Engaging the leaders of tomorrow with Alter'Actions

Engaging the leaders of tomorrow with Alter'Actions

Paris, FranceParis, France
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Alter'Actions is a leadership program that gathers the best students from top schools, highly skilled profesionnals and non-profit organizations, through consulting missions and social economy bootcamps. It helps non profit to solve their operationnal issues, and shapes our future generation of leaders.

About Project

Problème : Quel problème ce projet essaie-t-il d'adresser ?

We see Alter'Actions as a smart single answer to multiple problems we feel the urge to solve. For once, there is a short-term, crying need to help non-profit organization to scale up their operations, sustain their model, and have a greater impact. They need to increase their efficiency, develop new business model and increasingly compete on a global scale with private companies. Besides, we think that while there is little question that the way our society works needs to change, most of our world leaders have little ideas – not to say little incentives, on how to bring the change and make our society more egalitarian and more sustainable. That’s why on a longer term we want to empower the next generation of leaders with the tools and ideas to shape a better world tomorrow.

Solution: Quelle est la solution proposée? S.v.p soyez précis!

On the one hand we organize consulting missions for non profits, on the other hand we organize “bootcamps” dedicated to social business and alternative economy. We select students from top French schools (about 40 a year), we rely on pro-bono involvement from professional consultants, and we work with a bunch of non-profit organization and social business. Missions help reaching our short term goal of providing assistance to non-profit: we gather the best talents from the private sector and the academic world so they team up and work together to meet the strategic and operational challenges of the non-profit we decide to work for. The students also participate to 4 classes dedicated to the social economy. These 2-days long “bootcamps” take place on week ends and welcome experts from social business, executives from non-profits, economists. Both missions and bootcamps serve our long term goal of shaping the mindset of future leaders.
Impact: How does it Work

Exemple : Faites nous découvrir comment cette solution fait la différence en utilisant un ou plusieurs exemples concrets ; en incluant aussi ses activités principales.

From the student point of view, our model is truly innovative, as there is no other solution that would both give them the theoretical framework about social economy, and offer them the opportunity to work on fascinating missions with non-profits. The bootcamps they participate into are clearly groundbreaking for them as it’s a chance they have to discover new concepts they wouldn’t have a chance to come close to during they “regular” studies within management and engineering schools. I can remember for instance the last bootcamp where one economist came to talk about the concept of basic income guarantee. This was truly disrupting and eye-opening for our students, who clearly left the bootcamp with a new concept in mind. As the model of our society needs to evolve, our future leaders need to be empowered with such tools and ideas. From the non-profit point of view, our missions make a clear difference as we help them tackle key issues, undergo major transformations, shape critical strategic decisions or achieve operational needs. Without or help, NGOs would either postpone / avoid the change or rely on expensive external help. From employees point of view: most of the consultants who work with us had no exposure with the non-profit before, and keep an excellent memory of it once the mission achieved. I believe we make a difference not only in raising their level of engagement and increasing their employability, but also in bridging the gap that remains between employees from the private sector and non-profit.
Viabilité

Marché : Qui d'autre adresse les problèmes mentionnés ici ? Comment ce projet diffère-t-il de ces approches ?

We’re pretty much the only one to propose a blended approach between “on the ground” missions and theoretical bootcamps. Even our missions are unique in the sense that no other organization propose an integrated approach based on a partnership between students and consultants, with a methodological framework that brings a sense of certainty in the output if the mission. Besides the uniqueness of our operating model, it’s likely that we’re the only one to propose the long term vision we exposed above. It’s one thing to deliver missions for non-profit, it’s another to embed it into a wider scale vision of making the leaders of tomorrow.
Equipe

Histoire de votre fondation

Our first “Aha” came about 7 years ago when we had the idea of having graduate students work on real issue of NGOs instead of fiction business case. We had our second “Aha” moment during the financial crises that started in 2008 soon transformed into an economic crisis, then a social crisis, devastating the life of millions. We shared the diagnosis that this crisis had its roots within our society model, which clearly had to evolve. That’s when we realized we couldn’t just blame the model and do nothing. There was an opportunity to help changing the system from within. Accenture, filled with brilliant mind and high performance professionals, was a perfect place to start Alter’Actions. Finally, we have “aha” moments every time we meet amazing social business owners or non-profit workers. Amazing individuals who remind us of how urgent is the change, and how big are the opportunities. There we remember the Alter’Actions model is strong, and can be decisive.
A propos de vous
Organisation:
Fanon
A propos de vous
Prénom

Julien

Parlez-nous de vous /votre équipe.

I created Alter'Actions while working at Accenture, with another colleague of mine, Ahmat Faki. Ahmat and I have been working at Accenture for 7 years, both of us are managers in the Management consulting department. Ahmat is specialized in Digital Marketing while I have a focus on Talent & Organizations.

Qu'est-ce qui fait de vous un intrapreneur? Quelles sont les compétences, les capacités et les traits de personnalité qui font de vous un intrapreneur?

Three years after its creation, Alter'Actions remains unique in its kind. Creating and developing it has been a genuine effort of entrepreneurship as we had barely any model to refer to. We launched it as a pilot, as a start-up, and had to imagine its operational model and create every asset from scratch. This took a lot of imagination, nurtered by tons of readings and meetings with people from the non-profit and the consulting worlds (as our model is at the border of these two domains). We had failures, we had success, but three years after its initial launch, Alter'Actions is growing every day and we are still polishing the model. .

A propos de votre organisation
Pays de la société

, J75, Paris

Principal pays où ce projet crée de l'impact

, J75, Paris

Impact de votre projet dans d'autres pays ou régions
Industrie

Autre

Innovation
Sélectionnez la phase qui s'applique le mieux à votre solution

Extension (la prochaine étape consiste à étendre l'impact à l'échelle régionale, voire internationale)

La solution: pourquoi est-ce une solution innovante pour votre entreprise ou votre industrie?

For Accenture and our other private sector partners, Alter'Actions is a innovative way to propose part time pro-bono to their employees. Our missions require only half a day of work from the manager per week, during 8 weeks. It’s therefore much easier for employees to conciliate it with a "normal" mission. We’re proud to say that Alter’Actions is a true enabler of pro-bono in companies.

Impact social
Jusqu'à ce jour, quels résultats a obtenu votre projet ?

So far
- We’ve conducted 35 missions for 25 organizations. Only 3 of these missions failed to reach the original goal we defined conjointly with the NGO (and for one of them it was due to a lack of availability from the NGO). We have a satisfaction rate of 88% of non-profit regarding our missions.
- We organized 6 bootcamps, each of them taking place at one of our partner’s so students could really get embedded in the social economy context. Satisfaction rate of our students in 2011 – 2012 : 92%.
- Enrolled more than 100 students, most of the new ones being advised to join by their friends from previous years.
- Relied on about 30 managers from the private sector, half of them from Accenture.
For an overview (non exhaustive list) of our missions : http://www.alter-actions.org/__Missions/liste.asp

Quel est l'impact prévu pour votre projet sur les 1 à 3 prochaines années?

In France we want to deliver another 20 missions a year and enroll about 40 new students a year. This will make the Alter’Actions alumni network 200-individuals strong, creating so many collaboration potentials between these exceptional individuals.
In 3 years from now we should have delivered more than 6000 days of consulting for our non-profit partners, which is an exceptional performance and a decisive footprint on the non-profit sector in France.
And that’s for France only… One our challenge within the next 2 years is to take the Alter’Actions model outside of the French boundaries. We believe the model can work in pretty much any city with top schools and major companies. So why limiting it to Paris? As a matter of fact we do have contacts with organizations in Shanghai and India.

Quels sont les obstacles qui risquent de freiner votre projet ? Comment pensez-vous les surmonter ?

Lack of internal resources is one risk. We need to hire more resources:
- On the one hand, to run the operations of Alter’Actions. Even though we tried to simplify the model, it still generates a fair level of complexity. Thanksfully we have two employees but it’s barely enough to face the complexity of Alter’Actions.
- On the other hand we need to expand Alter’Actions, take it to new places, propose new services. All this comes on the top of the operations and necessitate skills and dedicated resources.
Another risk we need to control is the lack of coverage. To meet its goals, Alter’Actions needs to be renowned. That’s how we’ll make sure to recruit the top students, that’s how we’ll convince new business to partner with us and provide pro-bono managers so we can run more missions,

Viabilité
Quel est l'avantage ou la valeur que vous créez pour votre entreprise?

We provide many benefits for Accenture:
- First and foremost, like any other pro-bono initiative, this is a great way for them to boost employee engagement.
- It’s also valuable for Accenture as participating employees acquire new skills through Alter’Actions, and discover new horizons,
- Alter’Actions also gives Accenture a direct access to recruit students from top schools. Students are exposed to the Accenture brand and methods and leave the program with a better perception of Accenture

Comment allez-vous tirer parti des ressources internes (les fonds, le temps, les connaissances, etc) pour soutenir cette initiative?

As detailed above, we rely on Accenture for funding (necessary for our running our operations: operational costs and wages of employees) and pro-bono (between 5 and 10 consultants are working for Alter’Actions every year.

We also leverage internal expertise every time we have a challenge to overcome. Recent examples are HR or Research experts who have helped us.

Last but not least, we are two Accenture employees acting as Vice presidents of Alter’Actions. We do it outside of our working hours, evenings and week ends. In that sense, we are Accenture internal resources leveraged to move Alter’Actions forward. The skills we developed through Accenture training and work we do at our clients are immediately put to the service of Alter’Actions.

Développer votre réponse, en expliquant le financement à long terme et un plan de soutien.

We need to secure current partners. Accenture, Lagardere, Synergence, le Crédit Coopératif and Enel are generous founders who provide both in terms of funds and pro-bono skills. At the very least we need to maintain these partnerships and demonstrate the interest our partners have in investing in Alter’Actions.

Beyond this scope, we need to expand, secure new partners and generate new kind of revenues. We are in the process of developing new packages of services to be sold to companies, articulated around new ways of securing employee engagement or developing CSR. These new leads are proving to be efficient as we’ve already signed a few deals, and an increasing number of prospects are demonstrating interest.

Parlez-nous de vos partenariats au sein de votre entreprise et à l'extérieur qui sont la clé de la réussite de votre projet.

Beyond Accenture, and as stated above, we rely on key partners from the private sector, from the academic world, and from the non-profit.

Major partners:
- Private sector : Lagardère, Crédit Coopératif, Synergence, Enel
- Academic : HEC, AgroParisTech, Ponts et Chaussées, Diderot Paris 7 and ENSAE
- Non profit : Fondation Abbé Pierre, Ashoka, Enfants du Mékong, Passerelles Numériques, UNICEF, etc

Quel soutien interne avez-vous reçu pour votre projet? Quel genre de commentaires critiques avez-vous reçu?

We've received very strong sponsorship from the Accenture global VP for Human Capital and President of the Accenture foundation. She was convinced of the unique position of Alter Actions, the benefits for Accenture employees and for its ecosystem.
The manager of the foundation in Paris has also been a very strong support.

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