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Society & Organizations Institute

HEC Summer School 2021: Geopolitics, Globalization and Climate Change at the heart of Business Strategy

In June, fifty students all over the world followed the summer school programs (100% online) on the S&O themes: “Geopolitics, Globalization and Business Strategy” and “Business and Climate Change”. Two weeks of intensive class to deepen their knowledge on the greatest challenges of our times.

S&O - picture - summer school - media

Professor Jeremy Ghez led the charge, opening the June 2021 HEC Paris Summer School with the mission to enable students to understand business strategy through the lens of geopolitics. The international class hailed from the US, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, India, among others, with the intention to learn from Professor Ghez and a team of expert speakers through dynamic discussions, study and teamwork. 

Ryan Berger
Ryan Berger

Program liaison Ryan Berger, a bachelor’s student from the University of Michigan (US) shared, “The concept of geopolitics alluded me for the longest time, but with Professor Ghez and the team of speakers, I realized just how significant understanding the international landscape is for businesses everywhere.

Professor Ghez stated, “The Geopolitics, Globalization and Business Strategy Summer Program lets participants broaden their horizons and consider how what happens beyond the market can affect their activities”. Berger added, “Without a doubt, the objective is achieved; This intensive program familiarizes participants with strategies to reduce risk and seize new opportunities in today’s ever-changing environment.

In Session 2 of the Summer School, Professor Jean-Michel Gauthier pursued learning opportunities for students with an innovative Summer School on “Business and Climate Change”. As Professor Gauthier explained, “The inextricable link between business and climate change provides an undisputable platform to deliver important content. Participants gain a command of sustainable issues, climate and energy policies and understand how corporations are impacted by climate change: essential learning for business leaders irrespective of their future careers.

Professor Jean-Michel Gauthier and fellow guest speakers - experts in their respective fields - enlightened students through real-life examples of unfolding environmental challenges. As recent university graduate from Trinity College, Emily O’Sullivan, shared, “The discussion surrounding energy was one of the most crucial aspects in the realm of corporations vs. climate change. Professor Gauthier and the wide array of guest speakers not only developed the current scenario in depth, but also instilled in us a wealth of solutions.

Emily O'Sullivan
Emily O’Sullivan

Study groups reunited students from different corners of the world, spanning China, Sweden, India, Croatia, and the United States to name a few. Final student presentations gave participants the opportunity to delve into topics such as Clean Mobility, Data Centers, Decarbonization, and Carbon Capture, ultimately presenting in-depth and well-researched cases under the guidance of Professor Gauthier. 

As Teaching associate (class liaison), Emily O’Sullivan shared, “While the two weeks flew by, there is no doubt that the opportunity presented by the Summer School will remain with us all as we venture further into the professional landscape and enact genuine change.”

Summer School Director, Elyse Michaels-Berger, added, “The goal of the HEC Paris Summer School is indeed to empower and equip students to face real-world issues so that they leave us armed to take on 21st challenges with confidence and know-how.


HEC Paris Summer School and Youth Programs

The Society & Organizations Institute on Sustainability

Climate and Earth Center