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As COP27 Gears Up, an HEC Student and an Academic Confront Points of View

The COP27 summit begins on November 6 in Sharm al Sheikh, Egypt, exactly a year after COP26 in Glasgow. A year is a long time and challenges have piled up: a world divided by war in Europe, where the world sees an acceleration of climate changes and global warming has beaten all modern records. In this light, Knowledge@HEC discusses the 12-day summit’s agenda and objectives with two guests: Igor Shishlov, Academic Co-Director for HEC’s Climate & Business Certificate; and Shiraz Moret-Bailly, co-president of Esp’R, an HEC student association devoted to sustainability and social economy.


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    2024 marks 20 years since the birth of social media. Since then, it has become a major communication force in the lives of teenagers’ lives - a 2024 Pew survey claims that 93% of American youth use it, for example. Unsurprisingly, research on its impact has followed suit. But just how reliable are the conclusions in this new field of studies? In April 2024 HEC professors Tina Lowrey and L.J. Shrum co-signed a research paper with their former doctoral student Elena Fumagalli (H18), showing conflicting findings on the negative and positive effects of social media on youth. They warn against major policies and lawsuits founded on inconclusive studies and contradictory scientific research. Professors Lowrey and Shrum share with Breakthroughs their empirical study to try to make sense of a subject matter inflaming public debate.
  • HEC Paris Honors Pioneer of Stakeholder Theory with Honorary Doctorate

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    Ever since he published “Strategic Management”, Edward Freeman has been at the forefront of a theory that stakeholders are interconnected. For his collective body of work, the economist from Darden School, Virginia, received an Honorary Doctorate from HEC Paris, adding his name to the 48 illustrious scholars on the HEC Honoris Causa list. The March 4 ceremony was followed by several thousand spectators, both live and on line. Freeman’s visit to the Jouy-en-Josas campus was the occasion to discuss his stakeholder vision with a prism of the 21st century. This is an exceptional Breakthroughs podcast, recorded for Knowledge@HEC. Find the written highlights on Knowledge@HEC.
  • AI Can Level Global Playing Field

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    Unlike the steam engine or the birth of the Internet, AI and LLMs (such as ChatGPT) do not need expensive hardware for access. Hence, a universalization which Carlos Serrano underlines in this wide-ranging podcast. He’s Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Economics in the Department of Economics and Decision Sciences at HEC Paris. With his colleague Professor Thomas Åstebro, he organized a groundbreaking AI & Entrepreneurship Workshop at HEC, inviting top researchers and business experts from different disciplines and backgrounds to discuss how to bridge the gap between research and business. Key points included the transformation of risk management for machines and how, in the words of Serrano, industry practitioners are generally thinking ahead of academics. That, and much more in this frank and often personal podcast exchange. Find the written highlights on Knowledge@HEC here.
  • New Odyssey 3.14 Adds Social Rights and Sustainability to Business Model

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    HEC Professors Laurence Lehmann Ortega and Hélène Muzikas have been working together for over 15 years on a business framework they call Odyssey 3.14. This strategy helps guide companies to better invest in business models that promote innovation and sustainability. The result is a book which entered its third edition in September, entitled “(Re)invent Your Business Model with Odyssey 3.14”. The two academics describe these three pillars and 14 directions which have evolved significantly in the past decades.
  • New Research Underlines Great Divide between E.U. and its Citizens

    50:34
    How can the E.U. respond to the growing clamor for more citizen participation in its institutions? In a wide-ranging podcast, the Jean Monnet Professor in EU Law, Alberto Alemanno, proposes a permanent European Citizens Assembly to bring E.U. voters and their representatives closer together. The HEC professor also explores how lobbies can become a force for promoting social change. He also points out structural problems within the E.U. which are stymying the continent’s youth. Finally, Alemanno’s research with fellow academic Elie Sung pinpoints the oft-neglected impact of lobbies on judicial courts by interest groups– which are having devastating effects on societal issues like women’s and LBGTQI+ rights. 
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    The FTX cryptocurrency scandal illuminates the critical caveats to the world of blockchains. Since December 2022 and the arrest of FTX founder Sam Bankman Fried, this affair has rocked the world of cryptocurrencies and the on-chain features that underpins its entire existence. It also reveals the impact of off-chain factors involved in blockchain operations. Recent research by professors Dane Pflueger (HEC Paris), Martin Kornberger (Vienna University) and Jan Mouritsen (Copenhagen Business School) sheds light on the FTX and other scandals that are unfolding. Their December 2022 publication in the European Accounting Review, explores the issues of governance, organizing, and trust that buttress blockchain accounting. Speaking from the HEC campus near Paris, Pflueger challenges the notion some have that blockchain technology does not need intermediaries like accountants to function.Read the summary on Knowledge@HEC here.
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    On the eve of the 11th annual D-Tea (promoting Dialogues between Theory, Experimental findings and Applications of decision-making, hence the acronym), we talk to its co-organizer Professor Itzhak Gilboa. Last year, Itzhak was ranked by Stanford University in the world’s top six theoretical economists. His main interest is in decision under uncertainty and decision models whereby uncertainty can’t be quantified. That is called non-Bayesian decision models – as opposed to the Bayesian approach which assigns probabilities based on experience or best guesses. Itzhak questions these axioms, or self-evident truths. He believes his research can help answer unforeseen crises, called black swans, like the war in Ukraine, health pandemics or the climate crisis.
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    HEC Associate Professor Guillaume Vuillemey explores how the maritime shipping industry has evolved in the past 40 years to systematically evade its corporate responsibilities. In his groundbreaking research Vuillemey reveals how this industry – which handles over 80% of global trade flows – uses flags of convenience and limited liability to flout international and moral law. This has repercussions on the environment and basic human rights. In a long interview, Vuillemey outlines his approach of this industry and its links to what some are calling the “dark side of globalization”. The exchange is followed by an on-the-ground report from ChangeNOW 2023 Summit on its analysis to the shipping sector.Read the summary on Knowledge@HEC.