Former General Manager for Culture at GROUPE SOS for more than 4 years, Alexandre Lourié is back at GROUPE SOS as General Manager for International action, after a year spent in Sweden.
Alexandre Lourié first joined GROUPE SOS in 2016 where he launched and led the Culture activities. Before his first experience at GROUPE SOS, Alexandre Lourié, a graduate of Sciences Po and HEC, started his career working for an NGO in the Philippines, and then in consulting activities in China and Morocco. He then founded his own social impact measurement company, with which he received the Erignac Prize for his work in the fields of overindebtedness, social housing and depollution, before joining a ministerial cabinet for state reform.
In 2020, after his first stint at GROUPE SOS, he moved to Stockholm to join the Boston Consulting Group and bring his expertise in impact investment consulting. During this time, he continued to serve GROUPE SOS as a Trustee. He has also written a novel entitled « La dissimulation » (L’Harmattan, 2021), which explores the themes of the quest for self and transmission.
His arrival as General Manager of International action at GROUPE SOS is part of an ambitious strategy to bring the experience, values and innovations of the Group beyond borders, while building long-term partnerships with local actors from the associative, economic, public and academic world.
« Our ambition is to do what we are already doing, and what we are not yet doing! On the one hand, the sector has 10 social enterprises, in the form of NGOs or impact companies, present in over forty countries. Our actions are very diverse: training 6,000 health professionals, supporting 300,000 young people through education and through sport, preserving 1,700 hectares of forests and biodiversity, and supporting 550 social entrepreneurs. And with the health and climate crises, we must always outdo ourselves to be as useful as possible. On the other hand, we want to act beyond our existing actions, to accelerate the systemic change the planet needs. The GROUPE SOS model of entrepreneurship for the benefit of all has proved its worth in France, and it deserves to be taken to a global scale. » – Alexandre Lourié, General Manager of International action at GROUPE SOS.
Created in 2002, MANA is an association belonging to the SOS GROUP « Solidarity », which works in favour of access to law to the inhabitants of the economically disadvantaged neighbourdhoods of the Aubiers, in Bordeaux.
« MANA : the trajectory of migrant women towards success » project, co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF), ran from January 2021 to December 2021. It was set up following the observation that migrant women living in the Aubiers district of Bordeaux, face two main issues hindering their professional integration: difficulties in mastering the French language and a lack of knowledge regarding their access to basic social and professional rights. The project’s objective was therefore to fight against job insecurity by accompanying these women in the definition of their professional project.
A total of 27 migrant women, aged between 20 and 54 have benefited from this project and have participated in various activities including: sociolinguistic workshops, awareness raising on access to rights, employment training as well as artistic creation and art therapy workshops meant to help them regain self-confidence. They have also benefited from reinforced French language courses in view of entering the job market.
This project has been a real opportunity for professional and social integration for these women, as expressed by Nassima, who has been supported by the association for several years, during her interview with Ms Brigitte Botte, Editor-in-Chief of Ressources & territoires at the department of Gironde: « Here, we find ourselves. I discovered, through what they gave me, what I can do for myself. I was born in MANA ». Therefore, this project is a real success and the MANA team intends to continue with this type of action!
Our organization Ateliere Fara Frontiere has won the third place of the Civil Society Prize awarded by the European Economic and Social Committee. The prize recognises organisations that work on a daily basis to promote a just transition towards a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy.
Last Tuesday 7th December, the Groupe SOS Solidarités – ASSFAM/ARTEMIS organised an online Workshop on Mental health and exit programmes in the framework of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). The RAN connects frontline practitioners from across Europe with one another, and with academics and policymakers, to exchange knowledge, first-hand experiences and approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism in all its forms.
The aim of this workshop was to provide European Member States with lessons for policy formulation regarding mental health and psychosocial service provision in exit work.
This RAN Policy Support workshop is linked to an upcoming ad hoc paper regarding the same topic that will count with the contribution of our experts at Groupe SOS Solidarités – ASSFAM/ARTEMIS.
The Paris Peace Forum is an international event that occurs every year to discuss the challenges of world governance and multilateralism. For the fourth consecutive year, the Paris Peace Forum brought together the most important players in global governance. Heads of state and government and CEOs of major multinationals, as well as several civil society actors, gathered for a unique hybrid edition from November 11 to 13 to advance concrete solutions to the enormous challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and to improve global governance in times of Covid-19.
Frederic Bailly the Executive Board Member of SOS GROUP in charge of International Affairs attended the Paris Peace Forum this year. While he participated in this event as a moderator of the conference “Pact for Impact: Mobilizing forces for the social and solidarity economy”, we also attended some of the conferences to follow the debates on today’s global issues. Here is some feedback on the three main issues to which SOS GROUP is already committed:
A more inclusive economy thanks to social and solidarity economy
A support to small scale producers to grant food security
Gender justice through the empowerment of women in decision-making processes
Pact for Impact: Mobilizing forces for the social and solidarity economy
Companies around the world are inventing new models to better balance their economic performance with their social and environmental impact. The main issue now is to connect them and create a global network for the social and solidarity economy.
The panel of this discussion was composed of key actors of the social and solidarity economy such as Elise Pierrette Memong Meno, National Coordinator of the National Network for the Social and Solidarity Economy in Cameroon (RESSCAM). Jeroo Billimoria -co-founder of Catalyst 2030 that we had already heard at OECD Global Action’s first international conference– was also a speaker during this event. She introduced her organization which is a “global movement of social entrepreneurs and social innovators from all sectors” and recalled that she roots for a creating, innovative and people-centric approach to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
According to Frédéric Bailly, the Paris Peace Forum was an opportunity to “discuss how global alliances like Pact for Impact foster the conditions for a fairer and more sustainable society and how cooperation at a global scale between public and private sectors as well as with the civil society is essential to reform the way we do business”.
Food for thought: transforming the food system for a better world
To continue on the theme of the necessary inclusion of small businesses and entrepreneurs, our next point focuses on the need to reform the food system into a more sustainable and inclusive one.
Gilbert Houngbo, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) highlighted that a majority of the key challenges that our food system is facing lies in the small-scale producers. Also, 80% of the global poorer population lives in rural area, and 60% of the workforce in rural areas are women. We need to target these challenges with a multidisciplinary approach including food, health, environmental, water and gender, economic perspectives.
The main need for small scale producers is to adapt the global economy to their small-scale and sustainable way of doing business. Only 2% of the global finance goes to adaptation to climate change and we need to correct this. This is a challenge that one of SOS GROUP’s NGO, People Power Inclusion (PPI) is tackling with its AGreenLab project in Senegal and in Burkina Faso. It aims at supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in the agro-industry and renewable energies sector thanks to an incubation and acceleration program.
Just as Assia Ben Salah, itinerant ambassador of Morocco, said “we do know that the real answer to climate change, to sustainable development, comes from local work and has to connect with a larger picture”.
In charge: Empowering women in public decision-making processes
The health crisis we are experiencing is an unfortunate way to question our ways of functioning and the gender injustices that litter our societies. This global questioning has triggered an awareness on mechanisms that exclude women in particular, such as the decision-making processes.
« As of 1 September 2021, there are 26 women serving as Heads of State and/or Government in 24 countries. At the current rate, gender equality in the highest positions of power will not be reached for another 130 years . «
Moreover, in 2021 women heads of state were highlighted for having had nations less impacted by Covid-19, such as how Jacinda Ardern managed the crisis in New-Zealand. But the number of women in power represents only a tiny fraction of individual women who have overcome these obstacles with flying colours. This crisis is therefore seen as an opportunity to rebuild a fairer world in its wake.
Furthermore, the playing field needs to be levelled upwards to open up opportunities to all women. As well as this inequality is unacceptable from an ethical point of view, women’s participation has positive effects on their environment from a practical point of view at both local and global level. Diversity in decision-making bodies allows a representation of wider issues. Indeed, giving women a voice and helping them to have a voice does not mean letting them deal with women’s issues only, but with social and economic issues.
« It’s not only about women talking about women issues but also economics and social issues to be actors of change in their communities.” said Fatme MASRI, Project Director of the organization Arab Reform Initiative, which sums up our position to promote equality in decision-making bodies in order to support a much more comprehensive change towards a more just and equitable vision of society for all.
The 2021 edition of the Paris Peace Forum reasserts once again the urgent need to cooperate in tackling global issues in order to create a fairer and safer world for future generations.
“We all face the imperative task of achieving the SDGs if we are to ensure that our children and their children after them live in a better world” – Frédéric Bailly
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