Testimonies

[Interview] Kevin Goldberg, Groupe SOS

Who are you?

Kevin Goldberg, 31, neo Parisian (since 8 years soon). I work at GROUPE SOS, and this is the culmination of a career during which questions of general interest have often guided my choices. I also have a soft spot for European construction and international development, which are subjects that have been driving me for a long time. Trying to see how we can move towards common social progress across borders is exciting.

What is your background ?

Born in Belgium, I grew up in Grenoble. I did Sciences-Po there at the end of high school. After a few internships, I found myself in Bruges at the College of Europe where I spent a year before returning to Paris for my first job, which was to work with French mayors of small towns on European issues, the transition environment and new technologies. After this first experience, I joined GROUPE SOS. First to work on European subjects, then, little by little, on private partnerships, the development of new projects, the co-construction of hybrid devices with our partners... For a few years, I had the chance to work towards the emergence of social innovations on subjects as varied as professional integration, health, early childhood, the reception of refugees… All this diversity of activities which makes the wealth of the Group. I am now director of one of its 8 sectors, International Action. And I manage two cross-functional activities in parallel, GROUPE SOS Pulse and GROUPE SOS Consulting. I also went back to school to follow a Master in Management at Paris Dauphine, which I have just completed.

SSE : for a long time or click?

It's a bit of a chance discovery. Indeed, my first experiences led me rather towards the spheres of public authorities and politics, whether European or French, local or national. I met wonderful elected officials who are doing great things in their territories. But I also encountered inertia and clan struggles that ultimately block the ability to trigger innovative projects and social progress. My vision of the SSE at the time was summed up as that often held by the average person: a world mainly made up of volunteers, with no real professional prospects. It was a meeting with a local elected official who had worked for a long time at Vitamine T that clicked me: he told me the story of these companies that put the search for social and environmental impact above from that of profit. I got hooked right away.

Why GROUPE SOS?

Because it's a formidable group, rooted in strong values, but flexible enough to leave plenty of room for experimentation, individual and collective initiative. Above all, it is an actor-operator, advocating for a better world by proving itself in the field. We launch new projects, we open in new countries, we take over structures that are often in difficulty, we invest, in other words, we take risks... and we do it so that our actions have more and more impact, not to enrich shareholders. It is also a solid player who has found a good balance between a unified governance logic and an ability to bring together very diverse entities. On a daily basis, this gives a decentralized operation in which everyone can develop, create, and be "intrapreneur". And then I met incredible colleagues there, where motivation and sympathy rhyme with talent. Doing this job, for me, is also a lot of fun.

What is GROUPE SOS Pulse?

GROUPE SOS Pulse is the entity that brings together the places and programs of GROUPE SOS in favor of positive impact entrepreneurship and social innovation. It is also a know-how: the support of entrepreneurs, start-ups, intrapreneurs, project leaders, all those who bring a new solution to meet social and environmental challenges, at the most local level. like at the global level. Finally, it is a bearer of messages, which intends to promote globally this new economy which undertakes more for the general interest than for individual profit. For example, we support the High Commission for the Social and Solidarity Economy in the preparation of Pact for Impact, an international summit in favor of the social and inclusive economy. And today, GROUPE Pulse is in 6 countries and 4 continents, with locations and teams located in South Africa, Hong Kong, Tunisia, Morocco, France, Belgium.

In 10 years, where do you see yourself?

In 10 years, I don't know where I will be but I think I will still be driven by the same thing: developing initiatives with interested and interesting people, from different backgrounds, cultures, origins, certainly living in different countries and driven by the same idea that these projects can provide answers to the challenges facing our societies. I found my engine, I do a job that makes me want to get up in the morning and I hope to continue like this.

What would you say to those who doesn't dare to start in social and solidarity?

I meet a lot of people who wonder about their jobs because they do not respond to their daily concerns about the future of our planet, to their personal commitments. And all these people are wondering how to take this step, how to ensure that their work is related to what worries them and what drives them. I want to tell them that if they don't change, the others won't.

Taking the leap can be in different ways: insisting on being on an internal project that will make more sense than the one you carry out on a daily basis, trying to move your own structure... it can also be at a time of say "I'm casting off and embarking on a new adventure". Entrepreneurship in favor of the general interest continues to grow, we need talent: come!

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