Message from the Head of School - Message from the Head of School
Philippe de Korodi
Managing Director, Collège Champittet
11 April, 2024

Message from the Head of School

Message from the Head of School - Message from the Head of School

Dear Champiteans,

The School had the privilege of welcoming philosopher Julia de Funès last March. It's a wonderful thing for a school to be able to bring its community together around philosophy. Previous speakers in our Cycle de Grandes Conférences have included Marc Bonnant, Régis Debray and Fabrice Hadjadj, Claude Nicollier, Frédéric Lenoir, Bertrand Piccard, André Comte Sponville, and Sarah Marquis in 2023.

Julia de Funès has deconstructed the notion of identity, to which many of us are so attached. She has shown the contradiction inherent in this notion: being identical is the opposite of being specific. She prefers the search for the authenticity of each individual being. In the wake of existentialism, she suggests that we are what we do, that action defines us better than our DNA, our social class or our emotional construction. Julia de Funès also observes that, while our speech is controlled and demonstrates our ability to adapt socially, our body language says more about our true self: intonation, looks, the way we dress and move. Finally, she points to the hypertrophy of individualism, which borders on mass narcissism in our societies, where everything is measured in relation to oneself: with, as a consequence, a loss of respect for all forms of authority, whether governmental, scientific, medical or... educational. Universal values are giving way to the defence of the interests of all kinds of minorities.

At Champittet, ever since the school was founded in 1903 by Dominican fathers, we have believed that individual success is desirable as long as it is part of a commitment to others, to those who do not have everything. And that knowing one's true self is part of the social fabric, through civic engagement, democracy and respect for others.