Alumni Spirit | Changing the system to change the world

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President and founder of Makesense in the Philippines, Léa Klein has had the opportunity to travel the world, navigating between the association’s various entities: SenseSchool, MakeSense and SenseCube. Driven by a strong commitment to social entrepreneurship, she believes that entrepreneurs and enterprises should serve society and not the other way around.

Collaboration between humans and machines

At the end of his Master in Finance atINSEEC BBA on the Léa Klein defended her thesis on bank loans granted to people in financial difficulty, with contributions fromArnaud Poissonnier andArnaud Ventura, respectively founder of Babyloan and co-founder of Positive Planet.

Then, Léa Klein started a Master in Development Studies at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Convinced that a sustainable, just society should dictate the future of algorithms, the young woman continued her studies in digital social sciences, receiving a certificate in Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Ethics, as well as a Google certification in data analysis.

“What is important to me is to know that in 10 years I will still be working at something that contributes to progress. For me, it’s not a question of career but continuing to develop enough experience and legitimacy to take action on increasingly complex subjects. Be it through entrepreneurship, volunteering, or as an employee in an institution that works for the common good,” she says.

Social entrepreneurship

Léa Klein has been working on a framework for a bright future in Asia for over six years, which has given her an opportunity to glean new skills from her colleagues, especially when it comes to creativity. Among other things, she has benefited from a highly developed digital culture, as well as a stimulating work environment that prioritizes time for team-building. Together, they wish to make social entrepreneurship available to everyone and generalize civic engagement:

“While 90% of the supported entrepreneurs come from Manilla, social entrepreneurship is starting to catch on throughout the Philippines and there have been some great success stories over the last ten years,” she explains.

An impassioned mobilization that offers solutions in the hope that one day social inequality and environmental crises will just be stories from a distant past.


Léa Klein has completely adapted to the tropical Asian climate, and sometimes surprises herself feeling more at home in the Philippines than in her hometown. As if, having spent a long time abroad, there is a sort of reverse culture shock each time she comes back to France:

“This doesn’t change my love for Strasbourg at all! It gives me the impression that I am constantly rediscovering my home country, which is quite a magical experience,” she admits.

Léa Klein also feels fulfilled in the Philippines because she believes she is contributing to a better world, and considers herself lucky to have an opportunity to work in a field that has meaning: “I am constantly questioning my legitimacy. Working with different people, who have different ways of thinking, I learn something new every day!”

Commitment to a cause

Between dealing with the legal structure of the various activities, fundraising, developing partnerships and creating a support program for social entrepreneurs in the Asian branch of Makesense, Léa Klein finds time to help various non-profits learn methods of systemic change, collaborative governance and innovation. She works with organizations that are part of the Kofi Annan Foundation in the Philippines, in Bangladesh and in Pakistan on their civic engagement programs to prevent extremism:

“My role is to give them tools for organizing their volunteer communities, allowing them to share good practices, and also to encourage dialogue to find, for example, a wider definition of terrorism. In the collective imagination, terrorism only exists in religious extremism, while there are thousands of other forms of terrorism,” she explains.

It’s not surprising, then, that one of Léa Klein’s models is the actor Jane Fonda, a committed feminist and activist who does not hesitate to use her celebrity for political ends. At over 80 years old, she is one of the pillars of the Fire Drill Friday movement and campaigns for the climate every Friday in front of the US Congress.

Social innovation

Among Léa Klein’s best memories of her academic career is her commitment to student associations. After the creation of Enactus ECE INSEEC which promotes social progress through entrepreneurship, she launched a cooperative project with six other students. The object was to help women producers of shea butter have access to economic exchanges with France. She then went on to do community service with Enactus France.

“Community projects are unique life experiences and incredible opportunities to learn. I will always remember the first time we received financing to launch our projects from the Rhône-Alpes region! I think you should be as serious about classes as a school’s community associations. It’s an excellent way to make great friends and to contribute to a project that has impact,” she notes.

Her advice: “Don’t get stuck in a way of thinking”

Léa Klein invites all students to ask themselves how, with the skills they have developed during their studies, they can write a new definition of what is a successful career. It’s never too late to make things happen and contribute to a better world, especially if all of society’s actors work together to change the status quo:

“What are the careers that students dream about? Finance? Information technology? Marketing? There are jobs that have social impact and also go beyond the non-profit world, like sustainable finance, ethical fashion, tech for good, etc. With our business school baggage, we all have the power to change the world!” she declares.

According to Léa Klein, one of humanity’s worst enemies is the ego. To be happy and work for real change in our society, you should be able to constantly question yourself and accept that you can make mistakes. The world is in a state of continual evolution, so why stay stuck in one way of thinking?

Avec notre bagage d’école de commerce,
on a tous le pouvoir de changer le monde !



Updated 6 September 2022