From 21 to 29.04.21, the Foundation for Future Generations, in partnership with UCLouvain, has been hosting the 9th edition of the HERA Awards for Future Generations online. During a celebration event and six original webinars, young graduates awarded at the HERA Awards 2021 stood out for their systemic approach (at 360°) and the societal added value of their thesis.
Application for the next awards (deadline: 10.10.21)
3 LSM students were nominated. Congratulations to Eléonore Arnould, Heurjonie Lembi Bonheur and Maximilien de Le Hoye.
Sibylle Halloy, LSM Alumni and winner of the HERA Award Cooperative Sustainable Economy 2020, was in the jury for the HERA Award Sustainable Economy.
"I wrote a thesis on the participative management in work integration social enterprises because I wanted to work on a topic I didn't really hear a lot during my studies. It was also a way to broaden my horizons and to give sense to this final work. Participative management is a topic that passionates me. I was used to work in team as member of "kot à projet", as scout leader and this is still the case in my professional life today. So studying how everyone can get the opportunity to be part of decision making process was an evidence. But as I said giving sense to this "final milestone" of my student journey was also important to me. That's why I decided to focus on social enterprises. During my first readings I discovered that participative management in work integration social enterprises was not studied further because of the constraint of employees profile. They are indeed a specific audience: people with no degree, immigrates, long term unemployed people and many others. This statements shocked me: how can we claim that people with no degree can't take part in decisions and be involved in their enterprise governance. Thanks to this thesis I could prove that participative management in social enterprise bring a lot of benefits both for employees and for the enterprise. I also met inspiring people and passionated workers."
Heurjonie Lembi Bonheur
"The first time I thought about this topic was during one of my CSR classes in 2018. The subject was circular economy and I was thinking about how this model was received in Africa. Therefore, when I had the opportunity to choose a topic for my Master thesis, I went directly for this one.
I read some articles and found some relevant insights about waste management in Africa and the socio-economic opportunities that could come behind. For example, according to a report written by UNEP, in 2012, about 125 billion tons of Municipal Domestic Waste (MSW) were generated in the continent. Among those but only 4% are recycled. If at least 50% of this waste was recovered, it would create approximately USD 4 billion. There are opportunities, but the management behind is lacking.
Another step in the choice was to focus on one country. There are many African countries that are part of the ACEN (African Circular Economy Network), an organisation that promotes circular economy activities in Africa. However, despite the fact that Madagascar is a member of this community, I have been told that they did not have any news from them for years. Therefore, I decided to explore what was done there at the moment and to analyse how to push it further. The goal was to bring something new on the table."
"In general I keep in mind that CSR opens the door to new and more sustainable way of conducting business . The most important thing I learn is that CSR aims to involve all stakeholders and to take them into account. It seems maybe too "optimistic" or "unrealistic" but I think this is really essential: listen to your stakeholders. Another thing I keep in mind is the fact that CSR should be integrated in the core of the company's business and strategy to be coherent and avoid greenwashing and bad buzz."
Heurjonie Lembi Bonheur
"The importance of knowing the “why” of your business and the importance of transparency. Regarding the “why”, this is crucial because it structures the way your business is built and where it goes. Most of the time, we know the answer to “what?” (product/service offered), to “how?” (the way the activity will be done and that will set us apart from the competition), but the “why” (purpose/belief) can still be unclear and can be pushed further. Regarding “transparency”, it is key because it also proves how aligned a company is with its words and promises and enables the company to involve people in what they do and how they do it."
"After my internship in a CSR department I came to the conclusion that having a professional experience and a broaden understanding of the business is needed to be a good CSR manager. That's why I decided to kick off my career by doing a traineeship where I can discover multiple facets of a company and its activities. I don't forget CSR. This is still the way I want to go, that's why I keep it in my mind but I would like to be more experienced to be able to contribute to a coherent CSR strategy or to bring value to a small enterprise conducting sustainable activities. But it's not because I'm not working in CSR that I'm not contributing to it. Indeed, my employer gives us the opportunity to take part in CSR activities. For example I presented the traineeship track, shared tips&tricks for successful application to students members of BeFace program. I also lead a workshop with kids on the good and safe usage of Internet. From a more personal perspective, as winner of a Hera award in 2020, I got the opportunity to join the jury of the 2021 edition. I could read a lot of inspiring thesis and discuss it with my fellow jury members. It was an enriching experience."
Heurjonie Lembi Bonheur
"My personal involvement into CSR has still to be developed. However, I have the chance to work for a company that takes concrete actions and educates their employees about this topic. My first big involvement into CSR was this master thesis and I hope it will contribute to the Malagasy actors. I am also thinking about a lot of things that I can do in Africa after having learned so much from this master thesis. At the moment, I am still at the learning phase and I hope the application phase will come soon and will be impactful."