“The opposite of poverty is not wealth. In too many places, the opposite of poverty is justice.”
― Bryan Stevenson
NOE… “Sorry how do we pronounce your name”?
I’m Noé Cichy (don’t bother if you cannot pronounce my name properly, nobody really can: not even me!) and currently in the third year of the BBA International Business Management.
I inherited this last name from my German father. However, having a Spanish mother but growing up in France and having to speak all three languages, never really enabled me to pronounce this surname perfectly, which actually has Polish roots (don’t ask me why)! Nevertheless, this mixed identity obliged me to adopt an international vision of the world in which we live from the cradle. My internationality was also at the origin of the rise of my interest for business sustainability.
Why exactly business sustainability/WBCSD?
During the summer 2013, I had the privilege to work in two different refugee camps in Greece. Hearing the tragic flight stories of young men not older than me increased my personal conviction that the business world had/has a responsibility to pursue social justice and enhanced my wish to be part of this journey. This was the main reason behind my choice to achieve my first mandatory internship in the sustainability department of Migros (Switzerland’s largest retailer). During those 6 months, I defined future procurement policies for metal and plastic products, which enabled Migros to make a step toward its strategic sustainability goals for 2020. This experience further strengthened my will to pursue a career within this realm.
When I heard about the opportunity to go to the liaison delegate meeting of the WBCSD in Montreux, it was very clear for me that I would do everything possible to be part of it. The opportunity to hear first-handed the views of experts from the industry, and witnessing how ideas are put into action in companies such as Santander, Unilever, BCG, etc. will be a life changing experience as well as an amazing opportunity to bring me a step nearer to my career aspiration.
What do you expect from the conference?
The title of the meeting is “’Roadmaps for impact in today’s reality”. The question here is of course: what reality are we talking about? If we consider the four main economic systems on which the WBCSD focuses its work (Energy, Food and land-use, Cities and Mobility, and Redefining Value), it becomes quite clear that we are talking about a reality which is challenging, difficult to handle with. What do I mean exactly by that? Well, consider the dramatic news we are hearing from Eastern Africa the last few days: according to Stephen O’Brien (United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator) over 20 million individuals are facing the threat of starvation due to the enduring drought (Tageschau, 2017). What I am expecting from this 4 days in Montreux is to witness how businesses are solving, and are planning to counter such massive challenges. I hope to see companies engaging with global issues, companies actively developing and implementing solutions to reverse inequality and the threat of climate change. One burning question I have is: how does the WBCSD convince multinational companies to implement measures, which may lead to a decrease of financial value? How do they deal with freelancers? (Yes, yes, I know… those are two questions and not one! To my defence: they are quite intertwined, aren’t they? 🙂 )
And when does it exactly start?
10 days to go before we fly… I am extremely excited to be part of this trip and to share my experiences with you all!
Tageschau. (2017, 03 11). “Schwerste humanitäre Krise seit 1945”. Retrieved 03 16, 2017, from tageschau.de: https://www.tagesschau.de/ausland/un-aufruf-hungerhilfe-101.html