Impact France organised the 4th edition of the Summer University of the Economy on the 30th of August. This was the largest ever edition of the event with 2000 individuals attending in Paris. The day involved many sessions with entrepreneurs, policy makers and representatives from networks, academia and funders. Throughout the day, there were packed out sessions in all rooms across the venue with more people following the event on livestream. There were stands throughout the venue providing the opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their impactful products and services.
Some of the highlights of the event included a debate between two prominent French MEPs active on the topic of the social and impact economy. Both Manon Aubrey (The Left) and Pascal Canfin (Renew) participated live in Paris in a spirited debate, highlighting both what is currently happening at the European level to work towards meeting the 2015 Paris Climate Accord targets as well as what more may need to be done to make a just Green Transition a reality. In addition to these two European politicians, there was a talk from Olivia Grégoire, Minister for SMEs, Trade, Craft and Tourism in the French Government. She highlighted the importance of European policies in allowing for a European and cross-border approach to understanding, measuring and reporting on impact. The Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting Directive (CSRD) was emphasised as key with the Minister also reiterating that supporting such initiatives was key during the French Council Presidency of the EU. She stated her belief that through taking European action, such as with the CSRD, a common approach to non-financial reporting and measuring impact can be developed across Europe.
The event brought together a huge number of stakeholders from the French (and European) ecosystem, showcasing just how many impact driven enterprises exist across France. There emphasis on re-localisation and the link between impact enterprises and local approaches to entrepreneurship was clearly stated with a belief that the future can be better infecting all those that attended.