Les rendez-vous de la Création : Creativity and Emotion - A Masterclass by Nicolas Degennes

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  • Nicolas Degennes ©GivenchyNicolas Degennes ©Givenchy

Creativity and Emotion: A Masterclass with Givenchy’s Nicolas Degennes

In 2020, Nicolas Degennes will be celebrating 20 years as the Art Director of Givenchy Beauty. Often cited as the genius behind the brand's makeup division, in person he presents himself with a visible balance of confidence and humility. In fact, it is what he advised Sciences Po students throughout his masterclass: “Be honest with yourself - don’t be too proud, don’t be too humble.”

As he opened his masterclass on 13 November 2019, in a lecture hall filled with eager-eyed students, the Makeup and Colour maestro introduced himself, stating: “I’m Nicolas Degennes, I’m 48 years old.” And then, he caught himself - “no wait, I’m 58 years old.” This slip was quite telling: Nicolas Degennes has a long and rich career behind him that began in a completely different era: Mylène Farmer, the beginnings of Canal+, Jeanne Moreau, and beauty before the internet, before even Instagram! And yet, today, he is still youthful and at the top of his game: finding inspiration everywhere, innovating with makeup and beauty products with a creativity that has remained undiminished over the course of 25 years.

When he was approached to do this masterclass, the Master’s in Communication, Media and Creative Industries of the School of Management and Innovation asked him to talk about his career, and specifically answer the question: “how did you get where you are?”

His response was not a linear list of steps or specific events that marked his career. Instead, his tips were more about character, which for him is the underlying ingredient of creativity. His first mantra: drive and hard work. “It’s hard work everyday.” But, whatever your dream may be, he explained, it’s worth working towards. Secondly, he told students, “you will be faced with choices, offers, propositions. Ask yourself why you would say ‘no’ - to anything.” According to Degennes, more often than not, there are very few reasons - if any - to say no. Finally, his third mantra: “remember who you are, and where you come from. Don’t forget your family and your roots.”

Nicolas Degennes began his career learning and doing theatre and photography in the United States, in Iowa, of all places. He had left France thinking he could not express himself artistically where he was, and he yearned for adventure and freedom. It was a challenge: he spoke no English at the time. He managed to work as a photographer, and it was when he was preparing photoshoots that he began applying makeup on the women he was to shoot. That is when he fell in love with makeup, and decided to become a makeup artist.Looking back today, he says: “I don’t think I was a very good photographer, but I do think I have done incredible things as a makeup artist.”

This statement, though it could sound arrogant, is what he means when he says, “don’t be too proud, don’t be too humble.” It is important to realise your strengths, and judge yourself realistically and honestly. “Being too proud doesn’t help, but being too humble doesn’t help either.” In other words, there is no harm in knowing what you’re good at - if anything it’s more harmful to not.

He warns that often, society will attempt to put individuals in a single drawer. “You’re this or that, not both, or not a mix. If someone says you’re not able to do something, fight back. Prove them wrong,” he says. “One drawer is not enough, try and open them all.”

Nicolas Degennes decided early on in his career as a makeup artist that his work “needed to be a signature”. Finding his singular take on makeup, and making sure that his work would be recognised as his own, was key. Degennes discussed his creative energy, and how he directs sensations into artistic decisions and the creation of products. Three values guide his creative process: honesty, fidelity, and elegance. When he first arrived at Givenchy, he did not like what they were doing creatively. And yet, it was extremely important, he says, to learn about the roots of the brand and its founder. He did not want to make any drastic changes - it was up to him to integrate himself with the brand and be just to it. In fact, still today, the brand comes first, and his creativity is at the service of Givenchy.

A Q&A session brought the masterclass to a close. Expectedly, students posed questions pertaining to Givenchy’s ecological responsibility and environmental impact. Degennes explained that today there are three lists that categorize Givenchy’s use of ingredients: a blacklist of ingredients that are prohibited outright for they are dangerous to people or the environment; a grey list of ingredients that are not dangerous but should be used limitedly, and a green list of completely safe, eco-friendly ingredients. Degennes insisted that when it comes to ecological responsibility, trying to go too fast will never be the answer. Research and development takes time, but being fully conscious of the supply chain, from A to Z, is the first and most crucial step. Finally, when asked about what sacrifices he made for his career, Degennes replied that his personal time and not having a family were the biggest sacrifices he made. The question, he said, really struck a chord in his heart.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, 20 November, 2019 - 19:15 - 21:15
Event Location: 
Amphithéâtre Jean Moulin

Greening the financial system: the new frontier

23rd edition of the Banque de France’s Financial Stability Review
  • Greening the financial system: the new frontierGreening the financial system: the new frontier


The 23rd edition of the Banque de France’s Financial Stability Review is entitled “Greening the financial system: the new frontier”.

Climate change, whose consequences on the environment are already being felt, is a source of risks for the economic system and the financial sector. In order to shed light on these questions, the students of the Master of Finance and Strategy mobilized to share their points of view and interview stakeholders committed to sustainable finance: 

Changement climatique et risques financiers :


Finance verte et transition écologique :


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Bastien Gaultier (Graduated in 2018)

From the Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Master's programme, Talent acquisition specialist at Ubisoft


Bastien is a 2018 Alumni from the Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Master's programme.

He now works as Talent acquisition specialist at Ubisoft, promotiong his company to students and young graduates.


New Prosperities

December, 3rd, 2019
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po


Conference at Sciences Po Paris,

3rd December 2019


We are pleased to invite you to the New Prosperities conference. Students from Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation will be attending, as well as global business and thought leaders.

Four main topics will be discussed: the transformation of capitalism, the renewal of education, the unique role of Europe and the promotion of the Economics of Mutuality.

Marie-Laure Salles-Djelic , Dean of Sciences Po School of Management and Innovation

Bruno Roche, Mars Chief Economist and Catalyst Managing Director 


How to book

Places for the conference must be reserved in advance.

To register, click here, which will take you to a web page where you can make a booking.


Please email newprosperities@sciencespo.fr




Event Date: 
Tuesday, 3 December, 2019 - 08:30 - 18:15
Event Location: 
Sciences Po, 27 rue St Guillaume, 75007 Paris
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International admissions are now open

  • Sciences Po, Paris Campus ©Martin ArgyrogloSciences Po, Paris Campus ©Martin Argyroglo

International admissions for the 2020 intake are now open!

Should you need further information on the admission criteria and procedure, please do not hesitate to visit our admissions website.

Meeting with Célia Choimet, Master in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources

My apprenticeship at Schneider Electric


Meet Célia, apprenticeship in the Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Master's programme student at Schneider Electric Apprenticeship is a form of training in which the student spends one year alternating between work in a public or private organisation and attending academic courses delivered at Sciences Po..


Marie-Laure Djelic dans notre websérie Prof.
  • Marie-Laure Djélic ©Sciences PoMarie-Laure Djélic ©Sciences Po

Transition économique, transition sociétale, politique ou encore écologique... Et si tout cela était lié ? “Une société doit placer l’humain au coeur de son développement. Pour moi, c'est cela le vrai sens de "être libéral", rappelle Marie-Laure Djelic. Chaque semaine, dans son cours “The Great Transition”, Marie-Laure Djelic invite les étudiants de Sciences Po à interroger les transformations du capitalisme. Avec un objectif : repenser notre modèle économique pour qu’il devienne plus humain et durable.

Marie-Laure Djelic est professeur des Universités au Centre de sociologie des organisations (CSO) et doyenne de l'École du management et de l'innovation de Sciences Po. Ses travaux portent sur les transformations contemporaines du capitalisme. Elle enseigne le cours “The Great Transition - Responsibility, Innovation, Commons”.

Prof., c'est la 1ère websérie de Sciences Po. À chaque épisode, nous vous emmenons au cœur des salles de cours, dans cette rencontre entre un « Prof. », une discipline, et ses étudiants. Quel est le secret d'un cours réussi ? Une confrontation des points de vue parfois inattendue, souvent drôle, toujours passionnée. Pour revoir tous les épisodes de la série, rendez-vous sur notre chaîne Youtube.

Lancement de la Chaire Good in Tech

12 septembre 2019
  • © Logo chaire Good In Tech© Logo chaire Good In Tech

Lancement de la chaire Good in Tech

12 septembre 2019


Portée par Christine Balagué, Professeur à IMT-BS, et Marie-Laure Salles-Djelic, Professeur Doyenne de l’Ecole du Management et de l’Innovation de Sciences Po, la chaire Good in Tech vise à repenser l'innovation et la technologie comme moteurs d'un monde meilleur pour et par l'humain.

Elle va développer un programme de recherches autour de 4 axes :

  1. Innovation numérique responsable : quelles mesures ? 
  2. Comment développer des technologies responsables « by design » ? 
  3. Réinventer les futurs : Quelle société pour demain dans un monde numérique ? 
  4. Gouvernance de l’innovation et des technologies responsables 

KICK OFF - 12 SEPTEMBRE 2019 DE 8H30 À 12H

Séminaire grand public "Le numérique responsable : une utopie réaliste?"



Consulter le site de la chaire

Event Date: 
Thursday, 12 September, 2019 (All day)

Repenser la société pour le 21ème siècle

Marie-Laure Djelic - Marc Fleurbaey
  • Repenser la société pour le 21ème siècle © futuribles internationalRepenser la société pour le 21ème siècle © futuribles international

La table ronde de Futuribles International du 18 décembre 2018 était consacrée à une présentation et à une discussion du rapport 2018 de l’IPSP (International Panel on Social Progress) que préside le prix Nobel d'économie Amartya Sen.

Elle était introduite par Marie-Laure Djelic, doyenne de l’École du management et de l’innovation de Sciences Po Paris, ancienne directrice du Centre de recherche sur le capitalisme, la mondialisation et la gouvernance de l'ESSEC Business School et Marc Fleurbaey, professeur à l’université de Princeton, titulaire de la chaire Économie du bien-être et de la justice sociale du Collège d'études mondiales.

Ils ont présenté le rapport 2018 de l’IPSP « Rethinking Society for the 21st Century » (Repenser la société pour le 21e siècle). S’inspirant d’instances internationales telles que le GIEC (Groupe d'experts intergouvernemental sur l'évolution du climat), l’IPSP nous livre avec ce nouveau rapport un vaste panorama de la situation sociale dans le monde, des enjeux majeurs et des actions pouvant être entreprises.

Inaugural lesson 2019 with Gilles Boeuf

  • Gilles Boeuf à Sciences Po © Thomas ArrivéGilles Boeuf à Sciences Po © Thomas Arrivé

Gilles Boeuf is Professor at Sorbonne Université (Université Pierre et Marie Curie, UPMC), associated with the Oceanographic Observatory of Banyuls after having spent 20 years with IFREMER. Gilles Boeuf is a specialist in environmental physiology and biodiversity.

He was President of the French Natural History Museum (MNHN) between 2009 and 2015.

He was also Invited Professor at the College of France for the acadamic year 2013-2014, on the Chair Sustainable Development, Energy, Environment and Society. His lessons there focused on interactions between biodiversity and humanity. For two years he was Scientific Advisor to Ségolène Royal, then Minister of Environment, Energie and Seas.

He is President of the French National Agency for Biodiversity. He received, in 2013 the Grand Medal Albert 1 of Monaco for his career, dedicated to the seas and oceans.


HUMANIty and biodiversity

Humans are naturally part of the biodiversity but they have also differentiated themselves from it by becoming one of the most powerful drivers of its evolution.

With this presentation, we will take a fresh look at how humanity developed in inscription within the biodiversity. This situation could seem paradoxical. On the one hand, recent research has shown how all species are incredibly connected to each other – humans being no exception. On the other hand, partly because of technological development – humans see themselves as increasingly distanced, different from other living species. Today, we are worried by the frightful impact of human activities referred to as the Anthropocene – destruction of ecosystems, widespread pollution, dissemination of everything everywhere, overexploitation of stocks (forests, fishing), and finally, of course, a fast changing climate which is very much to be attributed to our activities.

We will reflect upon the solutions to be implemented in order to move from faber to sapiens!

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