Green guidance movement in France – workshop in Marseille

We participated and contributed to the organisation of the first meeting of french working group around green and sustainable guidance that was held in Marseille 6/7 June : “Green Guidance? Towards sustainable professional lives?“. The french informal working group “Green Guidance – towards sustainable professional lives” was constituted in september 2023. The group explores and documents several subjects:

  • The world of work : how is the dimension of sustainability approached and taken into account?
  • Career paths: what is the impact of environmental concerns on professional lives? What is the place of individual success in relation to collective, inclusive and global issues?
  • Supporting people: how are sustainability and social justice issues taken into account in careers practice? What are the consequences in terms of stance, tools and methods?

The group created a database of resources from existing academic research, studies and citizen practices. It collected and analysed the point of view of careers professionals in France through a questionnaire and identified existing approaches of raising public and professional awareness (climate frescoes and different variants, the work of the Shifters), methods and tools (such as the tools developed by Shekina Rochat at the University of Lausanne or Sabrina Tacchini and colleagues from “Slow your career“.

We spent these two days in Marseille thinking with career practitioners from different sectors on what could be our role in building sustainable future. It was also an opportunity to experience some existing tools and activities, present the results of the survey around green guidance prepared by the “Exploring Green Guidance” project and compare it with the results of the french survey. André Chauvet proposed very powerful closing remarks on possible ways of how practitioners can approach this topic:

  • Needs of the world as the starting point of careers services. Rather than putting person in the centre of the service as a disconnected individual with individual wants, needs and desires, we need to consider clients in the context of their connection to the world and the inevitable moral imperative of sustainability;
  • Narrative approaches: learn about and produce alternative narratives, deconstruct the myth of self-fulfillment through work, show less heroic and more frugal ways of adjusting to the world;
  • Critically rethink dominant life-forms, develop active lives compatible with preserving our common world, encompassing our labour, work and action;
  • Introduce durability as one of the choice criteria when choosing career, training, employment or company;
  • Get involved locally in collective action.