Impact on society
The mission of our business school needs to be reconsidered in order to help redesign economic and financial models. HEC Paris must be among the leading institutions who are thinking about the evolution of capitalism and corporate management models.
2024 projects for society
- Further action for the inclusive economy
The new Social and Inclusive Business Institute will help reaffirm our role as bridge-builder in the field or research, between researchers and practitioners. We will recruit internationally-renowned professors, develop new training programs and support companies’ transformations with respect to the inclusive economy.
- Making purpose a central part of a new capitalism
Our mission is to train tomorrow’s leaders, who understand that their responsibilities extend beyond financial results, in order to contribute to the well-being of society as a whole. We believe that to create a new form of acceptable, shared capitalism, business leaders must take into account all the components of their environment.
The “Purpose & Leadership” Institute, which will be created through the Joly Family Chair, will position the school as a globally recognized center of excellence for the study and dissemination of purposeful leadership within companies
- Speaking out about the economic issues at stake in climate polic
In light of unprecedented climate change issues, HEC has a twofold duty – it must contribute to redesigning economic development models through research, while preparing tomorrow’s leaders to take on the responsibilities that await them. As the HEC student manifesto, “Rise for Climate,” signed by more than 1,500 students in 2019, reminds us: “Business as usual” is no longer enough!
- Exemplifying the school of entrepreneurship and innovation
In light of the growing number of students on campus who dream of starting their own businesses and HEC Paris’ mission to contribute to developing an entrepreneurial spirit within companies, we wish to consolidate our leadership in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Our motto, “Learn to dare,” perfectly illustrates our expertise in this area. While the HEC Entrepreneurs program has been training generations of innovators for over forty years, entrepreneurship and innovation now play an important role in all the school’s programs. HEC Paris’ location on the Saclay Plateau and its high-value added technological environment give the school a decisive advantage when it comes to developing multidisciplinary projects with high potential for innovation.
Achievements already made possible through donations
HEC Paris’ mission is to train the leaders of tomorrow, who understand that their responsibilities go beyond the bottom line and contribute to the greater good in society. Linking employees’ search for meaning with the company’s goals is a key challenge for the future. This has been a strategic priority at HEC Paris for more than 10 years, through the interdisciplinary Society & Organizations Center. With the creation of the “Joly Family Chair in Purposeful Leadership” thanks to Hubert Joly’s (H.81) exceptional donation, since followed by 9 donors, the School has been able to introduce a completely new pedagogical program from the start of the September 2019 academic year, which will run throughout each student’s schooling.
A program to know yourself better and to work together for the common good
By Cécile de Lisle, Executive Director of the Purposeful Leadership Chair
"This year saw the launch of a program designed to help Grande École students, during their four years of studies, to focus on what makes sense to them in their relationships with others, their professional project and the company’s corporate purpose. There were three stages during the first year of this program, allowing students to experiment, take a step back and explore these issues in greater depth.
1 / Experimenting in Mont Saint-Michel, Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan and Chamonix
Even before the new first-year students set foot on campus, they met for four days in Mont Saint Michel, Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan and Chamonix. They were asked to experiment with the issues of meaning through role-play situations that encouraged them to question themselves (supported by professional coaches), to excel as a team (for example, in simulations of combat operations with young officers) or to question the corporate purpose of companies (by learning about the purpose of local business leaders).
Social and environmental issues were also brought to life for the students, especially during their unforgettable experience learning about the retreat of the glacier in Chamonix and hearing insights from leading climatologists.
2 / A new perspective, thanks to exceptional testimonials
After visiting these exceptional places, meaning finds expression in exceptional men and women. The leaders mentioned below came to meet the students to recount how, in all circumstances and despite the conflicting demands of a given economic environment, they have tried to be themselves, to be with their teams and be faithful to their corporate mission. The students appreciated the sincerity and depth of the testimonials provided, including those from Antoine Frérot (CEO Veolia Environnement), Hubert de Boisredon (CEO Armor), Antoine Lemarchand (CEO Nature et Découvertes), Christopher Guérin (CEO Nexans), and Emery Jacquillat (CEO Camif Matelsom).
3 / in-depth, in touch with reality and in a sustainable way
Once these questions had been asked, the students chose to explore in greater depth the one that was of particular interest to them. This exercise, informed by the use of the humanities and social sciences, was rooted in the real-life experiences of the companies and their employees, who hosted the students and allowed them to ask questions about their corporate purpose and the meaning of their actions. These discussions have become high-quality dissertations on subjects as varied as taking vulnerabilities into account or the inversion of hierarchy in companies, the best of which were recognized by Denis Machuel (CEO Sodexo).
Finally, the students learned about the environmental and social issues that are essential to reinventing a company and harnessing its potential for the common good. A rewarding first year on a program that the students will follow throughout their studies, learning how to bring a human dimension to business."
The aim of the “Sustainability & Supply Chain Analytics” Chair, created with the support of CMA CGM, is to create high-level academic teaching in sustainable development and supply chains. The Chair is headed by Sam Aflaki, a professor in the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management. It deals with CSR issues in supply chains.
To support companies in becoming more sustainable, Nexans, HEC and the Foundation have jointly launched the “Orchestrating Sustainable Business Transformation” chair led by Sebastian Becker, Associate Professor of Accounting and Management Control at HEC Paris. This 5-year partnership reflects the common ambition to support the transition to a more sustainable world.
This five-year partnership aims to improve firms’ understanding and progress in environmental and social challenges and to help build a fair transition towards an inclusive, decarbonized economy.
Thanks to this donation, the S&O Institute will significantly develop the research work of facultymembers working on the subject of “Purpose & Sustainability” and will strengthen their teaching on the Master in Management and MBA programs. This donation has also helped create the Impact Company Lab, a new laboratory for ESG subjects headed by Professor Marieke Huysentruyt.
Given the urgency of climate change and environmental challenges, HEC Paris is stepping up its action to support the ecological transition. In 2022, the School created the new Climate & Earth Center within the S&O Institute.
This new center is headed by Professor Daniel Halbheer, holder of the "Business Models for the Circular Economy FII Institute" Chair. Its activities are divided into three parts: “Think”, “Teach” and “Act”. It already boasts several achievements, such as the Climate & Business Transition certificate, which immediately drew sixty students (“Teach”), and the first Climate Days event on the campus (“Act”).
The Center was also behind the Business Schools for Climate Leadership Alliance (BS4CL), an alliance of eight European business schools which aim is to help present and future leaders tackle climate change.