Depuis trois ans, des étudiants du master IEC participent aux activités de la Chaire Leadership et Diversité de l’ESSEC.

« La Chaire Leadership et Diversité était créé en 2007, et travaille cette année avec L’Oréal comme partenaire principal. L’objectif majeur de la chaire est de promouvoir la mobilisation de la diversité (ex. genre, handicap, origines, âges etc.) au service du changement organisationnel.  A part le coté recherche qui mobilise les expertises des professeurs affiliés à la chaire, chaque année, on recrute une vingtaine des étudiants pour participer dans le programme pédagogique de la chaire entre janvier et juin qui est conçu avec nos partenaires. Les étudiants suivent un séminaire dans lequel ils rencontrent des champions de la diversité et les managers opérationnels qui gèrent quotidiennement des problématiques lié a la diversité.  Ils travaillent sur un projet de groupe proposé par nos partenaires et présentent leurs résultats dans une conférence avec une centaine des professionnels en juin. Pour faire vivre l’objectif de la chaire, les groupes de travail sont conçue pour être la plus diverse possible (ex. genre, origines, âges, filière académique, expériences etc.). »

En 2016, Anne-Laurence Ndaptjé, étudiante en master 2 IEC, avait été sélectionnée pour participer au Forum mondial « One Young World ». Elle revient sur son expérience en anglais.



OYW(from left to right) Anne-Laurence Ndaptjé, Arvind Palanisamy, Rongyan Sun, Marie Cipriani, Yuhang Peng in front of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill.

When we all got the news that we will go in Ottawa to attend the One Young World summit in early october, the majority of us couldn’t believe it. We understood the magnitude of this news. One Young World 2016 certainly was one of the most exciting, groundbreaking, impactful experience, for the 5 of us. This is the time that made us become more than dreamers.

To be a young leader, some may say, is quite easy. As young people, we have the ideas, we have the energy and the drive and the resources to achieve our goals. On a personal level some of us would say that it’s not that simple and on a collective scale, it is even more difficult to figure how to make a difference in a world where catastrophies of all sorts keeps on increasing.
But we know that what brings us together is a sense of hope and a deep need of transformation for our societies.

As part of Essec’s Chair of leadership and diversity, we have had the opportunity to work together on the importance of making the workplace a safe, productive space for everyone regardless of genre, sexual orientation, ethnic background, religion and mental and physical abilities. We have studied and managed to make statements and build tools that could hopefully send the right message, change minds and bring a cultural shift within the international professional world. In that sense, we have shown leadership. The chair experience has made us aware. Not only on the matters of diversity but on the way our society in general could and should improve when it comes to global issues.


Changing the world is not an easy task but when we were sent to the One Young World 2016 to represent our Chair as “One Young World delegates”, we understood that “to change the world” is something that should be in our vocabulary and our actions. If this expression felt like a blur before, now it is real and tangible. For several days, we have seen young makers from around the globe (age between 18 and 30), leading by example. While getting to know them, we saw some of them grace the stage to speak about their life, activities, organizations, workshops or companies, to share with us their own stories of rage, doubt, enlightment, resilience, success and hope. We could feel the realness of their struggle and understand that nothing comes easy when it comes to change.

Founded by Kate Robinson and David Jones in 2010, the One Young world is a non-governmental organization that brings together likeminded people from 189 countries to discuss, share and learn within a positive safe space. The OYW is an environment of people that aim is to better the world. For 3 entire days at least, that is the message and the goal the 1300 of us have embraced. The summit is filled with conferences, panel discussions, and talks from well known and yet to be known leaders that embark us to a journey of self-empowerment and self-substainability. While it brings us the fuel to imagine other futures, as Muhammad Yunus would teach, it also focuses on harsh realities that concerns every single one of us : poverty, climate change, gender equality, the refugee state, domestic violence, LGBTQ rights, extremism, technology, education, mental health etc.

We can recall various breakthrough stories : Lina Khalifeh for example, founded “She Fighter” to empower women through self defense. She started, with a small group of women in the Middle East and she now teaches martial arts and self defense to thousand of women around the globe. Aminka Belvitt, with “For us Girls” created a community based in Jamaica, committed to the acceptance, celebration and development of unique, fierce and daring young women (ages 13 to 17). Hassan, who took it to the microphone to speak on his personal journey as a genocide refugee living on a camp for 11 years in Uganda, has now develop a an organization called “Sudan Allied Youth » (SAY) to help victims of war through creative arts…

Last year, the summit occured in Bangkok, Thailand and this year, Ottawa, Canada was our land of welcome. Our group was not familiar with the city nor the country and we had the opportunity to get to know news cultures and values. On the day of inauguration, we were greeted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who’s words on empowerment and inclusion put a great stamp on our experience. Through Senator Murray Sinclair, we got to know more about the very needed aboriginal history that summarize the aspects of richness, wisdom but also marginalization, violence, peace and reconciliation. Thanks to the City of Ottawa, we also had the opportunity to share a dinner with a local family. I was welcome by Samuel and Isabel and their two teenagers who graced two other delegates and myself with live music and ungoing conversations until we all went to the Sound and Light Show at the Parliament Hill. Everything was in place for us to take in the experience. It was easy-going, rushed and busy at times but nonetheless remarkable as we made contacts and friends for a day or a lifetime.

Yes, there were “celebrities” or people that have a “world platform”. Emma Watson for instance, was brought to tears by the acclamation from the public for her work as an Ambassador of UN Women. Singer and Oscar winning actress Cher, came to talk about the story of an elephant named Kaava. The public protector of South Africa Thuli Madonsela eased us into EPIC thinking. Sir Bob Geldof managed to bring the jokes as he talked about the importance of dialogue to prevent terrorism and Jon Landau (film producer of Titanic and Avatar), brought his Oscar ! But they were all there for a greater purpose beyond their status. They came to mentor delegate speakers and inspire us through their tales and activism. Indeed, we left Ottawa very inspired as One Young World ambassadors.

One Young World is a travelling machine that lends in various territories of our journey. It is a machine that builds faith into our vision. It does not shy away from the responsabilities we should have to better our individual and collective situations. The community teaches us to put ourselves in the shoes of others to understand their triumphs and tribulations so that we can contribute and/or learn from them for our own purpose or cause. It is a global family for those who sign up to take action whether risky or virtuous. It is a constant force that reminds us that as corny as it may sound, our existence and all existence in this world should be valued. It makes us ask ourselves “Where do I come From ? Where am I going ? Why am I here ? Who do I want to be ?” We may not have answers to all of these questions yet, but we surely are on the right path to do so.

Next year, the One Young World will take place in Bogota, Columbia. As we know the challenges the country is facing to keep peace at the forefront of their agenda, we wish for the future delegates to realize that they will be at the right place in that right moment and that their contribution will not be in vain. Plus, HAVE FUN, just like we did !


Writer : Anne-Laurence Ndaptjé