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Our Professors give us their reasons for hope in 2021

At the dawn of this New Year 2021, HEC Paris professors reflect upon the challenges of the past year and tell us why all is not lost despite the current health crisis. They express their reasons for hope and optimism, as we embrace a new future in the post-pandemic world. 

2020 was the year of online pedagogy for many universities and made inequality in students’ opportunities more visible than ever: Many students had to learn from their households with unequal access to resources, such as space and reliable internet connection. Inequality in education translates to inequality in labor market opportunities. Fair and inclusive human capital development is key to universities’ and firms’ success. In 2021, higher education institutions and their partners should reflect on how to build an inclusive learning experience for students from all backgrounds

Federica De Stefano, Professor, Management & Human Resources Department


Cities, where a large number of us is living, concentrates competences, skills and knowledge to create jobs and value. Yet, one of our biggest challenges is the reduction of our carbon footprint and pollution emission. May 2021 be the year to be smart enough for configuring a sustainable way of life in cities based on modern governance, inclusiveness and collaboration, and a renewed way to create the common good.

Bertrand Quélin, Professor, Strategy & Business Policy, and Director of the Bouygues - HEC Paris "Smart City and the Common Good" Chair

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In the tradition of philosopher Baruch Spinoza, let us call upon our reason to control our fears and rekindle our desire for life in 2021. He said: "If you want life to smile upon you, bring it your good mood first". May optimism and hope guide the power of our reflection in this New Year!

Anne-Sophie Bayle-Tourtoulou, Professor, Marketing Department

Read about “The Neuro-Consumer” (Routledge, 2020)