Humanity

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Hermes Investment Management is one of the UK’s largest institutional asset managers, advising in both the public and private sectors. What makes Hermes stand out in the crowded market of wealth management is its values or, more likely, the CEO that cultivates them.

On a preliminary search of Saker Nusseibeh, I came across words like ‘stewardship’ or ‘responsible capitalism’, or again statements like ‘We believe that better governed companies create a better society for our investors to live in’, all things often more associated with social enterprise than high finance. I was excited to meet him.

Nusseibeh studied medieval history to PhD level and I was intrigued as to whether this critical academic training gave him a pluralist attitude and the ability to see a situation from all angles and solve it? It was an unequivocal yes. He said it is essential for any leader to think and act rationally in any situation. He champions cross collaboration, saying that when recruiting, he is most interested in candidates with diverse profiles for ‘diversity helps nurture innovation in teams’.

Something that may well have been the deal breaker in winning the title of Global Investor CEO of the year is the culture that he cultivates among his staff that gets half of their bonus each year for ‘being nice’. As vague as this may sound, Nusseibeh assures that it’s simple: ‘we reward attitude. Kindness and care towards your colleagues and clients ensure that every day runs smoothly.’

I agree with him, mentioning my training in yoga that teaches that conflict and tension are wasted energy that does not serve us and is certainly no addition to any workplace.

On a more business note, Hermes have adopted a model that helps cultivate more sustainable behavior in the world of investing, as stated in their latest published survey ‘Responsible Capitalism’: ‘Investment decisions should be about outcomes that are not purely nominal but allow savers to retire into a stable social system’.

Horyou team member Dearbhla Gavin with Saker Nusseibeh
Horyou team member Dearbhla Gavin with Saker Nusseibeh

During the interview, Nusseibeh repeatedly referred to ‘holistic profits’. Intrigued, I asked him to clarify. ‘Reasonable, sustainable companies have a social license to exist; they are part of society, their presence impacts on society and has no right to impact negatively on the majority while benefiting just the few’ he says.

I asked him about his industry predictions for the short to medium term. More specifically, did he think that sustainable business possible? That profit can exist without social cost?

He says that he has never witnessed client demand for measured social impact and transparency like he has in the last twelve months: ‘a key part of Hermes’ strategy is ‘stewardship’, i.e. being completely accountable and responsible for all that they invest in’.

Nusseibeh predicts that attitudes to environmental and social governance will be a key measure of a company’s development and growth over the next year.

Tube-riding home, I read through their survey ‘Responsible Capitalism’.

Statistics peppered each page but in keeping with what I had witnessed at the event all day, they weren’t measures of company growth or consumer confidence in the brand, but social statistics; figures illustrating female representation on boards, or diversity in the workplace, or energy efficiency. In the same vein as Bloomberg hosting a day long conference dedicated to good business, it was a sign of the times to see social impact highlighted on every page of a global asset management survey.

It is no longer the economy at one end and society at the other. As Nusseibeh said himself: ‘we own the economy, we all have a stake, we benefit and we lose out, our fate is in our own hands’.

By Dearbhla Gavin

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Each day we see the wonderful work of our Members, Personalities and Organizations on the Horyou platform. They are always Ready to Act! This week, we highlight the work and actions of great Organizations from Switzerland, Benin and Brazil.

Taking Astronomy to the World

Organization: GalileoMobile Location: Switzerland

The GalileoMobile is a non-profit organization. It is a science education initiative with the goal of bringing modern astronomy close to young people around the world. Created in 2009 with inspiration from the International Year of Astronomy 2009 it is currently run by astronomers, educators and science communicators. The initiative is six years old this year. This action post tells the story of its many inspiring achievements over the years, mainly in connecting people across South America. Discover this action post here.

By Amma Aburam

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Le Noel des enfants pour la paix

Organisation: L’Association Défis des Jeunes pour le Développement Lieu: Bénin

L’Association Défis des Jeunes pour le Développement a été créée dans le but de lutter contre la pauvreté et surtout de soutenir les jeunes dans l’accomplissement de leur devoir de pousser le Bénin vers l’avant. L’association répond aux besoins pour l’amélioration des conditions de vie dans l’économie, l’éducation, la culture, l’environnement et bien d’autres domaines. Leur action de cette semaine est en lien avec l’approche de la saison de Noël. Le Noël des enfants pour la paix en est sur sa cinquième Edition cette année. Le but de l’évènement est de créer un lieu de rencontre et d’animation pour les enfants et les jeunes qui n’ont pas la chance de fêter Noël comme ils le devraient. Découvrez et contribuez à cette action ici.

Par Amma Aburam

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Reciclar e reutilizar são dois dos 5 R’s da Sustentabilidade

Organização: Centro Social João da Costa Localização: Brasil

O Centro Social João da Costa existe há mais de 40 anos no Brasil. A instituição busca favorecer a formação integral do indivíduo com o compromisso de garantir prioridades socioeducativas voltadas para a promoção dos direitos de cidadania às crianças, adolescentes, jovens e adultos da comunidade e adjacências. Uma das atividades do Centro Social Dom João Costa é a oficina de Puff, que tem o intuito de ajudar o meio ambiente, retirando da natureza seus agentes prejudiciais e ao mesmo tempo, levar alegria e conforto paras as famílias que utilizam o produto. Para saber mais clique aqui.

Por Edriana Oliveira Major

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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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By Amma Aburam

We sat in a booth at the rear of the Fert Barton hall in Geneva, a gracefully and beautifully lit white exhibition space. At its center, a long sculpture representing passing people and beyond that hang two large size photographs by photographer Jean Jacques Dicker. The two photographs represent two rooms he lived in during his many travels – Dicker has visited 92 countries in his lifetime and he masters six languages. They were part of an exhibition that was to showcase the African continent. Well-chosen they represented the highlights from his two years travel on the continent, in 1977-1978 and then again in 1984, crossing from North to South Africa. Horyou seized a chance to talk to Mr. Dicker about his lifetime of travels and the stories behind his photos.

As he walks in, it is obvious that Jean Jacques Dicker is a child of the Hawaiian Islands. Wearing sandals, a tussled scarf and a light khaki jacket, he states his rebellion against the cold weather and his desire to return to his home in Honolulu, Hawaii. Born and raised in Switzerland, he studied at the University of Geneva before heading to Honolulu to study at the University of Hawaii. Today, he still lives and finds inspiration on the island as a waiter and a photographer.

Jean-Jacques Dicker and his wife Yuko Kamiyama
Jean-Jacques Dicker and his wife Yuko Kamiyama

The Afrique exhibition began on the 24th of November 2015 and will carry through to the 15th of January 2016. The photos tell the story of a well-travelled man, one that has found his “home” in many different places. Michel Auer, founder of The Auer Foundation, made the exhibition possible: “I have known Michel for many years and he decided to organize this exhibition for my work and that’s how I’m here,” Mr. Dicker utters. His photography career was triggered by one simple fact: “I wanted to travel,” he confesses. “I finished University and worked for a year then I travelled. I came back and took photo course because I figured if I could do that I could make a little money on the side.” Little did he know he had a natural talent with the camera. He got countless compliments for his work, learnt how to print, entered competitions and won awards: “I was flattered and enjoyed doing it, which is the most important part”, he admits.

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At the age of 71, Mr. Dicker has made his “home” in Kenya, Japan, South Africa, France, Switzerland and New York. We asked him about the highlights of some of these experiences, starting with the African continent. “In Africa, the highlights are the people, the relationships I built,” he says. One of the exposed photos is a shot of his room in Kenya, where you can tell he lived a simple life. It shows a simple bed and a simple coat hanging above the bed. He lived with prostitutes in Nairobi, as part of one of his photographic projects. Then, finally, he made it to South Africa: “travelling through the continent I crossed quite a few unsettling countries; but South Africa was the scary one. It’s what we had been hearing on the news: Mandela was in jail, apartheid was in full bloom and I was breaking the law because I had a black girlfriend when I was there.” Mr. Dicker didn’t let himself be influenced by the social and political state of affairs; he treated everyone equally and made life long friends thanks to his kind attitude: “I worked in a restaurant where the waiters were white and the assistants black. I would help them out, I would eat leftovers with them, they would ask if I didn’t mind eating with them and I would say of course not! I was from Europe and that was normal to me”, he recounts. Upon his departure, the assistants made a circle around him and told him he was the only white man they respected because of his humility and kindness.

In his South-Asian adventures he met with his aunt. An experience he relates with emotion, joy and awe just as if he was reliving it: “I met my Aunt who was French and who went to live in India about 40/50 years ago. I had lost touch with her since 1962 but I knocked on her door and said remember me I’m your sister’s son. That was fun. I met my nieces as well.” This experience was proof that we can find home in travelling as well.

Jean-Jacques Dicker with Michel Auer
Jean-Jacques Dicker with Michel Auer

Today, If there is still a place he would like to visit, it is Brazil; having missed the chance to go years ago. A hitch hiker at heart, in the sixties he took the road from San Diego to Mexico and then to different places for about 3 months: “I did that in 1966, back then it was all about flower power. I’m not sure what it would be like to do that today”, he adds.

Aside from his travels, Mr. Dicker keeps photography close to home. One of his recent series is comprised of portraits of restaurant workers, his colleagues back in Honolulu; a black and white series delicately highlighting the different personalities he encounters and works with everyday. “I’m not big on messages in my photography. I want to capture beauty and experiences for myself. If people like it, that’s even better,” he explains.

Mr. Dicker is a dreamer from the sixties: “I dream that there will be no religions, no nations and no flags. These are the things that separate people,” he declares passionately. For him inspiration simply resides in photography. He points to one of his photos of his bedroom in Kenya: “Hopefully, when you see that you are inspired to go live in a room like it or get on the road,” he says. He then points to a photo of a child on a boat on a river in Kenya as well: “look at that kid. I am so fortunate to have witnessed that and it was even more fun and special that he didn’t notice me taking the photo. He certainly made me so happy and maybe he will make others happy too.” To act for Mr. Dicker is to share his experiences through conversations such as this interview: “To act is to talk to you and say all these things about nations, flags and religions and if you put that in an article and someone is inspired or semi-thinks about it, that’s a good thing.”

His exhibition continues until the 16th of January at the Espace Fert Barton in Geneva.

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NegusWorld’s J.E.M.B.H.A. is an acronym for Judge Each Man By His Actions (not his color). Here, “Man” stands for “Humanity.” This campaign was launched April 12th, 2009, and inspired by a picture taken by professional photographer and activist Jane Feldman. New York was the first city to re-create the original photo with the goal to let the world now that actions always speak louder than colors.

It was an open invitation to every other state and country that felt the same way to do the same. Five years later, J.E.M.B.H.A. was replicated in all corners of the globe and continues to grow every year. (Source)

From Haiti to Denmark, Japan to New York, groups of people from all over the world have been sending in photographs of themselves with the words: Judge Each Man By His Actions and not his color. Now Switzerland is finally in the mix.

On Nov. 25th, the Geneva Horyou team participated in taking a J.E.M.B.H.A. photograph (with a warm incentive). A few of us quietly sat down, put our arts-and-crafts skills to test and made a J.E.M.B.H.A. poster. For the most part, photographs had been taken outdoors and some had spray painted J.E.M.B.H.A. on walls. We decided to do it indoors in the Geneva office itself. We all put on our Horyou t-shirts, turned on the camera’s self-timer, posed with our fists held up to our foreheads and voila!

The fist on the forehead represents solidarity and is a symbol of us all wearing our “crown.”

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