Mathilde NoelsUNESCO event18 December 2022

Earth University X Parliament of the Future: Life at a Time of Great Transitions

On the 25th and 26th of November, two members of GEA Sustainability ESCP society, Mathilde Noels and Victoire de Carné had the honour of participating as representatives of the youth in La Vie À L’Heure des Grandes Transitions (or Life at a Time of Great Transitions), an event organised by the Université de la Terre (Earth University) and the Parlement des Entrepreneurs d’Avenir (Parliament of the Future) at the UNESCO world headquarters in Paris.

This seventh edition brought together around 10,000 participants, including scientists, economic leaders, intellectuals, politicians, associations, farmers, activists, and citizens in order to share their expertise, vision, and solutions with the public.

On the agenda: two days of reflection, sharing, debating, and reflecting on the major challenges that threaten our planet, biodiversity, and our society. The event featured innovative start-ups and some of the new actors of tomorrow. Indeed, it was the perfect opportunity for many companies to talk about their commitment to saving the planet and show how they are transitioning to become more sustainable.

Fortunately, the GEA members were also able to attend three very interesting and insightful debates, each followed by a Q&A session where they asked their burning questions. The three panels were: "Economic, political, psychological: what prevents us from acting?", “Let's change our economic and civilizational model", and "10 billion people to feed: what food revolution?".

Panel members acknowledged a general awareness of the need to act faster and more intensely on the part of large companies. Attending executives insisted on the need to change the entire systemic vision of the supply chain by increasing cooperation with the commitment of all actors along the production line.

In addition, the risks associated with the ecological transition (such as new financial costs or a decline in business performance in the short term) have been identified as significant headwinds to the sustainable transition of multinationals. Companies executives, such as Isabelle Kocher, former CEO of Engie and current Chairman and CEO of Blunomy, explained that “we must rethink the way we analyse companies’ performance, and we must find solutions to the lack of financing tools and models to support the transition”.

The Earth University was an exciting opportunity for the attending GEA members to learn more about CSR within companies, as well as to meet and network with a variety of experts.

Mathilde Noels, GEA member at the UNESCO world headquarters in Paris.
Mathilde Noels, GEA member at the UNESCO world headquarters in Paris.

GEA Member speaks to audience

GEA would like to thank ESCP and Earth University for this unique opportunity, allowing us to exchange with key leaders of tomorrow.

If you are interested in hearing more from the event’s experts on how we can overcome global sustainability challenges, I highly recommend checking out the recordings of the debates, available on the Earth University YouTube channel.

― Mathilde Noels