Ticket for Change is an unprecedented Tour de France ‘to invent a new society model.’ Its founder, Matthieu Dardaillon (a social entrepreneur and former intern at Danone and danone.communities), took inspiration from Yagriti Yatra, launched in India in 2008, which promotes entrepreneurship through ‘an ambitious train journey of discovery and transformation’. Ticket for Change is based on the same principle: taking 50 young people on a ten-day journey through France to give them inspiration and help them devise a project with the potential to change society. Danone.communities is one of the sponsors of Ticket for Change, which believes in the power of entrepreneurship to make change happen.
300 young people aged 18 to 30, from all backgrounds, responded to a nationwide invitation to take part in this totally new kind of tour. 40 juries then selected 50 candidates, based on four non-academic criteria: their ability to dream, their determination to change society, their leadership potential and their ability to communicate their enthusiasm. They did not necessarily have to have a specific project in mind; the idea of the Tour was to inspire them and give them the impetus they needed to venture into social entrepreneurship. During 10 days, the 50 candidates travelled to Paris, Marseille,Valence, Lyon, Strasbourg and Lille. They met 40 ‘pioneers‘ – entrepreneurs and leaders who ‘reconcile humanism and economic efficiency’ in their everyday lives. They thus got the opportunity to talk to organic farming pioneer Pierre Rabhi, economist Jacques Attali, French Minister of Education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, entrepreneur Bruno Bonnell, and Deputy General Manager of Danone Emmanuel Faber, among others. Three leadership experts, who had prepared a detailed programme to help young people realise their potential, also accompanied them. The tour was also open for outside audiences to join in through seven public events. On 3 September, danone.communities organised one of these at the Saint-Sauveur railway station in Lille. The ‘Live!’ event brought together 400 people around the tour members and social entrepreneurs, and featured a live concert. It was covered by a radio show (you can listen to it here in French). After ten highly productive days, the candidates went back home to put their ideas into action. And the programme won’t stop there: over the next ten months, the participants will be receiving personal and individualised support to help them make their projects a reality. In India, Yagriti Yagra has already enabled over 300 solidarity businesses to be created. Let’s hope the future of Ticket for Change is as bright and successful. Photos © Ticket for Change