Members learn from each other via Job Switch Days

Sustainable Development Goal(s): 17. Partnerships for the goals

Priorities for change:
Members learn from each other via Job Switch Days

Our network launched the Job Switch Days 3 years ago to create more understanding between potential partners. The concept is simple. For one day, the CEO of a company switches jobs with an NGO director. The exchange invites both parties to learn more about each other and appreciate each other’s point of view. Since the launch of the concept, about 15 Job Switches helped creating a climate of trust between profit and non-profit actors. In some cases the exchange even contributed to the start or development of sustainable partnerships. Hereunder you get an overview of some of the most enriching Job Switches in the past 3 years.

Last February, teams from Delhaize and Atelier Groot Eiland got introduced to each other via a Job Switch. Both organisations already work together to recuperate food waste. Thanks to this exchange, the coordinator of the social economy organisation in Molenbeek and the director of the Delhaize supermarket in Anderlecht gained a better insight into each others daily operations.

In October 2015 team leaders from SMart and microcredit service provider microStart took our Job Switch concept as an the opportunity to switch seats for a week. Having different core businesses -but common clients-, these organisations exchanged practices and approaches in order to further improve their collaboration.

Earlier in 2015, Marc du Bois of Spadel swapped seats with Benoît Ceysens of Nos Pilifs, an urban farming and social economy project in Brussels. After spending a day with each others teams, they came to the conclusion that actors from the social and regular economy can share the same objectives and similar practices.

In 2014, the director of environmental protection organisation Natuurpunt Chris Steenwegen switched jobs with Greg Aertssen, CEO of construction group Aertssen. Prior to the exchange, both organisations didn’t get along very well. Discovering each others points of views, contributed to more understanding and modest collaborations.

End of 2013, Stephan De Brouwer from McDonald’s Belgium and Tobias Leenaert from Ethisch Vegetarisch Alternatief (EVA) swapped jobs for one day. When McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Ghent 15 years ago, Tobias led some fierce protest actions. Nowerdays, mindsets have changed radically and both parties are more willing to exchange knowledge.

In the summer of 2013, Damien Vincent of WWF Belgium and Christophe Degrez of Eneco België switched offices. The NGO-director and company CEO explored the potential for more strategical collaborations. Via the Climate Savers Programme, WWF and Eneco team up to accomplish WWF’s objective for a world only depending on renewable energies by 2050.

On Thursday the 18th of October 2012, Lily Deforce of Fairtrade Belgium and Dirk Van den Berghe of Delhaize launched the first Job Switch Day. The initiative consolidated the further integration of Fair Trade products in the Belgian supermarkets.

Would you also like to explore or expand a partnership relation with any of your stakeholders? Contact us and organise a Job Switch Day with one of your colleague members from The Shift!