Get Inspired

“Great things can happen if you take the first step”

Head to the land of Vikings, bicycles and tall blonds, to meet Johann, a member of the Blue Flag, an eco-label recognized around the world. Live from their headquarters in Copenhagen, he answers our questions.

Why did you choose to work in this field?

Invested for a long time in the associative sector, I wanted to combine professional activity and a cause close to my heart. Knowing that the overall goal of my day benefits everyone, from the local to the global, is a rewarding vision personally and professionally.

The superpower you need in your job?

Rigor and flexibility! Working in constant contact with more than 50 countries, from Brazil to Japan, from Iceland to South Africa, from Canada to New Zealand requires a square organization of its agenda, a long-term vision of its objectives to let some flexibility in everyday tasks.

A telling example: postponing a meeting is not a problem, three on the same day in three different time zones, it becomes a sport.

According to you, what are the prerequisites or important qualities? What served you (old experiences, extra-professional experiences, others) when you would never have imagined it?

After many volunteer experiences at the local level, national and now international experiences, the same qualities are found. Empathy, each person is different, taking the time to understand their needs in order to adapt your work and obtain the best result for them and for us is essential.

Taking into account multicultural contexts and issues, working with Latin America and working with Scandinavia are two very different approaches, but the result must be the same with respect for the criteria of international certification.

Your best memory ?

Personally, in September 2014, during an audit in Italy, the visit of a regional maritime rescue center, also responsible for a Blue Flag marina. We traveled a few miles from the port in a Zodiac for a life-size exercise.

Professionally, after each feedback from our national project managers such as the creation of a beach accessible to blind people in Portugal or the delivery of amphibious wheelchairs in Bora Bora. Memories among many others.

How are organized (in summary) your work, your days?

My activity is organized around key dates throughout the year. Preparation of international Blue Flag juries, coordination of site assessments and international assessment, organization of international audits, annual meeting of national Blue Flag project managers, participation in conferences, workshops, symposiums where necessary to be present.

In short, administration and coordination of international projects, beach and marina audits, communication and public relations to make the project grow.

Any advice for those who would like to go down this path?

Be curious, on the net or in real life, meet associations, lend a hand, treat yourself. There are almost as many existing associations as there are ideas for getting involved. Great things can happen if you take the first step.

Links where to find you or to share?

Blue Flag website and Twitter

My Twitter

Testimony collected by SYLVAIN

Escaped from physics college and reconverted into solidarity communication, part-time nerd and eclectic musicophile, web design specialties, influence and strategic communication, opera, mariokart.

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