Who are you?
My name is Shayan Khan and I am a Consultant specialising in Digital Transformation at Wavestone in Paris. Furthermore, I am the Chairman of U7+ Student & Alumni Network (U7+ SAN), an affiliate of the U7+ Alliance - a non-profit organisation promoting education worldwide – and an alumni of Ecole Polytechnique as I followed the MSc&T of Internet of Things: Innovation and Management program.
What is the U7+ Alliance and U7+ Student & Alumni Network?
Proposed by President of France, Emmanuel Macron in 2019, the U7+ Alliance of World Universities is the first coalition of university presidents aimed at defining concrete actions universities can take to collectively address global challenges in coordination with government leaders in G7 countries and beyond.
Partnering with the U7+ Alliance, in 2020, along with my fellow colleagues from the first-ever U7+ Worldwide Student Forum, we decided to launch the U7+ Student & Alumni Network for three main purposes:
1. To remain a prominent and integrated resource and partner to the alliance,
2. To represent the students’ interests and provide a platform for open communication on improving the educational environment and experience,
3. To bring value to the notion of ‘Intergenerational Justice’ by relaying students’ viewpoints on issues that impact the educational ecosystem to decision-makers across the network.
The collective goal with the U7+ Alliance is to build a sustainable future for students and prepare them for the reality of the professional world by providing the tangible and intangible tools to succeed.
It started with universities from only 7 countries (G7 members) but expanded globally to other countries within Africa and Asia, to reach a larger audience and understand deeper the current situation of the education ecosystem. Today, the network serves 52 member universities from over 20 countries !
What is your role in that organization?
In 2020, I represented Ecole Polytechnique as a student delegate at the U7+ Worldwide Student Forum. Today, as chairman of the U7+ SAN, I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of the U7+ SAN - in charge of coordinating with internal U7+ SAN teams and external stakeholders of the U7+ Alliance (university presidential delegates, U7+ Alliance Bureau, etc.) to promote the mission statements and ambitions of the U7+ Student & Alumni Network.
What are the measures and actions being implemented and planned?
The U7+ SAN is still very new. For now, we are structuring our own governance, with the aim to build strong relationships with the U7+ Alliance universities. Furthermore, to work alongside these partners and find innovative ways to implement ideas, students wish to promote and take to the next level.
What skills did you acquire during the MSc&T program that are helpful within the organization?
I would definitely say working in high pressure situations and collaborating with teams. MSc&T programs are composed of many different and challenging projects, which require you to collaborate with other students from various backgrounds.
This is basically my work today: be open minded, listen to people and give them space to express themselves in order to collaborate in the best way and succeed.
As it is a volunteer organization, it is even more important to listen to your team. We all believe in the same cause, have the same passion and wish to achieve our collective goal. It makes me very proud !
What do you like the most about your role as a Chairman of the U7+ Student & Alumni Network?
My team! We started from the bottom without being sure of what would happen in the future. The dedication of the team is exceptional and because of their motivation and passion, we are were to bring valuable contribution to the U7+ Alliance, expanding the network and supporting the purposeful cause.
What advice would you give to future students that would like to join?
If you are passionate about education, helping people or contributing on an international scale – you are always welcome!
What are your ambitions for the future?
Being a part of a volunteer organization made me realize that there is more to life than just my day-to-day job.
I wish to continue working with the U7+ Alliance and support other universal and meaningful causes, be it in education, sustainability, etc. While, I wish to continue being successful within my current field, I see myself promoting and contributing to impactful ideas and action plans with global leaders.
My dream is to build a charity organisation for underprivileged children as they are deserving of a bright future and it is our responsibility to support their dreams and hopes.