Published on April 19, 2023
We often get asked: “Who is behind Team for the Planet?".
It is important that people understand that we are first and foremost a movement. Team for the Planet was launched in December 2019 by 6 people and now has thousands of shareholders, who all provide money, skills, and recognition. They are citizens, scientists, entrepreneurs, financial backers, celebrities, and mentors: and we were hopeful that, faced with the biggest challenge in human history, the brightest human beings would join the movement and make things happen. Today, we can see that we were right to believe.
Some people want to know more about the six individuals who chose to volunteer their time for Team for the Planet at the beginning.
Well, alright, just because it’s you:
Basically, Team for the Planet is the story of 6 thirty-something-year-olds who either had started their own company, or occupied management positions in big firms. Everyone had a cushy job.
Except for one small detail: they could no longer sleep at night or make sense of their day-to-day lives in light of the climate emergency.
One of them is Nicolas. He is happy when the people around him are happy. He has always been interested in finding ideas to solve problems. He set up his first company 12 years ago: a summer camp organization, “Vitacolo”, whose main objective was to use the profits to organize trips for disabled children.
A few years later, Vitacolo was organizing summer camps for more than 1000 children every year, which strongly promoted cooperation and action.
He followed this up by setting up a bar/restaurant, which operates on the basis of welcoming, meeting, and interacting with customers. The products are mostly homemade and the company is called "in liberation": the employees are autonomous, they are working without hierarchy and without control. They choose their salaries and what to invest in the company, as well as grow organic hops to help the brewers they work with daily.
Nicolas is the guardian of Team for the Planet's values and is mainly in charge of the vision and the internal functioning of the company.
He is responsible for :
Then, there is Mehdi, 35 years old.
After co-founding Vitacolo with Nicolas, he went on to create “Linkeyword”, a web agency in 2012 that he sold 2 years later. He then founded Optimiz.me, a Google referencing software, and left for a few months for the US to set up an American subsidiary called Mazen. Finally, in 2018, he launched Automate.me, a process automation company without coding.
He is also a minority partner of Wuha (a search software for web applications) and MonCDI.fr (a digital platform for recruiting temporary workers on permanent contracts).
He is a completely self-taught entrepreneur; his speciality is the first two years of a company when you can't rely on any certainty and everything still has to be invented.
He is in charge of operations at Team for the Planet and starts all new projects and structures them before handing over their management to his associates.
He is in charge of :
But where would Team for the Planet be without Laurent and his jokes... that aren’t always funny ;)
He is the man behind the scenes. A great pragmatist, lover of Excel spreadsheets, and respectful of processes with a touch of mania. He is able to juggle all technical subjects. Very attentive to details, no organizational flaw escapes him.
He was the manager of a fast-growing accounting network with several hundred employees. He also co-founded 3 companies in the video post-production sector, as well as a surveyor's office.
He thus chose to leave a comfortable situation to devote all his energies to Team for the Planet.
His role is to ensure the smooth daily running of all components of Team for the Planet.
He is in charge of:
Of course, there is also Denis! The scientist of the bunch!
As an ingenious engineer and our technical director, he leads Team for the Planet's scientific strategy to transform innovations into real levers for change. Curious and rational, he ensures the coherence and relevance of the solutions to be implemented.
Denis was an Associate Director of an innovation consulting firm for 10 years; he gave up his executive status and his company car for the Team for the Planet adventure.
His role is to identify sectoral issues and to unearth the most relevant impact innovations to address climate change issues on a global scale.
He is responsible for:
● Defining the process for detecting and then selecting innovations for development.
● Setting up and leading a community of scientific experts to challenge and assess the relevance of innovations.
● Participating in the strategic development of Team for the Planet
● Supporting the founders of subsidiaries in implementing innovations.
There is also Coline (Yes, finally a woman in the group!). Her role is to pitch to everyone, make the Team for the Planet adventure shine, and broaden the circle of supporters.
After setting up Artips, her first company, when she was still a student at HEC Paris and Sciences Po, she helped to grow it for 7 years. She created fun and educational content for a community of over a million subscribers to her newsletters and worked with half of the CAC 40 to create online courses for them.
Her role is to manage public relations for Team for the Planet: press, round tables, Ted X, investors... Coline likes to find the right words to get as many people on board as possible.
She is in charge of :
And finally, well, there is Arthur, talking to you right now!
My role is to make Team for the Planet visible, by managing everything related to content, public image, influencers, social networks, etc...
I've created several digital companies over the past 7 years, with large communities, media, smartphone applications, and services. One of which I sold to a group in the dating industry.
I am in charge of:
● Managing and developing the Team for the Planet community/brand on social networks.
● Managing relationships with influencers and personalities
● Making Team for the Planet shine and talk about it as much as possible in the public sphere alongside Coline, by sharing the media.
● Communicating as much as possible about the company to the associates and all who join us!
And then? Well, there are all of you, who are, in the same way as us associates of Team for the Planet! And that's how we like it!
It's Team for the Planet!
Then there is the question: How do we make our living?
Often when people read "non-profit", they imagine that it means that everyone works for free at Team for the Planet.
Actually, that’s not what it means. It means that profits stay inside the organization and are used for getting things done. But as far as the people who do these things are concerned, everything is possible. For example, in an NGO or a large association, which are non-profits, there are people who are paid to work.
The reason is that it is often necessary to be able to dedicate several dozen hours of work per week to a mission. A volunteer can usually give a few hours per week.
Paying people within a non-profit structure like Team for the Planet allows it to be more effective.
So what about us?
Well, for the first years, we were full-time volunteers!
We didn't get a dime for our daily work at Time.
Most of us get some income from the businesses we've created before and as for others, they've chosen to dedicate part of their savings to launching this project.
But there came a time when we needed to make a living, just like anyone else, for food, housing, and maybe even to go out for a few drinks with friends.
Team for the Planet, by paying us a salary, allows us to dedicate ourselves fully and serenely to its mission. If not, we would have to find income on the side, but this would have inevitably reduced the quality of our work within Team for the Planet. Obviously, when you have your head in several places at once, you are less efficient!
But when and how much, you ask?
Well, the "when" was a complicated question to answer because it all depended on Team for the Planet’s financial situation. We felt that several million should have been collected by Team for the Planet, so that the impact of our remunerations would be low compared to Team for the Planet's mission. In the beginning, if we’d paid ourselves, it would have been money badly spent. Since January 2022 we’ve been able to do so thanks to Team for the Planet’s growth.
And the important question is: how much?
Well, we discussed this among ourselves in a way that is unique among partners. We thought that we should weigh as little as possible on Team for the Planet's activity and that a salary of 4 SMICs (French minimum salary) would be the most we could afford. So yes, it may seem like a lot to some, but you should know that in France, the differences can easily rise to around 200 SMICs, the record being 553 in 2016 ;). We have nothing against people who earn these amounts. It's just that we have found a balance between our personal lives and the relevance of not being too much of a burden to the company.
And for those who think: there may be other forms of "hidden" compensation, well, there aren’t. Our articles of association specify that it's not the case. They specify that this upper limit is for all types of compensation combined.
Oh yeah, I didn't tell you but... This rule is actually written in our articles of association! It's not some stupid commitment, it's a legal commitment between all Team for the Planet shareholders.
And then another thing we chose to do is to keep you informed of this stuff by posting our payslips on our website, just to prove that we're not bullshitting. If some people still don't believe us after all that, well we don't know what else we can do to prove it to them!
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