“It is 2016.
I started being involved in oikos Reims in 2010, and to this day, I keep being involved in sustainability-oriented activities through my job. I work with institutions, associations and companies in order to implement projects in schools, promoting sustainable development models, heightening the awareness of children and helping teachers to integrate environmental issues into their lessons.
In 2010, the situation was a bit different. I was a master student in business management at Reims Management School, looking for opportunities to get engaged in environmental sustainability initiatives. I found exactly what I was looking for at oikos Reims. At that time, there were many projects in oikos Reims, from recycling processes on the campus to actions promoting bio-agriculture, to organizing an ethical fashion show. Without forgetting the trip of Benjamin Stoll and Anne Salaün (now Anne Stoll) from Reims to Beijing, who wanted to make a documentary of how kids imagine the world of tomorrow (just as reminder, it was 5 years before the documentary Tomorrow by Cyril Dion).
When I joined oikos Reims, the president at that time, Chloé Laurent, commissioned me to help the organic farmers of the region sell their products on the campus and to create a recycling structure on site. It is very rewarding to now see that a large part of the projects that had been implemented at that time, around 2010, are still existent.
Yet during my studies, I wasn’t only interested in sustainability. Education issues were just as well part of my preoccupations. I was involved in another association at that time: Prépar’Rémois. The mission was clear: tutoring school children from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Reims. I was asked by Bénédicte Paille, social projects leader at Reims Management School, to create a new framework for an age group we started to tutor: kids between 13 and 15 years old.
Now, I write all that, because there is a link between my engagement as a student and my career, especially with my job 6 years later.
Today I work for LeWebPédagogique, a French speaking community of teachers (150 000 if I look at the screen behind me). I have been hired to implement sustainability projects with the assistance of professional organizations in schools on topics such as biodiversity, recycling, consumption, local economy, ecological footprint, global warming…
I believe that sustainability can be integrated in every aspect of education.
To give one more example: défi papier. We worked with the paper recycling institution in France to help children implement their own recycling-oriented projects: The kids launched their own awareness campaigns, collecting paper, dealing with recycling professionals and, above all, understanding every part of the process. Learning by doing, basically. That reminds me of what I used to do as a student.”
Written By: Cyril Quillien