ESCP student and activist Grégoire Cazcarra shares his choice to become a leader in his community and explains what this generation of activists means for the future of work.
Over the past few years, civic and community activism have played an increasingly important role in my life. In June 2017, at the age of 17, I founded Les Engagés, a citizen movement based in Bordeaux, to bring young people back into the discussion of ideas and public life.
For almost four years now, we have been organising debates and meetings with entrepreneurs, community leaders, academics and elected officials across France. Our goal is to motivate more young people to speak out, defend their beliefs and engage in activism.
Writing to tell the story of our generation
As an extension of these commitments, writing gradually emerged as a necessity: not only to tell the story of our path to activism, but more importantly, to motivate other young people to engage in activism too. Along with Léna Van Nieuwenhuyse, my co-author and founder of the Pass’Politique outreach media, at the age of 21, we became the youngest authors to be published by Editions VA.
Through our essay, Génération Engagée – prefaced by Sarah El Haïry, French Minister for Youth, and includes an afterword written by lawyer Bertrand Périer – we sought to share the key moments that have forged the collective identity of our generation, from terrorist attacks to the fire at Notre-Dame, to give voice to 18 inspiring activists and, last but not least, to advance concrete proposals for building a truly “activist society”.
Writing gradually emerged as a necessity: not only to tell the story of our path to activism, but more importantly, to motivate other young people to engage in activism too.
Companies of tomorrow will be socially and environmentally conscious or will cease to exist
Among the points raised in the publication, the involvement of the private sector is very important to me. Companies, from small-to-medium businesses to multinational corporations, all have a key role to play.
Those that do not include social, community and environmental issues in their purpose and core values are doomed to disappear sooner or later. Being an entrepreneur today means having the opportunity to take part in politics indirectly – which amounts to nothing short of making a tangible impact on society.
That is why I personally chose to attend a management school after my initial training in the humanities and social sciences, in spite of my literary background. Because I profoundly believe in the power of the private sector and the business world to help advance society and lead practical initiatives to serve the common good.
A generation in search of meaning
All the surveys show that the “search for meaning” in the corporate world is an increasingly important priority for young people. The young generation has reversed its order of priorities: even before salary or career prospects, their primary concern is now well-being at work and whether a company’s values aligns with their own.
The young generation is particularly committed to environmental consciousness, as evidenced by the success of the “Manifesto for an Ecological Awakening” shared by thousands of students on LinkedIn a few months ago, in which they asked companies to “play their role in this major transformation” and “lead the change we need to finally move toward a sustainable society.”
The development of companies referred to as “purpose-driven” authorised in France by the PACTE law enacted in 2019, is another sign of these changing attitudes.
If today’s companies want to attract top talent, it is no longer enough to simply offer a high salary or prestigious opportunities for career development. They must also “embody” progress, demonstrate their utility for society and the sincerity of their commitment.
Being an entrepreneur today means having the opportunity to take part in politics indirectly – which amounts to nothing short of making a tangible impact on society.
Taking part in activism
Activism is, more than ever, at the heart of our personal and professional lives. Whether it’s the community organisation just down the street, an international NGO or a social or environmental start-up: no one form of activism is loftier than another.
All that matters is giving each young person the opportunity to find the form of activism that most closely matches their hopes and aspirations.
This is the message I’ve been defending for four years as the head of the Les Engagés movement and that Lina and I wanted to convey in this book: taking part in activism is not just adding a line to your resume or on LinkedIn, it is first and foremost getting out of your comfort zone, gaining experience and maturity, meeting people you’ll never forget and sharing your drive for activism with others!
License and Republishing
The Choice - Republishing rules
We publish under a Creative Commons license with the following characteristics Attribution/Sharealike.
- You may not make any changes to the articles published on our site, except for dates, locations (according to the news, if necessary), and your editorial policy. The content must be reproduced and represented by the licensee as published by The Choice, without any cuts, additions, insertions, reductions, alterations or any other modifications.If changes are planned in the text, they must be made in agreement with the author before publication.
- Please make sure to cite the authors of the articles, ideally at the beginning of your republication.
- It is mandatory to cite The Choice and include a link to its homepage or the URL of thearticle. Insertion of The Choice’s logo is highly recommended.
- The sale of our articles in a separate way, in their entirety or in extracts, is not allowed , but you can publish them on pages including advertisements.
- Please request permission before republishing any of the images or pictures contained in our articles. Some of them are not available for republishing without authorization and payment. Please check the terms available in the image caption. However, it is possible to remove images or pictures used by The Choice or replace them with your own.
- Systematic and/or complete republication of the articles and content available on The Choice is prohibited.
- Republishing The Choice articles on a site whose access is entirely available by payment or by subscription is prohibited.
- For websites where access to digital content is restricted by a paywall, republication of The Choice articles, in their entirety, must be on the open access portion of those sites.
- The Choice reserves the right to enter into separate written agreements for the republication of its articles, under the non-exclusive Creative Commons licenses and with the permission of the authors. Please contact The Choice if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Extracts: It is recommended that after republishing the first few lines or a paragraph of an article, you indicate "The entire article is available on ESCP’s media, The Choice" with a link to the article.
Citations: Citations of articles written by authors from The Choice should include a link to the URL of the authors’ article.
Translations: Translations may be considered modifications under The Choice's Creative Commons license, therefore these are not permitted without the approval of the article's author.
Modifications: Modifications are not permitted under the Creative Commons license of The Choice. However, authors may be contacted for authorization, prior to any publication, where a modification is planned. Without express consent, The Choice is not bound by any changes made to its content when republished.
Authorized connections / copyright assignment forms: Their use is not necessary as long as the republishing rules of this article are respected.
Print: The Choice articles can be republished according to the rules mentioned above, without the need to include the view counter and links in a printed version.
If you choose this option, please send an image of the republished article to The Choice team so that the author can review it.
Podcasts and videos: Videos and podcasts whose copyrights belong to The Choice are also under a Creative Commons license. Therefore, the same republishing rules apply to them.