On the 1st of October, under the framework of COP21, which is the sign of the institutional support from the French government, HEC Paris organized conferences, startup fairs, and workshops, in order to build and discuss business solutions to climate change.
The aim of the conference was to address various questions such as ‘How is climate change radically redefining business models and practices?’, ‘How can companies drive an ambitious and fast enough transition towards a low carbon or carbon neutral economy?’ and ‘How is the HEC Paris community committed to drive this cultural change?’
Throughout the day, students were able to take part in the numerous interactive workshops and panels that discussed topics such as Energy Transition, Green Finance and Carbon Pricing. These activities were planned and executed by a large team of MBA volunteers that were led by the Net Impact Team. The team invited companies such as Glowee, Treez and Ecoxia for a ‘start ups corner’, and a pitch event was also organized with a jury of alumni, who brainstormed sessions with MBA to solve specific start up business challenges. For Cécile Villette, the president of the Net Impact Club, the addition of start ups was a very useful part of the program: “Several participants and alumni told us that the start up forum gave a very good vibe to the event by showing very tangible solutions to fight climate change.”
The day ended with key note speeches from Jeremy Rifkin, author of ‘The Zero Marginal Cost Society’, as well as various HEC alumni such as Emmanuel Faber (CEO Danone) and Tristan Lecomte (Founder of Alter Eco and Pur Projet).
In all, the event was a big success because as Timo Marquez (MBA Class of 2016) put it, “It involved students from different programs and HEC alumni in the same place, which is something that doesn’t happen too often.”
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