ENSAE Paris - École d'ingénieurs pour l'économie, la data science, la finance et l'actuariat

Ethics and sustainable development

 Ethics and sustainable development

The place of ethics in our curricula

Throughout their careers, ENSAE graduates will be required to handle data, often confidential or even sensitive. It is therefore essential that ENSAE's training programs provide reference points and skills related to data ethics and confidentiality issues. 

All first-year students therefore take a compulsory "Introduction to data ethics and law" module, taught by Kamel Gadouche, director of the Centre d'accès sécurisé distant aux données (CASD), and Sonia Bressler, a doctor of philosophy and epistemology and data specialist. This course aims to:

  • Introduce students to the principles of how to establish an information security policy.
  • Make them think about the main security measures generally implemented: anonymization, encryption, backups, access permissions... 
  • Have them think about the limits and the need to supervise the development of digital uses.
  • Address the issues of tool bias.

This introductory module is complemented by more advanced courses such as "Big data and data law", which is compulsory in the Data Science, Statistics and Learning track. The range of courses offered by ENSAE in this area will be enriched at the start of the 2022 academic year by a new course on "Ethical and Responsible Data Science", which is compulsory in all three "Data Science" specialization tracks. This course will address the ethical and social issues of digital technology, data, and more specifically artificial intelligence (AI), from the perspective of human choices and the social structures that shape them.

Ethical and privacy issues are also addressed in scientific courses such as the mandatory 2nd year course "Theoretical foundations of Machine learning" (fairness issues of algorithms), as well as in advanced specialization courses. Several ENSAE teacher-researchers are involved in the new INRIA-CREST-Criteo team launched in 2022 on this "fairness" theme. 

Sustainable development

Economists, sociologists, finance and insurance specialists, as well as data scientists and mathematicians each have a lot to say and each contribute to this essential field in teaching and research. Many courses at ENSAE address the theme of sustainable development in its many dimensions, in connection with the design and evaluation of public policies. 

Students can thus take an Introduction to the Economic Analysis of Environmental Problems course in their second year, and then integrate this dimension into their third-year specialization with advanced courses covering various aspects necessary to integrate sustainable development into public and corporate decision-making, support the ecological transition, and change markets and investment practices. For example

  • Environmental economics
  • Development economics
  • Economics of energy markets
  • Urban labor and housing markets
  • Economics of inequality
  • Economics of redistribution and social protection
  • Topics in applied public economics
  • Political economy
  • Catastrophic risks and insurance markets
  • Green finance
  • Energy risk management

Our students who wish to specialize in this field also have access to advanced master's programs. In the third year, they can take a double degree with the Master's in Environmental, Energy and Transport Economics (EEET) at the University of Paris-Saclay, or a double degree with Agro ParisTech.

One of the school's objectives over the next five years is to contribute to the teaching and research dynamics of IP Paris in this field, in conjunction with the interdisciplinary E4C (Energy for Climate) center.