LOCKDOWN: REINVENTION OF ASSOCIATIVE LIFE #4 Ethika
Published on 01/12/2021
Has the community life of the School come to a standstill? Not really. Since classes went to distance learning, NEOMA students have redoubled their efforts and imagination to maintain links with their members. This can be clearly seen in ETHIKA, the society promoting sustainable development.
1/What was your strategy for dealing with lockdown?
For us, the priority was to keep our members active and motivated, especially the first years who have only experienced societies under lockdown. If we did nothing, we risked losing them. So our strategy was to include them despite everything so that they felt involved, to reinforce our activities, to reinvent ourselves, and to find other projects. We used this period of standstill to make progress with our project for the community grocery shop, for example, which deals with problems of waste and hardship.
2/ What did you organise in a distanced way?
The idea was not to do lots of events that would take up a lot of our time. But we did organise a lot of brainstorming to come up with activities. And team buildings or distanced games to integrate and motivate our members. I wanted to set up personal monitoring of the volunteers, by holding individual interviews, bringing that human contact which some were lacking. To make sure that all was well. We also took part in the online ‘Kawa’ of the Déclic Entreprendre organisation. We contributed on a topic we are very interested in: GreenTech.
3/Has operating in a distanced way opened up any new angles?
Yes, definitely. Our zero waste centre usually carries out its sales and workshops in person. During lockdown, we produced online tutorials showing products you could make yourself. We learned to use editing software, and we increased our presence on social media.
We launched new projects, such as organising lessons in schools, or writing a market study on the food products of Rouen to compare various different types of food, vegetarian, organic, local, etc.
4/ What have you cancelled or postponed?
We cancelled the sale of local produce, organic vegetable boxes, apéritif items. Even doing it in a distanced way, for logistical and legal reasons it would have been too difficult and too expensive to deliver them during lockdown. We never found a way round that.
5/What have been the lessons of this experience for your society and for yourselves?
A society needs to renew itself, and even more at a time of crisis. The lockdown enabled Ethika to modernise, we developed new projects we would never otherwise have undertaken. We started our first ‘Kawa’ with Déclic Entreprendre, and CSR audits for student events. In short, loads of things.
Thank you, Lina Boumediene, President of Ethika