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Entretien par Yonathan Parienti, CEO de Horyou

Bonjour Arnaud Roland. On est très heureux de vous retrouver aujourd’hui à Solutions COP21. Depuis combien de temps Coca-Cola s’implique dans le climat ?

Depuis 2007, c’est là qu’on a calculé tous nos impacts sur l’environnement et qu’on a fixé nos objectifs à 2021. Aujourd’hui, en 2015 à la COP21, nous avons effectué la moitié du chemin et quand on regarde nos résultats en termes d’économie d’énergie et d’économie circulaire, on a fait énormément de choses depuis. Il nous en reste encore beaucoup mais ce qui est important pour nous c’est d’avoir un cap qui est de réduire d’un tiers l’empreinte carbone de nos boissons.

On le voit quand on arrive à votre stand, le public s’intéresse à ce que vous faites et il y a une bonne communication qui passe. Coca-Cola fait partie de la vie du grand public à différents égards. La Cop21 c’est la matérialisation de ce lien entre un entreprenariat qui peut être responsable et qui a cette responsabilité pour l’avenir de l’humanité, pour penser le monde de demain.

Absolument. Coca-Cola était déjà très présent à Copenhague en 2009. Pour nous, être présent dans les COP, notamment celle-ci la COP21 qui tente de dessiner un accord mondial sur le climat, c’est une étape de plus et, dans l’idée, un exercice de transparence de plus : on est là pour dire voilà ce sur quoi on s’est engagé, où est-ce qu’on est aujourd’hui et où est-ce qu’on veut aller. On veut aussi expliquer au grand public qu’on rencontre ici au Grand Palais que c’est aussi important de discuter avec lui qui n’est pas à l’écart de notre entreprise mais qui fait partie de sa vie, de sa feuille de route. On leur explique ce qu’ils ont besoin de savoir ce qu’on fait avec les emballages qu’ils trient chez eux et en quoi ça baisse le carbone et en quoi c’est bénéfique.

Cette logique de transparence, cette volonté d’assumer l’impact de la gestion de la production, on la retrouve sur votre site, dans votre stand et dans votre communication. Pensez-vous donc que la transparence soit une des clés de la réussite d’une stratégie de la durabilité ?

Oui c’est fondamental et les gens la réclament. Vous savez, pour la première fois cette année on a invité le grand public à visiter une de nos usines, chose qui ne se faisait jamais auparavant. Et c’est génial de voir la réaction des gens visiter une usine de Coca-Cola. On n’a rien à leur cacher. Au contraire, on aimerait en inviter plus. Cela suppose des dispositifs de sécurité importants ; mais c’est fondamental pour nous d’ouvrir nos portes et de permettre aux gens de voir la réalité de la production, du recyclage, etc.

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L’expertise que vous avez développée en matière de recyclage peut-elle inspirer d’autres entreprises dans un partage d’information pour une responsabilité transversale, circulaire au sein des activités d’entrepreneur ?

Oui tout-à-fait. Il y a deux ans par exemple, nous avons investi dans la filière industrielle du recyclage du plastique en France et dans le cadre de cet investissement pour développer ce marché d’utiliser plus de matière d’emballage, on a créé à côté de cette usine un centre pédagogique ouvert au public où on accueille beaucoup de scolaires et des collectivités locales et des associations mais aussi énormément d’entreprises petites et grandes qui viennent voir sur place ce qu’on y fait. Le centre est en Bourgogne, à côté de Beaune et c’est un centre où on a accueilli plus de quatre mille personnes à ce jour.

Au niveau des opérations concrètes que vous développez sur la notion de citoyenneté, de diversité, de communauté au niveau international on comprend que Coca-Cola cherche à s’inscrire dans les défis actuels comme le woman empowerment, est-ce que vous pouvez nous en parler ?

Le programme 5by20. Symbole de l'engagement de Coca-Cola auprès de femmes entrepreneurs dans le monde. Crédits photo  © Coca-Cola Company
Le programme 5by20. Symbole de l’engagement de Coca-Cola auprès de femmes entrepreneurs dans le monde. Crédits photo © Coca-Cola Company

La question de l’égalité homme-femme et du woman empowerment est très importante pour Coca-Cola à tous les niveaux : international, européen ou local ici en France. Je citerai un programme que Coca-Cola mène à travers le monde qui s’appelle “5 by 20“. C’est un engagement fort de l’entreprise d’aider cinq millions de femmes dans les pays émergents d’ici 2020 à progresser dans leur niveau de vie en les aidant à monter leur propre entreprise là où elles sont, que ce soit dans un village en Afrique, au Cambodge, au Vietnam, en Inde ou au Mexique. C’est donc un programme d’entreprenariat social dédié aux femmes et supporté par The Coca-Cola Company et sa fondation parce qu’on sait qu’investir sur les femmes c’est ça qui va changer le monde parce que les femmes ont une vision de l’avenir et sont beaucoup plus impliquées sur les problématiques environnementales et souvent dans ces pays-là ce sont les femmes qui prennent les décisions importantes dans la vie de leur communauté.

L’innovation sociale source d’avenir et passerelle entre les cultures. Pensez-vous que dans les entreprises qui ont atteint une forme de maturité on puisse avoir une transversalité plus importante entre les entrepreneurs d’aujourd’hui, d’hier et de demain ?

Oui je le pense sincèrement. Je pense que par rapport aux enjeux environnementaux et sociétaux auxquels l’humanité fait face aujourd’hui tout le monde doit jouer sa partie mais dans l’entreprise et la responsabilité des grandes entreprises c’est d’aider les plus petites, d’aider les plus fragile, c’est d’investir dans les pistes d’avenir, les femmes, l’économie circulaire parce qu’on croit que ces modèles sont des solutions concrètes et réalistes pour faire la transition vers le monde de demain.

On a vu un événement, “Ticket for Change”, vous étiez présent auprès de cette jeunesse qui souhaite entreprendre.

Oui, absolument, “Ticket for Change” est un événement absolument formidable pour voir comment de jeunes entrepreneurs veulent en aider d’autres et rayonner, créer un réseau. Tout ça, ce n’est que du positif et on est très heureux de soutenir “Ticket for Change” depuis le début de leur aventure.

Certains participants de “Ticket for Change” sont venus à notre forum à Genève et l’un d’entre eux a pu même être lauréat. C’est là le signe que la transpiration entre des espoirs et des volontés, et des entreprises qui soutiennent des opportunités de mettre en avant des projets, ça fonctionne. C’est la preuve qu’en avançant tous ensemble on peut réussir.

Absolument. Tous ensemble, la philosophie c’est de penser l’avenir et penser des solutions qui nous permettent à la fois de nous adapter au changement climatique et de créer des conditions d’un mode de vie et un développement économique beaucoup plus durable.

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Coca-Cola veut s’impliquer fortement auprès de ses collaborateurs pour créer des conditions de succès au niveau humain. Dans votre espace ici, ce sont des vrais collaborateurs qui font le lien avec le public ; ce lien, c’est une réalité ?

Oui c’est vraiment notre volonté ici pendant les sept jours au Grand Palais que ce soit nos collaborateurs qui portent le message. Une entreprise ce sont aussi des citoyens, des hommes et des femmes qui sont engagés et donc on a souhaité que ce soit eux qui portent le message. Par exemple, j’ai personnellement invité tous les responsables environnement de nos cinq usines françaises à venir dialoguer avec le public, expliquer leur métier, leur réalité, ce qu’ils font au quotidien pour réduire l’énergie dans une usine d’embouteillage de Coca-Cola et ça c’est très important.

Arnaud Roland, plus personnellement, si vous aviez un rêve aujourd’hui à exprimer, quel serait-il ?

Moi je dis souvent que dans mon métier, je ne travaille pas pour moi. J’ai la chance d’avoir une petite fille qui va bientôt avoir cinq ans, c’est pour elle que je travaille ; c’est pour elle que je me lève le matin pour lui préparer un avenir plus durable parce que le monde est difficile, les challenges sont nombreux. C’est ça qui me porte : lui laisser un héritage dont je serai fier plus tard.

Quelle est votre source d’inspiration vers ce chemin de la durabilité ?

C’est la jeunesse ; la jeunesse c’est l’avenir du monde. C’est eux qu’il faut aider, qu’il faut encourager et qu’il faut inspirer. Et quand on a un peu d’expérience et de vie professionnelle, c’est important de transmettre des choses positives.

Si vous aviez un message à partager avec les citoyens du monde, quel serait-il ?

Je dirais, aujourd’hui internet et les réseaux sociaux nous permettent de partager de plus en plus d’information, donc partageons encore plus mais dans un esprit vraiment positif et solidaire parce que les bonnes et de grandes idées il y en a partout mais ce qui compte surtout c’est de pouvoir les mettre en oeuvre au bout du compte. Place à l’action, au partage et à l’échange, internet nous permet aujourd’hui nous permet de faire tout ça.

Arnaud Roland, merci beaucoup pour cet échange.

Merci.

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Horyou had the chance to interview Eleanor Watson, engineer, entrepreneur, futurist and believer in the positive future of humanity. Eleanor Watson grew up in Northern Ireland as an only child of an engineer, a childhood in which books taught her at an early age the challenges in this world and the hope in defeating them. Today, her continued interest in the psychology of technology has led her to study, speak about and encourage the emergence of social trends. Mrs. Watson is within the Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Faculty at the Singularity University, a benefit corporation that helps individuals, businesses institutions, investors, NGOs and governments with educational programs, training them to understand new technologies and the positive impact potential of these technologies. In this interview she tells us about her work and experiences at the University. — by Amma Aburam

Have you always wanted to be an advocate for Technology in Social Good and Impact? How did it come about?

I grew up as the only child of an engineer in a house filled with serious science fiction. From an early age I also had a cherished copy of the Gaia Atlas of Planet Management, a book that details the whole world’s resources, and the greatest problems of our world society.

I also learned that lasting humanitarian successes, such as the eradication of smallpox, seemed like science fiction not so long ago.

I believe that the combination of these two influences seeded an understanding of the immense challenges facing so many in this world, along with a sense of optimism in being able to continue our shaping our world for the better.

The University impacts Education, Innovation and Community, how are these three elements intertwined to tackle world challenges?

SU teaches new models for understanding the world, based upon principles of harnessing the power of exponential technology curves, and a cultivated mentality of abundance (as opposed to one of scarcity).

This leads to a whole new way of looking at the world, and people sometimes switch the whole track of their lives once they acquire these new tools for understanding the complex systems in which we live.

Such methods also create a clarity about predicting the future of technology and society, which leads SU alumni to found new ventures that are ahead of the curve that the solutions created may have no precedent, or no existing market for them. Many of these solutions are able to generate massive social impact, as well as building powerful engines of wealth creation, enriching society at least as much as shareholders.

Furthermore, we lead an extended community of alumni that is able to continue to collaborate all through their careers. I continue to work on a range of socially beneficial projects with colleagues that I first met during SU, creating a lasting legacy of creative benefit.

What are your best/favorite success stories of local impact with technology through the strategies at Singularity University?

SU students and alumni have founded a wide range of inspiring ventures, with missions as daring as detecting cancer at the earliest stages, mining old electronics to recover valuable materials (mined originally often in places of intense conflict), or even drones that can replenish entire forests by firing seedlings like a machine gun.

What in your opinion are the three building blocks in reaching solutions for local community issues?

The most important success factor is having in-depth understanding of the situation within the local areas that the issue has the strongest particular impact.

Very often, NGOs and public officials attempt to intervene in a situation with the best of intentions, spend a lot of time and money, and still not fix the problem, because they did not spend enough time ‘on the ground’ asking local people about the real issues, and how they themselves suggest fixing them.

Worse still, sometimes even seemingly beneficial actions can lead to unintended consequences for other parties, or for the wider environment. No lasting and useful social solution can ever arise without an intense learning and deep understanding of the core problems, as experienced by people affected by them.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years? Any ideals?

I’m not sure if there is a universal ‘meaning of life’, but we can certainly choose one for ourselves. I have chosen one overriding personal goal in my life, and that is to seed as much good in the world as I reasonably can. I even keep a mental score counter of my hit rate.

There are many possible means of amplifying the good that one does:

One may launch new ventures, creating a self-sustaining engine of happiness for the world. One may educate and inspire others where knowledge is most crucial, and most lacking. One may discover complementary qualities between people that can cause them to flourish once connected. Sometimes one may simply pinpoint better places to allocate resources using reason and evidence, the core idea behind the Effective Altruism movement.

What does our mantra Dream, Act and Inspire mean to you personally and professionally?

An inquisitive spirit to dream of a better future, a valiant will to take action towards those ends, and the inspiration to continue against daunting odds, because humanity needs you to succeed. These are the ingredients of all world-changing efforts!

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    English version here

    L’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’éducation, la science et la culture – Unesco – a toujours agi pour la jeunesse en général et pour l’éducation pour le développement durable en particulier, d’où son projet Green Citizens qui s’inscrit dans le prolongement de la COP21 et la perspective de l’autonomisation des jeunes. La force motrice derrière le projet est le développement durable; l’idée est de rappeler aux différentes parties prenantes l’importance du développement durable pour notre avenir et de mettre en avant les meilleures solutions aux problèmes qui y sont liés.

    Le projet consiste à collecter des histoires du monde entier par le biais d’une exposition itinérante qui partira de Paris avec un titre évocateur – UNESCO GREEN CITIZENS: Les éclaireurs du changement – pour rejoindre New York. 25 acteurs du changement y seront mis en évidence et raconteront leurs histoires. Le projet comprend également un concours qui sélectionnera deux vidéos de projets dont les porteurs pourront participer à la COP21.

    Horyou a pu parler à certains dirigeants du projet et notamment à Armelle Arrou qui nous a fourni des éclaircissements sur cette initiative aussi originale qu’importante.

    © KARAT/SIPA
    © KARAT/SIPA

    Le projet, organisé dans le cadre de la COP21 est le fruit d’une collaboration entre l’Unesco et la conférence tenue à Paris en décembre. Il vise à soutenir des projets éducatifs de développement durable qui prennent en compte les problématiques actuelles. «Ces types de projets sont partout, ils sont portés par des personnes qui sont inconnues, mais qui ont la force de les construire à partir de rien et, surtout, d’amener des jeunes à s’investir dans des actions de développement durable», dit Mme Arrou.

    Grâce à ce projet l’Unesco cherche à apporter une reconnaissance à ceux qui travaillent à développer l’éducation, à leur offrir un espace pour présenter leurs projets et être une source d’inspiration les uns pour les autres. Le projet initialement prévu pour deux ans, a gagné en ampleur tant et si bien que l’Unesco y voit un des meilleurs moyens de soutenir des projets innovants et durables.

    Les projets ont afflué des quatre coins de la planète. Ils sont classés par thème et catégorie de sorte que le plus grand nombre possible d’entre eux obtiennent la reconnaissance qu’ils méritent. «L’idée était d’identifier 8 projets axés sur des sujets variés. Par exemple, nous avons une catégorie qui englobe l’éducation traditionnelle qui comprend un projet pour la conservation de la connaissance des peuples autochones», explique Mme Arrou. Un autre thème portait sur l’eau et les océans, un autre encore sur le recyclage ou sur les déserts, pour ne citer que quelques-uns. A l’intérieur de chaque thème, les projets ont été identifiés dans deux catégories: Environnement et développement durable. «Dans un sens général et plus large, la qualité d’un projet réside dans sa capacité à proposer des solutions éducatives et de développement durable», explique-t-elle. Par sa présence à la COP21, le projet Unesco Green Citizens espérait contribuer aux solutions apportées sur le climat, notamment en ce qui concerne les océans, le développement durable, la gestion de l’eau, la biodiversité, et le changement climatique. Leur présence devait porter la voix des jeunes qui innovent pour un avenir meilleur de façon concrète.

    © CAHEN/SIPA
    © CAHEN/SIPA

    Mme Arrou a souligné la capitale implication de la jeunesse via ce projet: «Les jeunes sont à la fois les acteurs et les bénéficiaires de ce changement pour leur propre avenir», déclare-t-elle. Pour l’Unesco, l’éducation de la jeune génération est aussi naturelle que de respirer et l’accent est mis sur l’éducation pour le développement durable. «Il est logique pour nous de soutenir et d’accompagner les jeunes d’aujourd’hui. Ils sont une communauté importante pour nous et ils portent les mêmes valeurs d’éducation et de développement», souligne-t-elle. L’aspect concours du projet est le symbole de ce soutien. En sélectionnant deux gagnants parmi les projets vidéo et en leur permettant d’assister à la COP21, l’UNESCO leur donne une chance unique de faire entendre leur voix. L’idée est de rappeler aux jeunes qu’ils sont les principaux acteurs du changement et du développement.

    “Earth to Paris” est un autre projet que l’Unesco soutient. Il s’agit d’un rassemblement qui réunira 150 jeunes dans le domaine des médias sociaux et les blogs influents pour le changement. A cette occasion, les jeunes auront la chance de rencontrer de grandes personnalités qui vont inspirer et soutenir leurs initiatives. Ils vont ainsi se retrouver face à face avec de vrais leaders et comprendre le rôle important qu’ils jouent. «Les jeunes qui veulent agir ne sont pas toujours accompagnés par les pouvoirs publics. Ce projet doit pallier cette réalité. Il est essentiellement à but non lucratif et est soutenu par de nombreux enseignants. Notre objectif est de créer un écosystème qui les encourage et les soutient en leur donnant de la visibilité et le respect de leurs actions», explique Mme Arrou. Un autre aspect de ces types de projets est la participation des élèves des écoles de commerce qui ont également besoin d’être confrontés à des modèles économiques alternatifs. Un jour, ils pourront décider de créer des entreprises viables : «C’est une façon pour cette nouvelle génération de connaître un modèle de développement différent. Lors du Forum Economie Positive, ils rencontreront également 200 chefs d’entreprise rassemblés pour contester et être contestés et examiner de nouveaux modèles économiques », a-t-elle ajouté.

    © BRESSION/SIPA
    © BRESSION/SIPA

    Aujourd’hui, le projet UNESCO Green Citizens a grandi d’une manière inattendue. Lancé comme un simple projet de communication il est en passe de devenir un moyen de partage des connaissances: des plans, des projets et des programmes d’étude seront mis à disposition de tous ceux qui voudraient les utiliser. Le site Web offre des liens vers les programmes d’études et sera pris en charge par la jeune communauté afin de former au développement durable.

    Rêver pour l’Unesco c’est tout simplement croire que le changement est possible par l’éducation et que rien ne peut vraiment être construit sans elle, d’abord pour le développement durable, ensuite pour éradiquer la pauvreté et plus encore. “Tout vient de l’éducation», pour Mme Arrou. Comme un incubateur bas-budget, le projet vise à créer un espace pour l’inspiration: «UNESCO Green Citizens est un espace où les éclaireurs du changement peuvent partager leurs expériences et leurs contenus et s’inspirer les uns les autres. L’Unesco possède un large éventail de communautés d’experts: scientifiques, éducateurs, artistes … etc. Cet espace leur permet de s’inspirer mutuellement et de partager leurs rêves», conclut-elle.

    «Nos actions viennent du fait que nous sommes un incubateur», poursuit-elle, «nous réalisons et accompagnons des projets. Les 8 projets que nous avons sélectionnés obtiendront le soutien des différentes branches de l’Unesco. Nous sommes là pour guider, encourager et mettre en valeur ces éclaireurs du changement. Tel est notre objectif. Voilà comment nous agissons.»

    Regardez la vidéo de UNESCO Green Citizens ici

    Écrit par Amma Aburam

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    Version Française ici

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization has always acted for the youth in general and for education for development in particular, hence its unique Green Citizens project, in line with COP21 and the perspective of youth empowerment. The driving force behind the project is sustainable development; the idea is to remind various stakeholders about how important sustainable development is for our future and the best approaches to effective solutions to problems.

    The project is about collecting stories from across the globe through a travelling exhibition. It will travel from Paris to New York bearing a very evocative title, UNESCO Green Citizens: Pathfinders for Change. 25 game changers will be highlighted and will share their stories. The project also involves a contest whereby two project videos will be selected and the winners will have the chance to participate at the COP21.

    Horyou got to talk to some of the leaders of the project, mainly Armelle Arrou who gave us more insight on this growing and impactful initiative.

    © KARAT/SIPA
    © KARAT/SIPA

    The project, organised for the COP21, a collaboration between UNESCO and the COP21 Climate conference held in Paris this December. UNESCO felt they had an important role to play, in support of so many educational development projects that are popping up and trending at the moment. “These types of projects are everywhere, they are carried out by individuals that are unknown but have the strength to build them from scratch and, most importantly, to include the youth in the tasks of sustainable development,” says Mrs. Arrou. Through this project UNESCO seeks to bring recognition to those working towards developing education, and to offer them a space to represent their projects and inspire each other. The project is designed to last two years but has taken larger proportions and now UNESCO believes it to be one of the best ways to support innovative and sustainable projects.

    The projects flooded in from the four corners of the planet. They are well sorted with themes and categories so that as many projects as possible get the recognition they deserve. “The idea was to identify 8 projects focusing on different topics. For example, we have a traditional education category, where a project for the conservation of the knowledge of native peoples found its place,” explains Mrs. Arrou. Other themes were on water and the oceans, or on recycling, or again the deserts, to mention but a few. Under each theme, projects were identified within two categories: classic/environmental solutions and then sustainable development solutions. “In a general and broader sense, the quality of a project lies in its ability to enclose educational solutions and sustainable development,” she explains. With their presence at COP21, UNESCO Green Citizens hope to contribute to the solutions brought up for the climate, mainly regarding the oceans, sustainable development, water management, biodiversity, climate change and more. Their presence will give a voice to the youth who are innovating for a better future in concrete ways.

    © CAHEN/SIPA
    © CAHEN/SIPA

    Mrs. Arrou underlined the momentous involvement of youth through this project: “The youth are at the same time the actors of change and the beneficiaries of that change for their own future,” she states. For UNESCO, educating the younger generation is as natural as breathing and their focus is on educating for sustainable development. “It is logical for us to support and accompany the youth of today. They are an important community to us and they carry the same values of education and development,” she emphasizes. The contest aspect of the project is a symbol of that support. By selecting two winners from the video projects to attend the COP21, UNESCO is giving them an opportunity and a unique voice. The idea is to remind young people that they are the main actors of change and development.

    Earth to Paris is another project UNESCO supports. It is a meeting that will bring together 150 youths in the realm of social media and influential blogging for change. They will get the chance to meet big personalities who will inspire and support their initiatives. They will get to come face to face with real leaders and understand the important role they are playing. “The young people that want to be actors are not always accompanied by public authorities, it’s mainly non-profits and teachers that support them. However, our aim is to create an eco-system that promotes and supports them, giving them visibility and respect for their actions in many other ways,” Mrs. Arrou explains. Another aspect for these types of projects is involving business school students because they also need to be introduced to alternative economic models to the ones they are taught. Consequently, they can one day decide to build businesses that are sustainable for the future: “It is a way for this new generation to witness a different development model. At the Positive Economy Forum, they also meet with 200 company leaders who gather to challenge and be challenged in order to consider new economic models,” she added.

    © BRESSION/SIPA
    © BRESSION/SIPA

    Today, the UNESCO Green Citizens project has expanded in an unexpected way. It started as a communications project and is now fast becoming a means of sharing knowledge: project blueprints, curriculums, case studies of projects that will be made available so that others can use them. The website will offer links to curriculums and also will be catered to what the young community needs but they are mainly for those who educate in sustainable development.

    To dream at UNESCO is simply to believe that through education change is possible and that nothing can truly be built without education, first for sustainable development and secondly for issues such as poverty and more. “Everything comes form education,” Mrs. Arrou declared. As a low-budget incubator, the project aims to create a space for inspiration: “UNESCO Green Citizens is a space where change makers can share their experiences, content and inspire one another. UNESCO has a wide range of expert communities: scientists, educators, artists…etc. This space allows them to inspire each other and share their dreams,” she concluded.

    “Our actions come from the fact that we are an incubator,” she continues, “we carry and accompany projects. The 8 projects we have selected will gain support from the various UNESCO branches. We are here to guide, encourage and place value on these change makers. That is our goal. That is how we act.”

    Watch the UNESCO Green Citizens video here

    Written by Amma Aburam

    By Amma Aburam

    Catching up with Reza is always a pleasure. The photographer is a humanitarian force, consistently using photo to change the lives of people around the world. With him, there is always something new to discuss. This time he tells us about projects: a recollection of stories and photographic plans, never picked randomly but always made to have an impact on the people who participate in, see and share them.

    One of his on-going projects that he brings to life through various initiatives as time goes by is called A Dream of Humanity. The idea is to have an umbrella term for his various humanitarian endeavors that take place in different parts of the world. His most famous initiative is called Exile Voices, which consists of giving cameras to children in refugee camps to take photos of their daily lives, joys and struggles. Exile voices is a project he aims to pursue for the next five years.

    "Frozen Shoes" - Photo by Maya Rostam, Exiled Voices project
    “Frozen Shoes” – Photo by Maya Rostam, Exile Voices project

    Reza is currently working on an interactive book around the theme of Afghanistan Peace Warriors. He believes that the Internet with all its tools is an important vector of connection and knowledge. He reckons its ability to help reach millions of people with an idea is priceless. “The book is a way to link Afghanistan to the modern world, to move it away from its traditional cultural biases and ancient stories”, he explains. The book is a way to reach Afghan as well as global citizens, hence its multilingual and interactive approach designed to allow readers to engage, explore and grow their knowledge.

    "Reconstruction" - © Reza
    “Reconstruction” – © Reza

    Another project seeks to engage the youth on current social issues. “I love Nature, I hate Pollution” is a competition created and launched by Reza in 2012 also titled Children’s Eyes on Earth. It does not only aim to raise children’s awareness of ecological issues but also to teach them about the power of photography. “I believe that 15 years ago, to be a photographer you had to have a reputation and the means to buy the material, as well as the ability to learn techniques. Today’s generation has access to limitless technologies like smartphones and I-pads to take photos” he states. For him, this can make photography trivial at times. His project is to show children that some themes and issues are so important that you can use your smartphone camera for more than just taking selfies. “It is important to have the youth know this, and to train them about it at a young age”, he adds. The competition aspect is simply to make it more exciting for them; kids love its game aspect and engage fully because of that. When I launched the project, kids from 90 countries participated; they all proved their creativity, curiosity and enthusiasm about nature and environmental issues “At the end of the day, adults see these photos and get a unique insight on how kids view their surroundings. From the refugee camp to this competition, it is easy to see that kids have a photographic eye that influences people differently”, he adds.

    Reza has travelled the world and his photos have focused on various peoples, in struggles and in joys. One of his series focused on farmers in Morocco and their stories. This was in support of an NGO called AgreSud, which lacked funds while supporting agriculture in various places in the world. Reza’s humanitarian work extends to NGOs such as this one and his photos allow for the stories of these peoples to be told.

    "The Frame" - © Reza
    “The Frame” – © Reza

    Similarly, he photographed women in Rwanda in a series called Words of Rwandan Women, as part of a project on women and their role in shaping the future of humanity. “I believe the world would be a much better place if women where in domains and positions of power and decision-making: in politics, communications, education and more”, he says. “War is the affair of men, just as we see males in various species battle things out. Women are mothers, nurturers, they give life so they don’t want to take it away”, he adds. In Rwanda and Burundi specifically, he was working on a before, during and after the genocide conflicts photo documentation. The women in these series have untold stories, one of them being about those who were raped during these conflicts. These women decided to keep their children despite the circumstances and were rejected by their families, tribes and friends, kicked out of their communities and villages. Once their tragic stories told through this series and in New York Magazine, many NGOs felt called to action and went out there to help them.

    With Reza, there is no underestimation of the power of photojournalism and its endless impact on communities and lives. He has a real heart for helping others and using his talent to bring positivity to the world.

    ryanscott_profile-2Ryan Scott is the CEO and Founder at Causecast, the leading cause integration company. The platform offers workforce matching donations, volunteering including dollars for doers, disaster response, and custom campaigns. He is the Founder of The Impact and Educational Sections of the Huffington Post. Ryan Scott has served as Board Member of the Taproot Foundation. He has been a game platform developer. Ryan also holds a patent from the NetCreations, Inc., a company he co-founded. — by Elena Tarassenko

    Can you please speak about the need you see present for improved employee engagement in volunteer work and corporate social responsibility?

    The world’s leading companies in 2015 understand the need for employee volunteer programs and the majority offer some sort of opportunities for their employees to give back. Engaging one’s employees in community impact isn’t just a nice thing to do; it’s an essential part of today’s bottom line. But it’s not enough to simply offer a program and assume that your employees will gratefully line up to get involved. Too many companies don’t put forth the effort to foster employee engagement in their programs, and the result is that participation rates are typically low. This is a lost opportunity with many ripples of consequences. Corporate volunteerism presents a powerful opportunity to transform the relationship that companies have with their communities, employees and stakeholders, and it’s vital that companies treat this part of their business with the same degree of care and thought as the rest of their operations.

    Explain the new pro-social model for capitalists and why this theory is important.

    In the past, creating economic value was purely the domain of corporations while social value creation was left to nonprofits, and never the twain shall meet. But what we’ve found is when corporations and nonprofits work together – combining a company’s unique ability to leverage capital with a nonprofit’s talents in working on social problems – we have something new, and we call it shared value. The magic of shared value is scale. We can finally get solutions at the scale that is required to actually solve those problems. I believe that by leveraging the power of capitalism in the service of causes and stretching the skills of your employees, we will see a historic shift to a world where, ultimately, businesses will compete with each other not only to make the most profit, but to do the most good. That’s the world we’re working toward.

    Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 2.11.45 PM How does your platform succeed in engaging employees’ corporations?

    I think that only when companies demonstrate economic incentive to creating social value will we be able to reach the scale we need to solve our problems, and I’m honored to be a part of helping enable companies to craft and execute these programs. The economic incentive will not come without seeing real impact – within communities and within the companies themselves, and impact won’t happen without robust engagement. At Causecast, we believe that engagement in volunteering and giving comes from a social, mobile and interactive experience. That’s why we designed our platform to foster a real-time connection between employees and their peers, their community and the company. Everything is designed to be easy, highly secure, automated and engaging, making involvement so seamless, trusted and fun that employees want more. Ultimately, the volunteer experience needs to feel rewarding for employees, administrators and nonprofits – that’s how you build on positive experiences to create a corporate culture of giving back.

    If you could summarize what corporations have to gain from using a platform such as Causecast in a few phrases, what would they be?

    For innovative growth companies, Causecast provides giving and volunteering technology solutions to reach the highest levels of employee engagement and social impact. In contrast to the sluggish, forms-based, top-down administrator focus that has historically dominated employee giving and volunteering mindset, our unique technology and one-on-one support model enables companies to build high-impact employee-led programs that are globally meaningful, locally relevant, and easy to manage – for a far lower total cost of ownership than traditional solutions.

    Where do you believe senior executives have the most impact in terms of promoting social impact and investment within corporations?

    The more that senior leaders can point to the bottom line benefits of corporate social responsibility, the more investment they’ll see their companies making in these areas. What we’ve started to see happen is more and more of our clients realize they want to invest in our system for recruiting and retention purposes, not just for PR. Recruiting and retention are the real business needs they can measure and something all businesses are struggling with right now. Ultimately, because of financial incentives, retaining top-level employees who are involved with the company’s corporate social responsibility programs will increase giving and the impact they’re going to have on the world. It’s also very important that senior executives demonstrate their leadership and commitment to their philanthropy initiatives by participating in them alongside their employees.

    Causecast's team volunteer day for Enrich LA in May 2015.
    Causecast’s team volunteer day for Enrich LA in May 2015.

    What do you see as the connection between working on boards of nonprofits and the Causecast initiative?

    Board service offers unique advantages as a form of volunteering that should influence anyone interested in their personal and professional growth as well as their ability to make a difference. No matter what your professional field or expertise, everyone should step up to the experience of serving on a nonprofit board for its untold positive benefits. That’s why one project I’m particularly enthusiastic about is giving all of our clients’ employees the opportunity to get involved with nonprofit board service, which is typically an opportunity exclusive to VPs and executives. There’s an organization that we’re working with for this project called CariClub.

    What about Horyou’s Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF) is most interesting to you?

    I’m very excited to see what strategic collaborations and powerful ideas emerge from SIGEF 2015, particularly within the “Technological Evolution for Social Good” theme. I’ve made that my life’s work, first as the co-founder of NetCreations, which paved the way for opt-in email marketing, and now as the CEO and founder of Causecast. It’s not easy to pull off an event like this on a global scale, but I think the world is in desperate need of it. I’m looking forward to the meaningful change that will inevitably result from this exciting social experiment.

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