Last November, France organized the Week of Responsible Finance to promote the role of finance in sustainability. Around that time, some press articles mentioned the case of Carrotmob, a poowerful new concept that successfully directs a company’s revenue towards sustainability investment. We wanted to know more and got in touch with Anaïs Amazit, who was one of the key organizers of the largest Carrotmob in Paris, and through a few emails she agreed to present Carrotmob and share some of her ideas to develop corporate and citizen social responsibility. Interview:
Hi Anaïs! You’ve been co-organizer of the Carrotmob at the Bellevilloise, on April 6th, 2012 in Paris. Carrotmob is a new way of consuming … can you tell us more?
Carrotmob is about buying goods to create revenue for a company, which then uses the money to increase its sustainability. Indeed, the company where the Carrotmob happens commits to invest a portion or the entire amount of revenue, in his own business, to make it more environmentally friendly (eg, buying more equipment environmentally). This is called the “buycott”, a form of consumer activism that rewards the commitment of a company, thus branding a “carrot” and not the stick!
The concept was born in the United States. Can you tell us how it came to France, and how you joined the movement?
The concept was born precisely in San Francisco, California, around 2008. It then arrived in France at the initiative of Florian Guillaume from Rennes, now President of the CarrotCommunity association.
As a “consumption activist” I was attracted by the concept, simple and original, this is what led me to join the movement.
The Carrotmob at the Bellevilloise was a huge success, it set the world record for funds raised for a business. What did you like most about the organization of this event?
I particularly appreciated the commitment of the Bellevilloise to dedicate all proceeds from the event to the Carrotmob, which simplified the negotiation phase.
CSR without borders is about educating and training the next generation of professionals and entrepreneurs, also in universities classes. During your studies, did you come across the ideas of sustainable development, and innovative business models?
After a degree in Applied Foreign Languages at the Sorbonne, I joined the SKEMA business school. It is only in this second phase of my studies that CSR and sustainable development were addressed, in some way.
It seems quite insufficient to me and I think it is important that these concepts, as well as the social and solidarity economy, be fully integrated into the curriculum. By the way, Benoit Hamon, the Deputy Minister for Social and Solidarity Economy, recently committed to make it a reality.
How do you think we could better educate the young generation to think “carrot” rather than “stick” during their studies?
I think we should begin by encouraging cooperation and not competition at an early age, in all spheres of life of the child, and later in his studies. Be open to the world and the various practices (cultural, social, economic) that exist to encourage students to develop their critical thinking, focus on the positive things that exist, without concealing the bad ones either.
What other types of actions, “Carrotmob-like”, do you think could be implemented to accelerate the transition to sustainable business?
I know of no other actions like Carrotmob. In order to accelerate the transition from “business as usual” towards more social and environmental responsibility, I think we must have more stringent legal measures.
Finally, when do you organize a new event Carrotmob? Where and when!
A Carrotmob in Paris took place at Monsieur Poulet, 06 October. Canal + with Pauline Lefevre team have the honor of their presence (http://vimeo.com/51735316).
There was a digital Carrotmob running until December 20th and another planned in Rennes, January 18th!
All the news on the site are www.carrotcommunity.org and social networks.
Facebook Carrotmob Paris: Carrotmob.Paris
Facebook Carrotmob France: France Carrotmob
Twitter: @ CarrotCommunity
Thank you so much Anaïs ! All the best for 2013 to everyone, let’s make it more sustainable than any other year before !