News

I support Campus 2022, I reserve my seat in Boutmy
2019-11-11

The Émile Boutmy lecture theatre is Sciences Po’s historic lecture theatre and is central to the institution, from the everyday to the great moments in its history.

All Sciences Po students have had lectures and memorable moments there, and some even have a favourite seat.

Now Sciences Po is giving you, as a former student, the chance to reclaim your spot in the lecture theatre by having your name displayed on the back of a seat for a period of 10 or 99 years.

Do you have a friend or relative who also studied at Sciences Po? You might like to reserve two neighbouring seats. For larger groups—alumni associations or alumni of the same graduating class, for example—it is possible to reserve several neighbouring seats or even a whole row.

Whether or not you studied at Sciences Po, you can also choose to name a seat for a person who is dear to you and who did attend the university: a parent, child, friend, teacher, historical figure, etc.

The plaques are placed on the backs of the seats. They are engraved with the person’s full name and graduation year.

Your contribution to the “Save your seat in Boutmy” campaign will help build the Parisian campus of tomorrow.

Your gift will go to the Campus 2022 redevelopment plan that is fundamentally transforming the Paris campus on the eve of Sciences Po’s 150th anniversary and beyond.

Concentrated over the two hubs of 27, rue Saint-Guillaume and the new Artillerie architectural complex, our urban campus is destined to become one of the finest spaces in Europe to study, teach and build the future.

Choose your donation level

To name a seat, you just need to make a donation. The amount required depends on:

  • your seat’s location in the lecture theatre: four categories are available. 
  • the naming duration: you can name your seat for 10 years or for 99 years.
Category Plaque displayed for 10 years Plage displayed for 99 years
Platinum $9,000 $17,000
Gold $5,600 $11,500
Silver $4,000 $8,500
Bronze $1,700 $5,600

Reserve your seat

[INTERVIEW] Antoine Heuty, founder of Ulula, s software that allows workers to alert their employers about unsafe working conditions
2019-11-04

We profiled Antoine Heuty, an alum of Sciences Po’s public affairs program and founder of Ulula. Heuty talked about his company, and provided insights on labor rights, international development, and social enterprises. 

Many graduates of Sciences Po’s public affairs program go on to pursue careers in government and politics. Antoine Heuty, an alum, took his skills to international development and human rights instead. 

Heuty is the founder of Ulula, a software that allows workers to alert their employers about unsafe working conditions. It’s currently used by more than 20 large industry leaders in sectors as diverse as natural resources, agriculture, and technology as well as the governments of Canada and Peru. These companies use it across the world, including in China, Brazil, India or  the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 

Ulula’s reach is above half a million and will reach a million in 2020. 

His path to founding Ulula began with work on energy and natural resources, and for the UN Development Program. 

“I wanted to focus my energy a lot on changing government behavior, and second I was also focusing on one piece of the action, which was the transparency. And I realized working on the ground that people didn’t care about transparency per se. What they cared about was can I have a decent job, can I teach, can I feed myself and my family.”

He also realized that sustainable change required empowering individuals and communities to have greater agency over their lives.  

“Rather than preach something that may or may not resonate with the people of interest I should stop preaching and stop lecturing and do something that’s far more practical.” 

The 2013 Rana Plaza Factory collapse, which occurred around the time of Ulula’s founding, put a fine point on the importance of his efforts. Heuty also cites the collapse of a dam in Brumandinho, Brazil last December as a sign of the ongoing challenges in managing social and environmental risks. He notes that these incidents, although they took place in different countries and different industries, show a common failure to listen to the warnings that workers had provided about their conditions prior to the tragedies. 

He explains Ulula’s mission as a way to prevent more tragedies like these from happening: “What we are doing is we are changing the ability of workers to safely and more directly and in real time report problems.”

Ulula’s success in this endeavor depends on the company’s ability to listen to people for input and to turn feedback into actionable analytics. This poses a challenge for solving a problem as widespread and ubiquitous as unsafe working conditions. “It’s not only something that’s happening in Africa. It’s also in New York City, and Paris, and other places,” Heuty notes. 

That tool has to be versatile enough to be useful across different industries, environments, and countries. This is for Heuty one of the main challenges that his company faces. That Ulula is a social enterprise also comes with its own difficulties. “We want to do well and do good at the same time,” he says. 

Initially it was difficult to find the capital to launch Ulula, but now that it’s more established it’s easier to find partners. Heuty says that while the ecosystem for social enterprises is maturing, there still remains progress to be made toward identifying promising businesses early on. 

His time at Sciences Po prepared him for that environment, though. “Nothing has quite compared to that in the consequent education that I received,” he says.

Crucially, he learned how to work on teams and deal with stressful situations, two skills that he’s found valuable today. 

“I was on the rugby team at Sciences Po, and they are still my friends today…I think these are probably the experiences for me of how you tackle either the stressful challenges that you have or the more practical ways of working as a team and working effectively and overcoming differences.” 

Valentine Bleicher, transactional attorney for Mayer Brown LLP
2019-11-04

What is your background at Sciences Po? 

I joined the Sciences Po Law School (“Ecole de Droit”) in 2009.  It had just been created.  I was in the Economic Law specialty and, as part of my second year, joined the Global Business Law and Governance program created by Horatia Muir Watt.  It is a joint program with Columbia Law School and Paris I – La Sorbonne.  We spent the first semester at Columbia Law School in New York and the second semester at Sciences Po and La Sorbonne in Paris.

Why did you choose to work in the United States?

I worked three years in France prior to moving to the U.S.  The work environment is different in the U.S.  It offers more opportunities.  Based on my experience, if you are willing to work hard, you are given more responsibilities than you would in France at a similar age. Promotions can happen more rapidly. Of course, it is also a more challenging environment; if you do not perform at the level expected of you, it is easier to be let go. So there is a trade-off; there are more opportunities but more risks.

Describe your work environment

I work in the Chicago office of a large global law firm, Mayer Brown LLP.  Mayer Brown has offices in 27 locations, including Paris, and its original and largest office is the Chicago office.  We are about 400 lawyers in the Chicago office and over 1,700 lawyers worldwide.  I am an eighth-year associate working in the Corporate and Securities practice group.

What do you do at work? What are your activities, missions and objectives?

I am a transactional attorney. I focus my practice on mergers and acquisitions and private equity.  My work consists of advising clients on general corporate matters as well as complex business transactions such as mergers, stock and asset acquisitions and divestitures, majority and minority equity targeted investments, joint ventures and strategic alliances. I work both on purely U.S. transactions and cross-border transactions in particular, transactions involving French and other European clients investing in the U.S. and U.S. clients investing in France.  For example, I recently advised Dutch pension fund manager PGGM in its $601 million acquisition of a 20% minority stake in SUEZ Water Resources Inc., a subsidiary of French public company SUEZ S.A. specializing in the water and waste cycle management business in the Northeast region of the U.S.

More specifically, my work involves responding to clients’ questions regarding legal matters that arise in the course of their business, advising them on the optimal legal and tax structures for the business transactions they contemplate, and drafting and negotiating contracts to implement these transactions.  

I also devote up to 200 hours per year to pro bono work.  For example, I recently led Mayer Brown’s cross-practice, cross-office team representing ARZU Studio Hope, a women’s empowerment not-for-profit organization in the U.S. and an international NGO in Afghanistan, in its asset divestiture to Turquoise Mountain, a U.K. NGO founded by HRH The Prince of Wales.  ARZU is an innovative model of social entrepreneurship that helps Afghan women weavers and their families to break the cycle of poverty by providing them with steady income and access to education and healthcare through sourcing and selling the rugs they weave.  It was very exciting to work on this project, knowing the impact that our efforts would have on these women and their families’ lives. 

What do you like the most?

What I like the most about working in the U.S. is people’s positive attitude.  When faced with a problem, people’s spontaneous reaction is to look collaboratively for a solution.  “No” is rarely the first answer you get.  

What do you like the least / are the difficulties you encounter?

The work culture is very different, to an extent that I was not expecting. Also, I find that there are less opportunities to get to know your co-workers outside of work than in France.  Other than for business meetings, people do not typically take breaks for lunch or go for after-work drinks with colleagues.  It makes it harder to build relationships with your co-workers, and makes the workplace more impersonal that what I have found it to be in France.  

Is this experience part of your (mid/long term) professional project?

I did not have any specific professional project in mind when I moved to the U.S.  I enjoy living and working here and do not have any plans to go back to France any time soon.

What does it bring you?

Working in the U.S. has given me the opportunity to get more responsibilities at a young age.  This has allowed me to become more mature and gain more experience at my job than I would have had I stayed in France. 

Also, my workplace is very diverse. I collaborate with people from all cultural and social backgrounds, and I have to navigate both the common law and the civil law systems.  It has taught me to become a more versatile professional, better able to develop solutions to new problems as they arise.

A message to current Sciences Po students and Young Graduates?

Sciences Po is a wonderful school and offers a tremendous network of alumni.  Use the 3A year, Master’s years or a gap year to study or work abroad, join the alumni network after you graduate, and keep in touch with one another.  I have made some of my greatest friends and some of my greatest work connection thanks to Sciences Po.  

[INTERVIEW] Stéphanie Cardot, a Sciences Po entrepreneur and concierge
2019-11-04

Stéphanie Cardot is a graduate of Sciences Po’s economics and finance program. We spoke with her about what it took to start her own business in France and the United States. She provided her insights on entrepreneurship and how Sciences Po prepared her for the world of business. 

Among Sciences Po’s alumni in the United States count many entrepreneurs who bridge the vast divide in business cultures on each side of the Atlantic. Stéphanie Cardot, founder and CEO of TO DO TODAY, is one of them. 

Cardot followed the original Sciences Po track, starting with a preparatory year, then a three-year course in economics and finance. Then after graduating from business school she took up a position at Deloitte in New York in 1995, where she was part of the team driving the effort for what we now call Corporate Social Responsibility. Her work in that role caused her to realize that human capital’s important role would only grow in a modern workplace that would have to adapt to new generations joining older ones and higher rate of women joining the workforce. 

That’s when she had the idea for her business, which would provide everyday services, well-being and engagements programs to help corporate clients attract and retain talent. 

Toward the end of 2001 Cardot moved back to France to get things started, but she soon encountered some significant pushback from the business leaders to whom she pitched. 

“Everyone I was talking to, CEO’s of CAC 40 companies, HR directors, they would all laugh at me and say ‘Oh these are gimmicks. Women and younger people will have to adapt. And we don’t have to change anything,’” she says. 

Where others might have found discouragement, though, Cardot saw an opportunity. 

“I figured out that if no one was really paying attention it meant that there was a huge potential and that the market would eventually catch up with those guys.”

The fundamental concept of TO DO TODAY sounds simple enough, especially in today’s hyper-connected world. People in the workplace often lack the time that they need to look after themselves and their families. Cardot noticed this almost two decades ago, before we started talking about “wellness.” Her company is a “physical” concierge service that provides people with the services they need to live a life freed from constraints, in top shape and a with community engagement. From daily chores, to dry cleaning, health and wellness services in the workplace, community service opportunities and collaborative events, TO DO TODAY offers a range of services. 

This started with on-site concierge services. This was well before the digital revolution made such amenities available with the tap of a touchscreen. And at first, French customers were slow to adopt. “Until 2006, 2007, I was starving,” Cardot says. 

Real estate saved her before corporate clients rallied. In 2003 the Blackstone Group called her. They wanted Cardot to adapt the concept to a 1,000,000 sq. ft. building they had acquired in Paris. For a while, the focus was on real estate, then other businesses saw value in the concept and signed on. TO DO TODAY signed contracts with Carrefour, Airbus, Microsoft and other international companies that were shifting their workforce and workplace strategies. 

All the while, Americans were telling Cardot that they had seen no equivalent service, and she was ready to return to the United States. After all, she gave her company a name in English as a nod to its international ambitions. And in 2016, she moved back to the United States and signed a first contract in Boston. 

She says that her time at Sciences Po prepared her well for a career as an entrepreneur. 

“To me, Sciences Po is the most amazing experience in my entire life. It has shaped who I am, how I think, how I work, how I operate.”

Sciences Po helped her develop the self-confidence and inquisitiveness that she says every entrepreneur needs. Cardot notes that business leaders need the ability to convince their audiences and to be skeptical of every argument placed in front of them. 

But they also must be resilient. 

“People tend to idealize entrepreneurship. It’s really a shitty life. You’re always struggling, you’re always fighting,” she says. 

And that’s what leads her to say that students and young graduates can’t be afraid to take risks and to use the skills that they education has provided them. “There’s always a Plan B when you’ve graduated from Sciences Po.”

Anne Picq, at the intersection of the arts and social enterprises
2019-11-03

We caught up with Anne Picq, a 2002 Sciences Po graduate working at the intersection of the arts and social enterprises. Here she shares her thoughts on working with museums on both sides of the Atlantic, and her experience collaborating with prestigious cultural institutions in New York City. 

What is your background at Sciences Po? 

Studying at Sciences Po after my license in philosophy was a way for me to explore new subject matters and above all find my professional path. It was in 2000, the first year after the reform, and the first year of the Master of Arts Management. I chose to study both journalism and cultural management, two fields I then worked in. I felt very lucky to have so many choices. For example, I can remember taking a class on Gardens in England in the 18th century as well as a class on the French prison system. As we were studying the situation of prisons in France and abroad, I entered a prison for the first time, a life-changing experience for me. A few years later, working in a museum, I went back to visit incarcerated persons with another purpose, bringing art to them. Sciences Po opened something. 

Why did you choose to work in the United States?

As a museum professional, I was very inspired by American museums, especially their reputation for excellence in audience engagement. I also thought it would be interesting to learn more about another context—private vs public funds, for example—and experience a different way of conceiving and implementing cultural projects. 

I moved to New York in 2016. Before that I was director of education, public programs and visitor experience at the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac. I also worked for Beaux Arts magazine as deputy editor in chief. Today my work allows me to collaborate with artists, curators, educators, scholars, people of different backgrounds, who bring diverse perspectives to a project. 

What do you do at work? What are your activities, missions and objectives?

In New York, inspired by my experience in France, I founded a cultural initiative named arts4society, dedicated to advancing inclusion through the arts. My goal is to create unique experiences and bring art to people who don’t have access to it. To do so, we connect key players from different environments such as artists, cultural institutions, social or educational organizations, and companies who want to improve their social impact and engage their employees in social causes. In New York, it all started with a program I launched between The Frick Collection and a public school with a diverse student population, bringing art to students and students to the museum, often for the very first time. 

I love being exposed to different cultures, trying to understand other contexts. It takes a lot of patience and humility to understand what you can bring to the conversation and where you can be most useful.

Is this experience part of your long term professional trajectory?

Totally. Coming from a public institution, I think I wouldn’t have made the same choices in France, especially starting an entrepreneurial venture bridging art and social impact. I believe that the extraordinary power of New York, beyond the connections it allows, is to lead you to better express your convictions and believe in your mission. 

I don’t want to compare French and American cultural institutions—it wouldn’t make sense—but coming to the US it became clearer to me that there are truly extraordinary initiatives in France, and that we don’t value them enough. Because of our very French mission de service public, a specific approach to public service, museums for example have created amazing initiatives to reach new audiences and improve accessibility. It is important for me to valorize this savoir-faire and philosophy here in the US as much as I can.  

What is your message to current Sciences Po students and young graduates?

What I like about Sciences Po is the blend of academic excellence and professional skills it offers. But above all Sciences Po brings unique opportunities. I have been very inspired by the professionals and teachers I encountered during my two years at Sciences Po. I still continue to see or work with some of them. They became mentors to me in a way. 

I am impressed by the way Sciences Po evolves, such as through the new admissions process. I also often speak with students in the Columbia-Sciences Po program, which seems very interesting. I think that Sciences Po students can be confident about their next steps. The most difficult part is maybe to find one’s own way. 

[INTERVIEW] François Delattre, art of diplomacy and memories from almost 20 years posted in North America
2019-07-25

We recently spoke [june 2019] with Francois Delattre, French ambassador to the UN and a Sciences Po alumnus. He provided his thoughts on the art of diplomacy and memories from almost 20 years posted in North America before he returns to Paris as secretary general of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 

Francois Delattre, France’s ambassador to the United Nations, tells guests they have two choices—ooh or ahh—just before he walks them into his 44th floor midtown office.

The reason becomes apparent when they enter the room. The Sciences Po alum’s place of work is wedged into the corner of a building overlooking the East River, and when he opens the door windows along two sides of the space flood the hall with light, revealing a panoramic view of Manhattan stretching east past the UN headquarters and the river and extending downtown. Even on an overcast day, the clouds hover amidst the tips of skyscrapers, and the Chrysler Building might yet remain visible.  

Delattre will have a new place of work this month, when he moves to Paris following his appointment as the secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. That role is France’s highest ranking diplomatic position after president and foreign minister. 

His promotion caps off 20 years (16 years consecutively) spent working in France’s diplomatic corps at posts in North America. 

“I enjoyed every minute of my time in North America,” he said. Delattre’s diplomatic career on the continent kicked off with four years at the head of the press office at the French Embassy in Washington. After serving as consul general in New York then French ambassador to Canada, he was appointed ambassador to the United States in 2011 before being named ambassador to the United Nations in 2014. 

“The diplomatic service is a calling for me, a vocation,” he said. This vocation came to him at a young age, playing with a globe despite no family tradition of working in diplomacy. At 18 years old, set on becoming a diplomat, he went to Sciences Po, then ENA, the National School of Administration. 

Delattre calls himself a “great fan of Sciences Po” and believes that his academic training prepared him well for a career in diplomacy. The school’s real advantage, from his perspective, is its interdisciplinary approach. This is a critical skill today, especially at the UN Security Council, where people need to find original solutions to complex problems. As important as it has been for decades, he believes the ability to adapt to new challenges and connect different fields of knowledge is more important than ever in the context of our current geopolitical challenges.  

He leaves the United States with a “friendly, bipartisan appeal to all his American friends.” In a recent New York Times op-ed, he argued that in “a world that is growing more dangerous and less predictable by the day,” the engagement of the United States in world affairs and multilateral institutions is more important than ever. “America can’t make it alone, and the world can’t make it without America.” 

Delattre hopes that his time at the UN suggests the possibility of a better path. Many people believe that a diplomat’s job is merely to defend and promote the narrow interests of his country. But Delattre is emphatic that this is only the first part of the job. The diplomat’s role is increasingly one that requires coalition building to solve crises, promote human rights, and fight climate change—which he singled out as one of the most daunting challenges facing humanity. To that end, he established a regular dialogue with institutional investors which contributed to the launch of the Climate Action 100+ Initiative, mobilizing investors behind the Paris Climate Accord’s goal of promoting a path toward a low carbon economy. 

Economic integration through educational exchanges also contributes to sound diplomatic relations, according to Delattre, who supported the development of the Alliance program and the reinforcement of Sciences Po’s North American partnerships. He thinks that the internationalization of the school has only strengthened its competitive advantage. During his time as ambassador to Washington he made the development of university partnerships one of his top priorities, considering that this is one of the best ways to reinforce the relationship between France and the United States. 

That bond is embodied by the Statue of Liberty, which, Delattre wrote in the Times, “remains to this day the best ambassador of the American dream.”

For all that he can see from his office, that symbol of America’s promise stands too far to the south, obscured by the financial district. Construction on Second Avenue and helicopters carrying high-powered executives provide plenty to marvel at instead. 

“It’s New York. It’s never the same view, color,” Delattre said. 

[PORTRAIT] Max Bouchet: "working at Brookings sometimes feels like being back at Sciences Po"
2019-07-25

Max Bouchet is a Washington D.C.-based alum who works for the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy program. We caught up with him to discuss his insights on urban development in the United States and across the world, and advice for current students. 

What is your background at Sciences Po? 

I joined Sciences Po as a first-year student in the “Asia Cycle.” It was still in Paris, just before the opening of the Havre Campus. I spent my third year of undergrad at Fudan University in Shanghai and graduated from Sciences Po’s Masters in Public Affairs program in 2011.

There were many turning points in Sciences Po’s history while we were there: René Rémond gave one of his last addresses to our class in 2006, Dominique Strauss-Kahn was still our Economics teacher, we saw the renovation of the “27” library (which was then an old three-floor building with wooden shelves covered with dusty political science reviews), and people could still smoke inside the cafeteria Rue de l’Université. Different times. 

Why did you chose to work in the United States?

After eight years of academic and professional life in Paris, I felt a strong urge for change and for different living and work environments. A combination of contacts and serendipity led me to get a position in economic development analysis in Atlanta, Georgia.

Atlanta was not an obvious first destination after Sciences Po, but in hindsight it was a great choice and a total cultural shock. Atlanta was already a booming tech, business, and cultural hub in the American South that was developing an identity of inclusion, resilience, and innovation based on its role in the Civil Rights movement. This was also two years before the 2016 elections. Long explorations and new friendships in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama gave me compelling insights on how rural areas, small towns, and left-behind communities were about to rock American politics.

Where do you work? 

In 2017 I moved to Washington D.C. to work at the Brookings Institution, a think tank where scholars conduct independent research on public policy challenges in international relations, economics, governance, development, and urban issues. It’s an exciting place that combines intense academic research (a lot of data analysis), innovation, great access to policy makers, and plenty of passionate people. I’m extremely lucky to work with a team of friendly, warm, and smart colleagues, many of who became friends. Great leadership at Brookings creates this environment of respect, inclusion, and camaraderie. 

What do you do at Brookings? 

My team works at the Metropolitan Policy program. At Brookings we are the city folks. Our mission is to make sense of some of the most pressing challenges urban areas face, such as slowing economic growth, technological disruptions, rising inequalities, housing and infrastructure needs, etc. We also help local leaders get the right tools to improve their communities. 

I currently focus on the economic competitiveness of city-regions. For instance, last month I presented our research on the local effects of the trade tariffs at the annual conference of the association of the National Association of Latino Elected Officials, a very intense exchange with leaders from a U.S. community that will be a key narrative in 2020.

I get to meet and work with practitioners and decision-makers to test our research findings. Beyond theorical research, it’s crucial to keep checking that our recommendations are applicable in real-world conditions. I enjoy engaging with professionals and communities “in the field” and translate our research into actionable tools.

What are the difficulties of working in Washington? 

You can quickly get isolated in an established D.C think tank. We need to make sure we stay in tune with the realities of managing cities not just in the U.S. but also where the landscape of cities is growing the fastest, the Global South. 

Luckily, I got the opportunity to be part of a fellowship of the Robert Bosch Foundation called “Global Governance Futures”: for the past 18 months, I collaborated with 27 young professionals from various fields and countries (South Africa, Brazil, China, Indonesia, India, Japan, Germany, US, France). We met in cities like Delhi and Rio de Janeiro to conduct forecasts on the future trends that will affect the urban world.

What kind of advice do you have for current Sciences Po students and recent graduates?

Put yourself in other places and stay long enough to gain new perspectives. Seeing France from afar brings a lot of benefits: you develop more easily critical thinking about what seems natural or obvious. You acquire new lenses that enrich your understanding of policy.

The new things I learn every day help me shape my professional goals long term. In a way, working at Brookings sometimes feels like being back at Sciences Po: limitless opportunities to debate with colleagues, meeting great policy thinkers, honing on analytical skills, learning what drives policy, and building a life-long network. 

We need engineers who can both code and read the Economist. We need engineers obsessed with transforming society
2019-06-03

The Sciences Po American Foundation awarded Maëlle Gavet its annual alumni award during a reception earlier in May. Gavet is a 2002 graduate of the Sciences Po master's program, and Chief Operating Officer of Compass, a real estate technology company building an end-to-end platform for agents and their clients. During her speech accepting the award, Gavet surveyed the challenges facing the tech industry, a field in which she has 15 years of professional experience. She argued that while technology has unquestionably improved almost every aspect of the way we live and work, it has had a host lethal side effects and unintended consequences impacting their own employees, communities, other businesses and, last but not least, democracy. Gavet’s suggested solution is to reimagine the way tech leaders are educated. In her opinion, while humanities will not magically fix everything that’s wrong with tech, it can certainly help introduce the much needed empathy and understanding of the world. "We need engineers who can both code and read the Economist. We need engineers obsessed with transforming society (not moving fast and breaking it)," she said. We followed up with Gavet after her speech for a quick interview about the themes that she addressed and tips for recent Sciences Po graduates. That conversation is below, edited for length and clarity.

You painted a bleak picture of where the tech industry is headed if they don’t hire people with a background in the social sciences and the humanities. How likely is it that tech executives get it right and steer us away from the path we’re on now?

This is a very difficult question; whether or not we figure it out, it will have an impact on what kind of society we live in. If I knew the answer, I’d probably have a very different job from the one I currently have. What I can say though, is that I think there is an increased awareness, and while my speech was very direct, this is not the first time I’m talking about it, and this is not the first time I’m hearing people discuss it. This subject has definitely been gaining more and more visibility compared to previous years.

The second thing I do start seeing is that because of these conversations more and more tech leaders are trying to take action. The problem is that they’re still a minority. It’s not a small group, but it’s still a minority. Another challenge is that there’s no playbook with clear guidelines on what to do. I’m generally pretty optimistic and I do believe that when human beings focus on solving a problem, they generally do get there. But this is a very, very big and completely new problem, which we have never faced before.

You’ve written before about regulating AI. What would that regulation look like ideally?

I think right now we’re trying to figure out how to regulate the humans who are working on AI the same way we tried, more or less successfully, to regulate genetic experiments. And I say more or less successfully because, in the Western world, we have, to an extent, limited what can and cannot be done and we have designed certain ethical standards around it. Based on what I have seen and read, I am not convinced the same ethical standards have been applied to genetic research in China, for example. The challenge with AI is how do we regulate something that is going to end up being more intelligent than us.

AI is the equivalent of a one year old who doesn’t know how to speak and barely knows how to walk. And we have researchers admitting they are not entirely clear how their AI baby came up with the result it did. Now imagine what happens when the baby grows up.  It will be a completely different situation. That’s why we need to make sure that people working on AI fully assume social responsibilities this discipline carries and embrace intellectual, geographic and social diversity while establishing industry standards. AI — in a very, very, very simplified way —  is nothing more than a set of equations and hypotheses that are formulated by humans. The more biased the human, the more bias is input into their code. So we need to advocate for creating forcing mechanisms for the diverse and multidisciplinary approach in AI, and in tech in general.

How has your education at Sciences Po prepared you for your career?

I think that Sciences Po is great at training students to analyze problems, find facts, historical data to support their point of view, and then to effectively communicate it. This is a universal skill that is crucially  important on top of everything else that I mentioned during my speech (firm foundation and a deeper understanding of society, historical processes, macro and microeconomics).

What kind of advice do you have for young grads and current students starting their careers?

You have to remember that you work with people and for people. When you make decisions, when you work on a project, when you run a company, when you’re an entrepreneur, when you work within a company, you will be more successful if you collaborate without ego and think about the human impact, the human stakeholders affected by the things that you’re trying to do.

The second advice: dream big. Our dreams can limit us. If you dream small, you’re going to do small. If you dream big, there’s a chance you’re going to do big. We have a tendency, especially coming from a school like Sciences Po (known for combining approaches and confronting different worldviews), to carry the weight of history on our shoulders, to think about all the reasons that something can or cannot happen. But at some point you risk not reaching your full potential. You can’t really impact the world if you don’t try to dream bigger than you ever thought was possible.

You should always combine these two things. Remember that you are, after all, a social being, and that you should try to work with other human beings and be part of this society. I guess another way to say it is that culture is very important. And by culture I mean the company culture which promotes inclusion, diversity and is empathetic. Don’t think that success is only related to IQ; it is at least 60 percent, if not more, related to EQ. 

Launch of the new Alumni community newsletter .
2019-04-17

Every two months you will receive updates on the Sciences Po community in the United States. Expect to see brief descriptions of what your former classmates are up to, extended profiles of alumni, and notes on the latest research coming out of 27 rue Saint Guillaume.

The goal, above all else, is to bring the Sciences Po community in the United States closer and to foster more connections between the members of this network.

As we roll out this project we’ll need your help: send us suggestions for content and updates about what you’re up to at work. 

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#USA Online Fair: Sciences Po's first online internship and young graduate job fair for the United States
2019-04-04

For the first time, Sciences Po is featuring job and internship opportunities in the United States with the #USA online career fair. Why the United States? Sciences Po has been steadily developing collaboration with North American partners since the early 1990s. Today, the United States and Canada are the destinations most commonly chosen by Sciences Po students for their study abroad. North American students form the second largest group of international students at Sciences Po, just after students from the European Union. Over 850 North American students study at Sciences Po each year.  The USA are also the third preferred destination for Sciences Po Young Graduates according to the Sciences Po Graduate Employability Survey report.

How does it work?

  1. Create an Employer account  [once created please allow a short delay for validation of the account]
  2. Should you already have an account, and/or once your Employer account is valid, access our job board and post your offer [should you not be willing to offer Visa Sponsorship, please indicate it clearly in your post!]
  3. Your offer(s) will be highlighted on Sciences Po Carrières for three months!

Learn More about Sciences Po 

  • Consult our guide for employers 'Recruit at Sciences Po’.  This guide provides the relevant information about our students, the careers we train them for and how to leverage this great pool of talent to meet your recruitment needs.
  • More info on recruiting Interns at undergraduate and graduate level
  • Contact Cyriel Pelletier [cyriel.pelletier@sciencespo.fr] should you have any question or need additional information on Sciences Po Carrières.
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