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11 May 2021

[Success story] - The testimony of Thomas DOGUET

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What is your academic and professional background?
Hello everyone, I am Thomas Doguet, Collaboration Manager for makesense Africa, and today I am going to tell you about my academic and professional background. After completing an ES bac, I joined IAE La Rochelle on a "Business Management" course. I then took the Passerelle competition to join Rennes School of Business, where I chose to do a 3-zone course.
In the first year, I went to Dehli in  India, for my exchange semester.
Then I chose to do a gap year that I punctuated with 2 internships: a first in consulting in Paris and a second, also in consulting, but in India.
In the last year, I did a new exchange abroad and I went to Russia, to St. Petersburg. It was then the end of my studies, and the start of my professional life.
Once I graduated, I immediately worked in consulting, it was the logical continuity after my internships. I stayed there for 2 years, notably in a firm called "Cognizant Consulting". It was a pleasant experience, I had a good standard of living, a nice apartment in Paris… It was pretty cool. But I wondered if it really suited me, if it was what I wanted to do with my life. As I was member in a lot of associations, especially in the evenings and during weekends, I told myself that it made more sense for me to transform my association engagement into a professional activity. So I joined the development world in Dakar, where I have been based now for over a year. I made this transition which was not necessarily easy in January 2020 and I joined makesense, an association that I followed in France.


What is makesense? We are a citizens' movement that tries to make society much more inclusive and sustainable. And that goes through various activities, including mine as Head of the Collaboration pole. I work in particular on multi-actor collaboration. The idea is to see, for example, how to bring together public institutions (town halls, ministries, etc.) with well-known private companies, and social entrepreneurs. We bring them together around the same table, especially through design thinking tools, and we make them collaborate on issues that they could not have solved on their own.

Their collaborations make it possible to provide real solutions to solve the "SDGs", the "Sustainable Development Objectives". We contribute to several of them: "zero hunger", quality education, gender equality, sustainable cities ...

At the same time, I am also working on the associative development of another association, La Fresque du Climat, which is a tool to raise awareness about climate change that I am trying to develop in Senegal.


What are you proud of?
As I told you, a year ago I was in the consulting world. In the space of a year, I organized my professional transition to make my associative commitment my professional commitment: a very deep alignment of values ​​between what I want to do and what I actually do, and it was great. !

In 1 year, I have experienced a lot of learning thanks to this transition. For example, I am working on a zero waste transition project on the island of Ngor, a very touristy island located near Dakar, where there are a lot of problems related to plastic. We want to bring out ideas, still based on this multi-stakeholder logic, which will make it possible to "push" plastic off the island.

I am also working on another mission with the European Union, "AGreenLab", a project to raise awareness of social entrepreneurship, to support entrepreneurs in the field of energies and agribusiness and to establish contacts. with investors and technical and / or financial partners.

Another element that made me proud this year: the fact of having launched a group of “fresco artists” in Senegal, a community that strives and strives to raise awareness about climate change from scratch, and that is a nice goal.

Last pride, and not the least, personally I took up surfing and it's still pretty cool! 😉


What advice would you give to a young person who wants to change the world?
This is a very complex question! On my side, it's even a little presumptuous because I'm barely a few years older than you, but I'm going to give it a try anyway.

The first advice that I will to give you is to surround yourself well, with people you trust with whom you have the opportunity to discuss deeply about what matters to you, what motivates you, makes you want to act. There are so many current issues that need to be appropriated and acted upon: whether it is the climate emergency, the decline in biodiversity, deforestation ... There are so many issues that generate major crises. The coming years don't necessarily seem much happier to me, and I think it's really an opportunity, as a human being, to take ownership of all these issues, to see them as opportunities and to act. concretely on these: find what motivates you, what inspires you and bring your ideas to impact!

The second point, which seems interesting to me, is that of going out, daring, changing our routines, this famous "comfort zone". I think everyone tells you that, that's even what I was told to do. I think I made it through this career change between the world of consulting and the famous world of NGOs, which is not all rosy either. In any case, I absolutely do not regret making this transition. It was really a way for me to "level up", to really learn, to have the feeling of evolving, to do something with my life, to succeed in aligning my values, it is really very strong.


Then the last tip is part of the question: the term "change the world". I think it’s very complicated to think that we’re going to succeed in changing the world as much as we are, it may even be mission impossible. Rather than trying to change the world, start by already changing yourself, try to make your contribution as much as possible on the issues that interest you, look at the SDG framework, I think there is necessarily a issues that speaks to you. Act directly on this, I think it will be quite rewarding to tell yourself that you have successfully aligned your life with action that has a positive impact for all of society, more than just getting rich.

Finally, the last thing I want to tell you is that there is a lot of talk about the hummingbird, which on its scale tries to make things happen. I deeply believe that individual commitment is essential. However, I think there is more to do than the hummingbird, and that everyone really needs to be involved.

So, if you have any questions for me, please do not hesitate to contact me, I remain available.

Good day to you, and see you very soon!

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