The HEC Foundation and HEC Paris, driven by the conviction that higher education has a key role to play in making the world a more peaceful place, have created “HEC Imagine Fellows”, a unique scholarship program intended for students from war-torn countries. The scheme was launched thanks to an exceptional donation from Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and joint-CEO of Mirakl and graduate of HEC Paris, and will welcome its first students to the school’s campus at the beginning of the 2022 academic year.
With Europe horrified at the realization that war has broken out once more on its doorstep, HEC Paris underlines its aim to build bridges between cultures by promoting peace and tolerance not just on its campus – home to over 100 nationalities – but also within wider society. HEC Paris is convinced that by encouraging diversity, inter-cultural understanding and tolerance among its students, it will be in a position to contribute to dialogue between peoples and create a little more peace in the world.
“HEC Imagine Fellows” was founded in October 2021 following Adrien Nussenbaum’s commitment to fund studies at HEC Paris for talented students from countries in conflict. Scholarship students are selected not just according to their excellent academic profiles, but also based on the interest they show in inter-cultural understanding and their commitment to promoting peace.
The beneficiaries are outstanding students in their home countries and will act as Business & Peace ambassadors on the HEC Paris campus. They will lead practical initiatives, such as setting up voluntary associations and organizing conferences on the theme.
At the same time, an academic Business & Peace program will be developed to explore how the private sector can contribute to maintaining peace and stability in conflict zones or war-affected regions.
HEC Paris has set its sights on quickly funding the annual tuition of around ten deserving students from countries in conflict. To help this project grow, Adrien Nussenbaum, HEC Paris and the HEC Foundation hope to be able to count on harnessing the generosity of other donors.
“HEC Paris' mission is to make a positive impact and contribute to a more prosperous, more inclusive and more sustainable world”, explains Eloïc Peyrache, dean and director general of HEC Paris. “Our school is a genuine laboratory for diversity, and it has a pivotal role to play in building a more peaceful world. Imagine is a project that we’ve been maturing for a number of months and which is particularly relevant in today’s tragic context. It brings hope, putting education and youth at the very heart of the solution”.
Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and joint-CEO of Mirakl, adds: “When companies can’t avoid conflict, they must do everything possible to repair the damage caused by war. Today more than ever, we have to strengthen the societal role of HEC Paris so that higher education becomes a venue for dialogue between peoples. The Business & Peace academic pathway and the scholarship program for students from conflict zones are only the first steps that will help us imagine a world where everyone is free to live in peace”.