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Franck Sebag, Head of Fast-Growing Companies & IPO Leader at EY & Associates

Learning Inspiration 🌈 #7

Franck Sebag is a partner at EY (Ernst & Young) & Associates. He wears many hats which include Head of Fast-Growing Companies & IPO Leader for France, Western Europe, and the Maghreb region and Head of the French and Middle Eastern Audit Departments.

I have been with EY since 1999. Initially, I was supposed to join a startup as a co-founder, but it didn’t work out. The startup failed. I decided to join EY. I joined the new department focused on startups and initially planned to stay there for a year. . Now, I’ve been here for over 20 years! Today, I work with many startups from the Next 40 as an auditor or as a consultant.

Franck Sebag, Head of Fast-Growing Companies & IPO Leader at EY & Associates

Who is your main source of inspiration πŸ‘©?

Yuval Noah Harari: He is spectacular. I had the chance to see Yuval in-person at a conference in Paris. His intellect and his vision enormously impress me. In Homodeus: A Brief History of Tomorrow and Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, he describes the world’s evolution to us. In the former, he tells us that there was a period when it was God who knew, then Nietzsche came up with the concept of β€œmen know better than God,” and then we had political movements: Liberalism, Communism and Nazism. Harari warns us about the next era where our world will be ruled by artificial intelligence. His reflection prompts us to ask ourselves the question of our usefulness in this world and “what are we going to do with our time now?”

How do you keep learning on a daily basis?

For me, my inspirations often come from reading. I like my beliefs to be pushed around and challenged. 

By training: At EY, we have access to a training platform. I frequently use it, especially to train myself in “hard skills”.

Through meetings: I take part in many startup competitions. I meet a good deal of clients, and it inspires me on a daily basis. It is an excellent source of daily learnings. Because of Covid, meeting people is less serendipitous, which is unfortunate. When you apply the principle of Serendipity to life, you meet amazing people who inspire you every day.

Reading: To go further in my learning, I read constantly about a wide variety of themes: sociology, philosophy, and politics. This is my primary source of inspiration today. I have a strong appetite for biographies, from Karl Marx to entrepreneurs, to politicians, to philosophers, to Gandhi, to Churchill. All these people have succeeded in changing the world.

Films: It can also be films including the one on De Gaulle πŸ‡«πŸ‡·

The press: Harvard Business Review πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ, Capital πŸ‡«πŸ‡· , Les Echos πŸ‡«πŸ‡·. I subscribe to all of that stuff. And I read them every day.

Conferences: for inspiration, I find it great (CES Las Vegas πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ ).

What are your favorite books πŸ“š?

The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas TalebThis book is about how the greatest scientific advances have often been made from hazardous encounters such as Marie Curie’s discovering radioactivity. It’s about exposing yourself to chance instead of fearing it and embracing serendipity.

Anti Fragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow  by Yuval Noah Harari

The Virtue of Failure πŸ‡«πŸ‡· and Self-Confidence πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ by Charles Pepin

Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Estelle Duflo.  The way to approach a problem is to find a solution. It has changed the way we approach poverty. The authors explain to us how often we approach the problem poorly because we do not analyze the causes of poverty before tackling it.

Capital & Ideology by Thomas Piketty. I don’t necessarily agree but I liked his analysis.

What is your favorite podcast 🎧?

I find podcasts to be a bit long. So, I haven’t found my β€œfavorite” podcast yet.

In French πŸ‡«πŸ‡· :

Grow fast: 7 piliers de la croissance : The one I just created because I couldn’t find what I wanted in the existing podcasts.

40 Nuances de Next : a podcast that explores the men or women behind successful companies. They try to understand the foundations of the guests, their choices, and, therefore their success.

If you were to stay alone on an island and would only be allowed to bring one item, what would it be ? 

A kindle with lots of books. But, ideally, I would prefer an iPhone with music if I am allowed and can recharge it πŸ˜‰

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Marie has been in the EdTech sector for the past 4 years. She is COO at Clind. Clind is an EdTech startup building a personal learning assistant to help individuals grow and learn better on a daily basis.

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