CSR Challenge : how students express their talents on CSR issues

For a long time, IÉSEG has placed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainable Development (SD) at the heart of its Vision 2025 – “Empowering changemakers for a better society”, as well as at the heart of its training programs, by offering innovative pedagogical methodologies that involve companies and public authorities.

Six years ago, IÉSEG thus launched the CSR Challenge, an integrated challenge during which bachelor students work on CSR and SD issues.

This sixth edition of the CSR Challenge, launched on September 2, has been a success – more than twenty companies and public authorities expressed their interest for this project, which has become increasingly attractive over the years. Of course, this project is a great way for companies to benefit from the creativity and innovation of the IÉSEG students, but also to attract these future talents and help them to grow and become changemakers. Since September, more than 600 students have taken on the role of consultants to respond to issues brought to them by various institutions, including L’Oréal, Gan, Hermès, the Crédit Agricole Nord de France Group, Orange, TF1, the Hauts-de-Seine department, and UNIQLO*, which has been supporting IÉSEG in this challenge since its creation.

A large-scale project at the service of organizations

At the beginning of the semester, the students are divided into small groups and, over a period of three months and a half, they will be supported by experts via coaching sessions (four in total), to help them carry out their consulting project successfully. “The idea of this CSR Challenge is to allow students to have a first concrete professional experience in the field of CSR and SD and to step a foot into large companies. Organizations that are based abroad can also participate, we can adapt to their requests, thanks to technologies that allow for remote collaboration,” adds Maria CASTILLO, CSR manager at IÉSEG.

During this challenge, each company having presented a specific business issue, will meet the students three times over the semester: at the kick-off (launch at the beginning of the semester), during the mid-term meeting (the companies come to meet the students on campus) and the final pitch, during which students present their recommendation to the company’s managers in eight minutes.

The CSR Challenge gives us an insight into the current challenges facing companies and public authorities. We notice that the issues evolve every year and are very varied. We have topics such as inclusive communication, gender diversity, the circular economy, issues related to global warming… The Hauts-de-Seine department, for example, has asked students to work on major territorial issues for different cities,” explains Marie-Liesse DOUROUX, head of Corporate Relations at IÉSEG.

This challenge is eagerly awaited every year by the students and partner companies and organizations, since the solutions proposed can be innovative, relevant and potentially implemented in a concrete manner.

A key part of an IÉSEG student’s curriculum, this challenge is eagerly awaited each year by students and by partner companies and organizations, as the solutions proposed by students are innovative, relevant and potentially implemented in a concrete manner.

As of January 2022, the CSR Challenge will evolve to become the “People-Planet-Profit (PPP) project”. The concept will remain the same, but it will be integrated as of the second year of study. The PPP project will have a real transversal dimension and will be all the more demanding for the students who will have to reflect on the global impacts (People-Planet-Profit) of the recommendations they work on. They will have to integrate the notions acquired in six different courses (human resources, finance, management control…) within their project. They will thus prepare themselves to become informed and inspiring changemakers for organizations.


*List of all participating organizations: Columbus consulting ; Conseil Départemental des Hauts de Seine ; Crédit Agricole Nord de France ; Deloitte ; Fashion Cube ; GAN ; Hermès ; Jules ; Kronenbourg  ; L’Oréal ; Lyreco  ; Orange ; Promod ; Rouge Gorge ; TF1 ; Uniqlo

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