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Impact on society

impact societyThe mission of our business school needs to be reconsidered in order to help redesign economic and financial models. HEC Paris must be among the leading institutions who are thinking about the evolution of capitalism and corporate management models. 

What will your donations help us to achieve?

We all have a wide-scale responsibility to act urgently and permitted. We need to hire researchers and design educational innovations to train all of our students. Bénédicte Faivre TavignotExecutive Director of the Society and Organizations Center (S&O), HEC Paris

2024 projects for society


  • Further action for the inclusive economy 

The new Social and Inclusive Business Institute will help reaffirm our role as bridge-builder in the field or research, between researchers and practitioners. We will recruit internationally-renowned professors, develop new training programs and support companies’ transformations with respect to the inclusive economy. 

  • Making purpose a central part of a new capitalism

Our mission is to train tomorrow’s leaders, who understand that their responsibilities extend beyond financial results, in order to contribute to the well-being of society as a whole. We believe that to create a new form of acceptable, shared capitalism, business leaders must take into account all the components of their environment.
The “Purpose & Leadership” Institute, which will be created through the Joly Family Chair, will position the school as a globally recognized center of excellence for the study and dissemination of purposeful leadership within companies

  • Speaking out about the economic issues at stake in climate polic

In light of unprecedented climate change issues, HEC has a twofold duty – it must contribute to redesigning economic development models through research, while preparing tomorrow’s leaders to take on the responsibilities that await them. As the HEC student manifesto, “Rise for Climate,” signed by more than 1,500 students in 2019, reminds us: “Business as usual” is no longer enough!

  • Exemplifying the school of entrepreneurship and innovation

In light of the growing number of students on campus who dream of starting their own businesses and HEC Paris’ mission to contribute to developing an entrepreneurial spirit within companies, we wish to consolidate our leadership in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Our motto, “Learn to dare,” perfectly illustrates our expertise in this area. While the HEC Entrepreneurs program has been training generations of innovators for over forty years, entrepreneurship and innovation now play an important role in all the school’s programs. HEC Paris’ location on the Saclay Plateau and its high-value added technological environment give the school a decisive advantage when it comes to developing multidisciplinary projects with high potential for innovation.

Your impact on entrepreneurship

Thank you for helping HEC to become a benchmark institution in terms of innovation and entrepreneurship and for helping to build this high energy institution. Inge Kerkloh-Devif Senior Executive Director - SVP HEC Paris Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center, HEC Paris

Achievements already made possible through donations

HEC Paris’ mission is to train the leaders of tomorrow, who understand that their responsibilities go beyond the bottom line and contribute to the greater good in society. Linking employees’ search for meaning with the company’s goals is a key challenge for the future. This has been a strategic priority at HEC Paris for more than 10 years, through the interdisciplinary Society & Organizations Center. With the creation of the “Joly Family Chair in Purposeful Leadership” thanks to Hubert Joly’s (H.81) exceptional donation, since followed by 9 donors, the School has been able to introduce a completely new pedagogical program from the start of the September 2019 academic year, which will run throughout each student’s schooling.

A program to know yourself better and to work together for the common good

By Cécile de Lisle, Executive Director of the Purposeful Leadership Chair

"This year saw the launch of a program designed to help Grande École students, during their four years of studies, to focus on what makes sense to them in their relationships with others, their professional project and the company’s corporate purpose. There were three stages during the first year of this program, allowing students to experiment, take a step back and explore these issues in greater depth.

1 / Experimenting in Mont Saint-Michel, Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan and Chamonix

Even before the new first-year students set foot on campus, they met for four days in Mont Saint Michel, Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan and Chamonix. They were asked to experiment with the issues of meaning through role-play situations that encouraged them to question themselves (supported by professional coaches), to excel as a team (for example, in simulations of combat operations with young officers) or to question the corporate purpose of companies (by learning about the purpose of local business leaders).

Social and environmental issues were also brought to life for the students, especially during their unforgettable experience learning about the retreat of the glacier in Chamonix and hearing insights from leading climatologists.

2 / A new perspective, thanks to exceptional testimonials

After visiting these exceptional places, meaning finds expression in exceptional men and women. The leaders mentioned below came to meet the students to recount how, in all circumstances and despite the conflicting demands of a given economic environment, they have tried to be themselves, to be with their teams and be faithful to their corporate mission. The students appreciated the sincerity and depth of the testimonials provided, including those from Antoine Frérot (CEO Veolia Environnement), Hubert de Boisredon (CEO Armor), Antoine Lemarchand (CEO Nature et Découvertes), Christopher Guérin (CEO Nexans), and Emery Jacquillat (CEO Camif Matelsom).

3 / in-depth, in touch with reality and in a sustainable way

Once these questions had been asked, the students chose to explore in greater depth the one that was of particular interest to them. This exercise, informed by the use of the humanities and social sciences, was rooted in the real-life experiences of the companies and their employees, who hosted the students and allowed them to ask questions about their corporate purpose and the meaning of their actions. These discussions have become high-quality dissertations on subjects as varied as taking vulnerabilities into account or the inversion of hierarchy in companies, the best of which were recognized by Denis Machuel (CEO Sodexo).

Finally, the students learned about the environmental and social issues that are essential to reinventing a company and harnessing its potential for the common good. A rewarding first year on a program that the students will follow throughout their studies, learning how to bring a human dimension to business."

Incorporated into the Purpose & Sustainability track, this new compulsory module has been designed to encourage 1st-year students to examine and challenge the CSR strategies of major multinationals, imagining ambitious new impact scenarios. The goal is for them to understand the proactive role that businesses can play in reducing negative externalities and generating positive impacts, as well as the importance of innovative business models and organizational models in achieving this goal.

Learn more about the S&O Center

In recent years, growing awareness of the urgent challenges posed by dwindling resources and climate change has highlighted the need to transition from a linear economy to a circular, resilient model. In order to better understand this process, and potential methods available for thoroughly transforming businesses, 28 third-year students have signed up to this brand-new program.

Learn more about the S&O Center

70 businesses with HEC connections, including 14 of the Foundation’s corporate partners, hosted 1st-year students working on their “purpose at work” dissertations as part of the Purposeful Leadership module, giving them the chance to compare their research with the realities of the working world. Thank you to the partners whose teams made this experiment possible, in particular: ACCENTURE - ALLEN & OVERY - BNP PARIBAS – BRED – CARTIER – EY – KERING - L'ORÉAL – LVMH – MICHELIN - NATIXIS – PwC – RENAULT - SOCIÉTÉ GÉNÉRALE

HEC Stand Up is the fruit of our institution’s historic commitment to equal opportunities and social mobility, coupled with continuous educational innovation in the interests of local communities and female entrepreneurs from all walks of life.

The mission is clear: to boost the autonomy and financial independence of women through entrepreneurship. Over the course of eight days, participants learn to rethink their approach to entrepreneurship, discovering the key steps to launching a thriving business and putting ideas into action!

With the support of BRED, the Bruno Roux de Bezieux Foundation (under the aegis of the HEC Foundation) and our alumni network, the program has been successfully expanded all over France, including the overseas territories. Our sincere thanks go to the Michelin Foundation, which has made a commitment to support training for 70 female entrepreneurs each year, and to René de Picciotto (H.64), who provided an opportunity to expand this initiative internationally for the first time, with a session in Italy.

Learn more

Supported by the McCall MacBain Foundation, CDL-Paris is a 9-month program aimed at start-ups developing technologies spun off from research. The lab brings together entrepreneurs, scientists and mentors in a structured support process, providing a unique opportunity for experimentation for the MBA students who also take part. HEC Paris is the first and only business school from mainland Europe to join forces with the Creative Destruction Lab.

CDL-Paris is now particularly focused on innovative sectors such as renewable energies, energy storage, infrastructure, transport, carbon capture and targeted initiatives for water, food and the oceans.

Learn more 

More information about supported projects for society at HEC

The second edition of Demo Day took place on Tuesday, June 7 at Station F. More than 500 people attended to listen to inspiring speakers, discover tomorrow's innovative solutions and meet the major...
Every year, the spring season marks the beginning of a new era, especially for entrepreneurs... And for a good reason: April marks the start of the new batch of the Incubateur HEC Paris, which gathers...
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...
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...
To celebrate the end of the academic year, the HEC Paris Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center showcased the finest entrepreneurial successes of its community via Demo Day, a unique TV show. Thanks to the...
HEC Paris - Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership
Best Buy Chairman and CEO Hubert Joly and his Alma Mater signed an agreement on July 4, creating HEC’s first-ever personally endowed Chair, devoted to purposeful leadership. The 1981 graduate, who was...
HEC Paris - Mont Saint-Michel - Purposeful Leadership - Sept. 2019
A year after creating the Joly Family Endowed Chair in Purposeful Leadership, HEC Paris launches its three-year sense and leadership program, destined for the entire HEC Grande Ecole 2019 intake. A...
cours les enjeux planétaires - vignette
For the first time this term, a new mandatory course, “The Planetary Boundaries,” is launching the academic journeys of first-year students in meaningful, enduring directions. Society & Organizations (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...
Licornes à HEC Paris
2022 is off to a great start! Out of four new unicorns announced by La French Tech, the HEC Paris entrepreneurial community is already celebrating two! Discover our six French companies with unicorn...