Alec de Changy and Benoît Duplat are BAEF fellows from the boat 1993 and graduated from the Harvard MBA in 1995. Both were raised and studied in Belgium, worked in very international settings – Argentina, Thailand, India, Russia – and are now back, living in Europe.
We have been working together for around 25 years: the first ten years in various private equity ventures and the last fifteen ones in building up companies in the social sector: elderly care, learning disabilities and medical practices.
The social and care sector made us discover the importance of combining emotional intelligence, often undervalued, with the more academical logical/mathematical reasoning, leading to stronger organizations that are both value and procedure driven.
For us, the BAEF is a jewel, combining both intelligence and values:
- it helps intellectually bright young women and men grow academically
- in America, a culturally close but quite different environment, yet a country with most of the world’s top universities and where a majority of the world’s patents are registered.
- fostering close bonds between BAEF scholars (we recall fondly the annual dinner at Emile’s house in New Haven, and Charles Ullens’ presentation cocktails in Brussels)
- and above all, always in a climate of “bienveillance”/benevolence and gentleness.
The BAEF is also an institution managed with a healthy long-term vision, strict finances, mixing austerity but at the same time willing to innovate (in the past with company’s fellowships, today with a more social vision of its role).
The objective of this fellowship is not to just give back to the Foundation but also more simply a personal gift from two alumni to five future fellows in the next five years, five 5 persons we want to meet, create a bond with and be able to follow-up in their career. As much as we feel we were privileged to be selected into the BAEF community, we wish them the same luck.
We therefore gave our own names to the fellowship, underlining this personal approach which differs from a company sponsoring or an anonymous gift. We also have the hope this gesture will create similar vocations among the many other BAEF alumni.
The fellowship will be given to candidates selected by the BAEF selection committee – we won’t be involved in their selection – preferably to persons who shares the most similarities with us:
- Someone who has a social vision of business life and who aims at using, as we do, the tools of private enterprises to solve social issues
- An MBA or an MPA
- Someone interested in “bridging” the American liberal vision of the world and the European social one
Bon vent, fair winds !