Sarah Cattrysse

Sarah Cattrysse

Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesClimate ActionPartnerships for the goals

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Sarah, I am an optimistic 25 years old, with genuine interest in sustainable development through multiple connections in both my private and professional life.

During my studies in multilingual business communication, I travelled to developing countries where I had the opportunity to meet interesting people involved in sustainable socio-economic projects (E.g. a sustainable eco-farming project, initiative to sensitize local hill tribes to use decent toilets in order to keep the groundwater clean in Nepal, etc.) This experience thaught me that sincere conviction, enthusiasm and perseverance are strong enablers to empower others and that every initiave, even very small, can contribute towards a sustainable future.

This and other experiences drove me towards pursuing projects related to sustainable development in my professional career. As a communications consultant, I'm working on various projects supporting not only companies with their CSR development in light of reputation management, but also assisting all kinds of organizations (civil society and public sector) in the realm of sustainability (often pro bono).

What competences would make you a good Generation T?

I'm convinced that business has a crucial role to play in the transition towards a more social and ecological society. However governments, businesses and civil society members need to join efforts and there is no doubt that the time of combining powers to reach mutual goals is the way forward. Working at a communication agency for private sector (a.o. BEL20 companies), as well as for non profit organizations and public sector, I can draw from these different parties to connect potentially strong partners. I would gladfully welcome the opportunity to bring this, together with my enthousiasm and solution-driven mindset, to the Generation T table.

Give specific example(s) on how your projects or activities make a difference and initiate change.

As an example of my work for private companies, I assist a plant-based food producer with communication on its corporate positioning and on the key messages it wants to convey. Messages concern the collaboration with WWF, the multiple efforts to reduce CO2 emissions, the initiatives regarding protection of the Amazon forest, local farmers, etc.

Regarding my experience in projects for civil society, I support on a pro bono basis non-profit organizations to strenghten their communication tools, resulting in better visibility with their targeted audiences, such as potential volunteers, interested sponsors, participants and local journalists.

Last but not least, I have recently worked closely with the Shift and the Cabinet of Minister Alexander De Croo on advancing the sustainable development goals in Belgium. Personally, I played an important role in the project management and drafting of the Belgian SDG charter on the role of private sector, public sector and civil society in formulating an ambitious response to the overall implementation of the SDGs. The main challenge was to bring together the sometimes conflicting views of multiple stakeholders and to take into account the different contributions from the parties involved. The official launch will happen in October 2016.

In addition to the charter, I am currently supporting the SDG voices initiative, aiming to better voice the goals to a large Belgian audience.