality, pensions, health insurance, family policies and social models.
The sessions aim to provide students with information, data and references on contemporary social developments and policies. With a triple prism: French, European, global.

Language: French

Businesses are currently facing important and accelerated transformations and challenges, including geopolitical, technological, social, societal and environmental changes. Understanding and anticipating these trends is probably a condition to remain performant, although some “blackswans” may appear that they could not even imagine.
How to manage the integration and the tensions sustainability challenges inevitably create between the traditional profit objective and the new socio-environmental objectives and society’s expectations? Can these challenges that are very often seen as constraints, become business opportunities? How to invent new business models that radically decrease their negative externalities and even create positive ones ? How to even transform classical companies ? These are some of the questions we will explore during the course.  

Language: English


The aim of the Inclusive & Business Certificate is to contribute to training a new generation of managers, aware of societal challenges and aspiring to be part of the solution, regardless of their professional activity.

The objectives of HEC Paris and its partners through this Certificate are:

  • To train students in innovative business approaches that reduce poverty, by offering new economic models in both developed and developing countries;
  • To investigate new ways of co-creation and distribution of wealth to reduce poverty;
  • To help participants acquire key questioning skills on the role of business in society;
  • To allow students to incorporate their valuable experience in humanitarian associations into their professional life.

The objective is not necessarily for all students to work in Social Business, but for them to acquire an awareness of the importance of SB in their field of work.

The Inclusive & Social Business Certificate includes courses that examine Inclusive and Social Business themes and study the involvement of business in the fight against poverty, complementing students' main fields of study, and a hands-on experience in a business, structure of social integration, or project of social entrepreneurship involved in fighting poverty.

It is open to HEC Grande Ecole students as a part of their 3rd year program, MSc and MBA students, and case-by-case to external students and professionals.

VIDEO of the I&SB Certificate

More about the I&SB Certificate

The Energy and Finance Certificate is designed for students who have a strong interest in the economics of energy, energy-related financial issues, and climate change or who are willing to move to these sectors for a career.

Courses are Energy (such as Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, Coal & Power), Finance (such as Financing of Energy Infrastructures, Energy Contracts), Climate Change Issues and Greentechs Development, Energy Strategies

More about the E&F Certificate

ISB Social Business Certificate with E.Faber

MSc in Sustainability & Social Innovation

This Master is designed as an innovative learning ecosystem that will equip students with up-to-date knowledge, practices, methods, leadership skills, and the mindset necessary to rethink, innovate, and shape sustainable business in the world of tomorrow.

Its learning goals:

  • Provide students with knowledge about and skills to apply up-to-date tools for doing sustainable business worldwide
  • Enable students to challenge existing practices in a constructive and solution-oriented manner
  • Empower students to be leadership role models
  • Encourage students to strive for economic and social impact
  • Assist students in designing their individual meaningful career path


More on the SASI Master

In collaboration with Master HEC X-Entrepreneur, SASI students have the opportunity, in teams, to meet as many inspiring and innovative changemakers actors as it is possible in one day: associations, Funds, Entrepreneurs, Incubators, and so on. The fields covered depend on the participants’ interests.

This is a great opportunity to have the big picture of the social entrepreneurship ecosystem in Paris.

The SASI Ideas Festival is a three-week introduction designed to define what is sustainability? what is social innovation? and what identify the stakes that are associated to them.

During this Ideas Festival, students meet with a wide array of actors that focus on SASI-related issues and discuss a broad range of topics. The objective is to introduce sustainability and other key terms, concepts and ideas that will be omnipresent throughout the year.

These presentations, debates, discussions and exercises are also meant to arouse participants' curiosity and help them identify the topic(s) that they will explore further in their thesis and/or business project and/or in one of the class projects.

ARTICLE SASI Ideas Festival: four questions for Jeremy Ghez

SASI 15 anniversary June 2018

MBA program

Every day at the HEC Paris MBA, students learn how to think critically, challenge the status quo, and collaborate with people very different from themselves. Its curriculum combines academically-challenging courses with leadership development and experiential learning.

In September 2018, the MBA program launched a brand new specialization track "Sustainable and Disruptive Innovation". Please find more information below!

Enormous challenges and deep transformations such as global warming, changing global powers, resource depletion and technological disruptions are shaping what businesses can and cannot do. As a result, developing radically innovative, sustainable and impactful business models is becoming an increasingly central preoccupation for executives whose expertise in sustainability is more and more valued by firms.

The Sustainable and Disruptive Innovation Specialization addresses this preoccupation. It empowers participants to become a game-changer by providing the tools and the mindset to implement changes in business and innovation. The specialization opens a wide range of opportunities in fields such as consulting and impact investing, as well as in more traditional fields and high-impact industries such as energy and cleantech.


Track Content 2020-2021

  • Backbone
  • Climate Change Finance
  • Crisis (and opportunities)
  • Social Responsible Investing
  • Strategically Sustainable
  • Sustainable Operations Management
  • Triple Impact Innovation

Executive Education

In an environment, which the Covid-19 crisis has made even more uncertain, volatile, and complex, companies need autonomous and responsible leaders and managers, who are able to share common values and a strategic vision that promotes collective intelligence, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

Aimed at senior managers or executives who already have or wish to prepare for a strategic decision-making role within their company, this program enables to customize one's learning journey by offering a choice of 6 GEMM Majors, which share the same objective of developing a real dynamic of value creation for all the stakeholders with whom the company interacts: customers, of course, whether internal or external, but also shareholders, employees, suppliers, and other key private or public partners, while at the same time respecting and promoting the sustainable development of the natural and social environment.


Organizations are currently undergoing profound, rapid and continuous change. Companies are no longer just a source of profit, they are also the focal point of unprecedented environmental, technological, economic, social and human changes, which they must take into account in order to meet the new requirements of sustainability. This major is aimed at managers and executives who are in charge of transformation projects and who will have to integrate tomorrow's major challenges, manage change, modernize organizations, and reinvent ways of collaboration in order to achieve greater economic, societal, and environmental efficiency.


In order to meet the economic, social and environmental challenges, which are very specific to the African continent, the challenge of this Major is to define the leadership approaches that will lead to sustainable economic innovation and that will have a positive impact on the environment, society and individuals. This program was co-constructed with AFD and two African academic institutions (UM6P in Morocco and UCT in South Africa). The aim of this, is to inspire participants with the innovative practices of key stakeholders in Africa, and to apply them in an individual project.


More on the GEMM program

This Major is open to all Executive MBA participants. Its main objectives are:

  • Understand the complexities of dealing with low income communicates
  • Discover and analyze new business models that can create financial, social, and environmental value
  • Foster a culture of creativity, strategic innovation, and leadership by applying sustainable innovation learning in all organizations

Please find here more information on the dedicated webpage.

This specialization is aimed at executives and senior managers working or planning to work in industries and services where energy production and consumption can have significant consequences on the corporate bottom line. It addresses the need for leaders to develop a comprehensive and strategic view of the energy industry and to understand its opportunities, operational challenges and the emergence of a growing renewable energy industry.

Please find here more information on the dedicated webpage

Summer Schools

Two summer schools are proposed:

Poverty remains a strong reality in the developing world, even in countries which experience high growth rates. It is also on the rise in many – if not all – developed countries. To fight poverty, philanthropic action, public authorities and international institutions have shown their limits. Quite the opposite is the situation of forward-looking firms, which develop creative market based solutions to alleviate poverty, sometimes in partnership with civil society and public authorities. Social enterprises with innovative business models are emerging worldwide, and an increasing number of established firms have realized that it is in their own interest to develop inclusive business models.

In this innovative summer program supported by the Movement for Social*Business Impact, we examine:

the set of reasons that prompt firms to contribute to poverty alleviation,
the innovative business models that they adopt when fighting poverty and
how firms can actually transform themselves when seeking to become more inclusive and sustainable.

We also examine the pivotal role of social entrepreneurs and “intrapreneurs” inside large multinationals, both in emerging and developed countries. Finally, we study innovative ways to finance these initiatives and to market them.

The Summer School is designed for non-HEC students who have a university-level or who recently graduated (from any discipline) seeking an academic challenge and multicultural learning experience.

It is a non-degree program.

I&SB Summer program presentation

The world is changing. Science has shown that the impacts of climate change are happening now, and faster than we had predicted, hitting populations from the Bahamas to Mozambique through to Australia, Western Europe, and the United States. Global temperatures are rising because of carbon emissions, largely caused by human activity.  International reports indicate that we must limit global warming to 1.5° C by the end of this century to avoid irreversible and catastrophic impacts. For this to occur, carbon dioxide emissions need to decline by about 45 percent by 2030 and reach net zero in 2050. While the goal is within reach, it requires urgent and unprecedented social and economic transformation, which will lead to a radical redesign of the way we live, travel and do business.

At the end of this module, participants can expect to have acquired a good command of sustainable issues, climate and energy policies as well as geopolitics of climate and resources. They will have an in-depth understanding of the new energy price formation mechanisms, which are introduced by climate change and carbon pricing policies.

They will also have an understanding of how corporations are all affected by climate change and how their access to capital markets and their ratings are being impacted and challenged by new energy business models and socio-economic shifts.

The Summer School program includes interactive lectures, class exercises and tutoring sessions corresponding to case studies that participants address in groups and defend at the end of the course.
It is a non-degree program.

Business & Climate Change Summer Program presentation