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Everyone wants to change the world

By PKB | Katinka RAMBERT Fondation Akuo | 27th July 2016 | Updated at 09:07


| There is a new documentary movie causing a stir: “Demain” made by Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent. Cyril Dion is the co-founder of the Mouvement Colibris, created with Pierre Rabhi, the philosopher who developed the concept of the happy sobriety. The Colibris, ordinary citizens, you, me, our neighbor gather around local initiatives to change the world. From small groups to small groups, the Mouvement Colibris, now covers the whole country. Mélanie Laurent is an international actress and a singer who also became a film maker. Deeply involved in a number of NGOs, Mélanie Laurent gave her voice for the French dubbing of the documentary “The End of the Line” exposing the consequences of over fishing, a project carried by the Akuo Foundation.


Those two unique individuals were evolving in opposite worlds, so it seemed. And yet, complementing one another, they created “Demain”, a world tour of solutions that work, to offer a new model for our society. It is the first movie that reinvents tomorrow’s world with today’s solutions. This movie broke the record of crowdfunding on the KissKissBankBank platform, with 10 266 contributors for a total of 444 390 euros. The initial goal was to raise 200 000 euros, thus an over performance of + 222%.

This movie won the César 2016 – the French Oscars, in the category : “best documentary movie”. This movie approaches a million of tickets sold at the box office in France, breaking the record for a documentary movie on environment, ahead of “An Inconvenient Truth”, Al Gore’s documentary on climate change. It is or will be in theaters of about 30 countries, and very probably many more.


Mélanie Laurent et Cyril Dion at the Akuo Foundation Gala

This movie was screened on March 31st at the UN, followed by a debate in which David Nabarro- special adviser for sustainable development, said:

This movie should be part of the curriculum of every political leader on this planet.

In spring 2013, Eric Scotto and Cyril Dion met. The latest is seeking support for a new project: he wants to tell the story of the revolution we are going through. For the two visionaries it is an immediate mutual crush.

Eric Scotto is the co-founder, with Patrice Lucas, Benoit Galland and Brice Yharrassarry of Akuo Energy, the first French independent renewable energy power producer. With 428 MW in operation and 132 MW under construction, Akuo Energy was created with the will to find and share “more sense”. It is not a brake, quite the opposite, it is a drive in growth, with 156 million euros of green energy sold, Akuo Energy ambitions to have a total installed capacity of 3000 MW within the next 5 years. Akuo Energy is a constantly evolving company, carrying all renewable energy and present on each continent. But Akuo Energy is a not an ordinary company; Entrepreneurs by Nature, it develops innovative solutions, to change the world.

On the Reunion Island, where the first images of “Demain” were filmed, there is the Bardzour project, conceived and developed by Akuo Energy Indian Ocean. In the detention center of the Port city, is the solar plant of 9 MW coupled to an equivalent storage solution of 9 MWh. Permaculture agriculture is cultivated under the Agrinergie® anticyclonic solar greenhouses.


A beekeeper prisoner

Agriculture on the land, solar panels on the roofs, the prisoners are trained in the installation and the maintenance of the solar panels. They are also trained in permaculture and a significant amount of the harvests are consumed locally at the detention center food court. Adding up to those reinsertion programs there is also the one of the Akuo Foundation on beekeeping :

It is blessed bread for us, because they give us work, they support us, they help us, they follow us, so I could not have asked for better (..) it is my responsibility now to prove them they were right in trusting me.

Pierre, prisoner and beneficiary of the program. This project won the My Positive Impact contest of the Nicolas Hulot Foundation, just before the Climate Summit – COP 21 – to showcase solutions, to change the world.

We are in front of a new model where a company does not consider solely economic performance. Convinced that true prosperity is one of which considers all the local stakeholders in a long term business and human investment.

Consequently, it is to share the skills of the collaborators of the company that Akuo Foundation was created in 2011. Its missions are to give access to renewable energy, education and knowledge, water and health services, all the while protecting the environment and its biodiversity. This wide scope enables to act according to the following motto: preservation of the environment and respect for humans are together the conditions for a sustainable and flourishing economy. It is a holistic vision that allows to humbly and efficiently answer to the urge of offering new development models. It is the case of the Akuo Foundation’s Nosy Faly project, in Madagascar, where philanthropy and support to social entrepreneurs interconnect in harmony and specifically. Firstly with an experimental farm, now self-sufficient where 11 full time employees learn and share agriculture knowledge in their own villages through the implementation of learning vegetables gardens. Also with the islanders regrouping in a cooperative to harvest the prestigious Madagascar wild black pepper, that has given them off the equivalent of 17 monthly salaries. And then, with high added value farming thanks to crops such as calophyllum or mangos that are sold in the nearby hotels and internationally. The experimental farm is a successful example of support to social entrepreneurship. In parallel the Akuo Foundation also carries a philanthropic approach in the reconstruction of the elementary school. Just like some of the other Akuo Foundation’s projects such as the GreenSchool of Bali or the Oulad Merzoug School in Marocco, who recently received the Green Pavillon Award from the Mohammed VI Foundation, where the virtues of a healthy and environmentally friendly learning space have much more superior positive outcomes than expected.


The Gonthier family, father and son in an Agrinergie® greenhouse

The Akuo Foundation raises funds to support its projects and organizes, a biennale Gala. At the 2013 Gala, an amount of the funds raised had led the “Demain” team to film its very first rushes. Then in 2015, the Akuo Foundation had the great honor to host the first private Avant-Première of the movie for its guests followed by a diner with the movie’s team and a number of prestigious participants all concerned by the existing solutions and the ones still to invent. In the end, it is a story of human beings with the same intention, to show and share what’s best, for all of us.

But why does everyone want to change the world? The groundswell that carries the success of “Demain” is very likely only the beginning of the adventure. Between happy sobriety, sustainable development, human blossoming and protection of our ecosystems, there is a new world. It is only the premises but “everywhere in the world solutions exist”. This movie shows agricultural solutions, green energy solutions, monetary and local economies solutions, education solutions, governance solutions and civil society mobilization solutions. It shows that it is possible to reinvent, in every domains of our society.

Out of breath, the ancient model of the XXth century is not sustainable anymore, for if every inhabitant on earth would live an occidental lifestyle a total of 8 planets would be necessary. We have been living in debt since August 2015, the moment when the planet regenerates slower than what we draw on its resources. So what can we do? Run to see “Demain” and commit. Since, as Jean Paul Sartre said: “Our responsibility is greater than we imagine, because it engages the whole humanity”, you too, you can, you have to, change the world – And it is even said that it makes one happy!