We are a traveling duo, here are our past experiences :
Karine Levy-Heidmann, 25 years old
Karine first learned about sustainable development at ESSEC. She registered in parallel at the university Paris Sorbonne to study environmental law and joined Ethicity the same year as Adèle, as an intern. Through her various experiences she found the one topic that would become her main focus: social entrepreneurship. She then became involved with the start-up MakeSense and interned for Ashoka, the world’s first social entrepreneurs network, where she was in charge of the program Jeunes Changemakers. She’s now working at CommonSense, a company that creates a community around innovation within companies by handling processes, online as well as off-line tools, and events. She’s also working on organizing the first SparkTour.
Adèle Galey, 25 years old
Despite her family’s involvement with the media, Adèle went for a more traditional path, joining the business school ESSEC after an intensive, two-year preparatory course. At ESSEC she learned about social entrepreneurship and chose to specialize in that field for her degree. After doing an internship with a sustainable development consulting firm (Ethicity), she became interested in start-up businesses. As she tried to combine her two loves, social entrepreneurship and the media, she naturally found her way to Sparknews. Adèle joined the team in September 2011 as a project manager and is now working part-time while she organizes the first SparkTour. She’s also part of the MakeSense team, a community that helps people realize projects that the members believe make sense, and for the past six months she’s been contributing to Travel4Change, a community that advocates responsible tourism.
- Strong, unifying networks : Sparknews, MakeSense, Ashoka, the ESSEC Social Entrepreneurship department, Danone Communities, NOISE…
- A common experience of social entrepreneurship and French and international networks (Essec degree in Social Entrepreneurship, Master in Environmental Law, internships at Ethicity, a sustainable development consulting firm, work experiences at Ashoka, CommonSense and Sparknews…)
- A year-long commitment to solidarity traveling: Adèle has helped manage a community centered on this very topic – Travel4Change – for nearly twelve months. The proliferation of solidarity travel plans causes more and more people to be solicited, whether they are sponsors or hosting facilities. A working group called Travel4Change was formed in October 2011 in order to share experiences between “travelers for change,” to capitalize on previous travelers’ background and help the new project organizers ask themselves the right questions. Over 160 people participate in that working group.
Adèle has helped organize numerous work sessions among that community as well as an event in June 2012 that gathered nearly 450 people around speakers such as Mathieu Leroux, author of 80 hommes pour changer le monde, Christian de Boisredon, author of L’Espérance autour du monde, and the founder of MakeSense, Christian Vanizette (you can find here a video of the event). Karine obviously joined the group from the first and actively participates in promoting its ideas.
- A thorough selection of initiatives and social entrepreneurs in order to find original projects that will appeal to the opinion leaders. We first accomplished this selection during our respective internships, since we were both lucky enough to be continuously exposed to innovative projects, and we’re now narrowing down our research and contacts as we prepare for the world tour.
- A worldwide network of journalists sensitive to those issues, established through the creation of Sparknews, who will all be contacts in the field. Preparing for the world tour has showed us the interest that journalists have for those topics, as well as their commitment to a more meaningful, positive journalism that would encourage people to stand up for those issues.
- An innovating concept : most world tours that have been done, or are still in the works, were “amateur” reports (that were never circulated on the mainstream media) and had little impact once the travelers returned to their home country.