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Humanism and youth: first TEDxSKEMAParis conference

Published on 06 September 2021

SKEMA Business School will be hosting the first TEDxSKEMAParis conference in its history on the Grand Paris Campus. Entirely organised by students, the event will focus on the theme of “human size”, a highly humanistic issue, and will feature speakers from different backgrounds.


​The Grand Paris campus will be hosting the first TEDxSKEMAParis conference on Saturday 18 September. The theme of the event, “human size”, would have made humanist philosophers like Erasmus or Thomas More green with envy. The theme is deliberately very open, human, and highly meaningful to the organisers. “In a globalised world, this conference will be a pause in time to explore the evolution, challenges and singularity of humankind. We chose this theme because it allows for a large scope of interpretation,” explained Alexandre Rivalland, organiser, co-founder of TEDxSKEMAParis, and second-year student in the Grande Ecole Programme.

During the day, some ten or so speakers will succeed one another on stage and each give a talk no more than fifteen minutes long. These will all be filmed and eventually posted to the YouTube TEDx Talks channel.

Pre-selected speakers

In response to a call they had put out on LinkedIn, the organisers received a flood of applications and proposals. Given the overwhelming interest, the students (there are about twenty involved in the project) had to sort through the applicants to find the ones that were the best fit for the chosen TEDx theme.

“With more than 80 people applying to speak, we were pleasantly surprised at the amount of interest this event generated. After carefully sifting through all the written proposals, each on a very different topic, we interviewed 40 applicants. The selection process took two months”, explained Jeanne Terpraut, in charge of speakers/content and an MSc Sustainable Finance and Fintech student.

An 18-year-old mayor will take to the stage

The conference will shine a spotlight on youth, with guest speakers including Hugo Biolley, the 18-year-old mayor of Vinzieux (Ardèche), whom the people voted in as youngest town councillor during the municipal elections of 2020. The topic of the young mayor’s talk will be: “No, you are not too young to have legitimacy”.

Optimism and glocal action

On the sustainable development side, TEDxSKEMAParis chose to invite Arthur Auboeuf, the co-founder of “Time for the Planet”, a non-profit organisation whose goal is to raise 1 billion euros within five to ten years to finance 100 green companies.

The entrepreneur from France’s Juras region will talk about the role of optimism as an essential element for a collective awakening. This TEDx will also be marked by the presence of Sharbani Sengupta, a SKEMA alumna particularly involved in education and the prevention of domestic violence. Described as a social activist, Sharbani will present her advice on sustainable and glocal involvement, a topic that is important to SKEMA.


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