A Great Match for Collaboration : ACTeon Environment and EJWP

ACTeon Environment is a part of our EJWP community through the participation of Manon Berge in EJWP2. Manon is working at ACTeon as a sociologist focused on water-related projects, and is very interested in working more at the EU level.

ACTeon hosted an EJWP training week last March in which EJWP participants from five European countries gathered at the company in France to collaborate on their project, interact with the company and its staff, and to train in personal and professional development.

Manon has provided a glimpse into ACTeon to highlight what it does, and how it is a part of EJWP collaboration. “As an EJWP participant, I am trying to use opportunities to share my experience with my ACTeon colleagues. I organize a monthly meeting with them, where I tell them about the training, projects and other activities we do in EJWP. Their feedback helps me do better in EJWP, especially in the group projects, and on my side, I try to share with them my takeaway from the program so they can also benefit from it.”

ACTeon is a consultancy and research company based in Colmar, Grenoble (France), and Torino, Italy. It facilitates the development, implementation and evaluation of public policies that integrate environmental interests in planning decisions. ACTeon advises a wide range of stakeholders such as public institutions, companies and NGOs, in environmental sciences, economics, sociology, political sciences, environmental law, and spatial planning. The company works from local city councils to EU policies and research projects.

What motivated you and the organization to join with EJWP?

Manon: “I wanted to take part in an international network; you could say to feel more European in our activities and outlook. It’s also about doing something new, as we love to do in ACTeon! I think through myself and my colleagues that EJWP is providing employees here with an interesting experience. We set out with the goal of learning and experimenting, especially in the collective and international aspect of our work.

What about the EJWP experience?

Manon: “It’s a great platform for learning and experimenting. A great life experience in general, with engaging content, especially on the personal training aspect. Our group and trainers also create a friendly atmosphere, with flexibility regarding the expectations and initiatives of the participants.

The group projects are a challenging part of EJWP for the participants. They are important, because it is the ideal place to put personal training into practice. Since there are eight projects, there is room for mistakes and experimentation in numerous different situations. It is also a great way to learn how to balance the attention given to the content and the process: at the beginning of the program, the participants sometimes tend to focus more on delivering good results, but they struggle because of organizational issues. They learn to be more aware of the process and also more self-aware about their contributions in this process.”

What about further potential for collaboration within EJWP and other parts of the (young) water sector?

ACTeon is currently working with other youth networks in Europe, such as Youth4Ocean Forum. We are interested in joining causes to develop innovative actions. We are also interested in developing projects related to learning processes and their effect on behaviors, for more sustainable actions.

Do your ACTeon colleagues have thoughts on cooperation with EJWP and related activities?

Camille Parrod, international environmental law expert: “Regular feedback from EJWP (both technical – on the projects and methods used, and human – on the group dynamics, team building, leadership) is provided to the team, allowing us to compare the experiences met on our own projects, and to build a collective reflection on ways to move forward. It also serves as an inspiration on methods to apply to investigate water management-related topics. Basically, it is like an invitation to step back and lean into a retrospective approach on our projects and management.”

Antoine Dubiau, land planning expert: “As a young professional who doesn’t actually participate in EJWP, working with the group is still a rewarding experience. It really makes you want to take part in such collective initiatives, to discover new ways to work and develop your international network!” Antoine

Sarah Loudin, water governance expert: “Through the involvement of my colleague Manon in EJWP and the monthly updates she shares with our team, I have been able to follow the group activities. I have had access to the various reports on water management they collectively produced, which I found very interesting!”

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