Today, my thoughts are with the people of Denmark.
I had the privilege last month to speak at the Council of Europe as the Deputy Chairman of ESCP Europe Alumni, in front of 1100 students of 44 nationalities and a number of distinguished speakers such as former President of the European Parliament Nicole Fontaine and ESCP Europe Dean Frank Bournois.
To immerse our Master in Management students in the School’s european identity & global perspective, ESCP Europe organised a 3-day study trip to the European Parliament. 850 students from the five campuses of ESCP Europe (Paris, Berlin, London, Madrid and Turin) were plunged, alongside students from l’ENA and the Sorbonne, into the world of policy making in Europe with a particular emphasis on its economic, institutional and cross-cultural aspects.
Dear students, my dear friends,
My name is Laurent Sachs, I am the Deputy Chairman of ESCP Europe Alumni. I am an executive coach, and the founder of a Venture Capital company.
Two weeks ago in Paris, journalists have been killed for their freedom of expression, people have been killed for being jewish, police officers have been killed for protecting our legal rights.
And here I stand, in Strasbourg, in front of you. What has been happening here, in this Parliament, over the last 50 years, has for a large part made the man and the citizen I am today. So here I am, very proud, very humble at the same time, and quite angry.
So what should we do, together, to try to make the world a better place? At ESCP Europe, Europe defines our DNA. This not just about geography. As far as I am concerned, at my very personal level, this is a way of doing business. This is a belief that we can do business and public good at the same time.
So my speech today is about business and public good. It’s about the belief there is value in doing what’s right. It’s about the idea that we are stronger together, that we want to do business together, based on trust and shared beliefs. It’s about community involvement. So I’m asking you, I’m begging you: in the train back to Paris tonight, and for the rest of your education at ESCP Europe, go meet students you don’t know, especially if they are from another country.
This is what we try to achieve at ESCP Europe Alumni. We are an amazing network, all over the world. We want to be a model of social, professional and fraternal network. We want to be a model of collective intelligence. Our united contribution is our collective humanistic response to the anonymity of globalisation.
Please join us. We need you. We want to share our dreams with you.
I look forward to meet you all. Thank you very much.
Here is a video of the Start@Europe seminar of 2013: