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Charles Duprez: Expanding Sustainability Digitally

NBS Staff discuss their interests, their goals, and what drove them to pursue business sustainability.

What is your official job description at NBS / REDD?

I work on Digital Strategy & Sustainability Engagement. This means that I give strategic input on digital activities, including strategies for growing the Network and improving members’ online experience. I also contribute to content creation and research projects, especially for Réseau entreprise et développement durable (REDD), our francophone office.

Why did you decide to work at NBS/ REDD?

I love working here because I can combine my skills in digital marketing and my interest in sustainability research. But more than that, I believe that the 21st century will be a turning point in our civilization and I want to understand what is happening and be part of a positive transition.

How did you become interested in business sustainability?

After five years in France studying business, I started working for a digital communication agency for large companies in the fast food and automobile sectors. At some point, I realized that all my hard work would simply result in people buying more fast food and cars…

I began to seek out opportunities where my digital and management skills could be used to shape a more responsible world. I first decided to work for communication agency specialised in Corporate Social Responsibility and in sustainability, and to write some articles about how to achieve positive social or environmental impact. I then decided to go further and joined NBS/REDD. I also started a second master’s degree in social and environmental responsibility at ESG UQÀM in Canada.

What are your interests outside work? 

Traveling is my favorite hobby. I love discovering new places and ways of life and I try to do it in a sustainable way. I love achieving challenges with my friends, like climbing, hiking or urban exploration. In everyday life, I spend time composing folk-blues music and reading about topics that interest me — or reading a novel to take a break. I am especially fascinated by the Beat Generation literary movement.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

It’s about our relationship to time. Time is the most precious thing in the world and we have to be aware of that, to be able to protect it. In our digital world, everything is designed to steal our attention and we must free ourselves from these mechanisms. I should be able to allocate my time the way I really wish. No one said to himself on his deathbed “I would have liked to spend more time on social media”!

Who would you like to invite to a dinner party?

I would like to recreate a historical Greek banquet and invite Socrates to share some wine in amphoras. I would love to understand how Socrates manages to remove “social” knowledge from people and force them to think for themselves. Especially now, when the Internet floods us with others’ opinions, time to think is a luxury earned in a daily fight against distraction. The wisdom embodied by Socrates is surely the most beautiful virtue.

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