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Introduction: There are few people with the skills and vision to be involved in the most outstanding and advanced initiatives in Luxembourg. Vanessa is one of them, cofounder of projects like Ouni .

Date of birth

City of birth

1. What makes you smile in life?
My daughter’s her inner joy and happiness; the beauty of nature – right now the beautiful color of fall; a true connection with another person.

2. What are you afraid of in life?
That something bad would happen to my daughter; serious illness and pain. But these fears are not present in my everyday life.

3. What is your passion?
I can’t say I have one specific passion, so I don’t have a simple answer. My strongest interests revolve around health, sustainable development, environmental protection and cinema. These interests have, for example, led me to discover the joys of cooking, to appreciate delicious organic produce, to embrace a “zero waste” lifestyle and to get involved in documentary filmmaking. More generally, I love to learn new things as it helps me make sense of the world we live in. I also enjoy setting personal goals – some big and some small – and going for them; it brings me a sense of accomplishment.

4. What would you like to change in your life?
I would like to have more time to dedicate to the causes I care about and more time to explore my creativity.

5. What do you regret the most in your life?
I don’t have any regrets. Even when mistakes are made, when things go wrong or not as planned, I believe that something good can come out of it, even if it is just a valuable learning experience. Would I have done some things differently? Well, sometimes I think I should have followed my inner voice and intuition more often. So now I am working on that.

6. How many hours a week do you normally work?
I work between 40 and 50 hours per week – this does not include my long commute to work, nor the “second shift” of working mothers, i.e. the household shores and childcare.

7. What is the thing you would like to do or see before you die?
Precisely, to find out what that thing is that I should do before I die!

8. What is your view of the future of mankind?
How many pages do I have to answer this question?! Seeing into the future is unfortunately not a gift that I have, but let me have a go at it. I think the majority of mankind will continue operating the way it always has. Throughout history mankind has been using Nature’s resources for its survival and comfort but also to gain power, wealth and security. Nevertheless, because of changing socio-economic conditions, global warming, environmental degradation and the depletion of resources, mankind will be forced to adapt. Adaptations such as the circular economy, the energy transition, new agricultural production methods are already happening and will be scaled up. But the risk is that the change comes too slowly or is too marginal, that the adaptations are only introduced within the existing socio-economic model but without a deep paradigm shift, one that would make space for “every man’s need but not every man’s greed”. Without a real paradigm shift the changes will not be sufficient to bring prosperity to the world and to avoid a serious ecological crisis and the ensuing wars over resources and territories. In this scenario, the most vulnerable populations will not be able to bear the shocks. The powerful and wealthy will be more resilient as they will have the resources to adapt and maintain a certain comfort – but they will increasingly have to protect themselves from the desperate majority by reinforcing the borders. At little bit like in the sci-fi movie “Elysium”. But I hope that mankind will shift gears before it’s too late and not wait until “the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, to realize that one cannot eat money”, as a Native American saying goes. So I want to believe in a more optimistic view – one of constant progress of mankind, not only technological and economic but also ethical and spiritual. In that scenario, we will ask the hard questions, be willing to get out of our comfort zone, renounce to some of our own interests for the benefit of all, including that future generations, allow real and lucid debate, shake things up and move towards true sustainable development. Our development would then be guided by fundamental ethical, moral, social and environmental principles and not only by economic ones. The impulse to change can be “bottom-up” as well as “top-down” but it will also come from “within” each and every one of us.

Vanessa´s hands
Vanessa´s hands