Purpose & Sustainability Conferences: Back-to-School Highlights
At the onset of the new academic year, HEC students were granted the exceptional opportunity to engage with distinguished speakers, sustainability experts, and CEOs who generously shared their wealth of experiences and knowledge. The profound insights and inspiration derived from their talks are far too valuable to remain undisclosed, and we have captured them for your benefit!
We now present a recap of the noteworthy conferences held in the Amphi Blondeau on our campus in late August and September, all centered around the themes of Sustainability, Purpose, and Society.
Emphasizing the pressing global challenges we currently confront, the first-year students, as part of their "Planetary Boundaries" course in the "Engagement Track," were treated to three pivotal conferences:
The Challenges of the 21st Century: Systemic Issues
Presented by Arthur Keller, a specialist in systemic risks and resilience strategies.
The analysis of systemic challenges and risks presented by Arthur Keller is chilling and could lead you to a sense of resignation. However, what he called for among students is mobilization: "Save what can still be saved!" How? Through "inspiring narratives that convey clear-eyed hope" and collective resilience strategies.
Water, a Major Challenge in the Face of a Changing Climate
Delivered by Emma Haziza, an accomplished hydrologist with a Ph.D. from the Ecole des Mines de Paris and a dedicated researcher-entrepreneur.
Water has become a geopolitical issue, the war has already begun.
Climate and Migration
Led by François Gemenne, a distinguished HEC professor in climate geopolitics, coordinator of the foundational course "Planetary Challenges," and academic director of the HEC SASI Master's program, and an author of the IPCC report.
In addition, to provide a comprehensive exploration of the theme of purpose and leadership within the track, two exceptional conferences on mission, purpose, and leadership were featured: Purpose and Leadership.
Sens et Leadership
Laurène Tallon, Founder of Gobi, Geneviève Ferone, Co-founder of Prophil, et Hubert de Boisredon, CEO of Armor
Navigating with Purpose
Christopher Guerin, the CEO of Nexans.
We have made disruptive choices to overcome crises and demonstrated that austerity, along with a form of downsizing, can be a source of profitability. Through his presentation, Christopher Guérin aimed to show students that there is a path to generate financial performance with a focus on restraint and managing the paradoxical demands between profits and the environment. "A company listed on the stock exchange can achieve economic outperformance without sacrificing its commitment to the environment.," he proclaimed to the future leaders.
A listed company can achieve economic outperformance without sacrificing its commitment to the environment.
The power of imagination
Rob Hopkins, pioneer in sustainability and the founder of the Transition Towns movement.
To conclude on an optimistic and inspiring note, we had the immense pleasure of hosting Rob Hopkins for the first HEC talk of the academic year.
He gave a call to action to reclaim and unleash our collective imagination, told through the stories of individuals and communities around the world who are doing it now, as we speak, and witnessing often rapid and dramatic change for the better. His insights left students profoundly inspired, envisioning a future that is both resilient and empowered.
What if everything turns out OK. Going to 2030 should be a daily practice for all of us, because every time you do it, it becomes stronger and clearer somehow.