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7 ways HEC Paris is helping to positively impact the world of tomorrow

So you’re going to get a world-class degree -- but what then?  Alongside a top education comes the ultimate challenge of finding meaningful work and ultimately having an impact for good.  As you consider different University programs, you might be asking: Will the degree and work I’m doing matter?

Girl on Bike HECParis

Here at HEC Paris we’re challenging our students to leverage their potential for good and learn how their decisions have a larger impact on society.  Initiatives across programs tackle social issues by integrating sustainability, inclusion, and human potential through all programs and courses. We all can play a part in major social issues to become changemakers and HEC Paris aims to equip you with the resources you’ll need to make a genuine impact.

Changing the world is no short-order, and this is how we’re engaging daily:

1. Society & Organizations Institute

Founded in 2009, the S&O Institute is a collaborative effort of over 50 professors and educators to address modern challenges of our lifetimes: climate change, social inequality, and tapping human potential are at the top of the list. Their ultimate purpose is to “reinvent business through promoting sustainability and unleashing human potential”. This institute is at the heart of HEC’s values as they are making tangible steps to shape tomorrow’s sustainable businesses and inclusive economies.

2. Purposeful Leadership Program

At the start of each school year participants travel across France in teams to discover what it means to lead purposefully.  Purposeful Leadership is a fundamental part of HEC Paris' mission to shape the leaders of tomorrow who understand that their obligations go beyond the bottom line and contribute to the greater good in society. A pioneering effort aimed at sensitizing participants to values that have become crucial to the world of business and entrepreneurship.

3. HEC Incubator

Roughly 65 startups at a time are given support and access to numerous experts and professors from HEC Paris to help companies accelerate their development. The HEC Paris Incubator enabled student-led project ProTeen to compete at the 2019 Hult Prize Final, sponsored by Bill Clinton.  THe Hult Prize is “the Nobel Prize for students”, and one of the most illustrious awards students worldwide can win. ProTeen’s idea to transform Africa’s waste into sustainable feed and fertilizer, was developed and refined with the HEC Incubator’s support. 

4. The MSc in Sustainability and Social Innovation and Inclusive and Social Business Certificate

The “Innovative Business Model Class”, taught by Laurence Lehmann Ortega, has built a database of at least 50 student-created business models.  Each of these businesses have one thing in common: they generate a profit while having a positive impact on their ecosystems.  The MSc in Sustainably and Social Innovation at HEC Paris is where award-winning social business ideas like Fish Your Food and Bee Healthy were born.

5. Impact Career Fair

Students across all HEC Paris programs have the opportunity to learn about careers that impact society each year in February.  Social entrepreneurship is an exciting and developing new field that has had impact across sectors from start-ups through to major banking companies. Last year we featured 14 different organizations to our campus to network and inspire our students.

6. HEC Paris Earth Week

Every year in February we turn our attention to our planet with a week-long conference and workshops to address issues such as sustainable development and ecological transition. Students are challenged to reconsider the way they consume as they tackle specific issues like food, water energy, and customer buying habits.  We explore different workshops, such as second-hand buying and a DIY beauty products.

7. Campus Life

Ecology and sustainability are a part of daily life on campus. In fact, this year HEC Paris was ranked as #1 as the most ecological business school by the French newspaper le Figaro. Considering the installation of beehives, a vegetable garden on campus, recycling receptacles, solar panels, and push to zero-waste on campus…  We encourage students to discover ways in which they can have a positive impact on the environment.