International student will promote sustainable business in Arizona

Sustainability senior Yann Raymond

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2018 commencement

After moving to Tempe from northwestern France, Yann Raymond enrolled with ASU’s School of Sustainability. His focus is international development, and he has an interest in food systems and supply chain.

At ASU, Raymond scored a job with Changemaker Central, an ASU student organization focused on innovation and enterprise development. During his three years at Changemaker, Raymond used the space as an innovation hub, an arena for dialogue and collaboration with like-minded students driven by change.

Following graduation, Raymond will work with the Town of Camp Verde, where he hopes to apply his food system, entrepreneurship and sustainable development knowledge to local businesses.

Yann answered a few questions about his experiences at ASU.

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study sustainability?

Answer: Where I am from in northwestern France, beaches are experiencing a phenomenon called “green tides.” Runoff from coastal farms causes algae bloom in the sea, and during the low tides, the beaches are covered in a thick layer of green algae. I have clear memories of playing on these beaches with my cousins and throwing dry lumps of green algae at each other. In high school, I learned that the green tides were detrimental to the tourism industry because of how repulsive it looks, and the algae also compromises the local ecosystem. Since then, it has been a goal of mine to improve our agricultural system so it becomes in harmonious with our environment.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to those currently studying (or interested in studying) sustainability at ASU?

A: I would advise for any students studying sustainability to get involved outside of the classroom. Start a thesis, join a club, write a business plan or implement a service or sustainability project.

ASU offers a ton of resources for anyone who wants to make a difference out there. Sustainability is a new, dynamic and always changing field, and you will be the one creating and leading future opportunities.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: I will be moving to Camp Verde, Arizona, to work with the city to help foster sustainable businesses, and I plan on interning with the local wineries and aquaponics farm to further my understanding of sustainable agriculture and the supply chains associated with them.

Written by Jake Wilson

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